Investing in Gold FAQ's

Author: Ian Davis - Chief Operations Officer

Published: 29 Jul 2022

Last Updated: 8 Nov 2023


If you are looking to buy gold bullion coins or bars online, in the UK or abroad, then Chards Coin and Bullion Dealer can help find the cheapest way to buy gold that suits your investment or collecting criteria.

Our other popular FAQ pages offer advice on buying from and selling to Chards, whilst common questions about how to pay for gold and our delivery schedule can be found on our FAQ page. 

Gold Bars

What is Gold Bullion?

Gold bullion refers to gold coins, bars or ingots which are bought and sold at a price close to the intrinsic price of the metal. It ignores any additional value that could be attached based on the design. Gold bullion meets the criteria of "investment gold".

Interested in gold bullion? We have many designs from world mint's, such as sovereigns, Britannias, Krugerrands and much more.

What is the Spot Price of Gold?

The spot price of gold often refers to the "mid-spot price" for a given weight of gold, usually given as a price per gram, troy ounce or kilo. It is sometimes referred to as the live price, live rate, market price or market rate. The mid-price is calculated by taking the mid point of the ask and bid prices. We use the spot mid-price to calculate the selling prices of our products.

Spot price can also refer to the "bid-spot price" or "ask-spot price" depending on the context it is used. The "bid-price" is the wholesale market rate buyers are bidding (paying) for gold and the "ask price" is the wholesale price sellers are asking (selling) gold.

The live price of gold is featured at the top of our site and if you wish to view full charts across all metals, weights and time frames please visit our metal charts page.

How Much Gold Should I Buy?

The answer depends on your budget, taste, appetite for risk and investment strategy.

As with any investment, the widely held ideal is to buy low and sell high, in turn making yourself a nice profit. Depending on your ability to interpret market conditions, and your appetite for risk, you may wish to take the plunge by investing all your money at once. However, if you sense risk, you may wish to dollar cost average across a wider period of time. Dollar cost average is where you invest an equal amount of money at regular intervals, regardless of the price or current financial market.

We only recommend investing amounts that you feel comfortable with, and to help you get right to the point we created our investment calculator. Please note we are unable to provide investment advice but happy to discuss products and their features, allowing you to make the final decision.

When Should I Invest in Precious Metals?

History has proven gold to be the hedge against inflation, therefore in times of economic distress or political unrest, the precious metal market is inundated with demand for bullion products. We do however believe you should invest simply when the time is right for you. Precious metals are more accessible than ever, with unallocated accounts, paper gold and precious metal storage facilities, private investors can increase their portfolio at their own pace.

Are Bullion Products VAT-free? 

Since 1st January 2000, investment gold is exempt from VAT throughout the EU and you can read all about this topic on notice 201/21a on HMRC's website. In the UK the full value of new silver products are subject to 20% VAT, and for any second-hand products sold on the special scheme, VAT is also charged at 20%, but only on the dealers' profit margin. Please note not all second hand items are sold on the special scheme. Non-investment gold, such as coins with a low fineness (purity), jewellery, and medallions, as well as palladium and platinum products are treated to the same rules as for silver.

You may be subject to local VAT rules so please consult your local tax authorities for more information.

Which is Better - 22ct or 24ct Coins?

Really this depends on how you define 'better'.

Customers often ask this question as they believe a 22-carat coin has less gold content than a 24-carat coin - this is not correct! The carat system refers to the fineness (also known as purity) and does not relate to the actual gold weight or the overall weight of a coin. If we compare a 1 oz gold 22-carat coin and a 1 oz gold 24-carat coin, both contain the exact same amount of gold, with the 22-carat coins being slightly larger and heavier to accommodate for the lower purity. The difference in purity can lead to interesting colour variations (brown/red with copper etc.) as other metals make up the coins and add variation in physical properties, such as durability (24 carat is 'softer' than 22 carat). If you wish to read more we have a page comparing 24 carat coins to 22 carat coins.

Should I Buy Gold Coins or Bars?

It is personal preference. Some coins have the benefit of being exempt from Capital Gains Tax, due to their status as legal tender sterling; others are visually appealing due to their artistic design, whilst some may commemorate an event, or have significance or sentimental value to the investor.

The coins which are more collectable can demand higher premiums with the Queen's Beasts Series being a recent case of bullion coins being 'more collectable' than their counterparts, such as the Britannia. Bars can carry lower buy premiums than coins, and have similar selling premiums when you come to dispose of the asset.

If you are looking to buy today we have a dedicated page for CGT exempt gold coins.

For an in-depth explanation we have a full page dedicated to whether you should buy coins or bars.

What Are “Minty” Products?

As the name suggests, our “minty” range of coins are in mint-like condition. In many cases the coins are still in their original packaging, and have usually been issued within recent years.

You can view our full range of gold minty coins which give investors the opportunity to purchase high quality bullion at lower premiums than the most recent year. You can read more about the various types of bullion coins we sell here at Chards.

What is Grade C?

