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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Small bars big news for those seeking affordable gold

Topics [ gold bullion bars bullion bars ]

We are pleased to announce 1/2oz cast bars made from 99.99% pure gold have been reintroduced for sale by The Perth Mint.

The choice of many investors as a result of their low sales premium, cast bars currently come in eight sizes ranging from 1/2oz to 50oz.

 

Offering a particularly attractive price point for many buyers, the button sized 1/2oz bullion bar features the Mint’s swan logo – our London Bullion Market Association accredited stamp. The back of the bar is engraved with its purity and weight.

Registered clients can purchase Perth Mint cast bars from our bullion website - www.perthmintbullion.com. We also welcome walk-in customers at our Shop located at 310 Hay Street, East Perth, and callers on 1300 201 112 or +61 8 9421 7218.



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Kangaroo Minted Gold Bars For Investors In New Cards

Topics [ gold bullion minted bars gold bars invest in gold gold bullion bars ]

BULLION BARS AND COINS

 

The roll-out of Kangaroo Minted Gold Bars in stylish new packaging is progressing quickly.

These popular bars are struck from 99.99% pure gold with The Perth Mint’s LBMA registered mark on the front and kangaroo-shaped motifs on the back.

Available in eight sizes, from 1 gram up to 10oz, they’re housed in tamper-evident packaging which shows the word VOID around the edge of the blister if the card has been prized opened.

As this clip shows, the new version of the card is charcoal-coloured with a dark, watermark-like image of the Mint’s stylised swan logo.



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How Is Gold Produced?

Topics [ gold investing buy gold coins gold coins gold bullion bullion coins gold gold bullion coins gold bullion bars buy gold ]

PRECIOUS METAL SERIES – 7

The days when miners could dig or pan for nuggets of gold are largely gone. Today, gold is generally extracted from the Earth’s crust as microscopic particles. 

Estimates put the amount of gold in the Earth’s crust at just 11 parts per billion! To recover a single ounce of gold, many tonnes of material must therefore be blasted and processed.

Gold mines sell unrefined gold in the form of doré bars. Australian doré bars are usually composed of between 70-80% gold and 10-15% silver. The lion’s share of these rough bars are processed into fine gold at The Perth Mint, which operates the largest LBMA-accredited gold refinery in the Southern Hemisphere.

Each doré bar first goes through a chlorine refining process, also known as the Miller Process. Originally conceived by Francis Bowyer Miller in Sydney during the 1860s, the Miller Process involves bubbling chlorine gas through molten doré gold so that silver (and most other metals) react with the chlorine to form silver chloride as slag on the top. The resulting gold is 99.5% pure and typically it’s cast into bars weighing about 400oz for use in wholesale markets.

The Wohlwill process is used to increase purity further. A casting of 99.5% pure gold is lowered into a bath of hydrochloric acid and then has an electric current passed through it. Acting as an anode in this electrolytic refining process, the casting dissolves and then deposits on a cathode with a purity of 99.99%.

The resulting cathodes are melted, granulated and then the granules are used to measure out exact weights of gold for casting into bar sizes from 1oz up to 50oz for retail investors.

How Is Gold Produced?


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How Much Gold Is Enough?

Topics [ gold investing investment gold investment invest in bullion gold bars gold bullion bars buy gold bullion bars ]

PRECIOUS METAL SERIES – 6

If you’re persuaded by the argument that it’s important to diversify your investment portfolio with gold as an insurance against global gloom-and-doom scenarios, you need to consider how much gold is enough.

Roughly two years after the price of gold had declined from its all-time high in 2011, Professor of Economics at Harvard University, Greg Mankiw, concluded that it still made sense to hold a “small sliver” of gold in his portfolio. About 2 percent, he said.

In response, financial advisor, author and advisory board member Joshua M Brown argued that amount was nowhere near enough.  “It’s not ever going to have a large enough impact on a portfolio to matter,” he stated. But in advocating 25 – 50 percent of total assets, was he going over-the-top?

How Much Gold Is Enough?

The World Gold Council (albeit an industry body) is well respected for its research and analysis. Its suggestion falls into line with the many more moderate recommendations we’ve seen. Having crunched some relevant numbers, it states that “modest allocations to gold of 2 – 10 percent can protect and enhance the performance of an investment portfolio. A 5 – 6 percent allocation is optimal for investors with a well-balanced 60/40 portfolio.”

While warning that 20 percent is way too much, former hedge fund manager and now popular US financial commentator Jim Cramer also favours 10 percent as an upper limit. “I consider gold as an insurance policy and no worthwhile insurance policy should be 20 percent of the money you have invested," he said recently.

