Category Archive: Gold Coins

Finding Gold – The Odd Ways it’s Been Discovered


Finding gold has long been the subject of many magical tales and fables. From ransacking pirates to plucky archeologists, gold is often at the centre of some of the most well-known stories.

And it’s no wonder. Gold is a great long-term investment that gives you protection without depending on a single currency. It’s no surprise the pirates liked it so much!

The precious metal has been used for centuries – and over the years people have got their hands on it in some peculiar ways.

Most of the time, gold is brought or inherited. Yet sometimes, finding gold just takes a little bit of luck, as these examples show…

A finely tuned find.

Gold can turn up in unexpected places.

Britain’s largest hoard of gold coins was found inside of a piano.

Over 900 18th century, gold sovereigns were found carefully stitched into cloth packets and hidden behind the keys.

The haul, worth £500,000 was found by a piano tuner after the piano was donated to a local school.

We’re not saying it’s time to go crazy exploring all your old furniture just yet – but maybe this is a good lesson of making sure you know exactly what you’re donating before you let it go.

Detecting gold.

A lot of gold (and unique finds) are found by metal detectors.

In fact, the largest piece of gold ever found in the U.S “The Mojave Nugget”, was found by chance in 1977 by a guy walking around with a metal detector.

Last year in a Staffordshire field, two metal detectorists also discovered the earliest example of Iron Age gold in Britain – after ditching a fishing trip to go treasure hunting.

This haul included gold sword hilts, jewelry, helmet decorations, and early Christian crosses – valued at an amazing £3.2 million. Not a bad day’s work in the end.

Know your own stories? We’d love to hear them.

But if you want to start building your own hoard, you don’t need a gold detector to get started.

At ATS Bullion, we make buying gold easy. With us, you can purchase online, over the phone or by visiting our store in London – whichever way works for you.

Why not make a solid investment for the future?

Get started here.

What are the Royal Mint’s Queen’s Beast Coins?

With the introduction of a new One Ounce Gold Queen’s Beast Unicorn 2018, I thought it prudent to write a brief history about the Monarch’s heraldic beasts and an overview of the Royal Mint’s One Ounce Gold series. The Royal Mint plan to mint a set of ten coins over the coming years, with two designs minted in a singular year. In gold, the coin is produced as a one ounce, 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce and a 1/10th ounce denomination. The coins will also be produced as a two ounce silver coin, although some 10oz silver coins are also likely to be produced.

History of the Queen’s Beast

The Queen’s Beasts are ten heraldic beasts that were present at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953. Each of the beasts represents an element of the Queen’s genealogy. The use of the heraldic beasts actually derive it’s history from Henry VIII’s era and were originally known as the “King’s Beasts”. For the coronation in 1953, the Henry VIII’s beasts were revived from their 400 year origins and displayed aloft outside Westminster Abbey. The beast designs used in 1953, were commissioned by the British Ministry of Works and were created by Sculptor, James Woodford.

