Where’s Your Gold?

When I was in London in December, I got the chance to speak with an expert in rare and ancient coins. He showed me a rare Roman coin, with the face of a long-dead emperor still clearly stamped in the metal. He also spread Viking coins and others from an array of different periods in Europe across the table between us.

After years of staring at computer screens, watching stock prices inch their way up or down a chart, it was almost a surreal moment to hold those coins in the palm of my hand, to feel their weight.

There was no mistaking, in a world of fleeting paper profits, what I was holding in my hand was true wealth.

And I’m not the only one who believes it’s time to get a little more physical with our wealth…

Gold in Your Pocket

Demand for physical gold is on the rise. The World Gold Council revealed that while overall gold demand for the first quarter dropped 18% from the same period a year ago (where the 2016 first quarter was the strongest first quarter ever for gold demand), gold bar and coin demand increased by a healthy 9% at 290 tons.

What’s more, Bloomberg recently reported that two firms have plans to open new vaults in Europe capable of holding more than $112 million in gold.

BullionVault revealed that it added three tons in gold in the past 12 months, lifting its total holdings up to nearly 38 tons.

The Bank of England – which stores gold for the U.K. Treasury, other central banks and private firms – has added 6% to its holdings since the beginning of 2016, bringing its total holdings to 5,067 tons in February.

As you can see, more investors are adding physical gold to their portfolios – gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) just aren’t going to cut it when you consider the fees associated with the ETFs.

And which would you prefer in times of turmoil: paper gains or the weight of a gold coin in your hand?

Many investors around the globe are adding physical gold to their assets for three big reasons:

Rising inflation. We are starting to see signs of inflation in the U.S. and across Europe. In the past, we’ve seen the price of gold climb in tandem with inflation, allowing investors to stay ahead of its bite.
Negative interest rates. While not a problem in the U.S., part of the world is still struggling with negative interest rates. And rather than giving over more of their wealth to banks, investors are opting to invest their cash in physical gold. (And considering that U.S. interest rates are still low, gold potentially offers a better return.)
Geopolitical uncertainty. Questions about the health of the economy, the length of the bull market’s run, fighting in Washington, terrorist attacks, elections and more have left investors on edge, waiting for the next black swan event to swoop in and send the market crashing. In moments of chaos and destruction, gold is the safety net you want to have in place. Stocks plummet and bonds implode. Gold holds its value and even climbs.

Silver And Gold Are On The Rise This Year

For silver and gold to rise by and large, in regard to various instruments of noteworthy worth, regard ought to be diverted a long way from those other fighting instruments. The share market, particularly, has been the best obstacle to a climb in profitable metals, due to it sucking up a huge bit of the available motivating force on overall markets.

Silver and gold confronts two noteworthy headwinds: higher loan costs and looser financial approaches. These two elements will keep on driving the U.S. dollar and security yields higher.

A month and a half of persistent purchasing, which as of late pushed gold costs to five-month highs, at long last incited flexible investments to take benefits in the yellow metal, as indicated by the most recent exchange information from the Commodity Futures Trading Condition. Speculators see an incentive in holding a center situating in gold as instability keeps on rising.

Gold is ready to rally to levels last observed four years back, the valuable metal might be in the early phases of a positively trending market,costs may move to $1,400 to $1,500 an ounce this year. Gold has climbed for the current year as financial specialists measure hazards that President Donald Trump won’t have the capacity to actualize his plan, adding to vulnerability encompassing European decisions and the Brexit procedure.

Bullion is customarily viewed as a compelling support against rising inflation, picking up in an incentive to help holders save their wealth. While higher U.S. rates normally float the dollar and can hurt bullion, the product has progressed amid past climbing cycles. Trump’s current talking down of the greenback’s quality ought to likewise be good for gold.

We’re seeing an increase with inflation the whole way across the globe. We’re seeing it in the U.S., essentially everywhere there is swelling marker indications showing new highs. We’re seeing it in Europe and Asia also.Invest in inflation-sensitive assets again such as silver equities, gold equities.

