What is the difference between Bullion, Uncirculated and Proof coins? UK.
A bullion coin is a precious metal coin such as a gold or silver Britannia that is purely for investment purposes.
The value of these coins is mainly linked to the spot price of gold or silver which fluctuates daily.
Bullion coins are mass produced. Common examples would be Sovereigns, Britannias, Krugerrands, Canadian Maples etc.
This, however, makes bullion coins easier to buy and sell quickly, as they are very recognisable coins and are traded worldwide.
Bullion coins are not as perfect or crisp in finish compared to uncirculated or proof coins, but they are a great, more cost effective way for investors to buy and sell physical gold and silver coins.
Brilliant Uncirculated coins.
Brilliant Uncirculated coins are of a higher standard than bullion coins.
This is achieved by the dies being hand-finished and polished regularly. These dies are used to imprint the design upon the gold or silver coin. Uncirculated coins are machine-fed for production.
Uncirculated coins have slightly less definition, and don’t have the mirror like finish than that of a proof coin.
Proof coins are considered the highest quality coin that a mint produces. There is extra attention and care put into producing each coin. The Royal Mint for example, will select the best blanks to become proof coins first.
The dies for proof coins are hand finished, and extra care is taken to remove any sign of imperfection, giving each coin a mirror image imprint.
A proof coin has a more personal touch when producing each coin.
A proof blank is placed onto a coin press by hand and less pressure and speed is used to produce each coin. A proof coin is struck many more times than the other coins, meaning a smaller volume of proof coins are struck per hour.
The dies used are cleaned and re-polished before and after usage to remove any signs of dust or dirt.
The Royal Mint for example only produce a small mintage of proof coins each year which therefore means proof coins often fetch a higher premium than bullion or uncirculated coins.
So which is the best coin?
It is all down to personal preference.
The overall design of the coins is basically the same so it comes down to the extra time, effort and skills used to produce a proof or uncirculated coin.
If you are looking exclusively at price, then it is easier to predict the price of a bullion coin, as bullion coins are so closely linked to the spot price of gold and silver.
With uncirculated or proof coins, you can’t necessarily guarantee you can get the same premium back when it comes to selling your collectable coins.
Many investors use coin collecting as more of a hobby.
Some collectors may prefer the detail in an uncirculated coin or, if money is not so much of an issue, then prefer a proof coin, knowing they have the best quality coin that will most likely still retain a high value.
Either way, gold or silver, bullion or proof, investing in gold and silver coins is a great way to preserve wealth and help diversify an investment portfolio.
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