Queen’s Beast – The Heraldic List with Release Dates

Name History Year of Mintage Release Date
The Lion of EnglandQueen's Beast: One Ounce Gold Lion 2016 The lion of England has been displayed at part of the Royal Arms from circa. the 15th century. The Lion is famously taken from the coats of arms of  Richard I, famously known as “The Lionheart” due to his reputation as a great military leader and warrior King. 2016 March 2016
The Griffin of Edward IIIQueen's Beast: One Ounce Gold Griffin 2017 King Edward III another exceptional warrior King, who reigned from 1312-1377. During his Kingship, he oversaw a military transformation within the Kingdom. He is most accredited with the initial start of what would become to be known as the ‘Hundred Years War’ with the French. His most famous victories were at Crecy and Poitiers. The Griffin itself is a mythical animal that signified courage, strength and importantly for Edward III, Guardianship. 2017 October 2016
The Red Dragon of WalesQueen's Beast: One Ounce Gold Dragon 2017 The enigmatic image of the Red Dragon of Wales, has been present as a crest of the British Monarchy from the time of Henry VII. The Dragon of Wales was sported by Henry VII’s grandfather Owen Tudor, who descended from Welsh Royalty. Henry VII no doubt adopted the Red Dragon during a time of consolidating his throne after the Wars of the Roses. 2017 March 2017
The Unicorn of ScotlandQueen's Beast: One Ounce Gold Unicorn 2018 The Unicorn of Scotland is the national animal of Scotland. Whilst at first glance, the Unicorn being a mythical animal, might seem an unusual choice for an adoption by a country as a national animal. However, the Unicorn was first adopted as a heraldic animal for the Scottish monarchy in the 12th century. The Unicorn symbolises purity, masculinity and power. 2018 25th September 2017
The Black Bull of Clarence The Black Bull of Clarence, as the name suggests, descends from the peerage of the Duke of Clarence, often given to younger members of the Royal family. The use of the Black Bull originates from Edward IV of England, a successful protagonist of the House of York during the wide spanning War of the Roses. The Black Bull symbolises strength, courage and nobility. 2018 March 2018
The Falcon of the Plantagenets The Falcon of the Plantagenets was first adopted by Edward III. The falcon being of noble bearing, a dominant predator of the skies displaying courage and intelligence. The Falcon emblem subsequently passed down to Edward IV, who further added the Falcon in between a fetterlock, which supposedly symblolised Edward IV’s struggle to win his throne. TBD TBD
The White Greyhound of Richmond This is the emblem of John of Gaunt, the Earl of Richmond and third son of Edward III. This badge was used successfully by his son Henry IV (Henry Bollingbroke) and then by Henry VI to establish conjoining of the two Royal House of York and Lancaster. TBD TBD
The White Horse of Hanover In 1714 the White Horse of Hanover was introduced to the Royal Coat of Arms. This marked a new direction for the British Monarchy, as the Elector of Hanover George I, ascended the Throne. The use of the horse as a crest in Saxony/Hanover, had been present from the pagan Saxon Tribes. The white horse was first used by Henry the Lion, famed Duke of Saxony. TBD TBD
The Yale of Beaufort The Yale was a mythical creature, sometimes known as a centicore. The Yale with it’s boar tusks and large commanding horns, had the body of an Ibex. The Yale symbolised fierceness in battle, strength, courage and fortitude. TBD TBD
The White Lion of Mortimer The White Lion of Mortimer, once again descending from Edward IV. Unlike the Lion of England it is an uncrowned Lion. The Mortimer name descended from Sir Edmund Mortimer whose ancestors would marry Plantagenets and whose issues would eventually inhabit the throne of England. This emblem was famously a ‘Yorkist’ beast and used to great effect in the Wars of the Roses. TBD TBD

How and Where Do I Sell Gold?

How and Where Do I sell Gold? – Our Top Tips

“How do I sell my gold? Where can I sell gold? I have gold chains, gold coins and a small gold ingot but how do I sell it?”. These are the types of questions we get asked the most. We all have those gold items that we inherited or bought all those years ago and now they sit in a drawer. So how do you sell gold and what should you look out for.

Where to sell gold?

Firstly, sell the item to the right place. Typically if you have coins, bars or bullion grade items, you want to sell those to a Bullion Dealer. Bullion dealers such as ourselves make money on volume and will usually offer better prices on gold coins or gold bars. This is mainly because a bullion or coin dealer is looking to resell that item back out to customers. Therefore they are more likely to offer a closer spread to the spot price to secure getting the coin or bar, with an eye on reselling it soon after.

 What if I want to sell gold Jewellery?

With jewellery and scrap gold I always recommend customers to do as much of the work as possible. If you are going to be selling gold, do your homework. I would start by having a look for any hallmarks. Usually on jewellery the hallmark will be either near the clasp of the necklace or bracelet on the underside of the mount. Sometimes this is hard to find but do persevere. So what is it you are looking for?

Below are the hallmarks you need to look for:

British Hallmarks for Gold

The standard Hallmarks used in Britain – a guaranteed standard of fineness

Sometimes no matter how hard you look you still can’t find the hallmark. Or more often than not, especially with old items of gold jewellery, it is impossible to make out what the hallmark is. If that is the case, you can still give yourself a rough idea of the value.

How to work out the value of  the gold you want to sell?

So hopefully you have found the hallmark. Even if you haven’t I am going to take you through how to at least give yourself a rough idea. This isn’t full proof and is only meant to be indicative. The bullion dealer is always going to need to see the items – but at least you will have an idea.

Firstly – weigh the item – you can use kitchen scales, simply take down the gram weight. Remember, this won’t be 100% accurate but it will give you a reasonable idea. Please do be aware that if your jewellery has stones or pearls in it, that will effect the weight.
Secondly – calculate the price – so you have the weight in grams, what next?

Well on our site you will find the spot price of gold in troy ounces (31.1035g) and the gram weight. The spot price is 24 carat or 999 fine. What you will need to do is calculate price by the purity of the item.
Example A
I have a necklace. I’ve found the hallmark and it says 750 so it is 18 carat. The necklace weighs 10 grams. The current gold price on the website is £900, this is a gram price of £28.93. The £28.93 is the 999 or 24 carat. To find out the 750 or 18 carat gram price, I multiply the 24 carat gram price by 0.75.

