Monday, January 30, 2012

SilverLunar.com - New Blog/Data/Info Site

I launched a new Lunar Coin blog and information site over the weekend -> SilverLunar.com. At the moment it's still a little sparse, but it already has some great mintage information for Lunar Coin collectors, probably one of the most complete sets of data I've seen on the net in one spot so far (use the red menu bars near the top of the page to access the mintage data).

I chose to separate this information and blog posts from the primary Bullion Baron blog as it may not be of interest to all regular readers and deserves it's own space. So if you want to keep up with regular numismatic/Lunar coin updates:


Or alternatively updates from both blogs will be automatically sent to Twitter (so Follow Me if you have an account): https://twitter.com/bullionbaron

BB.

 Buy bullion online - quickly, safely and at low prices

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Charts: Gold Surges. Happy Australia Day!


Following the FOMC statement last night Gold rallied around $50. This put the USD spot price above the downtrend line Gold has been trading under since the September 6th (2011) high of $1923. It also saw Gold rally strongly above the 50 Day Moving Average. The outlook looks bullish for Gold & Silver in 2012.

On New Years Eve I posted a set of charts suggesting that I thought Gold was in a buy zone, Silver had met support and that I expected the Gold to increase the pitch of it's ascent in 2012... so far, so good, here is an update of the charts (all are weekly):


AUD Gold Bounces out of the Buy Zone
 AUD Gold has only just started it's bounce out of the buy zone. In my opinion it still represents good value at current prices.
CLICK CHART TO ENLARGE

AUD Silver Meets Support
AUD Silver has bounced strongly off support, but for a sustained rally I think we need to see the price break through $37-38. The price may continue to consolidate in the symmetrical triangle pattern before breaking out later this year.
CLICK CHART TO ENLARGE

  USD Gold Ready to Increase Pitch Again
USD Gold has broken above the downtrend it's been trading in since September 2011 (see chart at start of thread). Gold looks set to increase in price strongly this year.
CLICK CHART TO ENLARGE


Have a great Australia Day!

BB.

 Buy bullion online - quickly, safely and at low prices

Monday, January 23, 2012

Buy Silver / Gold: Eagles, Philharmonics & Maples

Bullion Money has expanded their range of bullion Gold and Silver coins. They've had 1 ounce American Silver Eagles listed on the website as well as Silver Mexican Libertads for sometime, but have now added Silver Austrian Philharmonics and Canadian Maples. The Austrian Philharmonic is probably my favourite bullion coin (of those that don’t change design annually), the design looks stunning in the flesh.

They also have the Perth Mint 2012 Silver 1 ounce Koala listed (an Australian unlimited mintage bullion coin from Perth Mint, which is the only 1oz bullion coin available from Perth Mint now that the Lunar and Kookaburra coins are sold out, until the release of the 2013 coin series later this year).




On top of this they are now also stocking the 2012 American Gold Eagle 1oz coin, this complementing their current offering of the 2012 Kangaroo Nugget 1oz Gold coin (Perth Mint) and various fractional lunar Gold coins such as the 1/10oz 2012 Gold Lunar Dragon.



The pricing on all the above coins is very competitive at Bullion Money, it wasn’t so long ago that buying some of these coins in bulk meant purchasing from an overseas dealer and importing them (which starts to become as hassle with customs if buying over $1000 worth), so it’s good to now have the convenience of a local dealer providing these foreign bullion coins for a good price.


BB.

 Buy bullion online - quickly, safely and at low prices

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gold & Silver: 2011 Milestones, News & Quotes

With an exhilarating year for Gold and Silver in our rear-view mirror I thought now would provide a good opportunity to look back at some of the major milestones, news and notable quotes we saw over 2011.

21 December 2010 – The International Monetary Fund concludes its Gold sales program totalling 403.3 metric tonnes (approved September 2009).

14 January 2011 – Gold Core reports that George Soros’s largest buy in 4th quarter 2010 is Gold adding $64m to an existing position.

