London Mint Office Review

The first statement that should be made is that the London Mint Office is not part of the Royal Mint in any way, shape, or form. It is not the Royal Mint’s official outlet; it is not affiliated with the Royal Mint, other than indirectly by selling some bullion products that were originally struck in the Royal Mint; main of the “coins” it sells are rounds, and have no value as legal tender; and the London Mint Office is a completely private corporation with no official or government standing whatsoever.

Nevertheless, the London Mint Office may appear to some as being part of the official government structure. The name itself, London Mint Office, may imply to some that the company is part of the government Mint. Some of their coins are advertised as “Coin authorized by Royal Proclamation”, a statement which who’s meaning is slightly ambiguous. It is important to note that the London Mint Office is simply a private company.

Its advertisements feature imposing armorial stationary that has royal look to it, make use of printed facsimiles of official looking stamps or seals (though these are actually laser printed onto the page, not stamped), and the envelopes they arrive in are covered with printed notices that seem to indicate an urgent, official origin, too. However, once again, regardless of how it appears, the London Mint Office is a wholly private firm like McDonald’s, Goodyear, or Howard Johnson motels, and has nothing to do with the British Crown.

Although the firm offers a number of genuine bullion products, some of their products are worth far less than the current spot price of the metals. For example, at the time of writing, the spot price of silver was $41.59. On the LMO website, a 1oz Austrian Silver Philaharmonic coin is listed at £69.99. The same coin is listed on the APMEX site at just $46.57.

It is also worth noting that some coin purchases on the London Mint Office website will result in the buyer being sent a series of coins or in some cases an indefinite number of coins that the buyer will be invoiced for. According to the London Mint Office these coins can be returned and all future coin deliveries cancelled, however, some previous customers have reported issues when trying to return coins (please see notes at the end for further reading). Thus, caution, prudence, and reserve are advised when dealing with this firm.

The CD and DVD Club Model Applied to Coinage

Just as with the CD and DVD clubs which are a frequent feature of our era, and the book clubs which came before them, the London Mint Office sells many of their coins in series, which they send out to you at regular intervals and charge you for after you have received the coins. In many cases, just purchasing one of their coins is considered to “sign you up” for the rest of the coins in the series, though according to the LMO, these may also be cancelled or returned with 14 days of receipt.

The series may prove to be indefinite, and you will be sent the coins regardless of whether you want them or expected them, and then billed aggressively for them. While it is technically true that you willingly signed up for the whole (open-ended) series by making a purchase and not reading the fine print thoroughly enough, it can still come as an expensive surprise to many who thought to simply buy a coin they wanted, and had no idea of “subscribing” to an indefinite series of coins. Should you wish to cancel, the London Mint Office will allow returning of the coins at their expense.

Such a subscription does not allow you to pick and choose the coins from the London Mint Office that you want, either. The London Mint Office chooses the series of coins to send, without input from the specific buyer, and then sends them to you and expects you to either pay or return the coins.

According to some former customers (see further reading at the end of this page for references), returning the coins as unwanted, leads to accusations of “tampering” by the company and renewed efforts to collect, implying that you actually stole the coin and sent back an empty box when this is not the case, without actually stating that the coin was missing, thus protecting themselves against charges of fraud (since “tampering” is a vague, generic term).

The fact that these open ended subscriptions are very common on the London Mint Office site is witnessed by the number of products that have a purchasing button labeled “Apply” rather than “Add to Cart”. This is because your purchase i,s in many cases, an application for a subscription to a series of coins, which some previous customers have said is very difficult to terminate.

The site openly states that each some coin purchases will “subscribe” you to a series of indefinite length. Note that many of these coins are also described as “layered in 24 karat gold”, meaning that there is a film of gold over base metal, and their spot value is practically nil despite costing £30 or more. The coins will arrive “approximately” monthly – in other words, whenever the company decides to send you one – and are, basically, very expensive knickknacks, not serious bullion. While they label them as coins layered in 24 karat gold, it is important to note the distinction between these and actual gold bullion coins who’s value is vastly higher than their extremely low value layered counterparts.

