Auction Terms and Conditions

Terms of Business for Buyers


  1. Winning bidders

The highest bidder accepted will be the buyer of the lot at the hammer price and any dispute will be resolved at the auctioneer’s absolute discretion. We reserve the right to reject any bid. Every bidder will be deemed to be acting as principal unless Sovereign Rarities Limited (SRL) provides advance written acknowledgement that the buyer is acting as agent on behalf of a named third party. Bidders must show proof of identification and be registered before the auction. SRL may require a reference or guarantee.


  1. Minimum increment

    The auctioneer has the right to refuse any bid, which is not at least 5% higher than the previous bid or any other proportion at the sole discretion of the auctioneer. SRL reserve the right not to accept bids at below 80% of the low estimate.


  1. Buyer’s premium.

    A buyer’s premium of 20 per cent plus Value Added Tax (VAT) will be added to the hammer price, and the buyer will pay this to SRL as part of the total amount due. VAT is only chargeable on lots delivered or collected in the UK. The buyer agrees that SRL may also receive vendor’s commission in accordance with Condition 15. 


  1. Taxation

    The buyer’s premium is subject to VAT at the prevailing rate for UK residents. Lots marked with an ‘x’ are also subject to import duty of 5 per cent on the hammer price unless re-exported outside the UK. Any lots marked with a ‘G’ are classified as Investment Gold, so a VAT-registered trader can submit a claim to HMRC to recover the VAT. Lots marked as 'Vatable' are subject to VAT on the hammer price as well as on the buyer's premium to a total of 44% for UK residents unless re-exported by Sovereign Rarities. 


  1. Payment

    On the fall of the hammer the contract between the vendor and the buyer is concluded. The buyer is obliged to make immediate payment to SRL for the total amount due (unless credit terms have been agreed with SRL in advance). Please note that we do not accept cash payments in excess of £8,000 in settlement for purchases in any one calendar year. Our preferred method of payment is bank transfer, and our bank details will be sent out with proforma invoices. There are countries and sanctioned individuals from whom we cannot accept payment. Credit and debit card payments are at our discretion, and all corporate or non-UK cards are subject to a 3% surcharge. Please note that we only send coins out to the registered billing address for payments by credit or debit cards.  Payment can only be accepted from the successful registered bidder, not from third parties. 


  1. SRL may, at its absolute discretion, agree terms with the buyer in advance whereby the buyer may take possession of lots up to a predetermined value ahead of full payment at a predetermined future date. No title passes to the buyer until full payment of the total amount due in Pounds Sterling is received by SRL.


  1. All payments to SRL made by a buyer, may be applied to any outstanding amounts owed by the buyer, regardless of the express or implied instructions of the buyer or his/her agent.


  1. Collection of Purchases

    The buyer will at his/her own expense collect the lots purchased within 5 working days of the date of the auction, once payment in full has been made, unless prior credit terms have been agreed. Please note that lots collected from our offices and hand-carried outside of the UK cannot be subject to VAT refund. The buyer will be responsible for any removal, storage and insurance charges five working days after the auction.                                                                                                            

  1. Shipping. SRL, as a courtesy to clients, may pack and handle purchased lots but in the case of fragile goods only at SRL’s discretion. Under no circumstances will SRL be liable for damage howsoever caused after the auction. Shipments will be made using Royal Mail or courier services as appropriate. Quotations for shipping are available on request. There are certain countries we cannot ship to, so please contact us in advance in case of doubt.


  1. The buyer is responsible for loss or damage to the purchased lots from time of collection, or five working days after the auction, whichever is sooner. SRL, its employees and representatives are not responsible for any loss or damage, whatever the cause, while lots are in its custody after this point.


  1. Remedies for late or non-payment for lots.

    If the buyer fails to pay in full and collect the purchases, or fails to fulfil his obligations in any way, SRL acting as the vendor or vendor’s agent may, in addition to and without prejudice regarding other legal remedies, exercise one or more of the following remedies

  2. Export of goods.

    Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain (a) whether an export licence is required and (b) whether there is any specific prohibition on importing goods of that character because, e.g. there is an embargo on the items country of origin into the intended import country. Ask us if you need help. 

  1. to proceed against the purchaser for damages for breach of contract.

  2. to rescind the sale and that of any other lots sold to the same buyer in the same or any other auction.

  3. to resell the lot either at public auction or by private sale and pursue the buyer for any deficiency in proceeds and to cover the costs and expenses and commissions due on both the original and the subsequent sale. Any surplus generated will belong to the vendor.

  4. to remove, store and insure the lot at the buyer’s expense. The lots will be either at SRL premises or elsewhere.

  5. to impose a late payment charge not exceeding 3 per cent per month on the total payment due from the date of the auction, if the amount owing is unpaid five working days after the auction.

  6. to hold back the lot and any other lot sold to the buyer at the same or any other auction until the total amount due is paid.

  7. to reject any bids made by or on behalf of the defaulting buyer at any subsequent auctions, or requesting a deposit before allowing them to bid.

