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1700 Rockville Pike, Suite 400

Rockville, MD 20852


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Over One Thousand Years of History and Great Value from The Royal Mint

By Rich Checkan

It is my pleasure to offer you this extremely interesting interview with Chris Howard, the Director of Bullion of The Royal Mint. Enjoy the inside story of this thousand-year-old institution. ASI has had a relationship with The Royal Mint for decades. Please call us at 800-831-0007 to own their iconic offerings.

Let's start with a bit of history and background of The Royal Mint.

The Royal Mint is around 1,100 years old… established under Alfred the Great. Originally housed in the infamous Tower of London, it is the subject of much folklore. In 1968, the Mint was moved to Llantrisant, Wales, where it stands today. Since 2010, it operates under Royal Mint Ltd, owned by HM Treasury, and has been granted the right to mint all coins for the United Kingdom.

I understand the history will be presented at a new Visitor Centre this spring.

The Mint will be opening a new visitor experience in May 2016. Our history is deep and fascinating. For example, our Gold Sovereign first appeared in 1489, during the Age of Exploration. During World War II, some British airmen carried a Sovereign in their escape kit as emergency currency accepted everywhere.

At The Royal Mint Visitor Centre, you will be able to follow the history of The Royal Mint and the coins we have struck for different monarchs. We must never forget gold has always represented great wealth and power. It's fascinating to watch the pageantry, artistic design and ultimate intergenerational stability that comes with owning precious metals.

What are the quality and safety standards at The Royal Mint?

We use the Trial of the Pyx procedure to ensure that our coins conform to the highest standards, and have done so since the 13th Century. The Pyx, the name for a boxwood chest in which the coins are stored, is a full adjudication, presided over by a judge with a jury of assayers, held in the Hall of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.

The Royal Mint and its Vault™ are guarded by the Ministry of Defence Police. We offer secure storage services, although we find some of our international clients like their purchases to be shipped.

What special programs have you developed that would be of interest to ASI clients?

Our Signature Gold program requires from as little as $30 to start. One can purchase portions of 400-ounce gold bars at his or her own budget and pace. The bar is kept in The Vault™ and would be a great addition to your investment portfolio.

How familiar is the U.S. market with the Britannia and Gold Sovereign, the coins most called for by ASI clients?

The second biggest market after the U.K. is the U.S. Our division has made an all-out effort to build our brand as highly identifiable in U.S. markets. When it comes time to sell, these coins are accepted and traded with complete liquidity. Their authenticity and weight are guaranteed by the British government:

  • The Gold Sovereign, 22 carat, one of the world’s oldest coin icons, a symbol of beauty, reliability and strength, and first struck in 1489.
  • The 1oz Gold Britannia, one troy ounce of .9999 gold, first struck in 1987, and IRA eligible.
  • The 1oz Silver Britannia, one troy ounce of .999 silver, first struck in 1997, and IRA eligible.

Tell us a bit more about the Bullion Division that you direct.

In 2012, a decision was made by The Royal Mint to refocus on the bullion coin market, the first phase of which was to introduce a new purity for Gold and Silver Britannia coins. This has resulted in substantial increases in distribution, especially in North America.

In January 2015, the Bullion division was created within The Royal Mint, a division comprised of wholesale and digital online channels.

The wholesale channel manages global distribution of products through established wholesaler/retailer partners, whilst the Platform focuses on driving B2C revenue through a website. Expect to hear more about this from ASI in the near future.

We also have an exciting new division – Royal Mint Refinery, developed by the Rothschild family in 1862. At that time, the British Empire nearly spanned the globe. In order to mint sufficient coinage, refineries were opened in different parts of the empire.

We are building on our heritage with licensing of Royal Mint Refiners in the U.S. and elsewhere, including RMR Gold Bars and ingots in weights between 1g and 1000g, and RMR Silver Bars in 100g bars. Both Gold and Silver bars carry their own unique serial number and are protected in serialized security packaging.

What is the easiest way for us to own these beautiful coins?

As Royal Mint Bullion becomes more and more established in the North American market, our products are becoming more widely available. You can access our products through Asset Strategies and others fairly easily.

The Royal Mint also houses a top security vault meeting the highest standards, guarded 24/7 by the British Ministry of Defence police force. This vault is also available to Bullion customers; who, by using the The Vault™, can store precious metals for as long as they wish.

Our own Michael Checkan visited The Royal Mint on his most recent European trip. He was impressed with their operation, direction and vision.

To purchase the high quality offerings of The Royal Mint, simply call us toll free at 800-831-0007, or email us to discuss your goals.

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