About Perth Mint Bullion Blog

This blog discusses The Perth Mint's bullion coins and bars, providing information about our latest designs, mintages, sales volumes and sell outs. On a broader front, we share relevant research and opinions for anyone interested in gold and silver bullion investing.

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Where is it safe to store my precious metal investments?

Topics [ depository gold investment depository online ]

Do you want to invest in physical precious metal without the security risk of storing it at home?

The historic Perth Mint's depository was created in the 1990s to enable clients to invest in gold and silver without the need to take physical delivery.

Uniquely, our depository offers the only government guaranteed investment and storage program in the world, and uses the most extensive central bank grade vaulting facilities in the Southern Hemisphere.

Today, our depository has more than 30,000 clients worldwide. Last year alone, the value of precious metals on deposit at The Perth Mint increased from $2.69 billion to $3.11 billion.

For depository clients who would like to be able to react quickly 24 hours a day to the dynamic precious metals markets, you can buy and sell gold and silver through our easy to use and secure online trading platform, Perth Mint Depository Online.



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Understanding the benefits of Allocated, Pool Allocated and Unallocated precious metals storage

Topics [ depository services depository depository online ]

A global leader in precious metals, The Perth Mint offers the highest quality gold, silver and platinum products for investors.

A popular way of acquiring these precious metals is through our depository service which enables investors to easily buy bullion and have it safely stored in the Mint's high-security vaults in Australia, all covered by a guarantee from the Government of Western Australia.

Depository accounts include the established Depository Program (PMDP), and the increasingly popular Depository Online (PMDO), a secure online trading platform particularly suitable for investors who want to be able to react quickly 24 hours a day to the dynamic precious metals markets.

Bullion purchased through either of these account types can be stored in a choice of Allocated, Pool Allocated or Unallocated format. Each type has specific benefits, which are important to understand before proceeding with your first order.

Allocated

Applicable to gold and silver, Allocated means you purchase our physical bullion products which we segregate in our high-security vaulting facilities under your name.

As the outright owner of an Allocated holding, you pay for the precious metal and also fabrication costs for making it into the finished product of your choice. Currently, we offer PMDO clients the option of seven gold bars ranging from 1oz to 400oz, as well as 1 kilo, 100oz and 1,000oz silver bars.

 

As the custodian of Allocated metal, we charge a fee for keeping it safe and secure in our vault. However, the advantage of this type of storage is your metal is readily available for inspection, pick-up or delivery - an important consideration for some clients.

Pool Allocated

For Pool Allocated storage (silver only) we set aside numbered 1,000oz silver bars into a segregated pool which backs the amount of silver we owe to customers choosing this option.

Clients each own a share of this pool of bars, rather than specific bars as with Allocated. (A list of numbered bars providing physical backing for Pool Allocated is available here.)

One of the chief benefits of pooling silver bars is that customers pay reduced fabrication and storage fees. If required, however, they may pay the balance of the fabrication charge to convert their holdings into finished bullion products for collection or for storage at the Mint as Allocated.

Unallocated

Currently available for both gold and platinum, Unallocated is the most popular option among our depository clients because there are no ongoing storage fees. Unfortunately, the unique way in which we operate this option is sometimes misunderstood.

You can think of Unallocated metal as the Mint’s working inventory. Clients choosing the Unallocated option are therefore buying into the pool of working metal which we use to facilitate our day-to-day operations.

The ounces held in each client’s account are completely unaffected if we use the actual metal backing Unallocated. That’s because the metal is used on a ‘fungible’ basis – meaning it is immediately replaced in the inventory by exactly the same amount as we take out. Accordingly, every Unallocated ounce is 100% backed by physical metal.

This arrangement provides benefits to both parties. The huge upside for clients is that there are no storage or fabrication fees. Another benefit is that you can sell as many ounces as you require, rather than a whole bar as with Allocated.

Once again, you can convert your Unallocated holding to Allocated products for collection or segregated storage in our vaults whenever you require.

Trusted worldwide

The Perth Mint has operated its depository service since the 1990s. We now manage more than $3 billion worth of investors’ metal on behalf of around 30,000 clients from over 100 countries.

We are subject to rigorous corporate governance and control, including an annual audit of our operations which is undertaken by a major accounting firm on behalf of the State Auditor General (see Annual Reports).

