London gets first one-stop shop for buying and storing gold bullion

Pot Of Gold

Fancy buying a £300,000 gold bar? And need somewhere safe to keep it? London’s first one-stop shop for those who want to buy gold bullion is opening its doors in Mayfair, offering investors the chance to buy coins and bars and pop them straight into a safety deposit box – all in the same elegantly decorated showroom.

Broker Sharps Pixley will be selling gold bars costing from about £35 for 1g to £300,000 for a hefty gold block weighing 11.3kg (400 ounces) at its new showroom on St James’s Street, a handy location for the area’s hedge fund managers and high-rolling casino gamblers.

“London is considered by many as the global epicentre for gold trading at the professional level but in spite of this, physical metal is often not readily accessible to everyday investors,” the firm said.

The showroom, which opens on Thursday, will have some gold bars on display in public areas, but customers who want to view the really big bricks will be invited into a private consultation room.

Buyers must come prepared: anti-money-laundering rules mean that anyone spending more than £5,000 in one visit will need to provide photo ID and proof of address. Security systems at the site have taken almost a year to install and include facial recognition technology and anti-theft smoke screens.

Some other firms already sell bullion in London, including the department store Harrods, which has its own branded gold bar. But the Sharps Pixley emporium claims to be the first high-street showroom and also offers clients the option of a safe deposit box on site.

The chief executive of Sharps Pixley, Ross Norman, said: “It is our mission to make precious metals both more visible and accessible here in the UK. Gold has exhibited a 4,000-year track record of wealth preservation and offers investors protection or insurance against economic crises.”

The firm’s parent company, Degussa Goldhandel, operates 14 similar showrooms in other countries including Germany, Switzerland and Singapore.

Powered by article was written by Hilary Osborne, for The Guardian on Thursday 14th January 2016 00.01 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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