By Joshua Saul – The Pure Gold Company
If there is ever a time to buy a safe-haven asset, it’s when the political and economic future of the country is as murky and uncertain as it is now. More and more people are considering buying gold to protect their assets from the vagaries of stock and property markets, but once you’ve decided to own it, the question becomes where to buy gold in London and around the UK? The answer will depend on what gold you want to own.
Paper gold (or electronic gold)
Gold mining stocks are sold on the stock exchange and can be purchased via a broker either online or in person. These stocks are a bit like second cousins to physical gold, they’re influenced by the gold price, but more so by the success (or failure) of the mining business itself. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are first cousins to gold – they’re backed by physical gold so track the price of gold, but they can be bought and sold on the stock market without owning the actual metal. There is much debate as to how much physical gold is backing these certificates. Therefore if there is less physical gold backing an ETF fund (which is always possible given gold’s finite supply) then upon a larger share of the market liquidating their ETF’s there may not be enough physical gold to satisfy the amount of certificate holders thereby leaving the investor holding nothing more than a piece of paper.
Physical gold, in the form of gold coins or gold bars is the most direct way to own the precious metal so where can you buy gold in the UK?
Hatton Garden has always been synonymous with jewellery shops and diamond trading, but these days is more notorious as the location of the Hatton Garden heist, a daring safe deposit box burglary carried out over a long weekend in 2015. The street and commercial area in the Holborn district of London is lined with jewellery shops and dealerships that sell mostly gold and diamond jewellery. Some may also sell a small amount of gold coins, but because it is not specifically known for gold bullion, these coins may not be of the best quality or fully certified. Buyers won’t necessarily find exactly what they are looking for either, but it is convenient if you are in that area of London and want to shop around.
Birmingham has a similarly well known and convenient jewellery quarter bustling with hundreds of diamond and gold dealers who may have bullion stock for local buyers. Several online gold dealers have offices or shops there too.
Pawn brokers are also a convenient place to buy gold because they are abundant and local. But it’s important to note that they are also all very different so some will be more reputable than others. They both buy and sell gold items, but will buy at a significant discount to the market price to make a mark-up on the subsequent sale. The gold they sell is often jewellery, but they do sometimes get gold coins in stock, and it is possible to find a good deal on a valuable coin if the broker is unaware of its real value. These deals are rare and there are risks. The biggest risk when buying from a pawn broker is the lack of certification and quality assurance. The value of the gold is affected by its quality, and certification ensures that the gold is genuine and correctly graded.
The internet is an infinite parade of shop fronts, some of them filled with glittering gold photographs and shiny promises. These online gold dealers have proliferated as the demand for gold has grown and their main advantage is convenience. Being online, it doesn’t matter where a company is based because once the purchase has been made the gold is usually delivered. Some of the more reputable ones operate from offices in Hammersmith, Birmingham, Dublin, South Wales or Blackpool and really this only make a difference if they offer a collection service which some do. The point about online gold sales is that you already need to know what you want to buy, how much you want to spend, what form of gold you want to buy, and have no intention of selling in the foreseeable future. Online gold dealers are shop fronts, they’re not investment-led and there is usually no buy-back guarantee so you would have to source another buyer when you decide to sell up. If you already know what gold you want to buy, online gold shops are quick and easy to use.
But only buy from an online dealer with a good reputation. There are a huge number of groups on social media that enable you to buy gold bars and buy gold coins, as well as sell them, but its buyer beware as there is no way to know what you are getting and very little recourse if the product is below par or even fake.
A few online gold dealers have a shop or office where customers buying gold can come in and collect their purchases. However, in most cases, the gold needs to be purchased beforehand and then collected from the store. The majority don’t hold racks of gold to peruse and choose like a cocktail dress or selection of ties. That said, if you do want to collect then there are bullion dealers with offices around the country, including London, Wales, Ireland and the north of England. There are a few that do sell certified gold bullion in their stores, including one gold bullion store in London in St James Street and another selling gold coins in Wales. There you can walk in and buy gold coins or bars in a physical location without previously ordering it online or by phone. But safety and security is important when leaving a shop with gold in your pockets. These stores are obvious and their wares are sought after, so you can become a target of theft if you don’t take sensible precautions.
A gold investment company is a good choice for someone who doesn’t know exactly what they want or how to go about getting it. After almost three years of Brexit uncertainty, if you finally decide your assets need protecting from haphazard politicians, a gold investment company can provide you with the knowledge and information to enable you to make the right choice for your circumstances. For example they can explain the tax implications of owning UK gold coins compared to gold bars (the former is often capital gains tax exempt), and they can arrange for the gold you buy to be included in your pension or SIPP (self-invested personal pension) if that’s where you want it to go. A good investment company will have a relationship manager who you deal with on every interaction, provide guidance on what and when to buy, will be fully certified, and offer a buy-back guarantee if you choose to cash in your gold investment. A good gold investment company will also have credibility in the sector, with gold case studies and testimonials and a strong press presence.
There are lots of places to buy gold in London and around the UK, but it depends on whether you already know what you want. If you’re a seasoned gold coin collector, trawling the pawn shops for hidden gems might be a good use of your time. If you’ve already decided what you want to buy, have a modest budget to spend and don’t intend to sell, popular online shops will sell you exactly that, quickly and easily. And if you need guidance on the best gold investment option for your personal circumstances, whether it’s a small or large trade, a reputable investment company will steer you to the gold that makes the most sense for you with the guidance and protection you would expect when making such an important purchase.
The Pure Gold Company – How do we fit in?
The Pure Gold Company offers a curated investment service which means they will discuss clients’ needs to ensure they are offered the right product. Their consultative approach, full certification, gold storage options and buyback guarantee give investors peace of mind that they have made the right choice for their assets.
Through direct communication with clients, The Pure Gold Company understand who is buying gold and silver and why (compared with online gold dealers who don’t have the same depth of insight). CEO Josh Saul gleans the underlying motives of his clients and is a thought leader on trends in retail investment in physical gold, the process of buying gold and the ways people choose to manage and maximise their assets and investments.