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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New Coin Press Delivered Through The Roof!

Topics [ coin production ]


We took delivery of a new, specially-made Grabener 1,000 tonne coin press at The Perth Mint this week. A group of executives and fascinated staff watched nervously as the huge (and expensive) piece of equipment was craned high into the sky and down to the factory-floor through a temporary opening in the roof. When commissioning is complete, the new coin press will provide extra production capacity for our large silver coins, particularly the Mint’s popular 1 kilo Australian Kookaburra, Koala and Lunar releases.

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New ‘Pool Allocated’ Silver Storage To Replace Unallocated

Topics [ unallocated depository services store silver allocated silver bullion certificates ]


The Perth Mint is introducing a new product called Pool Allocated Silver for Depository and Certificate clients and making changes to Allocated storage fees.

The new product, which will be available from 1 May 2011, operates in a similar way to the current Unallocated silver storage option, which will be withdrawn on the same date. Pricing and other details for this and for Allocated storage fees  can be found at the end of this article.

With Unallocated silver storage, clients purchased an interest in a pool of silver used to support our refining and manufacturing businesses. We backed every investment by purchasing an equivalent amount of silver from the spot market.

The new Pool Allocated product will also be 100% backed, but by specific physical bars stored in The Perth Mint’s vaults. Clients will own a share of this pool of bars, although an individual’s holding will not relate to any specific bar.

Lists detailing the weights and numbers of these silver bars will be published daily, along with the total number of pooled bars held on behalf of clients on The Perth Mint corporate website.

We’re making the change from Unallocated to Pool Allocated because the amount of Unallocated silver we hold on behalf of clients now exceeds that required to support our business activities. We had targeted a certain amount of excess Unallocated “buffer stock” but rising insurance and other costs plus growing demand have accelerated our decision to close Unallocated.

One of the chief benefits of pooling silver bars is that it allows us to offer a low storage fee of 0.95% per annum. Pool Allocated clients will be able to convert their holdings into coins or bars for collection or to store with the Mint as Allocated.

From 1 May 2011, no new Unallocated silver accounts will be opened.  Existing Unallocated accounts will remain open and free of storage. However, clients will not be permitted to add to their unallocated balances and will only be able to sell or collect.

The Perth Mint cannot foresee reopening Unallocated silver for some time. This would only occur if we encountered significant and continued selling by existing Unallocated silver holders. We have primarily attracted buy-and-hold investors and we do not currently see, nor expect to see, any change in this regard.

At this stage Unallocated gold is not affected but it too will close at some point as gold demand also continues to be strong.

Revised Product Information Statements and Agreements will be available at http://www.perthmint.com.au/investment.aspx

Summary of pricing and other changes:

The fees below will apply to all clients, existing and new.

Trading Fees

Perth Mint Certificates are only sold through Approved Dealers, who each charge different trading fees. Clients should contact their Approved Dealer for their fees.

For direct Perth Mint Depository Program clients a 2% buy (entry) fee and 1% sell (exit) fee will apply to Australian & New Zealand clients with account balances under $50,000 AUD and International clients with accounts under $250,000 USD. No entry or exit fee applies to direct clients with account balances greater than those amounts.

Storage Fees – Allocated and Pool Allocated Holdings

Storage fees for both Allocated and Pool Allocated holdings will  be charged quarterly in advance, payable on 30 June and 31 December. There will be no refunds if selling during a quarter.

The percentage per annum rates below will apply based on the beginning of quarter market value of the metal. Existing Allocated clients have had fees based on their historical purchase value. As our insurance cost is based on current market value, this was no longer sustainable. However, in acknowledgement of the increase in metal prices our clients have enjoyed, we will reduce the percentage rates to reduce the impact.

• Allocated Gold - 1.00% (reduced from 1.5%)
• Allocated Silver - 1.90% (reduced from 2.5%)
• Allocated Platinum - 1.00% (reduced from 1.5%)
• Pool Allocated Silver - 0.95%
• Unallocated Gold – will remain free for new and existing clients
• Unallocated Silver – will remain free for existing clients only

For comparison, we note that the GLD ETFs charges 0.40% and Sprott’s Silver ETF 0.45%. We feel our Allocated gold at 1.00% and Pool Allocated Silver at 0.95% compare favourably with the ETFs when the Perth Mint’s Government Guarantee as well as the ability to take delivery in any of the Perth Mint’s coin and bar products are taken into consideration.

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Who's Buying Perth Mint Gold And Silver?

Topics [ gold coins silver bars gold bars silver coins ]


Ever wondered where Perth Mint bars and coins are in hottest demand? With about 350 tons of gold and 160 tons of silver produced annually by The Perth Mint refinery, Treasurer Nigel Moffatt reveals where it’s currently headed.

