Cash4coins Blog

How Millionaires Spend Their Money

What Ridiculous Things You Can Buy When You’ve Got Millions in the Bank

Have you ever wondered what outrageous things the incredibly rich do with their spare time (and cash)? What a coincidence… Us too! Wouldn’t it be nice to, not only get on with your day to day life whilst also being able to fund the lavish lifestyle most of us can only dream of? Envisage being so unimaginably wealthy that you could get hold of a private jet with a moments notice. Or perhaps walk into the world’s finest restaurants, only to be treated like royalty, seated at the most requested table, treat yourself and your guests to a five course meal (including caviar, obviously), 10 bottles of champagne AND still have change to spare? Well, some people do have that luxury. Here, we delve into some of the most ridiculous things that you can purchase if you had more money than sense…

 

  1. Luxury Ice Cubes

 

When doing some research on this topic, we found some completely insane things that people can actually spend their money on. The first thing that struck our eye was… Wait for it… Luxury ice cubes. Yes, you heard us correctly. For a cool $335 you can buy a bag of ‘perfectly square’ ice cubes in California for “minimum dilution and maximum cooling”. No more watery gin and tonics for us!

 

  1. Cocktails

 

Have you ever been invited for a night out and been overly conscious about the price of the cocktails? Because let’s face it, a cocktail costing over £10 is just a little bit TOO much. Well, if you had the millions to do so, would you spend over ten thousand pounds on one? This is somewhere in the range of the price tag attached to a cocktail especially designed for Grace Jones at Gigi’s restaurant opening in London. Made with an extremely rare brandy and dollops of gold leaf, it is one of the most expensive cocktails in the world. Can we get one on the house?

 

  1. Puppy Bathtub

 

If you have a pet, you will probably know the feeling of true love. Many people regard their pets as family, and more often than not, we like to make sure our family has the best they can possibly get when it comes to their security and lifestyle. With that in mind, you can purchase for you pup, the bathtub created by Lori Garden with the teeny, tiny price tag of $39,000. Covered in 45,000 Swarovski diamonds, you can ensure your little prince or princess has the most luxurious of bath times every single day!

 

  1. Body Armour

 

Speaking of luxury and security for your darling pets, while your at it, why not treat your guinea pig to its very our body suit of armour. Yes, that’s right. Keep your pet guinea pig out of all kinds of trouble with this luxury piece of kit being auctioned for a solid $24,300.

 

  1. Hair Cut

 

Right, enough treating your pets, you need to think about yourself. Why not indulge yourself in a luxury trim. That can’t be too expensive, right? Wrong. The Sultan of Brunei once spent £15,000 on a haircut. He paid a London barber this and in addition made sure his barber was comfortable with his own cabin to perform the haircut. We know London prices are a bit wild but this just takes the mick.

 

  1. Dinner

 

Everyone deserves a meal out every so often. We may not want to cook; we may not want to clean, so we reside ourselves to a beer and burger out once in a while (we may even have dessert!). However, if you want that touch of je ne sais quoi, you may want to take yourself along to Sublimotion in Ibiza for a total cost per head at £1,250. It is a part of the Hard Rock hotel and only seats 12 people at a time for extra dining exclusivity. A place particularly popular with celebrities and wealthy holidaymakers alike. Where do we sign up?

 

  1. Gold Monopoly

 

Sometimes, though, you don’t want to go out. You simply want to stay at home and have a chilled night in with the loved ones, and what better way to spend a relaxing night in than cracking out some of the old board games hiding away in the back of the wardrobe? Well, of course we know you by now, and we know that you deserve only the best. What better way to feel like a millionaire building a house in Marylebone than using an 18-carat gold monopoly set to send your opponents to jail? For two million dollars, it can be all yours.

 

  1. Tequila, Tequila!

 

We think we need a drink to get rid of some of this angst with all the new expenses in our life! You can refresh yourself with a tasty bottle of Tequila Ley 925. It will only set you back $3.5m. Mmmm…

 

  1. Einstein

 

Okay, maybe we need to stop being so materialistic. Broaden our minds and our horizons. A hand written letter, written by Albert Einstein with his views on ethics and religion was sold at $3m at auction in 2012.

