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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Gross, Fine, Actual & Nominal Weight Explained

Topics [ gold bars ]


Gold or silver items have many different weights depending on what is being measured and the purpose.

First, some terminology definitions:


total weight as registered by a scale


gross weight multiplied by purity


true, factual or real amount


deemed, defined or assumed amount

The above results in four weights:

Actual Gross

total real scale weight

Nominal Gross

Actual Gross rounded up/down

Actual Fine

Actual Gross multiplied by actual purity

Nominal Fine

Nominal Gross multiplied by nominal purity, or Actual Fine rounded up/down

Actual weights are mostly used in the manufacturing process whereas nominal weights are often used to standardise or simplify weights when selling/trading gold and silver coins and bars. The reason nominal is needed because manufacturing processes result in small variations - it is not possible (or often cost-effective) to produce exact weights as per the product specifications. If you weighed a coin or bar with a very precise scale you would find they all have slightly different weights (although all will be above the specified weight) resulting from normal variations in manufacturing.

For example, a 10oz gold bar, if weighed and assayed accurately may show an actual gross weight of 10.0003 and a purity of 99.9876%, giving an actual fine weight of 9.9990599628oz. Needless to say, if one operated this accurately for every bar it would make trading very complicated. As a result, a 10oz gold bar is given the following nominal weights:

    Gross - 10.000oz
    Purity - 99.99%
    Fine - 9.999oz


Another example of nominal weights is the London gold market specifications for good delivery bars. These have their gross weight rounded down to the nearest 0.025 of an ounce. The reported weight in bar lists is therefore a nominal gross weight, with the fine weight calculated from this and not the actual gross weight.

A common reaction to use of nominal weights is that it disadvantages one party to the trade. In the 10oz gold bar example, the customer is only paying for 9.999oz of gold and the seller loses as they have "given away" 0.0000599628 ounces. This is true, but note that when selling that bar later, the owner is only going to get 9.999oz and not 9.9990599628oz. The industry works on the basis that what one gives up one day, one will receive back another day. It is also worth noting that the "give aways" are also very small in dollar terms, although for a large net seller like The Perth Mint, they can add up and are a significant cost.

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Infographic: Global Gold Mine And Deposit Rankings 2013

Topics [ gold mining ]


Today’s infographic is from Natural Resource Holdings (via Visual Capitalist), which asks “Have we reached Peak Gold?”

Click to open


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2014 Australian Koala on Sale Today

Topics [ silver bullion coins Australian Koala ]


Coins from the 2014 Australian Koala Silver Bullion Coin Series are available from today.

Made from 1/2oz, 1oz, 10oz and 1 kilo of 99.9% pure silver, each coin portrays a koala with a spray of eucalyptus leaves.

No mintage limit applies to these Koala coins. However, production will close at the end of 2014 and each coin’s mintage will be declared by the Mint.

OFFER EXTENDED – the lower premium and heavily revised volume breaks on 1oz Australian Koala silver bullion coins, which were announced in July, have now been extended indefinitely. 

2oz Australian Lunar – 2014 year of the Horse

We are also pleased to announce the first availability of the Lunar Horse 2oz silver bullion coin from our 2014 Australian Lunar program.

Similarly, production of these 2oz coins will cease at the end of 2014 and the final mintage declared shortly afterwards.

The Lunar Horse 5oz silver bullion coin remains temporarily suspended until further notice.

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China’s Impact On Gold To Strengthen


Chinese investors are scooping up as much gold as possible. With a reputation for being extremely smart investors, they’re buying in as the price of gold drops.

In his latest interview with the Korelin Economics Report, Bron Suchecki suggests that China’s influence on gold will only get stronger as the market there is liberalised.

Despite the progress made in recent years, Bron says the Chinese authorities are still in the process of opening up the market and making it more liquid. He has no doubts the results will be significant.

“I think we’re just going to see this market grow and grow as they open it up,” he says. 

Catch Bron in conversation with other contributors as Al Korelin asks more questions about the current impact on gold from China.

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Gold Continues Its Journey From West To East - WGC

Topics [ gold market ]


Demand for gold fell 21% to 869 tonnes (t) in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the same period a year earlier.

In its latest Gold Demand Trends report, the World Gold Council attributed the decline to further outflows of western investors’ positions in gold-backed ETFs, and government intervention in the Indian gold market which saw demand reduced by 71t during the quarter.

On the other side of the equation, consumer demand in East Asia continued to grow, with a rise of 18% in China alone to 210t during Q3 compared to the same period last year.

“Consistent with the first two quarters of 2013, the global gold market remains resilient, underpinned by the continued shift in demand from West to East, strong demand in consumer categories and solid central bank and technology sectors”, the WGC said.

For full details, download Gold Demand Trends Q3 2013 (pdf)

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Large Horse Coins On Sale For Cup Day!

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


Just in time for Melbourne Cup day, this magnificent 10oz Year of the Horse silver bullion coin and its even bigger 1 kilo brother are now on sale at www.perthmintbullion.com.

With 1oz releases sold out, buyers seeking a smaller denomination from the Lunar Horse series could consider investing their Cup winnings on 1/2oz releases, also currently in stock.

Please continue to watch the blog for announcements about the addition of 5oz and 2oz coins to our stable of silver Lunar Horses – sure to be future favourites!

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