In terms of reassurances, however, nothing provides greater peace of mind to our clients than the fact that we operate the only government guaranteed precious metal storage program in the world. So when it comes to keeping your precious metal assets safe and secure, there is no better choice of services than those offered by the world-renowned Perth Mint.Save


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Introducing Perth Mint Depository Online – the safest precious metals storage option available today

Topics [ buy gold online buy silver online depository depository online ]

The Perth Mint depository was created in the 1990s to enable clients to invest in precious metals without the need to take physical delivery.

Our depository now has more than 30,000 clients worldwide. Last year alone, the value of precious metals on deposit at The Perth Mint increased from $2.69 billion to $3.11 billion.

Now we’re successfully broadening the depository’s appeal further by transforming its profile through online trading facilities, an emphasis on reduced transaction costs, and 24-hour trading.

A global leader in precious metals

The Perth Mint is a world-leading fully integrated precious metals business. Founded in 1899 and wholly-owned by the government of Western Australia, our reputation is built on more than a century of refining and minting excellence.

As the operator of Australia’s only gold and silver refinery accredited by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), our clients are assured of the stated weight, purity, and integrity of our gold, silver and platinum products.

During the past 30 years, we’ve made almost 51 million bullion and numismatic coins, which have the reputation for being among the highest quality coins in the world. In the process we’ve added value to nearly 270 tonnes of gold and more than 3,000 tonnes of silver.

Uniquely, our depository offers the only government guaranteed investment and storage program in the world, and uses the most extensive central bank grade vaulting facilities in the Southern Hemisphere.

These world class facilities provide multiple storage services, including the established Perth Mint Depository Program (PMDP), and our fastest growing choice for new clients, The Perth Mint Depository Online (PMDO).

 

Benefits of Depository Online

The PMDO is a secure online trading platform which allows you to manage your own precious metal investment account via the web. Extremely simple to use, it’s nevertheless a sophisticated trading tool providing a wealth of user benefits, especially for investors who want to be able to react immediately to the dynamic precious metals markets:

Flexible and convenient

A PMDO account enables investors to trade online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether you’re buying or selling, you can transact with live pricing (updated every 15 seconds) whenever it’s personally convenient – or whenever an advantageous opportunity arises in the market.

Automated order execution

For clients who wish to trade bullion at a target price, it’s easy to arrange an automated order execution. The system monitors international precious metal markets 24 hours a day and instantly completes the trade when your pre-programed metal price is reached.

Low minimum order value

With PMDO, you can acquire as little as $50 and up to $50 million worth of precious metal in a single order.

Competitive pricing

Our inexpensive transaction fees range from 1% to as low as 0.20% depending on the size of your trade. As a result of our wide and deep connections into the professional precious metal markets, you can also be assured of highly competitive buy/sell spreads.

Different storage types

You can purchase precious metal in Allocated, Pool Allocated, or Unallocated storage types. Essentially, these options relate to how we store your metal. Each one has specific benefits, depending upon your needs. In the next article we’ll be examining each of these storage types in more detail, revealing which one is the most popular and how it’s possible for you to own precious metal with zero storage fees!

Open an account now

Already, PMDO is proving popular with individual investors and self-managed superannuation funds.

To establish your account, click Open Online Account to enter your personal details and upload your identity documents. We’ll inform you shortly afterwards that your account has been verified – a good time to transfer funds into your PMDO cash account in readiness to start building your precious metal portfolio.

Easy to operate, available 24 hours per day, totally secure and providing complete account privacy, it’s the safest precious metals storage option available today!



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The Perth Mint provides unique reassurances for precious metals storage clients

Topics [ buy gold online buy silver online depository depository online ]

The Perth Mint has been storing precious metals for domestic and overseas customers since the 1980s. As the number of customers expanded, we formalised this activity into the Perth Mint depository division during the mid-1990s.

Our business mission is to provide one of the world's safest locations for precious metal storage for those that wish to own, but not take delivery of gold, silver and platinum – thereby removing their security concerns. 

With more than $3 billion worth of investors’ metal now under management, our depository’s success in this area means it has been chosen by around 30,000 clients from over 100 countries to keep their precious metal assets safe and secure.

 

Among the reasons why so many have invested their confidence in our depository is The Perth Mint’s preeminent position in the precious metal industry.

