As with anything of higher value, the better condition an object is in, the higher prices it is likely to command when put up for sale. Other considerations apply as well, such as rarity, ease of access and history of the item. For example, it can be easier to sell gold for cash that has a credible provenance to it, so that buyers know exactly who has owned it before, and for how long.
When it comes to selling gold coins or bullion, there are a number of top tips to help sellers increase the prices they can expect to receive. Here are four ideas to get you started.
Plan ahead for market fluctuations
Wherever possible, it can be prudent to take a longer-term view when seeking to sell part or all of a gold coin or bullion collection. As with any asset of its kind, gold prices go up and down. They are affected by the reactions of the stock exchange and precious metals markets to external events and fluctuations. Traditionally, gold prices tend to be quite volatile in the shorter term, but slightly more predictable over a longer period of time.
If you can, waiting until the prices rise will, quite literally, pay off as you can secure higher prices for your gold than if you are forced to sell when the market is lower. If you have the time and interest, follow gold prices over a longer period of time to try and spot when they are likely to rise and so give you a better return on your investment.
Give as much notice to your dealer as possible
Talking of giving notice, it is also important to give your gold dealer as much notice as possible of your intention to sell gold bullion or coins. This gives them more time to scope out suitable buyers and to advise you on how they predict the gold market will react over the coming weeks. You could set them a deadline for when you want the sale to be completed so that they can draw up a workable plan.
Keep in close contact with your dealer during this time, so that they can let you know about any sudden fluctuations and you can update them if you wish to add or remove any coins or bullion from the number you wish to sell. While changes in gold prices may only differ by a few percent over this period, having your dealer in the know and actively searching for the best price can make a huge difference. Especially if you are selling a larger number of coins in one go.
Pack your portfolio with best-selling coins
They say that variety is the spice of life, so aim to diversify your gold portfolio as much as possible to attract interest from a wider range of buyers when the time comes to sell. While it might be far more interesting to search exclusively for rare or very old coins for your collection, this can be of limited appeal to a buyer more interested in buying gold ‘in bulk’. On the other hand, just sticking to the more commonly found coins and bullion can put off people who are looking for rarer examples to add to a portfolio.
The best approach is to go for a mix of coins and bullion from different countries and time periods, with varying values, weights and dimensions. Choose coins that have decent liquidity value and a strong secondary market. Popular coins that retain their value well include the British Sovereigns and Britannia, as well as the Krugerrand from South Africa. Don’t forget to factor in Capital Gains Tax and how much this may or may not eat into your profits. Spreading your sale over two tax years could also help reduce the amount you must pay to the Inland Revenue.
Look after your gold until you are ready to sell
Finally, caring for your gold bullion and coins will keep them in a better condition to attract higher prices when it comes to selling them on. Always store gold in a safe, dry location that is not exposed to high temperatures or moisture. Handle gold as little as possible. If you have to touch it, put on some lint-free cloth gloves to prevent oil from your hands from damaging the surface.
You generally do not have to clean gold, as it neither tarnishes nor corrodes. Avoid storing it with silver or other precious metals and keep individual coins in plastic pouches or boxes. Buyers will appreciate gold that has clearly been cared for, and so will be more willing to pay higher prices to secure properly looked-after examples.