25 January 2011 – Commodity Online reports that commercial banks in Vietnam have stopped accepting Gold deposits due to new rules introduced by the central bank prohibiting them from lending the metal to gold bar traders. Under the new rule, banks are only allowed to lend gold for the purpose of producing and trading jewellery causing demand for Gold to fall sharply at the commercial banks.

28 January 2011 – Gold tumbles to its low point for the year trading at $1313.

30 January 2011 – Xia Bin (PBoC Adviser) suggests China should increase its Gold and Silver reserves.

31 January 2011 – Perth Mint announces a new Platinum series coin, the Platinum Platypus, a 1oz coin with a maximum mintage of 30,000.

31 January 2011 – US Mint sells a record number of American Silver Eagles with over 6.4 million sold in the month of January (smashing the previous record of 4.26m the previous November).

1 February 2011 – Bullion Baron reports on Silver product (10oz/20oz/kilo) shortages on the online Perth Mint Bullion website.

2 February 2011 – Renowned investor Jim Rogers says “Gold will have reached an unbelievable price before it starts falling”, but suggests Silver is historically undervalued against Gold and may outperform Gold.

4 February 2011 – Perth Mint announces sell out of the 1oz Gold & Silver Lunar Rabbit coins (with mintages of 30,000 and 300,000 respectively).

7 February 2011 – JP Morgan announces that they will accept physical Gold bullion as collateral for investors who want to borrow cash or securities.

8 February 2011 – Perth Mint reports 100,000 Kilo Silver coins sold since the introduction of 2011 designs in September 2010 the year prior (this is equal to 3,215,100oz or over 5% of Australian Silver mine production).

10 February 2011 – Perth Mint announces that previously out of stock 100oz Silver bars are now available, but that Kilo and 10oz Silver bars are now out of stock.

17 February 2011 – Financial Times reports that the Royal Canadian Mint and Austrian Mint have had to ration sales after record demand.

5 March 2011 - Richard Russell (Dow Theory Letters) said "Warren Buffett's problem is that he only understands balance sheets and earnings. The value of a Picasso or a gem diamond or a bar of gold is outside Buffett's understanding. Which is sad, because Buffett's lack of understanding has kept many an American on the sidelines while gold surged higher in terms of Buffett's beloved paper currencies."

8 March 2011 – Bullion Baron shows examples of ridiculous eBay premiums being paid on kilo Silver bars (up to $190 premium being paid over regular dealer prices!).

21 March 2011 – Reuters reports that Gold premiums in Japan have risen to three year highs which follows panic buying of the metal after a devastating earthquake and tsunami earlier in the month.

23 March 2011 – Gold Core reports that China imported 245.6 metric tons of silver in February. The amount is lower than the 260.6 metric tons imported in February 2010, however the spot price has risen substantially since that time.

31 March 2011 – Perth Mint announces delivery of new 1,000 tonne coin press purchased to increase extra production capacity for larger Silver coins such as the 1 kilo Kookaburra, Lunar and Koala releases.

5 April 2011 - Jin Ulrich (JP Morgan China Chairwoman) says "Gold is Seen as an Alternative to Paper Currencies".

16 April 2011 - The second largest US academic endowment fund (University of Texas Investment Management Co) reports that it took delivery of almost $1 billion in gold bullion and is storing the bars in a New York vault. The purchase makes up around 5% of the funds $20 billion under management.

27 April – Financial Times reports that a Hong Kong-based commodities exchange (HKMEx) backed by Chinese state companies and Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska plans to make its trading debut next month (May) with a futures contract linked to gold.

27 April 2011 – World Gold Council reports that the gold price rose by 2.4% during Q1 to US$1,439.00/oz. By the end of Q1, ETFs held a total of 2,110.3 tonnes of gold worth US$97.6 billion, compared with the high of 2,167.4 tonnes at 31 December 2010By the end of Q1, ETFs held a total of 2,110.3 tonnes of gold worth US$97.6 billion, compared with the high of 2,167.4 tonnes at 31 December 2010.