Bullion at the London Mint Office

With that said, the London Mint Office offers genuine bullion coins from the Royal Mint and elsewhere, brokering them in a way vaguely similar to APMEX. The resemblance is tenuous at best, however. APMEX is a retail operation which sells you exactly the coins you want, in a one-time order, and if you decide to buy again in the future, these orders will be separate from the first. In short, you will not receive any coins from APMEX except the ones you explicitly and personally bought.

The London Mint Office applies exactly the same subscription model to gold and silver bullion purchases as it does to the “collectible” base metal, gold electroplated coins above. These bullion coins are genuine, but by buying one, you may once again be subscribing to an open ended series of coins that may cost as much as £500 each. Be fully cognizant of this when you make your purchase, lest you find yourself with an incoming stream of unwanted coins and a set of colossal bills.

For those who go into the matter with their eyes open, the London Mint Office model does have certain conveniences, as long as you are certain you will have the spare money to make monthly or bi-monthly purchases of gold or silver bullion coins sent to you. This is a type of “fire and forget” collecting that might appeal to some. You can build a collection by subscribing to several series and then attending to your own affairs, letting the London Mint Office handle the selection of coins to add to your possessions.

Selection and Stock of Coins

The London Mint Office does have an impressive array of gold and silver bullion coins from various countries of the world, though it cannot rival the far-reaching stock of a company like APMEX. It is a good source, in Britain, for American Silver Eagle coins, for example, since otherwise, international shipping on these prized coins could prove to be unacceptably high.

Prices for this bullion appear to be in line with those charged by equivalent firms, though it is not clear whether a subscription is involved or not. There is no mention of this method in the text about the coins, yet the purchasing button is labeled “Apply” rather than “Buy”, the same word which is used for the subscriptions that the firm also makes use of. The page leading to this also states that you will “apply” to “start your collection” of silver coins, so caution is probably in order.

The historical coins offered are definitely on a subscription basis, with the London Mint Office’s statement that you will “See your collection grow each month from only £19.95”.

Sterling silver coins are mixed in with .999 fine silver coins, which is another thing that you need to keep an eye out for. Sterling silver, despite its official ring (after all, “sterling” has come to be a metaphoric synonym for “pure” or “excellent”), is not 99.9% pure silver, but has a millesimal fineness of .925. These coins, in short, are 7.5% copper, though they are listed on the same page as bullion coins. They are clearly labeled, but it is necessary to stay alert to note the difference, especially for those who are newer to buying silver coins.

Important Notice on the Automatic Payment Option of the London Mint Office

Regardless of whether or not you decide to purchase numismatic and bullion products from the Royal Mint Office, do not sign up for any type of automatic withdrawal of payments from your bank account to cover coin purchases. This is a windfall for the firm, since you have essentially given them a blank check to withdraw any money they want from your bank account when they decide to send you a coin, without asking your leave first.

You might end up a large number of coins, an huge withdrawals from your bank account to cover them. There are users of the service who have reported this happening. Though there is no way to check easily on the truth of their claims, there is also no doubt that the London Mint Office likes to send large numbers of coins to its customers, then demand payment for them.

Having direct access to your bank account would enable them to do the same without the inconvenience of needing to bill you, which suggests that it probably happens exactly as the customers describe. Your bank account could end up being gutted by charges that you gave a “blanket authorization” to by choosing direct withdrawals as the payment method at some point.

As with all things related to the London Mint Office, you should approach this is in the spirit of caveat emptor – let the buyer beware. If you are determined to purchase bullion from them, give as little information away as possible while doing so.

Note: According to the London Mint Office in September 2011: “We tested an automatic payment option for the convenience of our customers earlier this year. It was not popular so we suspended it several months ago.”

Where the London Mint Office is Located

The London Mint Office is located in Great Britain, with a new location on Bouverie Street in London. Its website can be found at, with 2 other sites at and

Payment is made via a number of different methods including credit or debit cards of the Visa or MasterCard brands and cheques.

The London Mint Office does not accept international orders and only ships to buyers based in the United Kingdom.

Further Reading:

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