Ultimately, of course, it’s down to you, but take time to research the topic before deciding your personal ‘allocation to gold’.



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Who Buys Precious Metal?

Topics [ buy gold coins gold coins buy platinum gold bullion gold bars bullion coins gold gold bullion coins gold bullion bars bullion buy silver buy gold bullion bars buy silver coins ]

PRECIOUS METAL SERIES - 3

In the Western world, gold was once almost exclusively the domain of royalty, the super-rich, professional traders and a group of ‘gold bugs’ - mavericks who for one reason or another distrusted the use of paper currency.

Two decades ago, few ‘ordinary’ people perceived much reason to invest in gold. In truth, they probably didn’t even know how to go about buying it.

But things have changed.

For many, the Global Financial Crisis was a game-changer. Generally unforeseen by economists, it threatened the collapse of large financial institutions, sent assets tumbling and rocked investor confidence.

In the midst of the turmoil, people from all walks of life came to appreciate the traditional view of gold as a ‘safe haven’ in times of crisis. As prices rose, even ‘mum and dad’ investors took the plunge – and if not with gold, then with silver, which can provide many of the same benefits associated with the yellow metal.

While it is not yet fair to say gold has gone ‘mainstream’, the average man on the street is now much better informed about gold ownership and the conviction that it is a valuable component of a ‘balanced’ investment portfolio.

Today, interest in gold coins and bars remains elevated in comparison to pre-GFC times. But here’s a thing – the attitude towards gold in the West still pales in comparison to the obsession for gold in Eastern cultures!



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INTERVIEW: Perth Mint Prepares For New Product Launch

Topics [ 2014 Year of the Horse silver bullion coins Australian Lunar Australian Kookaburra gold bullion bars ]

IN THE NEWS

Debbie Carlson of Kitco News spoke to Perth Mint Sales & Marketing Director Ron Currie at the ANA's World's Fair of Money currently on in Chicago. Read her report:

Perth Mint will launch new products in September, including a new edition in its Lunar bullion coin series, a director there said on Thursday.

Ron Currie, Perth Mint sales and marketing director, said the mint is gearing up for the Sept. 1 launch of the Lunar horse, which is a limited edition bullion coin in both gold and silver. Last year’s Lunar snake sold out “in a matter of days,” he said.

Additionally, a new silver Australian Kookaburra silver coin will be released, he said, in a limited run of 500,000, and those have sold out for the past six or seven years.

The Perth Mint ends its fiscal year in July, and gold bullion sales for the month were nearly 10,000 ounces over June’s sales, at 56,488.25. July’s silver bullion sales were also above June’s figures, at 697,247.39 ounces. Sales were up 66% and 54% over July 2012 for gold and silver, respectively. Although he did not have full-year sales on hand, he said this year’s sales likely matched last year’s volume.

The Perth Mint saw a surge in April sales after the $200-an-ounce price fall, with gold bullion sales reaching 111,505.06 ounces and silver sales of 1.1 million ounces. Volumes tapered from those lofty levels, but remained elevated. Currie said the sales volume was surprising.

“I thought when the price fell that sales would slow down. But they held up. Our products have a numismatic value as well because of limited mintages. But we’re very pleased with sales,” he said.

On the bullion side, the one-ounce kangaroo remains the most popular coin. They’ve also seen a rise in demand for 50-ounce and 100-ounce silver coins and one-kilo silver bars, he said.


Courtesy of American Numismatic Association

The Perth Mint continues to operate at full capacity and the activity at the mint has been exacerbated by the minting of the new limited edition bullion coins for the September launch, he said. “We’re trying to stock up,” he said.

The Perth Mint has its own refinery, so it hasn’t been affected by any supply shortages. Currie wondered how much of an issue that is, anyway.

“We feel there are a lot of people who talk about short supplies to boost up sales, but frankly we have plenty of supply,” he said.

Currie said demand on the both the bullion and numismatic side is firm, rather than favoring one type or another. “Luckily we have the flexibility in different markets to” respond to changes in trends, he said, noting they do a great deal of business in the U.S. and Europe.

Australian interest rates have fallen recently as the Reserve Bank of Australia has lowered key lending rates. Demand from Australian citizens may have increased, he said, but while interest rates may be lower, prices for other goods and services are higher, offsetting the rate reduction.

The U.S. Federal Reserve, on the other hand, may soon start to wind down its stimulus program, and there are concerns that this might start to pinch gold demand. Currie said that’s more of a short-term issue with gold.

“I don’t think short-term issues are really what people are worried about. It’s the longer term issues people are worried about,” he said.

This article originally appeared on Kitco News. Please note the 2014 Australian Lunar and Australian Kookaburra coin series will be available from 2 September 2013.



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