Well, I've done it.
Two 2010 gold sovereigns arrived today from the Royal Mint. Between them, they contain a half ounce of 22 carat gold, or 0.4583 ounces of pure gold.
At today's spot price of £772.18/oz, the gold in the coins is worth £353.89 — £106.11 less than what I paid. If gold prices fall back to 2002 levels (£200/oz), then the gold in my coins will be worth £91.66, and I will have lost £368.34.
Of course, if I ever sell the coins, I won't get the spot price.
I could have paid less for my gold. Gold Line is currently selling 2010 sovereigns for £206.75, and older sovereigns, which contain just as much gold, for £195.75.
Through Bullion Vault, you can buy gold at £773.05, and sell it at £770.25, but there are fees of 0.8% per trade, and a charge of 0.12% per year for storage, subject to a monthly minimum of $4.
I have to say that my first foray into the world of gold seems like a phenomenally stupid impulse buy, but they look nice, and will hopefully make a good souvenir.
I remain deeply concerned about GBP, and depressed that there don't appear to be any attractive options for protecting my savings from the actions of our government. I don't want to get rich through speculation, I simply want to preserve my hard-earned wealth.