A global leader in precious metals

The Perth Mint is a world-leading fully integrated precious metals business. With our reputation built on more than a century of refining and minting excellence, the mark of The Perth Mint stands as an irrefutable seal of quality and assurance.

As the operator of Australia’s only gold and silver refinery accredited by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), we refine almost all of the gold recovered at Australian mine sites, as well as producing a substantial amount of refined silver.

In addition to producing benchmark good delivery bars and a wide range of retail investment bars, we’ve made almost 51 million bullion and numismatic coins over the past 30 years, which have a reputation for quality second to none.

We are Western Australia’s seventh largest exporter and a financially healthy organisation with an annual turnover of more than $9 billion.

Exceptional security

As a working refinery and mint, we directly operate a number of vaults. Our vaults are Category 11 and meet AUS/NZ Standards 3809, each with specifications that have been vetted by our underwriters.

Sites are monitored and recorded 24-hours per day with recordings retained. Access to and within our facilities are controlled electronically from a Class 1 Security Control Room. Our specialist Security Officers constantly monitor for external threats, and work closely with the Gold Stealing Detection Unit at the West Australian Police Service.

Additionally, our risk management team ensures compliance with an impressive level of procedural security for receiving, releasing and accounting for precious metal.

Unique government guarantee

The Perth Mint is wholly owned by the government of Western Australia, Australia’s largest resource-rich state. To manage the Mint on a commercial basis, it created Gold Corporation under a Western Australian Act of Parliament in 1987. As a specific comfort for individuals dealing with the Mint, especially those with precious metal on deposit, a government guarantee was included in the Gold Corporation Act, which is enshrined within Section 22:

“The payment of the cash equivalent of gold due, payable and deliverable by Gold Corporation, the Mint or GoldCorp under this Act and all moneys due and payable by Gold Corporation ...  is guaranteed by the Treasurer, in the name and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State."

It includes the explanation that a "reference in this Act to gold shall be construed as including a reference to silver, other precious metals…” so you can be completely confident that the government guarantee covers all of your precious metal holdings in The Perth Mint's depository facility.

Providing an exceptional level reassurance for all clients, our government guarantee is unique in this sector.

Other important considerations

When making your decision where to store precious metals, the benefits of choosing The Perth Mint also include our:

Focus on the customer

At the heart of the Mint’s ethos lies the desire to delight our customers. As a result, we are strongly committed to customer service, resourcing an in-house call centre operated by specialist personnel, as well as online help and support facilities. We have a formal Complaints Policy embodying our commitment to the efficient and fair resolution of complaints in a speedy and courteous manner. And to further demonstrate our openness and accountability, we have an active presence on popular social media platforms where we publicly answer questions and provide further information in a timely fashion.

Location

In an environment of increasing global, financial and corporate risk, holding precious metal in Perth is a sensible choice because of its geographical isolation and stable political and economic environment.

Corporate governance

As a government-owned institution, we are subject to rigorous corporate governance and control, including the presence of a government representative on the board of Gold Corporation, and an annual audit undertaken by a major accounting firm on behalf of the State Auditor General, an appointment of the Western Australian Governor.

Multiple storage options

The world class facilities of our depository provides multiple storage options, including the Depository Program, and most recently our Depository Online web trading portal, which is designed for investors who want to be able to react quickly 24-hours a day to the dynamic precious metals markets.

Fully-backed client holdings

And finally, it’s important to note that we buy precious metal when you buy from us and sell when you sell to us on a 1:1 basis. This ensures that all metal held on your behalf is 100% backed. Allocated precious metal holders are eligible to inspect or collect their precious metal, while Unallocated and Pool allocated holders may rely on the Mint's audited Annual Reports.



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INTERVIEW Bron Suchecki Discusses The Current Drop In Demand For Gold

Topics [ depository gold investment gold prices ]

DEPOSITORY

With sentiment towards gold exceptionally low right now, the Korelin Economics Report asked Bron Suchecki, Manager Analysis & Strategy, for his assessment of what’s happening.

Bron tells Al Korelin that "crisis fatigue" has a lot to do with current negativity. The emergency in Ukraine and continuing economic weakness have failed to induce ‘buy and hold’ type investors to load up with more gold. At the same time, such 'fear' factors are failing to persuade new money that the time is right to get into precious metal. And with a steady stream of more speculative buyers liquidating their holdings, the market has become "stagnant".

Click here to listen to Bron's assessment.