 

  1. Massage

 

I think its time we wound down from all of this madness with a massage. Why not head down to your local spa and ask for the Diamond Massage. This consists of crushing precious gemstones (1.5 carat diamonds to be precise) all over the body for special anti-aging, detoxifying effect to your skin. This ultimate pampering experience can be all yours for £100,000. How relaxing.

 

So there you have it, this is what your life could look like if you were loaded with bags of cash! Although it looks luxurious, we’re not so convinced of the lifestyle. I think we’ll stick to burger, chips and Netflix nights in! However, if you are lucky enough to have this kind of cash but no longer have any use for it, then we would love to help you shift it.

 

 

 


Help protect yourself against Fraud

Protect Yourself Against Fraud

Imagine earning your monthly wage and gearing up to pay off some bills, maybe treating yourself to the latest gadget or even taking a well-deserved holiday and going into the bank or online to make the payment, only to learn that you have been stripped of your earnings. For many people, they do not have to imagine, as this is a reality all too familiar. Fortunately, in this day and age, we have the ability to see and control every penny of our earnings and are able to track where it is going without too much worry about the security of it all. However, with online shopping becoming one of the most popular ways for us to do our spending – especially on those larger transactions around holidays, such as Christmas and Birthday’s – we should not be so lax about those everyday transactions that we are making. There are many fantastic online payment services that guarantee great security, such as PayPal, but it is worth staying vigilant on the little signs that may signal dodgy doings from other sources that are trying to strip you of your hard-earned cash.

Emails

Many banks and building societies are very vocal about the steps they take to insure their customers do not have the opportunity to be taken advantage of; one of these steps is verification over emails. Banks such as Lloyds, HSBC and Nationwide will never ask you to verify important or confidential information over email, so if you ever receive an email that looks like it may be from your bank then, we suggest you don’t open it in the first place, however, if you do open it then do not respond. We advise you go to their website and call the official helpline immediately and tell them about the email, the likelihood is that they will tell you that it is a scam and help you deal with the email straight away.

Phone

There are many savvy ways for fraudsters to contact you in ways that make you feel safe. Many people have cottoned on to the bogus emails and online scams, however, nothing compares to speaking to a fellow human being on the phone but it is your responsibility to decipher whether they’re genuine or not. There are many clever ways for callers to disguise their real identity by either blocking the number or even making it appear with the bank name that you are associated with. Again, banks will never ask for sensitive information over emails OR by phone. If it is important, they tend to ask you to come into the bank in order to deal with the issue. Sometimes the caller may not even respond to your questions, as it will be a prerecorded pitch or a robot. Prerecorded pitches are illegal, so be wary if you encounter this and never offer your sensitive information to anyone over the phone, unless you are positive that it is the genuine number of the bank or online payment service that you are using to protect your money and if you are unsure then hang up and call back using the genuine number on their official website.

Scammers

In order to get their hands on your money, scammers will often pose as someone you trust, such as a relative or friend of a relative or someone in authority. Never give them the benefit of the doubt online or on the phone when it comes to your personal details. Make sure to try and get as much information as possible about the caller. If you can, try and get the number they are calling you from or where they are calling you from (if it is not blocked) and never hand out any of your personal information, whether its bank details, home address or full name and email. That way, you can find out a little more about the person calling and potentially notify the police with an in-depth account of the situation if anything untoward does happen.

You’ve won…

Many fraudulent emails pose as a prize giveaway or debt relief and at first it may seem harmless by asking for a mobile number or an address, but this way the fraud in question is building up layers and layers of your details and rather than jumping in straight away and asking for bank numbers, they are building your trust with seemingly unimportant information. It is also a way for the fraud to get you to click on links that have viruses attached to them which can sit in your computer and snatch sensitive information, such as passwords to online shopping accounts, bank accounts etc.

