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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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 ]


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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Platinum Rebounds

Topics [ platinum bullion coin buy platinum ]


The Perth Mint introduced the pure platinum Australian Koala bullion coin series in 1988 when bars and coins represented 17% of world platinum demand. The withdrawal of the program in 2001 reflected declining interest in platinum coins and bars, which subsequently slumped to account for less than 2% of annual demand.

But investor interest in platinum is rebounding. Prices have risen strongly on the back of industrial, autocatalyst and jewellery applications. According to a chart published by Johnson Matthey, investors last year were responsible for 8% of annual demand.

   Chart courtesy of Johnson Matthey.

With The Perth Mint on the verge of re-entering the platinum bullion coin market, here’s our 30- second history guide to the rarest of all precious metals:

• pre-Columbian South American Indians used platinum for decorative purposes.

• the first European reference to platinum appeared in 1557 in the writings of the Italian scholar and physician Julius Caesar Scaliger as a description of a mysterious metal found in Central America.

• the name platinum is derived from the Spanish term "platina del Pinto", which literally translates into "little silver of the Pinto River”.

• because of its extremely high melting point, 18th century French glass workers used platinum to make crucibles.

• English chemist William Hyde Wollaston developed a way to process platinum ore into pure malleable form at the beginning of the 19th century.

• compared to gold and silver, platinum exists in very small amounts – about 0.005 parts-per-million in the Earth's crust.

• by far the largest producer of platinum is South Africa. The second largest producer is Russia.

• it requires 10 tonnes of ore to produce just 1oz of platinum.

• all the platinum ever mined would fit in the average living room.

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