The Nielsen Book Gold and Platinum Awards were originally launched in September 2001, and were presented to publishers and authors of books that achieved outstanding sales through the UK retail book trade. Any one title, in all its print editions, that had sold more than 500,000 copies (Gold) or 1,000,000 copies (Platinum) over a period of five consecutive years qualified for a Nielsen Book Gold & Platinum Award.
In 2017, the Awards were re-launched with new criteria. Both print and e-book sales are now counted and all sales from publication (or from when Nielsen BookScan UK TCM records began: January 1998 for print books and January 2014 for e-books), are included. The former Nielsen Book Gold and Platinum Awards are now called The Nielsen Bestseller Awards, in association with Coutts. Finally, the addition of Silver status in the 2017 Awards relaunch means that book and e-book sales of over 250,000 are also recognised.