Insure Your Money

When online shopping, consider the payment method that you choose. Using a service such as PayPal often has a built-in security that allows your information to be completely protected so anyone hacking into your account won’t be able to see any ‘saved’ card details or any previous transactions as they are all protected by several layers of passwords and firewalls. Many credit cards also offer insurance on fraudulent activity. For example, when making a larger payment, such as a holiday or concert tickets, it can be more favourable to pay with your credit card as your bank will tend to insure the transaction, whereas large payments on debit cards that are lost can’t often be traced or returned back to you.

Always Read the Small Print

Online scams aren’t always trying to steal your personal information or give your computer viruses in order to hack into accounts, there are some online ‘scams’ that simply take your money in broad daylight and disguise it as the ‘best offer ever!’ in regards to the service that it is providing. This is a type of scam that isn’t necessarily taking your personal information in order to be fraudulent, however, it aims to reel you in with a delicious looking offer that you simply cannot refuse. Whether it is a free trial on your favourite music or TV programs or ‘money off your first purchase’ type of offer, its aim is to get you hooked into a contract or agreement on a monthly payment scheme for a certain amount of time or taking money off you until you call or write to them to cancel the subscription.

At Cash4Coins, we aim to make sure your money is as safe and secure as it can possibly be! So if you have any questions or queries on our services and how we can help you then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


What does Brexit Mean for You and Your Pennies?

As you may have noticed, last week, Britain made one of its most poignant and controversial political decisions in history – to exit the European Union. It is a seismic topic that has been on everyone’s mind, whether you voted in or out, or simply couldn’t decide what you felt would be best for the future generations to come, I’m sure you had an opinion to offer on the matter. With immediate affects to the value of our pound, it is certainly a topic that we have been interested in here at Cash4Coins! The pound fell to it’s lowest value since the 80’s and everyone immediately cast their opinions that the financial market was going to crash, however, the constant fluctuation since last week has left people unsure as to where we stand. So, for those who are unsure, we are here to give you an unbiased report on what Brexit really means for our economy…

Immediate Aftermath

In the wake of Brexit, Britain fell to 6th place in the world’s largest economy, behind France. The immediate 10% fall meant that there was a global rush of capital into a more secure currency, such as the Japanese Yen and the Swiss Francs. According the likes of the Bank of England and large UK organisations, there was a prediction, pre-exit, that suggested the economy would flourish considerably slower without the EU. However, many pro-Brexit economists are suggesting that there is no need to worry as they have projected that, although we had a drastic fall on day one, we will eventually build up our economy and come back fighting (as Daft Punk would say) ‘Harder, better, faster, stronger’!

What does this mean for your travel spends?

Cameron has claimed that, although the result has come as an immediate shock to the system, whether it is to your delight or dismay, nothing will actually change straight away, so it could take years and the smallest of difference to change the way we spend our pennies abroad. As it stands at the moment, due to the drastic fall in value of the pound, there have been some effects to the exchange in currency. Only last week, the day it happened, many places in Greece were not exchanging sterling to euros, simply because the value dropped so much in such a short space, they couldn’t work out what the exact exchange rate was for hours. It also meant that if you were travelling that weekend then you would, unfortunately, have been getting less euros for your money. BUT… Do not fear! This can be excused as a mere reflection of the knee-jerk reaction to the uncertainty of the UK financial market now that we are standing alone, since last week the pound has already risen by 2%, which in money terms… is a pretty positive rise! So, it has been advised that, if you are yet to book your holiday this year, then choose wisely, as picking a destination where the sterling is strong and the local cost of living is low could make a real difference to how you make the most of your pennies when sunning yourself this summer.

Stocks

Although it is claimed that Bank of England predicted a slow start and slow development for the UK economy after Brexit, they lifted stocks up to an all time high since February 2014 by driving £3.1bn in UK lenders, which resulted in bids of up to £6bn.