Grade C is an item which is too good to scrap but not good quality or visually attractive enough to sell as bullion - even though the coin or bar itself remains within the technical specification.

Although these products may have lower premiums over spot than their bullion counterparts, we will most likely offer a lower buy back price. This wider buy-sell spread means grade C items may not be the best deal for you on the day. 

As a result, we would recommend using grade C items in jewellery rather than investing in gold. Please read our page on "what is grade C" page for more information.

What is the Cheapest Gold?

Our lowest premium coins are "Our Choice" or "Best Value" products.

Generally, the heavier the item or the larger the order quantity means you pay lower premiums! Our cheapest item would probably be a 1 gram gold bar but is unlikely to be the lowest premium available and therefore not the best choice for many investors.

Most customers find that the best buys are gold one-ounce coins rather than fractional coin sizes, as the smaller weights command a higher premium - you can read more on our page for 1oz coins vs. fractional sizes. "Best value" coins may not always be the cheapest but are often the best deal when taking the buy-sell spread into account, maximising the amount of gold you can own and the value of your investments.

Which is the Best Deal?

If you are unsure on which gold or silver bar or coin to invest in, our investment calculator will show you the best value products for your budget. It allows you to choose from a selection of our lowest premium products, products for immediate despatch and CGT-exempt products. We have put together a page with one ounce coin price comparisons and gold bullion sovereign price comparisons.

What is the Cheapest Place to Buy Gold Online?

Chards Coin and Bullion Dealer of course! We compare prices daily on many of our top selling products to ensure that we remain competitive where we can. We pride ourselves in being able to offer the lowest premium products to you.

Our pricing on bullion products is transparent, with any premium and surcharge published live - that way you can easily compare us against other deals, as well as easily comparing different weights of products without carrying out your own calculations. We don’t hide added VAT costs, hidden “free postage” fees or deploy any bait and switch techniques to up-sell to higher premium products. We want you to walk away with a great experience to keep coming back time and time again. We have dedicated pages for our price comparisons, and you can find how we compare to other dealers on the "UK Dealer Comparison" tab, found on most of our top bullion products.

Do You Sell Investment Gold?

We certainly do! At Chards we offer a wide range of investment options that are regularly price adjusted against other leading dealers to ensure we consistently offer the best value on bullion gold coins and bars. We publish comparison data on each product page where we have run a comparison for all to see! Find out more about the criteria required for coins and bars to be classified as investment gold.

For those who are unsure what to invest in, our investment calculator allows new and seasoned investors to choose from the best value products based on their budget! From our low premium "minty" and "grade c" lines to our digital gold and digital silver, Chards provides a comprehensive range of products to suit investment needs.

What is 'Orderable' Bullion?

As we constantly buy and sell bullion from the secondary market, we may experience times where demand is higher than supply. In addition, the death of the late HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2022 meant that The Royal Mint released two versions of the 2023 Britannia. One of the versions of the 2023 Britannia are the final Britannias feature Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, because of this the coin is extremely sort after by many collectors. Due to this Queen Elizabeth II 2023 Britannia being so popular this coin remains orderable until we have stock.

When this happens, bullion items go to an 'orderable' status. The delay can range from days through weeks or even months. These products are only recommended to customers who are comfortable to wait and where this is not the case, we strongly recommend buying the latest year coin at a slightly higher premium.

When orders are placed for awaiting stock products, we will provide you with a fortnightly update on the progress of your order. You can consider the interim period as 'free storage' as you can sell your items at any point back to Chards without physically taking receipt. This means customers who buy from Chards can take advantage of any swings in the metal price all the way up to the point of delivery. Whonor the price at the time you place your order so even if gold was to skyrocket, you would not pay any more when they arrive into stock. If you wish to switch products to in-stock alternatives, we also use the original gold price on the order. Find out more about 'orderable' bullion.

Gold vs Bitcoin

Gold vs Bitcoin is an interesting topic and is best read on our website!

Gold vs Silver

Choosing Gold or Silver can be a difficult choice for beginner investors. Gold Investment bullion is exempt from VAT, silver on the other hand is still subject to a 20% rate of VAT unless you buy on the special scheme.

Another thing to consider is the gold to silver ratio. Simply put, this is how many ounces of silver that can be used to purchase an ounce of gold. It is a good indicator of how the prices compare to each other. A higher ratio would indicate that silver is “cheap”. If the ratio is lower, some investors may turn to invest in gold, possibly exchanging their silver in the process.

Ratios above 70 generally indicate silver as the better buy and ratios down to 40 and below would indicate a silver bull run, and we would want to sell! To better explain whether you should buy gold or silver, it is worth observing price changes over the past 25 years. 

Other FAQ Sections

Investing In Silver

Buying From Chards

Selling to Chards

Delivery Of Your Bullion


DigitAul And Storage Services gold

Coin Grading & Appraisal

Key Terms & Phrases

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We are not financial advisers and we would always recommend that you consult with one prior to making any investment decision.

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