London Mint Office 2009 Gold Proof Sovereigns
£139 Gold Sovereign
The 'London Mint Office' recently (September 2009) advertised a 2009 gold proof sovereign for just £139, a £160 saving if their Google advert can be believed. Unfortunately, we don't think it can. The headline offer appears to be yet another misleading advert by the so-called London Mint Office.
2009 Proof Gold Sovereign
£160 saving, Free Postage!
Google Sponsored Link
As you can see from our screenshot on the right, The London Mint Office (Londonmintoffice.org) are advertising to sell a 2009 gold proof sovereign for £139. This offer seems too good to be true, and we guess that's because it is not true.
The Royal Mint (the real thing) currently sells its 2009 proof sovereigns at £299 each. The intrinsic gold bullion content of a sovereign is over £145 as we write this, so nobody but a fool would sell not just an ordinary sovereign, but a brand new proof one for less than its scrap gold content, unless there was a catch...
What's The Catch?
The most likely innocent explanation is that the LMO are trying to tempt people with a "loss leader", to get their names onto their mailing list, then get their money back, and a handsome profit, by offering other goods at normal, or high, prices.
When we followed the link:
(we have split the link because it was so long it would not fit on our page at a sensible width.)
We were taken to this page:
which we also reproduce an the right, below the Google advert.
This clearly shows only a 2009 "bullion" sovereign for £139 - This is either rather careless of the LMO, or deliberately misleading. As we have noticed a recurring theme of misleading adverts by them, we conclude that this is just another outright and shamefaced attempt at misleading potential customers. We simply cannot understand how a company, and quite a large one at that, can continue to run a successful business by fooling and deceiving its customers all the time, unless all its customers are too stupid to notice, or are too rich to care.
To make it easier for you to see for yourself, we reproduce the text of their web page below:
British 2009 Gold Sovereign
Queen Elizabeth II 2009 Uncirculated Gold Sovereign – Fantastic opportunity to enjoy your very own piece of British gold!
Just released - Be one of the first to own Britain’s newest gold sovereign
Privileged price of £139, a saving of £200 on the London Mint Office's regular release price and 30 days approval
Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity – a testimony to its providence and gold content.
22 carat gold
To apply now, click here
Britain’s newest gold sovereign – just released (sic*) for 2009
The London Mint Office invites you to benefit from an exclusive opportunity to own a genuine Queen Elizabeth II gold sovereign. The British 2009 Uncirculated Gold Sovereign is the most recent type of bullion British gold sovereign to be released by The Royal Mint and you could be one of the first to own it.
The British gold sovereign established an enviable reputation for purity and reliability in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the reign of our own Queen, it was struck for gold bullion buyers in most years until 1982 but then production ceased until in the year 2000 it was decided to commence striking again. However, the mintages of these coins has been very restricted and make the new British 2009 Uncirculated Gold Sovereign one of the lowest mintage coins in the entire history of gold sovereign.
Furthermore, the new British 2009 Uncirculated Gold Sovereign can be your introduction to an exciting series - The Sovereign ‘Era of Gold, Age of Empire’ collection – is a hand-picked selection of genuine gold sovereigns spanning more than 150 years of extraordinary change. Designed and struck during the reigns of four British monarchs, these magnificent coins form an indelible link with our history and heritage – and remind us of a time when gold was the world’s premier currency and British gold sovereigns were the most trusted gold coins in the world.
This new collection is available only from The London Mint Office for a limited period only, so we advise you to act quickly to secure the new British 2009 Uncirculated Gold Sovereign at the privilege price of £139 (plus £3.95 P&P) which is an exceptional £200 saving on the London Mint Office's regular price.
Description: British 2009 Uncirculated Gold Sovereign
Quality: Exemplary - similar to that shown
Weight: 8 grams
Size: 22mm diameter
Metal alloy: Gold, 22 carats pure (.9167)
Obverse: Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Reverse: Benedetto Pistrucci’s classic depiction of St George slaying the dragon.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICANTS
Applications will be handled in strict order of receipt. To apply, please complete the online application form.
The London Mint Office hereby confirms that:
This coin is an original, minted during the reign of our queen, Queen Elizabeth II in 2009
Successful applicants will be automatically entitled to a place on the reservation list and will receive further coins in the collection Sovereign: era of gold, age of Empire at the London Mint Office's regular price of £339 each, postage and handling included. The coins will be released by The London Mint Office approximately every four weeks although always sent on approval and without any obligation.
Applicants are free to vacate their position on the reservation list at any time, or to return any coin within 30 days of receipt.
Only one collection Sovereign: era of gold, age of Empire per household will be accepted.
Applicants must be 18 years or over.
Applications are subject to status which may require a credit check through a licensed credit reference agency.
You can also apply by phone on 0800 1571 888 - please quote the Reservation Number shown on the coupon of the advertisement.
£160 or £200 Saving?
In the Google sponsored link, at the price of £139, the LMO claimed a barely believable saving of £160. By just clicking the link, the saving has increased to an even less believable £200!
What happened in the millisecond in between?
We don't know, and we guess the LMO don't know either, in fact we don't think they know what they are talking about at all, first they offer a proof sovereign, which turns out to be only a bullion sovereign, then they quote two different regular prices. If the higher saving and regular price was for the proof, we could believe it to possibly be a genuine error, but the higher claimed saving and regular price is for the bullion version. This would make their regular price for a 2009 bullion sovereign £339.
Having read through their web page, it looks as though, by buying their cheap bargain priced sovereign at £139, you are agreeing to buy a whole load more at the absolutely ridiculous price of £339 each!
It looks like we have spotted the catch.
Just in case anybody is confused by now, and we are getting that way, here is a quick price comparison table:
Supplier||2009 Bullion Sovereign||2009 Proof Sovereign
London Mint Office Regular Price 1||£299||???
London Mint Office Regular Price 2||£339||???
Royal Mint Price||£199||299
Chard (Our) Price||£185*||275*
* Quantity discounts are available for 10 or more of each.
More to Follow
It's getting late, so we will continue editing this page soon (24th Sep 2009).
Please note that we are not The London Mint Office. This page appears on our website for information only. If you need to contact the London Mint Office, please do so using the contact details in their adverts, leaflets, invoices, or other documentation.
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Do not confuse the "London Mint Office" with the London Mint.
Since its inception in about 1100 A.D., the Royal Mint was located in London. From 1871 to 1932, there were branch mints in Ottawa Canada, Pretoria South Africa, Bombay India, Melbourne Sydney and Perth in Australia, all of which struck and issued gold sovereigns. Most coin dealers refer to Royal Mint sovereigns as "London Mint" sovereigns. The Royal Mint moved to Llantrisant in Wales in 1969.