In The Home

The link between wholesale gas and electricity coincides with the price of oil, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if your main concern with the Brexit aftermath were the price of general living costs and your daily trips to the petrol station. Although no costs or calculations have been proven or confirmed, there still lies the threat of these rising prices along with the possible rise in taxpayer’s rates, which could really tighten the family budget. It has also been predicted that value of properties could fall over £2,000 within the next 2 years, and over £7,000 for London alone. This is one of the main concerns of the National Association of Estate Agents who believe that the property market is based on ‘confidence’, so with such uncertainty cast over the UK housing market with our vote to leave, it leaves outside investors sitting on their hands waiting for some sort of restoration in trust.

Savings and Pensions

Since 2012, standard saving rates have been an uphill battle with downhill result with the base rate sitting at 0.5% for the last 7 years. However, some believe that due to the eventual high interest rates, it would relieve those savers who have seen such a downturn in returns over the years. Pensions, understandably, seem more unreliable after Brexit, with the possibility of private pensions being savaged if stocks fall or the market crashes, meaning it would take years to rebuild. In this case, the younger generations of voters have more time to reassess how they will save for their futures and what will be a best way to keep their money safe. It also means that over the years we could see drastic changes in pension laws due to our involvement with the EU, so at the moment it is a case of uncertainty for all ages and pension holders. Currency exchange also affects the pension rate for British citizens living abroad in EU countries.

The Positives

Although there are two sides to every story, it seems as though uncertainty has cast a dark shadow over many professional and public opinions and divided people’s views on our future in the UK. However, many economists are encouraging people to believe in the UK’s ability to stand on our own two feet and embrace the change with gusto. One economist, based in Tel-Aviv bank, Leumi, has claimed that this is a positive change and sets precedence for the UK to finally be able to fine tune our own legislations and trade agreements. So, whether you pro or against Brexit, there is definitely an air of change around the UK public and we can now embrace the change positively by taking matters into our own hands and being more involved in the political world. If anything, it has made the British public far more passionate about and engaged with politics, which can only be a good thing.

If you would like any advice on your money exchanging needs, we would love to hear from you! You can contact us today by phone or email.


A Brief History of the London Bullion Market

Many of us only dream to have access of such vast amounts of wealth, however, for those of us in the UK the trade of gold and silver tends to only be for those of who are members of the London Bullion Market Association.  The LBMA is an association that is loosely overseen by the Bank of England and only deals with bullion dealers or refiners and international banks and manages the ‘over the counter’ trade between bullion dealers.

How it all began

You can trace the London bullion market back to 1600’s with the partnership of Moses Mocatta and The East India Company. Moses Mocatta was the founder of ‘Mocatta and Goldsmid’ in 1961, which is one of the oldest bullion brokerage firms in the world today. During the 17th Century, whilst Isaac Newton was leading the Royal Mint, the gold in England became much more freely circulated than silver, which led to England producing many gold based coins whilst the rest of Europe were still dealing in silver until the late 19th Century.

The Gold Rush

In the 17th Century, The East India Company brought gold from Brazil to London and housed it in a London vault, which was set up by the Bank of England. This subsequently became a housing facility, which was used to serve the rest of Europe. The Bank of England’s involvement with setting up the purpose built vault became a key player in the distribution and management of the gold, especially after the influx of events such as the famous gold rush in California, Australia and Africa. At this time, approximately 60% of the world’s trade of gold passed through London.

Approval

In 1749, the Royal Mint John Lucas, who was an assayer, to oversee the quality of the gold coming into the London vault, which ultimately led to having a ‘Good Delivery’ list. This list of specific gold refineries ensured that the gold coming into London was that of a high standard from a trusted source. Samuel Plumb and Browne were the first gold refineries to be added to this list in 1754. By 1850, there were fiver refineries on the list that dealt with the trade and quality of gold coming in and out of London. These companies consisted of Mocatta and Goldsmid, N M Rothschild & Sons, Sharps Wilkins, Samuel Montagu & Co and Pixley & Abell.

