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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2015 LBMA Forecast Survey Published

Topics [ gold bullion prices ]

RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS

Click here for the full pdf version of the 2015 LBMA Forecast Survey, which includes supporting commentaries from a record 35 analysts on expected price outcomes for gold, silver, platinum and palladium.



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The Wonder of Gold

Topics [ gold bullion ]

PRECIOUS METAL SERIES - 1

Gold is a chemical element (Au) that occurs naturally in the universe. Science tells us that it is produced under extreme pressure found in supernovas.

These stellar explosions blasted gold particles into space where they eventually condensed with the gases and rocks that created our own solar system. Most of Earth’s gold sank to its core while the planet was still molten – where it remains beyond the reach of man. 

Gold mined near the surface was probably deposited later by asteroid bombardment.

The total amount of gold recovered since the beginning of civilization is estimated at less than 175,000 tonnes. That amount would fit into a cube measuring just 20.7 metres on each side!

Although some of it has been lost at the bottom of the ocean, every ounce mined still exists today. That’s because gold is chemically inert - resistant to corrosion and oxidation, and virtually impossible to destroy.

A heavy, dense metal, gold is also soft and extremely malleable. Did you know that an ounce of gold can be beaten into a sheet covering nearly 30 square metres and drawn into a thread more than 80 kilometres long?

The Wonder of Gold



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LBMA Announces Precious Metals Forecast Winners

Topics [ gold prices silver prices spot price ]

IN THE NEWS

The London Bullion Market Association has announced the winners of its 2014 Precious Metals Forecast.

The aim of the LBMA Forecast is to predict the average, high and low price for gold, silver, platinum and palladium over the year ahead. The prediction closest to the average price wins (based on the average $ daily pm fixing price).

 

Frederic Panizzutti of MKS (Switzerland) SA took first prize for gold with a winning forecast of $1,262 against an actual average for the year of $1,267.

In silver, Rhona O’Connell (Thomson Reuters) and Suki Cooper (Barclays) shared the honours with a forecast of $19.00 against an actual average price for the year of $19.08.

Full details of the winners can be found on the LBMA website.

ASSOCIATED STORY: How Accurate Is The LBMA Precious Metals Forecast Survey?



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Monthly Sales – December 2014

STATISTICS

Total ounces of gold and silver sold by The Perth Mint in December 2014 as coins and minted bars.

 - Gold (Au): 40,211oz

 - Silver (Ag): 477,731oz



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Perth Mint Tackles Milk Spot Issue

BULLION BARS AND COINS

Milk spot (or white spot) is a topic that other mints rarely like to discuss. In view of recent concerns expressed about this general lack of transparency, I’d like to get on the front foot and tell you what The Perth Mint is doing to minimize the problem.

Milk spots are opaque, cloudy blemishes that can appear on silver coins after they have left the mint. The vast majority of Perth Mint silver coins are unaffected by this issue. However, when they do appear, it’s understandable that investors and collectors are concerned.

Milk spots have been attributed to a range of potential causes. In our experience the exact reason is difficult to pinpoint, with recent analysis effectively ruling out crucible contamination and water quality issues.

Now, Perth Mint metallurgists are working on the theory that microscopic airborne particles are largely to blame.

Although not conclusive, investigations have found a minute piece of debris at the centre of milk spots on a couple of affected coins. Surrounding each ‘inclusion’ were silver chloride (AgCI) crystals which created the milky blotch. In a further discovery, each piece of debris was raised above the coin surface, indicating that it had settled after striking.

More work is being carried out to confirm the composition of the debris but our immediate response has been a comprehensive cleaning program for the removal of dust and microscopic debris from all production areas, including the trolleys used to transport coins around the factory.

All compressed air line filters have been cleaned to eliminate oil and water build-up, while our air conditioning filters have also been replaced to prevent airborne particles from entering the production areas.

Each of these actions is scheduled to be repeated regularly.

Finally, we’ve started quarantining some product before shipment to monitor whether this approach is working.

Fortunately, it seems that The Perth Mint is not as badly affected by this perplexing problem as some other mints and I’m pleased to report that we’ve already seen some further reduction. While it remains exceptionally difficult to eliminate completely, I am happy to reassure customers that we will never duck this critical issue as we seek all possible means to minimise its occurrence.



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