Vulnerability in Europe expanded interest for gold venture items in the primary quarter of the year, as per the World Gold Council’s Gold Demand Trends Q1, 2017 report.

Over the globe a blend of celebrations recharged refuge purchasing that saw interest for gold bars and coins move by 9%.

On the whole, worldwide gold request over various measures focuses towards a world that is indeterminate and to continuous place of refuge request. At times, for example, in the US, EU and China, request stays vigorous though in any semblance of Turkey request is down from record levels.

Quite a bit of this is because of geo-political vulnerability and political change. Political vulnerability in Europe has expanded interest for gold bullion. UK, Netherlands, France and Germany have floated interest in place of refuge gold. German gold bar and coin request had its most grounded first quarter since 2011 – 13% y­o­y to 34.3t, however this must not detract from the UK which hit its largest amount since Q2 2013.

While quiet is frequently observed settling over a market after a surge, for example, that seen in 2017, we think about whether we will keep on seeing a back off in ETF inflows since these have not been seen since the financial crisis.

Not long ago we expounded on the dubious London property advertise and inquired as to whether this was a pointer of a bubble, setting off a domino influence far and wide. This would clearly prompt much more prominent wealth refuge gold and silver streams and requests.

China’s gold market Jewelry request may have encountered a little decay, yet gold bars and coins saw a 30% expansion (yoy), its fourth best quarter on record. We would for the most part expect the primary quarter of the year to be a solid one for China, given their New Year, be that as it may it was this joined with concerns in regards to the economy (falling yuan and property advertise) that drove request to 105.9t.

Some of this stellar request can be credited to the development showing up in the nearby gold market, to be specific enthusiasm paying gold records, benchmarked on the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE’s) AU9999 contract with a base section purpose of one gram. It is exchanged on the web, with a possibility for physical conveyance – immeasurably imperative for Chinese financial specialists.

Helvetia Head (Vreneli) 20 Swiss Francs Gold Coin

The Vreneli gold coin is the informal name of a series of gold coins made in Switzerland. The coin is known by a variety of names, formally as Helvetia Head (English) Tête d’Helvetia (French) or Helvetiakopf (German). Informally it is also known as Vreneli, Helvetia, Swiss Miss or just as a Gold 20 Swiss Francs. The Vreneli is a bullion gold coin but does have numismatic supporters too.

The coins were issued between 1897 and 1936, in 1947 and in 1949. The coin ceased to be legal tender in 1936 and all coins issued after 1936 are restrikes.

The series consisted of 10, 20 and 100 Swiss franc coins. The 20 francs is by far the most popular. The 100 franc coin was only made in 1925 with a small issue of 5000. Over the series about 61 million coins have been produced.

All the coins were made in 90% gold (millesimal fineness of 900).

The Obverse shows the head of a young lady with simply the words ‘HELVETIA’ written above. The female figure has platted hair and her shoulders are covered with a garment. In the background are the Swiss mountains.

The reverse of the 20 franc coin shows the Swiss shield, featuring the Swiss Cross, and a wreath of oak tied with ribbons along with the denomination on the left (in this case 20) and the currency on the right (FR for Swiss Francs).

One Coin, Many Names

The design was by Fritz Ulysse Landry in 1895 and it is thought the model for the obverse was Françoise Engli.

The coin is known as Helvetia due to the single inscription on the obverse. Helvetia is the female national personification of Switzerland, officially Confœderatio Helvetica, the Swiss Confederation. Helvetia is also a variation of the official Latin name of Switzerland.

The name Vreneli is though to derive from Verena, another personification of the Confederation of Switzerland in the female effigy (similar to the American Lady Liberty). This is why the coins are sometimes colloquially called Swiss Miss.

The coins were minted at the Swiss Mint at Bern (although the die was engraved at the Paris mint). The coins carry a mint mark of a “B” (without a dot) for Bern. The restrikes have a mintmark of “L”.

The 20 franc coin specification is:

Diameter: 21 mm
Thickness: 1.25 mm
Weight: 6.45g, so gold content is 5.805g or 0.1866 oz

The 10 franc coin weighs 3.23g and has 2.9g of pure gold.