The London Gold Market

The Good Delivery List that consists of these refineries has remained unchanged over the years, however the set up became slightly more different in the 20th Century. These refineries would eventually oversea the entire gold market coming into London, whilst also making sure that the companies responsible for maintenance and the assayers were appropriate and of a high standard.

The Gold Market Fixing Company

The Gold Fixing Market refers to the arrangement made between the Bank of England and N M Rothschild and Sons in the early 20th Century where it would be agreed upon for the formation of the free gold market where there would be an official set price on any one day. The original five refineries on the Good Delivery List would perform the first fix in 1919 and form the Gold Market Fixing Company between the five of them.

Inflow to the US

The Wall Street crash in 1929 saw the expansion of the Good Delivery List when large amounts of gold and silver were being melted down which all had to be sorted into ‘Good Delivery’ status. However, with a new fixed price set in America in 1934, the inflow increased. This prompted the even bigger expansion of the Good Delivery List, which eventually extended to 20 refineries and mints in 8 different countries.

London Bullion Market Association

Due to the vast increases and decreases of the fixed gold price and the constant maintenance of the Good Delivery List and other resulting lists, the Bank of England felt that this scale of business would need to be looked after by an independent body. In 1987 the London Bullion Market Association was formed, and their job is to, amongst many things, oversea the whole process of gold and silver trade and maintain the good delivery list and deal with traders. The Bank of England still remains loosely involved with the LBMA as the facilitator. To be considered for Good Delivery Status, it is now required by LBMA to assure Responsible Gold Guidance.

You may not be able to get your hands on those much desired gold and silver bars, but if you have any gold or silver coins (or notes for that matter!) that you need exchanging, or simply need a quote, then we would love to help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team for advice.


A Brief History of The Gold Rush

There’s Gold in them there Hills….

Picture yourself in 1830’s America living on the west coast. It is a peaceful time and way of life for Native Americans and Mexicans; until, that is, small nuggets of gold were found in Sacramento Valley in 1848. It would be these small nuggets of gold, which would completely transform the environment and demography in western American, forever. When the news spread about this discovery of vast amounts of gold waiting to be brought to the surface had emerged, many people travelled from all over the world to mine this treasure and become rich off the back of it.

Where did it all begin?

It all started with a lonely carpenter, James Wilson Marshall, originally from New Jersey. Marshall found fleck of gold when at Sutter’s Mill, where he was working at the time. Shortly after his discovery, the treaty that ended the Mexican-American war was signed and over with, leaving California to America, however, it still had a large population of Native Americans, and people of Spanish and Mexican descent. That is, until news of his discovery spread. By the end of 1849, the population on ‘non-Native Americans’ had risen from a mere 20,000 people to 100,000 and by the end of the 1860’s; the overall population had risen from 157,000 (a combination of Native Americans, Mexicans and Spaniards) to almost 400,000.

The Transformation

Not only was it foreign people overseas, even lot’s of men from around America uprooted their family or saved up money in order to settle in California in pursuit of the gold mining dream and the wealth that came with it. This completely transformed California from its rural and peaceful surroundings to accommodate the needs of the masses of people. This included towns springing up all over the place equipped with saloons, shops and brothels, which ultimately created communities and micro-cultures forming around those who were involved with the gold mining. The new job prospects and wealth for many people from across the world may sound very appealing, however, due to the nature of this heavily labored work, there were many poorer native folk who were subjected to slavery and being taken advantage of in order to create wealth for the settlers.

Pro’s and Con’s

There are many benefits and disadvantages that have plagued this state since the ‘Gold Rush’; due to the population increasing drastically within the space of a couple years, the bustling economy helped the state to become a very wealthy place. However, it came at the cost of many Native and ‘Californios’ (Americans of Spanish and Mexican descent) losing their homes and their freedom, along with the demolition of the countryside in the process. In just over two years, almost the entire surface gold had been already mined and there were many people still arriving to this state in pursuit of gold mining but had no luck. Due to this downfall of gold mining, many people turned to hydraulic mining, which helped to grow the industrialization of California vastly, although it came at a cost of extremely hard labour and completely destroying the landscape of a once very beautiful peace of land.

