Coins, ingots, jewelry… Like Jean-Marie Le Pen, the French love gold

“It's gold… Monsignor… It's gold to get up.” What a strange bond that, at all times, in all places, unites human beings with the precious metal! A powerful bond to the point of making some lose their minds. Even hiding it in a safe in Switzerland for others, like Jean-Marie Le Pen.

The charm of gold… A butcher from Vernon who, during Christmas, had hidden a gold coin in a white pudding, was not mistaken, offering a great promotion at a reasonable price: the 20 franc Napoleon becomes these days at about 216 euros.

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Many French people thus preserve the jewel of Napoleon or their great-grandmother, a family heritage that is transmitted from generation to generation, a symbol of a safe and risk-free investment. 80% of people who own gold received it through inheritance or donation, according to a May 2014 Ipsos survey for CPor Devises.

The safe haven

In an era of “contactless payments” and dematerialization, gold remains a safe haven for individuals. The purchase of gold is the marker of times of crisis: when real estate bubbles burst, when Internet bubbles burst, gold remains. Some doomsayers even bet on the collapse of paper money and see anti-inflation insurance in the yellow metal.

When everything goes wrong, gold is good. Yes, but when the stock market goes up, gold goes down. And when the euro crisis recedes, the yellow metal loses some of its appeal as a safe haven. The records were reached in 2011. “However, it is still a good investment, it is increasing,” says Laurence du Change de la Bourse, a gold specialist: “In 25 years, gold has tripled. We do not buy it, no “only to make profits. In a period when the euro is falling, it guarantees the safety of the portfolio.”

Gold occupies the fourth position only among the preferred investments of the French, for 41% of them, behind real estate with 70%, life insurance (61%) and then Livret A (51%), as confirmed an Ifop survey carried out last year. winter for

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3,000 tons of coins and ingots

And these are the places where trust is placed in the possession of: pieces or lingots, according to the agents of the march, the French particuliers also have a financial reserve of 90 milliards of euros, soit quelque 3,000 tons of pieces and lingots in them. wool socks. The French are the first owners of gold in Europe.

Who are the buyers? “We see young people,” explains Laurence du Change of the Bourse, “but it is mainly people of a certain age, between 50 and 60 years old.” These people have money to invest and want to invest or are preparing an inheritance.

Gold is the capital par excellence. So much so that in 1981, the day after the election of François Mitterrand, panic gripped the bullion owners who already saw the Russian tanks entering Paris and ran towards Switzerland dragging suitcases loaded with bullion. Although it is not there where his gold was deposited, Jean-Marie Le Pen already admitted to having opened an account in Switzerland, at UBS, in 1981, as “Le Monde” recalls.

Fear of taxes

And this type of panic persists: a yellow metal seller confided to the magazine “Desafíos” that 80% of his clients who wanted to keep their gold abroad did so because they feared that the State would seize their bullion to rescue them. the coffers of the nation.

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In fact, in France gold sales are taxed. Before he runs off to the local numismatist, let him know that he will pay a flat 10.5% tax if he gets rid of his great-grandmother's napoleons. “Before January 2014, it was 8%, but taxes continue to increase,” Laurence sighs. The capital gains tax reaches 34.5%. There is a total exemption from 22 years of detention. But who can justify the date of acquisition of the famous Louis d'Or from the grandmother?

As for Jean-Marie Le Pen, it is not certain that his famous taxes will not end up affecting him. His little treasure could cost him dearly.

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