28 April 2011 – Silver trades at the highest level since the 1980 peak, reaching around US$49.

4 May 2011 – Bloomberg reports that Mexico has increased their Gold reserves by 93.3 tonnes (from 6.9 tonnes in January to over 100 in March a 14x increase). Russia increased their reserves by 18.8 tonnes to 811.1 and in he same month Thailand expanded it’s assets by 9.3 tonnes (bringing their total to 108.9 tonnes).

4 May 2011 – Angela Merkel's budget speaker and his opposition counterpart urge Portugal to consider selling its gold.

6 May 2011 – Bullion Baron reports on some remarkable similarities between the 2006 spike in Silver versus the current one, including margin changes, price action and timing.

11 May 2011 – Steve Forbes, billionaire media magnate, says “A return to the gold standard by the United States within the next five years now seems likely, because that move would help the nation solve a variety of economic, fiscal, and monetary ills.”

13 May 2011 – Perth Mint reports they have sold out of the 2011 Silver 1oz Kookaburra coin (500,000 mintage) and the 2008 Silver 1oz Lunar Mouse (300,000 mintage) which they started minting again earlier this year. 

16 May 2011 – Wall Street Journal reports that billionaire hedge fund manager Soros (who was famously quoted calling Gold “the ultimate asset bubble”) slashed his funds exposure to Gold (SPDR Gold Trust) and Gold mining company NovaGold during the first quarter of the year.

20 May 2011 – Financial Times reports World Gold Council data showing China overtook India as the world’s largest buyer of Gold bars and coins in the first quarter with 93.5 tonnes purchased.

1 June 2011 – Bloomberg reports that Turkey imported 25.7 tons of Silver in May & US silver eagle coin sales through May 2011 are the best since 1986 (series start).

13 June 2011 – Bullion Baron first speculates on the popularity of the Lunar Dragon series to be released by Perth Mint later this year.

16 June 2011 - World Gold Council’s Managing Director Marcus Grubb tells a conference in London today that central banks will be net buyers of gold this year and probably next year.

21 June 2011 – Gold Core reports that imports of gold and silver in India were $8.96 billion in May, a growth of 500% over the previous month and 222% over last year.

21 June 2011 – Financial Times reports that Greek citizens are emptying savings accounts and buying gold as they brace themselves for the possibility of a sovereign default and a run on the banks.

22 June 2011 – Bloomberg reports that Perth Mint Silver coin sales have surged to a new record with the mint selling 10.7 million 1 ounce silver coins since July 1 last year (66 percent higher than the previous year and about 10-fold more than five years ago).

23 June 2011 – Marc Faber, writer of the Gloom, Boom and Doom report says “not to own any gold is to trust central bankers and that you do not want to do in your life.”

7 July 2011 – Gold Core reports that U.K. Royal Mints silver production in 2011 has doubled, while gold production has risen 8.9% over 2010 levels.

8 July 2011 – Commodity Online reports that Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (India’s state-owned trading company) said on Thursday that it would import 350 tons of gold and 1,200 tons of silver in 2011-12 as demand for the precious metals is rising fast.

11 July 2011 – Ron Paul: “Why do central banks hold it (gold) if it’s not money?” Ben Bernanke: “Well, it’s tradition.

14 July 2011 – World Gold Council reports that the price of Gold saw new record highs during Q2 2011, ending the quarter 4.6% higher than the previous quarter. Gold-backed exchange traded funds experienced strong net inflows adding a collective 46 tonnes of gold to a total 2,155 tonnes (worth US$104.2 billion) in holdings.

22 July 2011 – Pierre Lassonde, famed mining entrepreneur, "In 1980 the only players were the Americans, they were essentially the only players in the gold market, or the dominant players. Today the dominant players are China and India, 58% of all the gold sold this year will be sold in these two countries. So they are by far the dominant players and as I've said the Chinese love gambling. When we reach that phase (the mania) I told you and I will tell anyone who wants to listen, watch out because it will truly make your head spin."