  8. to apply the proceeds of any sales by the buyer towards settlement of the total amount due, and to exercise a lien on the property of the defaulting buyer which SRL is holding for any purpose.


  1. Liability of SRL and the Vendors


  1. Buyers are advised to view the items or request further details regarding the condition prior to the sale. Buyers must satisfy themselves that the description is accurate. Lots are sold by description and the description will take precedence over any images. SRL does not warranty that any of its lots will achieve any particular grade by third party grading services, and if the grading company does not reach a conclusion regarding authenticity then the opinion of SRL shall stand. Lots encapsulated in slabs from NGC, PCGS or other third-party grading companies cannot be returned for any reason. Any dispute over authenticity of encapsulated lots must be taken up with the grading company involved. Subject to the obligations accepted by SRL, neither the vendor, nor SRL, its employees or representatives bear liability for errors in description or authentication of any lot. No express or implied warranty is given by SRL, its employees or representatives in respect of any lot.

  2. An auction sale is not an approval sale. All claims of mis-description and all claims of return, except claims of lack of authenticity, must be made within 5 days of receipt of the lot. Any lot which is found to be a ‘deliberate forgery’ may be returned to SRL by the buyer, in the same condition as when possession was taken, accompanied by a statement of defects, the lot number and date of the auction. If SRL is satisfied that the item is a ‘deliberate forgery’ and the buyer can transfer good and marketable title back to SRL, free from third party claims, the item can be returned for a full refund, save where:

    i. The description in the catalogue was in line with the generally prevailing view of scholars and experts or indicated that there were conflicting views about the authenticity.

    ii. At the time of publication of the catalogue the scientific processes for authentication used to discredit the lot were not in general use or were unreasonably expensive or cumbersome.

  3. Any claim by the buyer under this condition is limited to the total price paid, there is no further liability accepted for any loss, expenses or damage caused.

  4. This condition only applies to the buyer of the lot and cannot be assigned to any third party. For the purposes of this condition the buyer is deemed to be the person or entity to whom the original SRL invoice is made.


13. Investment gold


In line with legal requirements for dealers in investment gold [Gold imports and exports (VAT Notice 701/21)] we need proof of ID and address for purchases of Investment Gold. We require one of the following forms of ID from each list. Suitable documents include:


List 1: • Passport • Full driving licence • National Insurance card • Birth certificate • National identity card


List 2: • Phone bill • Other utility bill • Deeds • Tenancy lease • Council tax bill Any item from the second list needs to be issued within the last three months.


Terms of Business for Vendors and Consignors


  1. Warranty of title and availability

The vendor warrants to SRL and to the buyer that they are the true owner of the lot, or they are fully authorised by the owner to sell the lot on their behalf. The vendor must be able to effect the transfer of good and marketable title to the buyer free from any third party claims. The vendor will indemnify SRL, its employees and representatives and the buyer against any loss or damage suffered as a result of any breach on the part of the vendor.


  1. Reserves

Prior to the auction the vendor is entitled to place a reserve on any lot with a minimum value of £100, being the minimum value at which the lot may be sold. Any reserve must be reasonable and SRL reserve the right to decline to offer a lot with an unreasonable reserve. Once a reserve has been placed it cannot be changed without SRL’s consent. SRL has the right to sell a lot at a ‘hammer price’ below the reserve, but in such cases the sale proceeds to which the vendor is entitled will be the same as if the lot had sold at its reserve price. Where a reserve price has been placed, only the auctioneer has the right to bid on the vendor’s behalf, and only up to the level of the reserve.


  1. Authority to deduct commission and expenses

SRL has the right to deduct commission at the agreed rate from the ‘hammer price’, VAT where applicable and ‘expenses’ and the vendor acknowledges the right of SRL to retain the buyer’s premium.


  1. Rescission of contract

If the buyer makes a claim to rescind the contract for good cause before the sales proceeds have been remitted to the vendor, SRL is authorised to rescind the sale and refund the buyer in full.


  1. Payment of sale proceeds

SRL will remit the ‘sale proceeds’ to the vendor within 45 days of the auction, but if SRL has not yet received the ‘total amount due” from the buyer, SRL will remit the money within 5 business days of receipt of the funds. If SRL has agreed credit terms with the buyer, SRL will remit the proceeds within 45 days of the auction unless otherwise agreed by the vendor.


  1. If the buyer fails to pay SRL within 28 days of the auction, SRL will seek to inform the vendor and take their instructions regarding the appropriate course of action. So far as is practicable SRL will assist the vendor to recover the ‘total amount due’ from the buyer. If SRL is unable to contact the vendor due to unforeseen circumstances, the vendor authorises SRL, at the vendor’s expense, to agree special terms for payment of the ‘total amount due’, to remove, store and insure the sold lot, to act on the vendor’s behalf against the buyer on such terms as SRL deems fit, and take necessary steps to collect the ‘total amount due’.


  1. If the buyer fails to pay SRL the ‘total amount due’ within 28 days of the auction SRL may, at its sole discretion, remit the ‘sale proceeds’ to the vendor at which point title of the goods passes to SRL.