So 28.93 x 0.75 = £21.69

The 18ct gram price is £21.69. I then multiply this by the weight of my necklace.

21.69 x 10 = 216.90

We can see from this that my 18 carat 10 gram necklace approximately is valued at £216.90. A dealer or jeweller would then take a premium on this. This is how we would make our money and factors in the refining cost etc. Usually a dealer or refiner will take anywhere between 95% – 85% of the value depending. On that basis £219.60 x 0.90% = £197.64 is the likely value you are going to receive.

As I said earlier this should be used as a guide only. It will still be dependent on an inspection of the item. Either way, by using that example you can work out 9 carat, 18 carat, 22 carat gold etc. At the very least, this should help you to sell gold with some knowledge. It shouldn’t be a mystic art!

Finally should I clean the gold coins and gold jewellery?

I always recommend to clients not to clean the coins or jewellery! Sometimes even the softest of cloths and most delicate of soaps can cause scratching or tarnishing. It is always better to leave any dirt or grime on a coin and bring it in as it is. We can then provide guidance when you are here. It is tempting when selling something to spruce it up. As a dealer there is really no need, we aren’t going to be overly fussy. We will give the coin or item an inspection.


We hope this goes some way in helping you to sell your gold with confidence. If you get stuck or don’t understand, you can always ring a dealer. We are more than happy to help and can advise you on the best way to sell gold.

ATS Bullion Gold News Round-Up

Finally, a news article, I hear you cry. It has been some considerable time since my last blog/article post. So where have I been? Well in truth, nowhere; certainly nowhere exciting and I don’t have an excuse for why I haven’t published anything about gold for a while. If I can be candid, here at ATS Bullion we have been quite busy. The increase in sales from last year have continued and have not really abated. I’ve been under the cosh, as have been the incredible ATS Bullion Team. I now feel it is my duty to say a congratulations to them. Anyway, aside from that, I had been getting a little tired of writing about gold and its relationship with Brexit and the dollar. So I felt a little hiatus was in order to allow me re-sharpen my stylo. Nevertheless, enough of the preamble, let me start this service game with a brief analysis of the gold market this year. (I apologise for any of the tennis quips in this article – it is Wimbledon season).

ATS Bullion: Gold Analysis for the Year to Date

Gold opened this year on the 3rd January according to the London Bullion Market Association‘s (LBMA) Fix at: £932.120 / $1148.65 / €1103.28 respectively. This morning the LBMA AM Gold Fix was: £940.540 / $1218.95 / €1067.920. This is a difference of + £8.42 / + $70.30 / – €35.36.

The gold price, unlike in other critiques I’ve published has a really interesting split between the three currencies, which I haven’t seen for a quite a while.

Let’s now have a quick look at the currency exchange – see the below chart:

Currency Opened 02/01/17 At Present 14/07/17 Change (+/-)
GBP:USD 1.2278 1.2994 + 0.0716
EUR:USD 1.0455 1.1440 + 0.0985
GBP:EUR 1.1744 1.1354 – 0.039


From both sets of data there is quite an easy answer to attribute to them. In the first instance you can see the relationship between commodities and currency. The dollar has lost a bit of ground this year against both sterling and the euro. This change has of course given way to a moderate increase in the dollar price of gold. Likewise we can see the biggest loser in gold this year has been in euros.

In percentage terms, sterling against the dollar has increased + 5.8% whilst the gold price in sterling has changed a negligible +0.90%. Whilst the dollar has slipped against GBP – 5.8%, the gold price in dollars has changed by + 6.12%. Furthermore, looking at our European cousins, the year of voting has almost abated and since the appointment of President Macron and the defeat of Geert Wilders, the Euro has settled. It has posted a + 9.42% increase against the dollar and gold in Euros has fallen – 3.2%. The European investors haven’t quite left the safety of gold and no doubt much attention will turn to the German vote later on this year.

The relationship between the sets of stats really only again point to the same circumstance. The reality is that the US economy has begun to lose a little bit of ground. Hardly surprising news considering sterling had 30 year lows last year after Brexit. It was never going to last forever at those lows, however much will be made of the negotiations as they are on-going.

Well, that has been a long time coming. I feel refreshed. It is nice to be writing again for ATS Bullion- thankfully I didn’t put many terrible tennis puns in the article. You’re welcome.

Michael Cooper

Gold Analysis: Why is the price of gold rising?

Gold Analysis: Why is the price of gold rising?

As I write this article, the price of gold sits at £764.775, $1173.70 and €1028.524 respectively. The price of gold is at a three month, near four month high.

So what is it that is making the price of gold rise?