However, a more positive story is now developing in China.

Click here for the latest signs coming from China.



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Don’t Mistake Perth Mint Certificates For Paper Gold

Topics [ unallocated depository allocated store bullion store gold ]

DEPOSITORY SERVICES

I have a friend I’ve known ever since I first started in the gold business in 1994. I’m quite fond of him and he is ever willing to tell me what he thinks about the gold market.

He does tend to be a bit opinionated at times, which is generally not a problem, except that he often gets his facts wrong and doesn’t like it when I correct him. He also has a penchant for conspiracy theories and can tend to be a bit irrational, but he is always entertaining. You may wonder why I bother associating with him.

Well, you may be surprised to know that you are friendly with him as well.

His name is Mister Internet.

Paper gold is one of Mr. Internet’s favourite topics. I made the mistake of asking him about it the other day:

“Oh you don’t want anything to do with paper gold. Don’t you know, all the bullion banks are leveraged 100:1 and the fractional backed system is going to default and crash any day, so you should only hold allocated. But wait, I did hear some stories of unnamed people who have had unnamed banks refuse or delay giving them their allocated, so maybe that is not safe either? I suppose they are right when they say ‘if you don’t hold it, you don’t own it’. But then you have to worry about it getting stolen, especially if you have more than just a few ounces. In that case …”

I had to cut Mr. Internet off there, as he starting rambling on about “midnight gardening”, and putting a metal pipe above your buried “stash” in your backyard to confuse metal detectors, and using decoy safes and so on.

It’s enough to make any Perth Mint Certificate holder question their decision to hold precious metal with the Perth Mint.

I understand where Mr. Internet is coming from. Banks appear to be involved in scandals on a regular basis and MF Global made people question the idea that client funds can’t be touched. It all resulted in a loss of trust.

And if you are not comfortable with the risks of personally storing gold and silver (and nothing is free of risk), then it very much comes down to a question of trusting the person holding your precious metal.

But there is a big difference between paper gold accounts with a bank and a Perth Mint Certificate, which just happens to be made out of paper.

Mr. Internet is right about banks operating fractional reserve precious metal accounts, even if his figures are wrong. Jeffery Christian of consultancy CPM Group confirms that bullion banks loan up to 10 times as much metal as they have on deposit (with AIG going as far as 40 times).

This should come as no surprise - they are banks after all - and lending out your deposit is what banks do. No one expects a normal bank to have a vault full of dollar bills backing their deposit liabilities one for one. Neither do bullion banks.

"The Perth Mint, however, is not a bank.
We do back our deposit liabilities one for one
with real gold and silver."

The Perth Mint, however, is not a bank. We do back our deposit liabilities one for one with real gold and silver. We don’t lend client metal, we don’t speculate on the price, and we don’t get involved in risky derivative transactions. We are a simple refinery and mint business, turning mined gold and silver into bars and coins for investors.

Even though the Perth Mint isn’t involved in banking activities, Mr. Internet has on occasion accused us of not backing our unallocated accounts, saying that we just take people’s money and don’t buy any gold. My appeals to our internal and external audits, plus oversight by the Auditor General of Western Australia and the Treasury department of Government (additional supervision no public company is subject to), often don’t assuage his fears.

In that case I ask Mr. Internet to think it through logically. To refine, mint and ship $13 billion of gold around the world each year we need a lot of metal in our refinery, factory and vaults. Without gold we can’t make anything – we don’t have a business. We don’t care for dollars, we need gold. So there is no incentive for us to keep investors’ money and not buy gold: the more gold we have the more coins we can make. The fact is we have every incentive to NOT hold dollars.

We are more than happy to sell our bars and coins to those who feel better holding it themselves, and that is our main line of business. But we created the Perth Mint Certificate Program for those who wanted the option of a safe offshore storage facility.

We take that responsibility quite seriously. Whether you hold unallocated, pool allocated, or allocated, you can be sure that while your Perth Mint Certificates may be made out of high quality security paper, they certainly aren’t “paper gold”.

P.S. – Mr. Internet is a plagiarism of Benjamin Graham’s (the father of value investing) Mr. Market – “a fellow who turns up every day at the stock holder's door offering to buy or sell his shares at a different price. Usually, the price quoted by Mr. Market seems plausible, but occasionally it is ridiculous.” (Apologies to Mr. Graham for my poor copy of his allegory).



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