A brutal battleground

The effect that the Gold Rush had on the United States was substantial as there was no law regarding the ownership of this gold being mined until a state constitution was signed claiming the land was owned by America.  The greedy nature of humans and money had led to a crime increase and racial attacks that would seek to drive out the ‘foreigners’. The violence was returned on the internal migrants with roughly 1 in 12 perishing, which had resulted vigilantism. The need for the settlers to turn this into a ‘new state’ with a high influx of Europeans and Americans arriving caused the first governor of California, Peter Burnett, to declare that this was a battle between the native and new colonisation of people, and would result in the Native-Americans being ultimately enslaved, removed or killed in order to benefit the new settlement.

It didn’t stop there

Gold mining reached it’s peak of wealth in 1852 where around $80 million dollars worth of gold was pulled from the earth, but due to the decline it leveled off to just over $40 million per year by 1857. Although, the downfall of the industry didn’t have too much of a negative impact on the people who still wanted to settle for the appealing way of life in California. It was a bustling new state, filled with the idea of wealth, hopes and dreams, which is how it is often perceived as today, however, with its bleak and greedy past is often forgotten about.

If you have found yourself with your own golden nuggets or gold coins that you want to exchange then we can help Contact us today at Cash4Coins for any enquiries that you may have.


A Brief History of Chinese Currency

As you can imagine, China’s history is steeped with colourful traditions, beautiful cuisines and a vast heritage, so it isn’t hard to believe that they’ve had an incredible impact on the rest of the world. Anything from fast paced technological developments, to wonderfully wacky inventions, and to everyday things that we may not even consciously think about, such as money. The Chinese just seem to have a knack for presenting new ideas and inventions that will ultimately be taken on around the world, and their means of currency is no exception to this…

Where it all Began

It is widely believed that China has a long relationship with money and currency, as it has been used within their country for over 3,000 years! So it is no wonder that many of their inventions were to be taken seriously, being such innovators and early bloomers in this field. They began using cowry shells as a form of currency, which eventually led to the invention of the first coins to be made of metal. It didn’t stop there. They continued to come up with several different means and ways of currency and exchange. This included, using bronze objects in the shapes of spades and knives as forms of coins.

They Weren’t Always This Smart

We are led to believe that during the period of time between 210AD and 90BC there was a major disruption to currencies and major inflations due to emperors and people in power being allowed to make their own coins and money.

“Flying Money”

Around 960AD to 1279AD the first glimpse of paper money made an appearance. Before this, it is suggested that the first kind of ‘flat money’ was made from deerskin as a type of leather note. They would then paint around the edges of the note to define the amount. In 1024, the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty took over production of paper money, the first currency to not be back by silver or gold. Compared to heavy shrapnel, this form of currency was much easier to carry around due to its lightweight form, thus the name “flying money”.

Disruption

With this exciting new form of currency came the eventuality of misuse and over printing. This major inflation caused many issues for the Yuan court until the demise of the Dynasty in 1368. After this, many issues were suspended, however a lot of these notes remained in circulation for many years after.

Follow the Leader

Europe followed a step behind China in regards to their innovations towards currency. Paper money was nowhere to be seen until it was recorded in Marco Polo’s writings during the 13th century onwards. Although, paper notes were not formally adopted by Europe until Sweden introduced their bank notes in 1661.

Today, China has three forms of active currency; Renminbi, Hong Kong dollar and Macanese Pataca. However, Renminbi, is the most commonly used by the citizens of mainland China, whilst the other two are used in Hong Kong and Macau. We cannot deny that China has had an incredibly large impact on the entire world on the way we use money in exchange for goods and services. All countries use some form of paper money thanks to China and their innovative ideas. So, if you happen to find yourself some Chinese Renminbi, remember that your wallet/purse would be a lot heavier today if it weren’t for them! So, if you need any help on how to exchange your notes (and coins!) then contact us our experts today.


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