Firstly it has everything to do with the dollar and most importantly with the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). In truth I cannot remember a time I didn’t write an article mentioning the impending rates rise, only then to slam the FOMC for false hawkishness. Well this time it is no different. The FOMC minutes that came out last week are predominantly responsible for the yellow metal’s current boost. The minutes as before have continued to not ruffle feathers and the retreat from a September rates rise has not done much to instil investor confidence. The FOMC are still holding on to a potential December rates rise, but the reality is we are already half way through October and data is still not positive enough to warrant a rise. The Federal Bank no doubt will make noise to the contrary but myself along with most of the sane economic world, will see the crass imagination and over-exuberance in such a sentiment. The reality as specified in the minutes, is that this isn’t just about the US. It is about the global economy. More specifically China.

Price of gold rising: china

Why is the price of gold rising?

China if you hadn’t already realised is really the powerhouse, the engine room and pretty much everything else nowadays – unless of course you wish to believe exactly what US press will tell you. As the FOMC highlighted above, the global slowdown or more appropriately China’s slowdown has been alarming and has shaken the recovery process. I wrote a few months ago when the news broke about China’s slowdown that this won’t truly be felt until later on in the year. Well that time is now upon us. Chinese data despite optimistic forecasts is still falling short. Chinese Producer Price Index fell 5.9%, in line with expectations. This is the 43rd consecutive month. On the other side, Chinese Consumer Price Index rose 1.6% but was still short of 1.8% expectation. The massive economy that is China has experienced such increases since the huge growth in 2007 that it is now much harder for a larger economy to produce the 14% we were used to.

Lastly, War is another big reason for the price of gold to rise. Needless to say the increased pressure on Syria over the last couple of months has helped commodity prices to rise. Whenever there are times of uncertainty, commodities always tend to act as a safe haven. Likewise it is unsurprising that in the last quarter oil prices have remained fairly stable and in the case of Brent Oil, increased. The cost of extraction and then transport of metals will increase and should have a knock on affect going forward.

Verdict:- Why is the price of gold rising? Reality is, the world economy is not where the Federal Reserve or China want it to be. The wishful thinking for December rates rise is simply that, wishful thinking. With strong Chinese data elusive and US data still not making par an interest rates rise shouldn’t even be on the radar until well into 2016. I haven’t got onto the UK and -0.1% inflation rate figure – hardly encouraging for one of the EU’s strongest members and I scarcely need to mention it but the war on Syria has escalated. Uh-oh the Russians are coming..

Article by Michael Cooper
email:-Michael Cooper


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Default: So what now for Greece?

Default: What now for Greece?

Yesterday at 22:00 (GMT) Greece officially defaulted after failing to pay €1.5bn (£1.1bn, $1.7bn) to the IMF.

This came after a frantic and late request to extend the bailout, which was subsequently refused. Unsurprisingly Greece are the first country to fail to repay the IMF, meaning they are now technically in default. Default being the failure to repay a loan at an agreed and specified time.

So what next for Greece?

Default for Greece has been on the cards for a while now, but what does this mean for Greece and Europe? Here are the key dates to watch out for:

1st July – ECB officials will meet to discuss granting Greece an emergency loan package.

5th July – Greek Referendum on the Creditor’s proposals will take place.

10th July – Payment of Short Term Treasury Bills due (€2bn)

20th July – Payment of ECB Loan (€3.5bn): comprised of bonds held by the ECB & the national central banks from 2012.

Out of the dates above, the most important date to look out for will be Sunday’s referendum. The Greek populace will be asked to approve or reject the creditor’s most recent terms laid out in it’s deal:

Greek Default: Vote Sunday

Greek Referendum on Sunday

“Should the agreement plan submitted by the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the June 25 eurogroup and consisting of two parts, which form their single proposal, be accepted? The first document is titled ‘Reforms for the completion of the Current Program and Beyond’ and the second ‘Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis’.
“Not approved/NO

I think you’ll agree, for anyone who hasn’t got a degree in Economics or a strong grasp on the Greek Debt crisis, the lay person is going to have a job to know what that is asking of them. The BBC have an excellent article on this: “The Greek referendum question makes (almost) no sense”. For an explanation on the Greek Crisis and default, view our article: Greek Debt Crisis Explained: Top 5 things to know and key dates.

Verdict:-Sunday’s vote will determine what will happen to Greece. If they vote no, Greece will almost certainly be heading for the Grexit. If they vote yes, it wouldn’t be unsurprising to see the Greek Government do a U-Turn and a lot of the faces (Tsipras & Varoufakis) currently in the Greek Government will be ousted. Greece, as they have been for much of this year and last year, are at the centre of European economics. Roll on Sunday.

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Article by Michael Cooper


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