Have you ever taken a close look at your change from a shop and seen one or more coins that look a bit different from the rest? Perhaps they have a different design, on one or both sides, or have the date more prominently written than usual. The practice of releasing special commemorative coins has been common for a while, unlike commemorative gold coins. It is a great way to mark a special occasion, achievement, anniversary, person or place.
Some examples found in recent UK currency have included 50 pence coins and two-pound coins depicting different events from the London 2021 Olympic games, animal characters from the books by Beatrix Potter and symbols from the four nations of the United Kingdom. These are often of great interest to coin collectors, but perhaps less so for those who are specifically building a gold investment portfolio.
Commemorative gold coins are not quite so commonly found amongst circulating currency. If commemorative gold coins are not sent out into general circulation like the base-metal 50 pence and two-pound coins, they are less likely to get damaged or worn away during general usage. This will help them to retain a higher value.
Due to their greater rarity and higher value metal, specially struck, limited edition gold coins are even more interesting to those in the know. Many commemorative gold coins tend to only have a smaller number minted and are only available for a set time period. This adds to their rarity and appeal. Do careful research into this aspect, however, as some specially minted coins do have a higher number struck for a number of reasons (perhaps to ensure there is one for everyone involved in a certain event or anniversary), which lowers their value for collectors.
Another type of commemorative gold coin is specially struck to raise funds for charity. These are not generally legal tender, so will not enter general circulation. Again, their value lies in their rarity and they will command higher prices due to their limited availability. In addition, they will be sought after for their provenance and history of being minted to raise funds for a good cause. These types of commemorative coins are often sold straight to gold investment collectors in private sales or online.
Start your own commemorative gold coin collection
Collecting commemorative gold coins is a straightforward interest to get into. The coins come onto the market with reasonable regularity. They are generally fairly affordable and are small enough to be transported and stored without too much difficulty. They hold their resale value too, especially if they have a high gold content or a unique design. One problem may be working out what type of commemorative gold coin to invest in – there are multiple designs, countries, events and mints represented from all over the world.
Choose your theme
One idea is to choose a particular historical period and look for coins originating from that time. Or you could settle on a theme. Literary figures make for attractive designs, as do flags of the world, monarchs or flora and fauna. The great thing about this type of investment is the huge variety that you can choose from. No gold investment collection needs to be exactly the same as any other.
All that glitters…
While gold is the precious metal of choice for many coin collectors, it is by no means the only option out there. Commemorative coins have been struck using other metals, including silver, platinum and copper. Always buy through a reputable coin dealer to ensure that you are purchasing the real deal. You should be given certification to prove the coin’s provenance, authenticity and purity. This is very important, as it will allow you to sell the coin later if you wish to cash in your investment, gold or otherwise.
Mistakes can make money
Sometimes, errors can appear on commemorative gold coins and this can push their value up even higher. Just like china keepsakes that display the wrong date for a Royal wedding or tourist souvenirs that have not had typos corrected, coins with the wrong date, wording or images can be worth a lot more than their corrected replacements in the longer term. Again, it is all about finding something rare and, if possible, unique.
Gold investment coins
Finally, watch out for the particularly rare or fascinating gold and other metal coins, well-known for their subject matter or provenance. In 1994, a limited run of gold 50 pence pieces was issued to mark 50 years since the Normandy landings in the Second World War. It was slightly larger than the standard 50 pence piece at that time, measuring 30mm in diameter. That same year saw the minting of another gold coin – a Gold Double Sovereign – that celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Bank of England. This latter coin is exempt from Capital Gains Tax, making it a great choice for British collectors seeking to maximise their gold investment.