The GBP, or Pounds Sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The currency has existed for over 500 years and was the primary currency used for international trade worldwide from the 1700's until the end of the Second World War in 1945. In 1945, the Pound was replaced by the US Dollar as the international reserve currency of choice.
The Economy of the United Kingdom
The UK's economy is fairly unique compared to other European countries. Rather than being focused on manufacturing, exports, or raw resources, the United Kingdom has built most of its very large economy around the service industry and tourism. The UK also does have a large financial services sector and significant influence in the precious metals industry. The LBMA, or London Bullion Market Association, is responsible for publishing the daily price fixes for precious metals, and their pricing is referenced worldwide.
The Currency of the United Kingdom
The Pound Sterling (GBP) is the currency of the United Kingdom. The Pound was introduced in 1489 and backed by the gold standard until 1931. Now, it is a fiat currency that is valued based on its global usage. It's one of the most highly traded currencies on the planet, and it is valued higher than the US Dollar as of the time of this writing.
The UK does not currently have any currency coins used regularly in circulation that contain precious metals. However, the Royal Mint does manufacture the British Britannia coin in silver, and this coin is widely purchased by precious metals investors.
Buying Silver in the UK
Silver Britannias create a unique investing option. They're silver coins that have a legal tender value in the UK. They also qualify for Capital Gains Tax exemption for UK residents, which means that UK residents do not need to pay tax on the profits they earn from a change in the price of silver. Within the UK, capital gains tax is payable on profits from precious metals investments on all coins not minted within the UK.
VAT is also payable on silver bullion within the UK, which makes purchasing silver and utilising a bullion storage service a popular option, as VAT is payable at a rate of 20%.