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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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SOLD OUT Funnel-Web Spider Coin Achieves Full 1 Million Mintage

Topics [ silver bullion coins buy silver coins ]

BULLION BARS AND COINS

The Australian Funnel-Web Spider 1oz silver bullion coin officially sold out at The Perth Mint today.

Strong demand for the popular investor coin, which was unveiled in March, saw sales reach the 1 million mark in less than six months.

 

Sold in tubes of 25, the 99.9% pure silver Australian legal tender coin represented exceptional value for money. Without question, however, the coin’s reverse design portraying the infamous Australian Funnel-Web Spider proved central to its popular appeal.

The most aggressive species, the Sydney Funnel-Web, is said to have fangs longer than that of a brown snake and so powerful that they can pierce a human toenail!

The worldwide fascination with dangerous Australian animals on coins was seen last year when the Australian Saltwater Crocodile 1oz silver bullion coin sold its 1 million maximum mintage within a record three months.



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Surge In Gold Demand, Reports Nigel Moffatt

DEPOSITORY

Watch Bloomberg’s interview with Perth Mint Depository Director Nigel Moffatt who reports a surge in demand at The Perth Mint since gold broke the US$1,100 mark.


Dripping gold demand is "now running full trot" - Nigel Moffatt.



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Kangaroo Minted Gold Bars For Investors In New Cards

Topics [ gold bullion minted bars gold bars invest in gold gold bullion bars ]

BULLION BARS AND COINS

 

The roll-out of Kangaroo Minted Gold Bars in stylish new packaging is progressing quickly.

These popular bars are struck from 99.99% pure gold with The Perth Mint’s LBMA registered mark on the front and kangaroo-shaped motifs on the back.

Available in eight sizes, from 1 gram up to 10oz, they’re housed in tamper-evident packaging which shows the word VOID around the edge of the blister if the card has been prized opened.

As this clip shows, the new version of the card is charcoal-coloured with a dark, watermark-like image of the Mint’s stylised swan logo.



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How Is Gold Produced?

Topics [ gold investing buy gold coins gold coins gold bullion bullion coins gold gold bullion coins gold bullion bars buy gold ]

PRECIOUS METAL SERIES – 7

The days when miners could dig or pan for nuggets of gold are largely gone. Today, gold is generally extracted from the Earth’s crust as microscopic particles. 

Estimates put the amount of gold in the Earth’s crust at just 11 parts per billion! To recover a single ounce of gold, many tonnes of material must therefore be blasted and processed.

Gold mines sell unrefined gold in the form of doré bars. Australian doré bars are usually composed of between 70-80% gold and 10-15% silver. The lion’s share of these rough bars are processed into fine gold at The Perth Mint, which operates the largest LBMA-accredited gold refinery in the Southern Hemisphere.

Each doré bar first goes through a chlorine refining process, also known as the Miller Process. Originally conceived by Francis Bowyer Miller in Sydney during the 1860s, the Miller Process involves bubbling chlorine gas through molten doré gold so that silver (and most other metals) react with the chlorine to form silver chloride as slag on the top. The resulting gold is 99.5% pure and typically it’s cast into bars weighing about 400oz for use in wholesale markets.

The Wohlwill process is used to increase purity further. A casting of 99.5% pure gold is lowered into a bath of hydrochloric acid and then has an electric current passed through it. Acting as an anode in this electrolytic refining process, the casting dissolves and then deposits on a cathode with a purity of 99.99%.

The resulting cathodes are melted, granulated and then the granules are used to measure out exact weights of gold for casting into bar sizes from 1oz up to 50oz for retail investors.

How Is Gold Produced?


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Another Fake Minted Bar To Beware

Topics [ fake gold bars minted bars gold bars ]

BULLION BARS AND COINS

Kangaroo Minted Gold Bars are being targeted by counterfeiters and forgers. Last month we informed you how to avoid being duped by fake bars in look-a-like black cards.

See: Don't Get Duped By Fake Minted Bars

This time we’ve discovered an equally brazen facsimile of a 1oz Kangaroo Minted Gold Bar in a green card. Here are some valuable tips to ensure you’re not fooled by this blatant rip-off.

Background

Kangaroo Minted Gold Bars issued by The Perth Mint have evolved over time.

The main design has remained consistent since the 5g bar was launched in 2009 with our official LBMA stamp (a swan motif surrounded by the words THE PERTH MINT AUSTRALIA) above the bar’s weight and purity. Originally, the back of each bar was plain, but in 2010 we added a pattern of stylized kangaroos, which remains in force today.

There have been three generations of security cards, including the black-coloured version featuring a swan ‘water mark’ (refer to earlier blog post).

The original green card featured the CertiCard® logo and the words SECURITY CASE on the front under the blister. These cards housed Minted Bars with plain and adorned backs, which when illuminated under a Wood (UV) lamp revealed the words SEAL INTACT. (See example).

Issued from 2013, the second green card featured different security technology. Reflecting this, the front of each card displayed the words ‘The Perth Mint tamper-evident card’. On the back, the bar number was preceded by the letter ‘A’.

Like today’s black card, the word VOID is repeated around the edge of the blister if this card has been prized opened.

How to identify the latest fake

The latest fake to come to our attention purports to be a 1oz bar in an original green security card. Photographed in our office today, it is highly convincing.

 

However, compare the line CertiCard® SECURITY CASE on the front of the fake with the publicity product image below and you’ll notice this counterfeiter has failed to align the text accurately, with the words forming a slight arc. (Having purchased this fake, you'd have been extremely disappointed to discover that the UV sensitive message does not exist!)

The visible likeness of the bars and packaging indicates that counterfeiters are becoming increasingly sophisticated and unwary buyers could be falling into their trap more readily.

As we’ve urged before, there is only one way to eliminate the risk entirely: purchase your Kangaroo Minted Gold Bars directly from The Perth Mint or an approved Perth Mint distributor - listed here.



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Monthly Sales - June 2015

STATISTICS

Total ounces of gold and silver sold by The Perth Mint in June 2015 as coins and minted bars.

  - Gold (Au): 31,019oz

  - Silver (Ag): 384,586oz



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