Mints Report Soaring Demand For Gold Coins Mar 13, 2009 8:33
pm ET Reuters
Worker at the Austrian Mint packs gold Vienna Philharmonic
Bullion gold coins in the company's headquarters … LONDON
(Reuters) – Mints around the world say demand for Gold Coins
has risen sharply as interest in the precious metal soars
on the back of financial instability and concerns over the
inflation outlook.Gold coins are considered a safe haven in
troubled economic times.
The Royal Canadian Mint, which produces Maple Leaf gold bullion
coins, said it quadrupled its production capacity late last
year as demand for gold coins and silver bullion products
Gold was one of the few commodities to rise last year as
turmoil in the financial sector sharpened investors' appetite
for assets seen as a safe store of value, such as bullion.
Spot gold rallied to an 11-month high of $1,005.40 on February
20 as a slide in equity markets increased interest in the
precious metal. Demand for physical gold products such as
coins and bars has been particularly strong, traders say.
The United States Mint said sales of its one-ounce American
Eagle gold bullion coins rocketed to 710,000 ounces in 2008,
from 140,000 ounces a year before.
"The demand for gold coins and silver has been unprecedented,"
a spokesman for the Mint told Reuters.
The chairman of the French Mint, Christophe Beaux, said sales
roughly doubled last year in value terms and are expected
to rise by another 50 percent this year.
The 2009 catalog the mint had produced was almost entirely
pre-sold, he said. The French Mint produces 100 euro gold
coins, and plans to mint 10-ounce and 1-kilo gold coins this
In South Africa -- the world's second-largest gold producer
-- Natanya van Niekerk, deputy general manager for numismatics
at the South African Mint Company, said she had seen a big
increase in demand for gold and especially gold coins.
"I think we will see this same trend in this and the
next quarter," she said. "Gold surely has been resilient
in these times."
Michael O'Kane, head bullion trader at the New Zealand Mint,
said many overseas buyers had come into the New Zealand market.
"We're seen as a safe-haven market," he said.
He said buying had been strong since the collapse of U.S.
investment bank Lehman Brothers in September, as investors
moved money from banks into hard assets like gold, gold coins.
The mint was averaging "a month's transactions in a
day," he said, adding he saw demand continuing to rise.