  1. Withdrawn lot

Where a vendor withdraws a lot from the sale after being catalogued, SRL reserves the right to charge a fee of 15 per cent commission based on the middle of SRL’s estimate of the auction price. This commission is subject to VAT if the vendor is an EU resident. There may also be charges for expenses incurred.


  1. Rights to photographs

The vendor gives SRL the right to photograph any lot and to use such photographs or photographs provided by the vendor at any time and at its absolute discretion.


  1. Unsold lots

Where any lot is unsold SRL will notify the vendor accordingly. The vendor will make arrangements to collect the lot or re-offer the lot for sale. SRL reserves the right to negotiate the sale of the lot by private treaty at or above the reserve price by close of business, two working days after the day of the auction. In the event of such a sale the vendor is liable to pay the same charges as if the lot had been sold at auction, and the same terms and conditions apply.


  1. SRL reserves the right to charge commission at up to half the ‘stated rates’ based on the ‘bought in price’, and also to charge ‘expenses’ in relation to unsold lots. VAT will be applied where appropriate.


General Terms and Conditions


  1. SRL acts as agent for the vendor and as such is not responsible for any default by vendor or buyer. SRL may also act as the principal of auction lots.


  1. Any representation or statement by SRL, in any catalogue as to authorship, attribution, authenticity origin, date, age, provenance, condition or estimated selling price is a statement of opinion only. Any prospective buyer should exercise and rely on his or her own judgement as to such matters and neither SRL nor its employees or representatives bears liability for the correctness of such opinions.


  1. Whilst the interests of prospective buyers are best served by attendance at the auction, SRL will, if so instructed, execute bids on their behalf. Neither SRL nor its employees or representatives are responsible for any neglect or default in doing so or for failing to do so.


  1. SRL has the right, at its discretion, to refuse admission to its premises or attendance at its auctions by any person.


  1. SRL has absolute discretion, without giving any cause, to refuse any bid, to divide any lot, to combine any two or more lots, to withdraw any lot from the auction and in case of dispute to re-auction any lot.


  1. a. Any indemnity under these Conditions extends to all actions, proceedings, costs, expenses, claims and demands howsoever incurred or suffered by the person entitled to the benefit of the indemnity. b. SRL declares itself to be a trustee for its relevant employees and representatives of the benefit of every indemnity under these Conditions to the extent that such indemnity is expressed to be for the benefit of its employees and representatives.


  1. Any notice by SRL to a vendor, consignor, prospective bidder or buyer may be sent by first class mail or airmail and if so given shall be deemed to have been duly received by the addressee 48 hours after posting. They may alternatively be sent by email and shall be deemed to have been received 24 hours after sending.


  1. These Conditions will be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. All transactions to which these Conditions apply and all matters connected therewith shall also be governed by English law. SRL hereby submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts and all other parties concerned hereby submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.


  1. In these conditions:


  1. ‘catalogue’ includes any advertisement, brochure, estimate, price list or other publication;

  2. ‘hammer price’ means the price at which a lot is knocked down by the auctioneer to the buyer;

  3. ‘total amount due’ means the ‘hammer price’ in respect of the lot sold together with any premium, VAT chargeable and any additional charges and expenses due in pounds sterling;

  4. ‘deliberate forgery’ means an imitation made with the intention of deceiving as to authorship, origin, date, age, period, culture or source which is not shown to be such in the description in the catalogue and which at the date of sale had a value materially less than it would have had if it had been in accordance with that description;

  5. ‘sale proceeds’ means the net amount due to the vendor being the ‘hammer price’ of the lot sold less commission at the ‘stated rates’, ‘expenses’ and any other amounts due to SRL by the vendor in whatever capacity and howsoever arising;

  6. ‘stated rate’ means SRL published rates of commission for the time and any VAT thereon;

  7. ‘expenses’ in relation to the sale of any lot means SRL charges and expenses for insurance, illustration, photography, special advertising, storage, packing and freight of that lot and any VAT thereon;

  8. ‘bought in price’ means 5 per cent more than the highest bid received below the reserve.


  1. VAT Commission, buyer’s premium, storage, shipping, illustrations, insurance and advertising are subject to VAT if the vendor or buyer is a UK resident. VAT on the Buyer's Premium can only be refunded for non-UK resident buyers whose lots have been shipped by SRL.                                                                                                                                      

  1. Data protection. SRL will use information supplied by the bidders or otherwise obtained lawfully by SRL for the provision of auction related services, client administration, marketing and otherwise required by law.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  2. By agreeing to these conditions of business, the bidder agrees to the processing of their personal information and to the disclosure to 3rd parties world-wide for the purposes outlined in conditions 35 and to vendors, to disclose the buyer’s details to enable legal proceedings for non-payment.


HSBC, 129 Bond Street, London, W1S 1EA

Sovereign Rarities Ltd

Account number: 91849360

Sort code: 40-05-01

IBAN: GB31HBUK40050191849360


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