- Personal Finance
Gold, a Mysterious and Strange Material.
Gold. What is it and why do we love it so Much?
There is no doubt that gold is a mysterious thing but Just what is gold and why does it seem to hold such a fascination for us? Simply put, gold is a chemical element, a metal that is soft, dense and shiny. Perhaps it’s the shiny aspect of the metal that gives it such appeal. It doesn’t rust, it doesn’t dull, it stays bright and shiny and as such gold has been used for thousands of years to adorn our bodies and stuff our purses. Gold has been a much sought after element throughout mans history.
The pursuit of gold has caused the destruction of civilizations and driven men mad. In its natural state, it is found in nuggets or grains, long veins of the metal can often be found running through gold-bearing rocks. There is no doubt that the scarcity of it adds greatly to its appeal. If you were to take all of the gold ever found throughout history it would make a cube roughly 70 feet per side. Not a lot of anything makes it rare and therefore desired.
As good as gold.
We use terms like as good as gold, a gold pass, gold credit cards, a golden opportunity. Gold has become a symbol of wealth and privilege. We invest in it and we buy and sell gold according to the current marketplace.
Not bad for a simple little piece of shiny metal. And something that can look just that little bit tacky. I have seen more than my fair share of people wearing way too much gold, a little really does go a long way. Always remember with gold jewellery a less is more.
Gold as an Asset.
Investing in gold has always seemed a good idea if you want to make a bit of money but with current gold rates at an all-time high, is it the time to be fishing through your jewellery box looking for gold items to sell, or is it the time to think about buying some to add to your assets?
Our TV’s, radio waves and letterboxes seem to be filled with adverts for companies telling you that now is the time to cash in and sell up. High gold rates are allowing C list stars to find work shouting at us to ‘cash my gold’ and shopping malls have seen small one-man gold buying stalls sprouting at every turn. Behind them sits a man or woman with a small set of scales and a bad suit touting for business.
Our high streets now seem to contain at least one gold buying shop every hundred yards, sandwiched between the charity shops and the burger bars. They all appear to be doing a brisk trade, but should we really be parting with our precious gold? In Germany, you can buy gold from vending machines and they too seem to be doing a very brisk trade. Do they know something in Germany that we don’t? Well, no. They know the same things about gold that we do. It’s precious, rare and tangible. It’s also a safe bet as far as investments go.
Investing in Gold.
Gold can’t go bust like a bank or building society and have to have the government bail it out. Gold can’t see it’s share prices plummet, or it’s dividends decrease. Gold can’t be debased like currency. ‘As good as gold’ isn’t just an expression.
If you do decide to sell some of your gold, perhaps some broken jewellery a piece you never wear, then make sure to shop around. Don’t take the first price you are offered and don’t be afraid to haggle to get a better deal. You can always reinvest the money you get from the sale in a different type of gold.
Buy and Sell Gold.
Last year saw the demand for gold buying as an investment outstrip the demand for gold jewellery for the first time. Obviously, there are a lot more people buying gold as a nest egg than there are people buying it to wrap up and give away.
So, if you decided to buy gold just how do you go about it? Of course, you can just pop into your local jewellers and grab the odd necklace or two but that’s not really the type of gold that provides the best investment.
Gold jewellery sells best for its scrap value and the price of gold by weight will never be the same price as the same amount of gold made up as a piece of jewellery.
When buying something decorative, like a necklace or a ring, you are not only paying for the gold but for the workmanship of the craftsmen or women and the time, it took them to create it.
Buying Gold Online.
You can buy gold online, or at least a piece of a gold bar stored somewhere in a vault in Switzerland or London. But you can’t see it and if you do go down this route it goes without saying that you need to be one hundred percent certain that the company is honest and above board.
At least buying gold this way means that you don’t have the headache of safe storage as that is all taken care of by the company.
Gold Bullion Coins.
If you decide to buy gold as an investment and want to be able to keep it yourself then gold coins are probably the best thing for you. You can buy gold coins from banks, a bullion dealer, some specialist jewellers, online and even on eBay.
Gold bullion coins are, in fact, still legal tender so that means in the UK that they are not liable for the dreaded VAT and as an added bonus they are also exempt from capital gains tax.
If you do invest in some of the gold stuff don’t forget to update your insurance, just in case.