29 July 2011 - Cazenove Capital technical strategist Robin Griffiths said that the real inflation adjusted high (using the RPI) from 1980 was over $8,500 per ounce and gold could reach that level in the coming years. He said that silver was volatile but would likely outperform gold.

1 August 2011 – Perth Mint reports they have received coin industry offers to purchase the entire Gold Lunar coin mintage (30,000 x 1oz) due for release later in the year. The offers were rejected to ensure their usual distributors receive a fair allocation.

2 August 2011 – Gold Core reports that South Korea's central bank bought 25 tonnes of gold over the past two months. The gold is worth $1.24 billion and resulted in a 17-fold increase in their gold reserves.

9 August 2011 – JP Morgan says Gold may rocket to US$2500 by years end.

9 August 2011 – Bullion Baron reports on brand new lows (for the current bull market) seen in the Dow:Gold ratio, pointing out there is historical precedence for it to get even lower.

11 August 2011 – Bild Zeitung, Germany’s biggest- selling newspaper, prints a front page article encouraging the purchase of Gold. Gold “is better than cash,” the article read, “While any amount of money can be printed, gold is limited,” making it “one of the safest investments in crisis times.”

15 August 2011 – On this day, August 15th, 40 years ago, President Nixon announced the end of the Gold Standard, marking the end of the Bretton Woods international monetary system.

17 August 2011 – Bloomberg reports that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered his government to repatriate $11 billion in gold held in banks abroad to safeguard the country from the economic crisis.

22 August 2011 – GLD (SPDR Gold Trust) overtakes SPY (S&P) as world’s largest ETF by market capitalisation.

23 August 2011 – Gold climbs to a record price topping US$1910 for the first time.

23 August 2011 – UBS have raised their 3 month forecast for silver sharply from $30/oz to $50/oz suggesting that investors may be too nervous to short Gold and rather choose to buy Silver.

24 August 2011 – Perth Mint unveils the designs for the 2012 Australian Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Program. Pictures and release dates were supplied for Lunar, Kookaburra, Kangaroo and Koala series coins.

24 August 2011 – An influential member of Germany’s ruling coalition, Ursula von der Leyen, said that Germany should follow Finland’s lead on Greece and seek collateral (preferably Gold) for loans from bailout countries.

1 September 2011 – Bloomberg reports that Columbia increased its Gold reserves by 2.3 metric tonnes in July, while Mexico and Tajikistan reduce their holdings by a combined 4.5 tonnes.

5 September 2011 – Perth Mint struggles to keep up with demand for all the Lunar Silver coin variations and temporarily suspends ½, 2 and 5oz Lunar coins (as of 20/1/2012 they are still not available from the Perth Mint).

6 September 2011 – Gold manages to claw its way back up to trade at a new high of US$1923.

19 September 2011 – Financial Times reports that European central banks have become net buyers of gold for the first time in more than two decades.

24 September – Peter Schiff (CEO Euro Pacific Capital), "If I liked silver last week at $40 an ounce, I’ve got to like it even more at $30 an ounce.  It’s the same silver, so if I can get it for less money, why wouldn’t I buy it?"

26 September 2011 – Silver trades back at levels not seen since January, putting in a bottom at around US$26.

27 September 2011 – Robert Lenzner (Forbes) reports on the new Pan Asian Gold Exchange (PAGE), which is scheduled to be fully functional by June, 2012 in Kunming City, Yunman Province. PAGE will allow Chinese customers to speculate in gold futures contracts or buy physical gold through an account with a bank or broker. Essentially it will make Gold more accessible to the Chinese than is currently possible through the Shanghai Gold Exchange (opened in 2002).

4 October 2011 – Gold Core reports that Vietnamese gold bullion imports are $1.5 billion so far in 2011 with $600 million worth imported in September alone.

