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People Turn to Gold to Beat the Banking System Woes
According to an advert* by 'London Mint Office' but much of the ad is misleading and deceptive.
Much of the advert is in the style of newspaper editorial, and includes quotes by David Moss, "Head of Archive Special Releases" at The London Mint Office".

The London Mint Office
You may wish to refer to our earlier page about them.

Magnificent Seven Special Edition Gold Coin Set
The advert claims that "Magnificent Seven Special Edition Gold Coin Set" is a collection of the most important gold coins from around the world.
It claims that the South African Mint announced "it had recently run out of Krugerrands". This is at best inaccurate, as the South African Mint do not produce Krugerrands; they are minted by Rand Refinery! It also claims that the US Mint announced it would not be taking any new orders for its famed Gold Eagle bullion coins while it cleared the backlog of orders.
According to the LMO, the seven coins in the collection are "the British Half Sovereign, South Africa (sic) Krugerrand, Australian Kangaroo, USA Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf, Mexican Libertad and the Chinese Panda. This is all fair enough; for years we have been offering a 7-coin gold bullion deal, but including Austrian Philharmonicas rather than Mexican Libertads.
What we find intriguing is that, apart from the half sovereign, nowhere does the advert stipulate which size of coin is included. Surely this is one of the most basic pieces of information which should be clearly supplied. Most dealers and investors would assume that the one ounce version of each coin is the most important size, the most popular size, and also the size which would be understood or implied in the absence of a complete specification. We further note that the six small grey images shown are of the one tenth ounce size in each case. Generally, we would consider the tenth ounce size to be considered for jewellery use, or for collectors, rather than for investors, as the percentage premium is too high for general investment purposes.
We cannot believe the LMO is so stupid or ignorant that it does not know this, or that it has omitted this essential piece of information, and can only assume it has deliberately omitted this information for reasons best known to itself. Naturally we have our own opinion, which we will reserve for the time being!

Save £70!
The advert invites applications from new customers for the first coin in this set, a British Gold Half Sovereign, and states that the price of £99 is a "guaranteed saving of £70 on the regular release price!
What they mean by "the regular release price", we do not know. The Royal Mint, who produce and release these coins, sell them retail at £125 each, which would only be a saving of £26 each. Perhaps the LMO have their own secret "regular release price", or perhaps they are trying to make their readers believe that the London Mint Office is the minter, producer, or releaser of these coins, as their artfully chosen name would imply, at least to those who know no better.
Adding £99 to £70 gives £169, so it appear to us that the LMO's claim is overstated by £44, ignoring postage. To us this appears misleading, deceptive, possibly even fraudulent, although if a canny buyer wished to get a half sovereign from them for £99 and could be bothered with all the hassle of trying to cancel the remaining six coins, they could actually buy it for £16 lower than our own single coin price, ignoring postage costs.
The LMO advert shows an image of a 2009 dated half sovereign, so we assume this is what they are offering, although no coin date is specified in their wording.
Our own company is currently offering 2009 "bullion" half sovereigns at £115 each (recently increased from £99 each), for single pieces. We do not limit customers to "one coin per household" as do the LMO, and indeed have reduced prices for larger quantities, 10 pieces at £110 each, and higher quantities based on the spot gold price of the moment. We also offer our choice of date and type at even lower prices (from about £80 each in quantity).
Based on its single piece "regular release price", the LMO charges 47% more for its half sovereign that we do. If they were to overcharge by the same proportion (and it may be even more), their customers would and up paying about £240 more for the rest of the "collection", and about £225 more on the seven coins.

...Or Lose £225?
Yes, on our calculation above, you might easily end up paying £225 too much for your seven coin collection.
In fact, for serious investors, we would not recommend buying half sovereigns for investment, but rather "full" sovereigns, and would certainly not recommend tenth ounce coins, but rather the normal one ounce versions of the other six coins. There are also numerous other one ounce bullion coins. The best buy at any specific time changes according to demand and availability.

Our Advice
We would certainly advise anybody to avoid buying the London Mint Offices rather nebulous offer, but to read our various gold investment advice pages, starting with Gold Investment Advice.

* Daily Telegraph Saturday 7th March 2009

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