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Perth Mint Targets China For Growth

Topics [ gold market Australian Lunar silver market ]


The Perth Mint is aiming to become a leading supplier of bullion bars and coins to China.

The gold market there is booming and growth looks like it will be sustained as Chinese citizens grow in wealth.

Banking official Zhou Ming said recently that demand for physical gold and gold-related investments was growing at an "explosive" pace, adding that interest in silver was “voracious”.

And with Beijing actively promoting retail consumption by increasing the number of banks allowed to import bullion, there’s a golden opportunity for us to position Australia as one of the leading suppliers to this huge market.

We have a number of advantages in this respect. We’re already one of Western Australia’s leading exporters – more than 90% of revenues earned from the sale of our bars and coins in 2010 was from exports. Being in our time-zone, China is a natural target for us.

Importantly, there is already recognition of our brand there, particularly the Australian Lunar series, which celebrates an important Chinese theme. Next year’s Dragon coins, which mark the most auspicious animal in the lunar calendar, can undoubtedly play a leading role in our promotional campaign.

The timing of our strategy also coincides nicely with new production capacity at The Perth Mint, which is due to come on line within months.

I recently returned from Shanghai where we’ve just appointed a China representative, who will initially be based at the Western Australia Trade Office. We’ll shortly be coordinating the search for professional retail distribution through this new arm of the Mint.

It is still early days, but we are optimistic that this is going to be a highly-successful development which will further strengthen the Mint’s reputation and the desirability of our leading precious metal investments and collectables.

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What “The “World’s Best Gold Experts” Say

Topics [ gold prices silver prices ]


Precious metal investors could be excused for feeling warm and fuzzy when they read these opinions from “some of the smartest, most accomplished investors in the gold industry”. But there’s plenty of volatility in their reckonings: read The World’s Best Gold Experts: “Buy and Hold!”

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Answer To Customer Questions About Silver Lunar Series

Topics [ Year of the Mouse Year of the Ox Year of the Rabbit Year of the Tiger Australian Lunar silver coins ]


Sir, I was recently introduced to the Perth Mint 1oz. silver lunar coin series. I would like to collect the entire series but I am confused in that I have seen different images for the same year. Standing tiger, sitting tiger, one mouse, two mice, one ox, ox with calf. Is there a web page or web site where I can see the real, or official, image of all of the Perth 1oz. silver lunar series?
Also, I have seen here on the Perth Mint website that the 2008 mouse is listed at 45.15 US $. Is this price wholesale only or can I buy them at this price by calling the telephone number shown? Can I be alerted when each future mintage becomes available?
Thank you.
Brian Kuryn

In response to these questions, the following clarifications are for everyone who would like to start collecting Australian Lunar coins.

The original silver Series was introduced by The Perth Mint in 1999. Series I is complete and we do not make those coins any more.

As a result of the worldwide success of Series I, it was decided to introduce a second Lunar Series in 2008, commencing with new designs celebrating the Year of the Mouse. Subsequently we have issued Ox, Tiger and Rabbit coins. During the remainder of Series II we’ll be issuing coins celebrating the Years of Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

The first four designs from Series II celebrate the Years of the Mouse, Ox, Tiger and Rabbit.

For collectors, we offer extremely limited proof quality versions. Additionally, the Coloured Edition and Gilded Edition are popular collectables. These issues come in presentation packaging with numbered Certificates of Authenticity. (Check our numismatic website for details of all these annual releases).

For investors, we offer bullion quality versions in capsules. These coins are made in much larger quantities, enabling us to keep the sales premium to a minimum. Even though Lunar bullion coins are made for investors, we do acknowledge that they attract significant collector interest in many quarters.

1oz Lunar silver bullion coins have a maximum mintage of 300,000 each. Series II Ox, Tiger and Rabbit releases are sold out at the Mint, so you’d have to check with our distributors or explore the secondary market if you do not already own these designs.

In answer to the specific points raised above:

• Series II has completely different designs to Series I. Don’t forget that gold Lunar coins have different designs yet again!

• I have included ‘official’ images of the first four Series II silver bullion coins in this post. All remaining designs are submitted to Australian Treasury annually for approval and we are therefore unable to show these until much closer to their release dates.

• Prices on the bullion website are retail and are updated throughout the trading day to reflect changes in the spot value of silver.

• You can access the latest price for all 1oz silver bullion coins here.  The 2008 1oz silver Mouse is the same price as the 2011 1oz Kookaburra and Koala.

• The Australian Lunar Coin Series is issued annually each September. You can stay informed about forthcoming issues by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter when you ‘Register to Buy’ or simply use the ‘Subscribe to Email Newsletter’ form on our home page.

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