27 October 2011 – Perth Mint unveils a spectacular one tonne Australian Kangaroo Gold coin, the worlds largest coin.

1 November 2011 – Bullion Baron presents a case for the 2012 Kookaburra, suggesting the low mintage and other attributes will see it sell out and start attracting a premium (sold out 2 weeks later).

7 November 2011 – Germany rejects a proposal by France, Britain and the US to have German gold reserves used as collateral for the Eurozone bailout fund. Germany Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said on Monday that the German people's gold reserves cannot be touched and “must remain off limits."

14 November 2011 – The 2012 1oz Silver Kookaburra is sold out at the Perth Mint with orders for the full mintage of 500,000 coins having been placed.

15 November 2011 – Paulson & Co. (hedge fund founded by billionaire John Paulson), cut its stake in the SPDR Gold Trust to 20.3 million shares in the third quarter from 31.5 million as of June 30. The firm remained the largest holder. Soros Fund Management LLC held 48,350 in the SPDR Gold Trust as of Sept. 30, compared with 42,800 shares at the end of the second quarter.

16 November 2011 - Celente became the latest victim of the MF Global bankruptcy, he told Russia Today (RT), “I really got burned, I got a call last Monday, I have an account with Lind-Waldock, and I have been trading gold since 1978, and I have a very simple strategy. As you well know, I’ve been very bullish on gold for many years…  So I was building up my account to take delivery on a contract, and I got a call on Monday, and they said I needed to have a margin call.  And I said, what are you talking about, I’ve got a ton of money in my account.  They responded, oh no you don’t, that money’s with a trustee now.”

17 November 2011 – Financial Times reports a 40 year high for Central Bank Gold buying with 148.4 tonnes (net) purchased in July – September, with end of year net purchases expected to reach in excess of 400 tonnes.

17 November 2011 – World Gold Council reports that Gold demand in the third quarter of 2011 reached 1,053.9 tonnes (+6% compared to the same period last year). Investment demand in Europe reached a record quarterly value of €4.6bn, equating to 118.1 tonnes - a year-on-year increase of 135%.Investment demand in Europe reached a record quarterly value of €4.6bn, equating to 118.1 tonnes - a year-on-year increase of 135%.

19 November 2011 – Mineweb reports that Paulson, Soros, Einhorn (some of the biggest US investment names) have been buying Gold stocks (Paulson and Soros both having cut their exposure to the spot Gold price when selling GLD earlier in the year).

25 November 2011 – Russia bought 19.5 metric tons of gold in October bringing their total gold reserves to 871.1 tons according to IMF data released today.

2 December 2011 – Gold Core reported that the central bank of South Korea announced a 15 metric tonne purchase of gold in November. According to the Bank of Korea (BOK), the 15 tonne increase bought the nation’s gold reserves to 54.4 tons worth $2.17 billion as of the end of November.

5 December 2011 – After selling out of the 2011 Platinum Platypus Perth Mint announces the release of the 2012 coin (same design).   

6 December 2011 – Bloomberg reports that Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi announced reconstruction bond investors will be rewarded with physical Gold. Individual investors who purchase more than 10 million yen ($129,000) in the debt with a 0.05 percent return and keep it for three years will receive a gold commemorative coin weighing 15.6 grams.

28 December 2011 – China Daily reports that China’s Central Bank (PBoC) announced that it is banning local regions, institutions or individuals from setting up gold exchanges apart from the existing Shanghai Gold Exchange and Shanghai Futures Exchange. This was in order to ensure Gold trading was occurring in a sufficiently regulated market.

29 December 2011 – Silver tumbles lower to retest the $26 mark last seen in September.

Here's hoping 2012 provides as many memorable and exciting moments!


BB.
 Buy bullion online - quickly, safely and at low prices

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Silver Chart: Rallies vs Corrections (2004 - 2011)

Data used was the London PM Fix (courtesy of Perth Mint) so percentages may differ slightly if using intraday prices.

Provides a pretty good perspective on the most recent Silver rally. It was stronger than previous spikes, but in my opinion Silver will run significantly higher before the end of the bull market.

