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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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Optimism high for 2019 gold price recovery

Topics [ gold investing gold bullion coins Year of the Pig ]

Goldman Sachs is leading “a pack of bullish voices cheering for gold”, according a report by Bloomberg news agency.

Analysts at the bank have raised their forecast for gold, which they expected to climb to US$1,425 an ounce by the end of 2019, it said.

The Perth Mint Treasury backed the notion that continued uncertainty in financial markets offered the potential for gold to once again shine.

Factors contributing to uncertainty include Britain’s attempt to leave the European Union (Brexit) and US-China trade conflict.

Current equity market volatility coupled with an inverted yield curve (where yields on longer-maturity bonds tend to fall and those on shorter-term securities rise) may be reflecting the market’s expectations for weaker economic activity or perhaps even a recession, they said.

Such scenarios would be potentially negative for the US dollar, which would be possibly positive for gold as it tends to be inversely correlated with the American currency.

Meanwhile central banks, traditionally important drivers of the gold price, are “aggressively adding gold to their foreign exchange reserves”, leading Indian news website Business Standard reported, quoting data supplied by the World Gold Council.

The Reserve Bank of India had added nearly 40 tonnes to its reserves in a little less than year, it said.

In a separate report, Bloomberg quoted figures from the People’s Bank of China website showing the central bank of the world’s largest gold producer and consumer recently boosted its holding by 10 tonnes to 1,853 tonnes.

Traders at The Perth Mint said they expected to see a lift in Chinese retail buying ahead of Lunar New Year, which this year will be celebrated on 5 February.

The 2019 Australian Lunar Gold Bullion Coin Series marks the Year of the Pig which starts on 5 February.

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Monthly Sales – December 2018

Total ounces of gold and silver sold by The Perth Mint in December 2018 as coins and minted bars:

  - Gold (Au): 29,186 oz

  - Silver (Ag): 692,971 oz

NB This chart shows total monthly ounces of gold and silver shipped as minted products by The Perth Mint to wholesale and retail customers worldwide. It excludes sales of cast bars and other Group activities including sales of allocated/unallocated precious metal for storage by the Depository.

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Koala climbs high in bullion coin ranks

In 2019, the Australian Koala silver bullion series portrays a fresh new representation of a koala sitting on a tree branch.

No more than 300,000 1oz coins will be issued featuring a shiny design on a frosted background.

A fully frosted 1 kilo version will also be released with a time limited production run ending at the end of the year.

This year’s Koala coins include a security feature in the form of a micro-laser engraved letter within the AUSTRALIAN KOALA inscription.

They are also the first in the Koala series to bear the new Jody Clark effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

The Koala story

The Australian Koala is a popular silver bullion coin series issued annually by Australia’s specialist precious metals mint, The Perth Mint.

The Koala was introduced in 2007 to provide investors with a companion to the long-running Kookaburra, Australia’s first silver bullion coin series to feature annual representations of famous native animals.

Between 2007 and 2017, sales of Australian Koala bullion coins accounted for more than 15,770,726oz of silver refined by The Perth Mint to a purity of 999 parts per 1,000.

Along with its Kookaburra stablemate, the Koala is now struck from 99.99% pure silver. Both highly emblematic series are seen as superb examples of high quality precious metal minting.

Previous annual designs from the Australian Koala Silver Bullion Coin Series.

Regarded by many investors as an effective store of wealth, Australian Koala silver bullion coins are also acclaimed for their attractive designs of one of Australia’s most treasured animals.

Koalas are marsupials, a group of pouched mammals strongly associated with the Australian bush. Together with kangaroos and wombats, koalas are among the best known of Australia’s 200-plus species of marsupials.

With an ancestry known to date back 25 million years, koalas eat a highly specialised diet of leaves from certain Australian eucalypt (gum) trees. These trees also provide them with a safe haven from ground predators such as dingos.

Today, koalas face several threats to their survival, particularly the loss of habitat as a result of land clearance. A significant number of refuges, zoos and wildlife parks provide sanctuaries for koalas, many of which offer the chance for close human interaction.

Buy now

2019 Australian Koala silver bullion coins are available from The Perth Mint’s Bullion Trading Desk in East Perth, via the BullionLine on 1300 201 112 or +61 8 9421 7218, and www.perthmintbullion.com.

Investors can also check availability of these releases with leading bullion distributors.

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Mother and Baby Koala grace first 10oz piedfort from The Perth Mint

Topics [ silver bullion coins ]

This magnificent release is The Perth Mint’s first 10oz silver bullion piedfort – a coin style that takes its name from French words meaning ‘heavy weight’.

