Royal Mint

Unbeknownst to most Americans (and probably most outside the UK), the British Royal Mint is launching all new coins later this year, the first such redesign in 40 years.

Only the obverse of the coins are changing, but what the 26-year old designer who submitted the winning concept has done is brilliant: each coin contains a part of the royal shield of arms, and together the lot comprise nearly the whole thing. Slick!

For this reason alone, we’re endorsing the purchase of one of the proof collections being offered, because let’s face it: coins normally aren’t this cool.

Most will want to go for the Base Metals Collection, which contains the coins as they’ll be presented to the public but in super-shiny uncirculated condition. That setup will run you a modest £34.95 (about US$70) and is limited to a run of 20,000.

If that’s not enough for you, step up to the Silver Collection for £149.95 (limited to 10,000), the Gold Collection for £2,495 (limited to 2,008), or the P-Diddy Platinum Collection for a respectable £5,995 (limited to just 250).

In case you’re wondering if these might be a good investment, we took the time to break down the numbers for you:

  • the Platinum Collection has 2.99 oz. of the metal worth about $7,000 at today’s prices, so you’re paying about a $5,000 premium for the benefit of owning one of the limited sets out there (plus the display box, etc.)
  • the Gold Collection has 2.99 oz. of that metal, worth about $3,000, so the premium here is just $2,000

Commodity prices are at historic highs and unlikely to double from where they are now, but there’s a good chance with sets as limited as these that decades down the road they might make for a good down payment on that yacht you’ll need to survive the rising ocean levels.

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