Highest returning investment coins

The Coin Cabinet’s recent auction results show a parabolic advance in prices for modern proofs, which are coins specially minted for collectors. The short-term percentage returns for these coins in the current market illustrate why they are an attractive proposition for portfolio investors in the current market, particularly given their liquidity and limited supply. Here are three recent examples of modern proofs from The Royal Mint that underline their investment appeal:

1. The Sovereign 1989 500th Anniversary proof
Coins from the 1989 series have continued to rise. Of the £5, £2, £1 and half-sovereign sets, each individual coin has consistently risen in price, a trend likely to continue. For example, we were selling the £5 for around £4,900 in October 2019; in October 2020 a £5 example realised £8,250. In the same auction, a £2 sold for £2,100, where it had typically sold for £1,200-1,400 a year earlier.

2. King Canute 2017 gold proof £5
Commemorating the 1,000th anniversary of the coronation of King Canute (mintage of 263 coins). In April 2020 we sold a graded PCGS 70 version for around £2,500 for a client’s investment portfolio, with our online auction results achieving around the same price. A graded PCGS 70 example sold in our 27 October 2020 auction for £8,750 — a more than three-fold increase in six months.

3. Una and the Lion 2019 two-ounce gold proof £200
A beautiful coin and highly-prized by collectors for its William Wyon design (mintage of 225 coins), we sold an example in January 2020 for £27,000. In our September 2020 auction another example, graded PCGS 70, sold for £59,000, which, despite more than doubling in price, we regard as a good buy. We see this coin being worth upwards of £70,000 — and it was only minted in 2019.

What is an ‘investment grade’ coin?

The simple answer is any coin worth investing in; one that will likely hold and increase its value over time. It is important to ask:

  • How rare is my coin and how often does it appear on the market? (Supply)
  • What is the market’s current appetite for my coin? (Demand)

Typical investment grade coins are relatively rare, high-quality examples. Although they often attract high valuations, high value does not necessarily correspond with investment grade. There are many types of investment grade coins which can be bought for lower prices, such as exceptional quality in lower denominations.

Gold sovereigns
The Coin Cabinet’s mid-monthly sales focus on gold sovereigns, an iconic coin struck since 1817 under George III. The sheer variety of sovereigns make the coin a challenge to collect across its many iterations, including certain key dates, mint marks, die numbers and errors. The Coin Cabinet’s auctions results offer a guide to the market value of the many varieties of sovereigns traded; additionally we aim to educate collectors and investors with the most detailed descriptions available. Here are some recent auction results of sovereigns:

  • An 1838 gold sovereign in ‘fine’ grade has doubled in price since 2007 and can now be bought for around £2,000.
  • An 1850 gold sovereign in ‘very fine’ grade has returned 500% in 10 years, now priced at £400 and up. Here we must take into account the increase in gold price which has risen by approximately 70% in pounds since 2010.
  • A normal example of an 1879 sovereign might trade at £370-400; a London mint example could fetch £1,400 upwards, depending on grade.

Read more about building a portfolio.

To discuss investing in gold, or for more information about building a portfolio, contact The Coin Cabinet’s Investment Director, Tom Pelc.

The information provided is for your general information and use and is not intended to address your particular requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of investment advice or recommendation and is not intended to be relied upon in making buying or selling decisions.  We therefore advise you to seek your own independent advice before making any such decision.