Gold Britannias or Gold Bars - A Comparison

Author: Ian Davis - Bullion Manager

Published: 7 Dec 2018

Last Updated: 20 Aug 2019

Looking for more information as to whether gold Britannias or gold bars are the right choice of gold investment?

Read on as we discuss the merits of each. 

Gold Britannias

Since 1987 Britannia has featured on a gold bullion coin minted in the UK by The Royal Mint. The gold Britannia is a competitor to the very popular 1-ounce gold krugerrand which is minted in South Africa by the Rand Refinery. The Britannia comes in several sizes including the very popular 1 ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce and tenth ounce as well as three, four, and five-piece coin sets. On this page we will only be comparing the one-ounce coin as a bullion investment coin rather than a collectable piece. As such as pre-owned gold Britannias are the best priced options.

2017 Gold Britannia Reverse

A one-ounce gold Britannia is a perfect size and is a good trade-off between compact storage and liquidity. As gold is very dense you can store a large amount of value in a small space and your immediate question might be "why not buy a 1kg gold bar instead of 32 one-ounce gold Britannias?" It should follow that a larger bar at a lower premium would be the better investment, it does also depend on how easy it is to sell when you are ready. Say you have bought a one kilo gold bar for £35,918.14 we would currently buy it back at £31,879 and if you were to buy a one ounce secondary market gold Britannia you would pay from £1,122.62 and could expect to get £1,079

From the prices quoted above you can see our buy back rates are better for gold coins than gold bars and this is because we have more of a market for gold coins as they are more popular and, in our opinion, a much better investment choice. Not only are you getting better rates on gold coins you also don’t have to cash in £31,879 in one go. You can exchange fractional amounts in the order of one ounce which is £1,079. The flexibility offered when buying gold coins is far better than a 1kg bar and your day to day servicing of debt and purchases is easier trading coins. The next sensible question would be "why not buy a smaller gold bar?". Well a 1kg gold bar currently has a premium of 1.5% which is certainly competition against the Britannia which starts from 1.9%. However as soon as you look at smaller bars the premiums shoot up! Take a look at this price comparison table for different bars:

Bar Size Premium Price
1 Kg Gold Bar Our Choice Pre-Owned 1.5% £35,918.14
100g Gold Bar Metalor Pre-Owned 3% £3,654.16
1 oz Gold Bar Metalor New 8.48% £1,201.21
10g Gold Bar Metalor New 11.39% £400.58

The gold Britannia coin is also capital gains tax exempt as each coin has a face value and is legal tender. Currently the CGT limit is £11,300 so if you have large amounts of money to invest and expect to realise a profit exceeding the threshold, we would highly recommend gold Britannia coins over gold bars. The full profit realised (above the threshold) on gold bars will be subject to capital gains tax so immediately you are losing money!! In both cases gold Britannias and gold bars are exempt from VAT but with Britannias you get double tax relief!! 

 Secondary Market Gold BritanniaAside from the practicalities, price and tax status of the gold Britannia coin they also come in a variety of designs which, in my opinion, makes them a much more interesting investment choice versus gold bars. We have a page dedicated to gold Britannia coin designs

We are currently comparing bullion Britannia coins against bars and if you wish to collect these coins in higher grades and specific years you can expect to pay slightly higher premiums. You may also want to be cautious of stupidly high asking prices for slabbed Britannias. We have seen a 2018 Britannia for sale at £1450 in November 2018 where we offer the same coin for £1,190.18. If you’re thinking a slabbed coin offers better protection, we will let you know we store high value graded collectable coins (e.g. sovereigns) in capsules maintaining condition and offering protection and we sell these for 50p! You can view our capsule for a Britannia here.  In our opinion the slabbed coins do offer protection but don't get ripped off by coin marketing companies as slabbed coins are probably worth £10 more and not £500! 

Gold Bars

Gold bars can be attractive and offer an easy way to store and stack due to their uniform size. They will fit nicely into small storage safes, below the floorboards or if you wanted Chards to store them on your behalf, we can easily store large amounts of money in secure strong rooms over a very small footprint. 

In our opinion the designs of the Britannias make them a more interesting option than gold bars but each to their own. We have many customers who look for specific brands of bars such as Perth Mint or Metalor or even specific designs for birthdays, weddings or religious holidays. 

1 Ounce Gold Bar

100g Gold Bar

For those customers who want to buy gold bars they are available in many sizes and if you have the budget how about a 12.5kg London good delivery bar! We also stock 1 ounce, 2 gram and 1 gram for a smaller budget. 

Conclusion

We will always recommend gold Britannia bullion coins over gold bars due to their price (premium), flexibility, tax status and visual appeal. Unless you can find gold bars at very low premiums and avoid capital gains tax, we do not see how gold bars make a better investment than gold Britannias. If your interested in buying gold Britannias or bars you can do so direct from this page below....

Price Comparison - Gold Brits Vs Bars

1 oz Gold Britannia Coin Bullion Best Value Secondary Market

Secondary Market Gold Britannia

Stock Status - Out of Stock

Quantity Premium % Total
1
2.5
£1,129.27

Price Per Item:
£1,129.27
5
2.25
£5,632.60

Price Per Item:
£1,126.52
10
2
£11,237.60

Price Per Item:
£1,123.76
20+
1.9
£22,453.20

Price Per Item:
£1,122.66

1 oz Gold Bar Metalor New

1 Ounce Gold Bar

Stock Status - Available

Premium: 8.48%

Price: £1,201.21

1 Ounce Gold Britannia Coin Bullion Best Value Newly Minted

Newly Minted gold Britannia

Stock Status - Available

Quantity Premium % Total
1
3.5
£1,140.29

Price Per Item:
£1,140.29
5
3.45
£5,698.70

Price Per Item:
£1,139.74
10
3.35
£11,386.40

Price Per Item:
£1,138.64
20
3.25
£22,750.80

Price Per Item:
£1,137.54
50
3.15
£56,821.50

Price Per Item:
£1,136.43
100+
3.05
£113,533.00

Price Per Item:
£1,135.33

100g Gold Bar Metalor Pre-Owned

100g Gold Bar

Stock Status - Available

Premium: 3%

Price: £3,654.16

You may wish to view all of our articles on our gold guide

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