Based on our earlier Mother and Baby 2oz silver bullion piedfort, the new 10oz version has a diameter of 65.60mm with an extra thickness of 13.50mm.

According to Neil Vance, Group Manager – Minted Products, the original coin ignited significant interest in the concept of piedfort silver bullion coins.

The reaction was pleasing and justified our opinion that investors are always keen to discover new and innovative silver bullion coins,” he said.

We’re delighted to be working with Dillon Gage Metals again to launch this spectacular 10oz follow-up. With its attractive animal design and the fact that it represents another first for Australia on the world coin market, we’re confident it will prove equally popular with investors,” he added

Struck from 99.99% pure silver, the Mother and Baby 2018 10oz Silver Bullion Piedfort Coin has a maximum mintage of just 1,500.

The coin’s reverse portrays a koala, one of Australia’s favourite native animals, with a baby (joey) clinging to her back.

Issued as Australian legal tender, the coin portrays the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

A limited number are now available from perthmintbullion.com, or by contacting our Customer Services team on 1300 201 112 / bullion@perthmint.com. Alternatively, buyers can call in at our Bullion Trading Desk in East Perth.

International distribution is being handled by wholesaler Dillon Gage Metals.

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Piedfort bullion coin marks 100th anniversary of the Armistice 1918

Topics [ silver bullion coins ]

This Australian silver bullion coin for investors bears a design commemorating the 100th anniversary of one of the most significant events of the 20th century.

After more than four years of bloodshed during which Australia alone lost more than 60,000 troops, World War I finally came to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 November 1918.

Symbolising the relief felt throughout the world, the coin depicts a dove which has for millennia symbolised peace.

The bird is holding another poignant symbol in its beak. Poppies were the first flowers to bloom in the devastated battlefields of Western Europe and soon became universally associated with the act of remembrance.

Restricted to mintage of just 10,000, the coin is struck by The Perth Mint from 2oz of 99.99% pure silver in the extra thick piedfort format.

In order to secure this extremely limited opportunity, buyers in Australia are invited to place orders at perthmintbullion.com, visit our Bullion Trading Room at 310 Hay Street in East Perth, or contact Customer Services on 1300 201 112.

Overseas buyers should contact our Hong Kong distributor LPM Group Limited.

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What drives platinum?

Topics [ Australian Kangaroo platinum bullion coin ]

With our Australian Kangaroo 1oz pure platinum coin available from today, we look at the history and drivers of the ‘third’ investment metal.

Compared to gold, the amount of platinum mined throughout history is minuscule. Much rarer than gold, it’s estimated the entire stock would fit inside the average living room.

Platinum was worked by pre-Columbian Americans to produce artefacts of a white gold-platinum alloy. Because it proved difficult to separate from gold nuggets, the conquistadors are said to have considered it a nuisance!

We know it today as a derivation of the Spanish term platina, which literally translates as "little silver".

Offering investors the chance to acquire 99.95% pure platinum, The Perth Mint has released its 1oz Australian Kangaroo Platinum Bullion Coin for 2019.

When platinum reached Europe in the 18th century it was hailed as the eighth known metal - after gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, iron and mercury.

Scientific study went on to list it as an element – one of the basic chemical building blocks of matter. It is one of the so-called ‘transition’ metals (others being gold, silver, copper and titanium) because it bonds easily with other elements.

Denser and heavier than both gold and silver, platinum is extremely malleable (easy to shape) and ductile (stretchable). Under normal conditions, it’s also immune to corrosion.

Today, platinum is useful in a range of industrial, scientific and medical applications. Chief among these is its role in automotive exhaust emission control devices called catalytic converters. Platinum is particularly effective at converting harmful emissions such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons into water vapour and gases less damaging to the environment and human health.

Accordingly, around 40% of global platinum demand has been used in auto catalysts over the past five years. Meanwhile, jewellery accounts for the second largest slice - nearly 30%. Strongly associated with love, it enjoys particular esteem among buyers of engagement and wedding rings.

Historically, the price of platinum has tended to trade higher than gold. During the past decade, however, this situation has been reversed. As a measure of how many ounces of platinum you can buy with an ounce of gold, the current gold-to-platinum ratio is around 1.4.

Will platinum revert to its traditional premium over gold? Conventional wisdom suggests this should occur during periods of sustained economic stability and growth. For those who keep an eye on the price of platinum, declining supply from South Africa, which accounts for about 70% of the world's production, is another critical factor.

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