CLICK CHART TO ENLARGE


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Gold Correction Chart - 1980 vs 2011

Daily, London PM Fix

January 21st, 1980 (Peak) - US$843
March 18th, 1980 (Low Point) - US$474 (-43.77%)

September 5th, 2011 (Peak) - US$1896.50
December 29th, 2011 (Low Point) - US$1537.50 (-18.93%)

CLICK CHART TO ENLARGE

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Silver bubble? What Silver bubble?

I came across an article the other day which posed the question, did the Silver bubble burst? You can read it in it's entirety here. Here is a short section from the article:
I like comparisons because – although history doesn’t repeat exactly – I think it rhymes, and when I look at both charts seperately, I think both are very nice.
However, what if the Bulls are comparing the wrong asset to the Nasdaq Bubble? What if they should rather look at Silver prices?
Click Chart to Enlarge
Back in April, I felt silver was a Bubble, as price was going VERTICAL, which (as all good things) never lasts forever. The parabola burst in April, and usually, it takes a LONG time before the next move up will start (if it ever will).
The main problem I have with the above commentary and chart is that the writer discounts all the previous spikes Silver has seen in the course of the bull market. Granted the 2010/2011 move has been the largest so far, but if we put Silver on a log chart (showing the previous spikes in perspective to the most recent) it shows that the previous spikes (03/04, 05/06, 07/08) could have just as easily been considered the bubble top if we weren't to know what followed them:

Click Chart to Enlarge

The writer then goes on to compare the Silver bull market to that of the Nasdaq during the tech bubble:
In fact, when we compare Silver to the Nasdaq, we get a much better comparison than when we compare Gold to the Nasdaq Bubble:
 

Click Chart to Enlarge
We might now get the “Bull Trap”, which means Silver might rise back towards $37-$39.
However in my opinion a much more relevant bubble to compare Silver to would be the last Silver bubble which peaked in January 1980. Here is a chart showing the price increase percentage over the last 2 years of each spike higher (1979/1980 vs 2010/2011);

Click Chart to Enlarge
Hopefully this adds some perspective to what a truly parabolic move looks like.

I wouldn't completely discount the possibility that Silver could still head lower in this correctional phase. As I pointed out several times last year, if Silver heads back below US$25 there's a good chance we will be revisiting the breakout at around $22. 

There's also the possibility that we have seen the top of the Silver bull market/bubble. However in my opinion the only scenario where that's likely is if central bankers decide to turn off the stimulus/liquidity and allow a deflationary route to take course, it has nothing to do with the recent price movements we've seen in the metal, which was only a more vigorous spike higher than we've previously in the course of this bull market.

If the Silver bubble has burst then it was certainly a moderate bubble compared to that of the 1970s/1980. There were different influences on the price of Silver to cause the last bubble spike, for example the attempt to corner the Silver market by the Hunt Brothers was a large driver of the price increase, but in my opinion the collective buying of Silver by the public as they attempt to protect themselves from the destructive activities of central bankers will act as a similar driver to push Silver into a parabolic move that will possibly even eclipse that of 1979/1980. In my opinion the bubble is ahead of us, not behind us.

Keep calm and carry on!


BB.

 Buy bullion online - quickly, safely and at low prices

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gold and Silver Buyer's Guide (Australia)

There is an abundance of information on the internet about Gold, Silver and how to buy it, but I noticed a real lack of local (Australian) information. There is a lot of the subject matter covered on Silver Stackers (a Gold/Silver focused forum with predominately Australian user base), but much is spread across random threads. So I wrote a guide to try and consolidate the information to help Australians navigate the basics to buying physical Gold and Silver.

Some of the local information in the guide that is important (but not covered on international sites) includes information on tax (GST/CGT), Australia Post's insurance policies on bullion, how the local spot price works, ID requirements and even ASX listed alternatives to physical.

Rather than try and post the information in a single blog post I've created a whole new site, which you can view here (you can navigate the site using the buttons at the top or links on the left hand side of the page):


 
 
I welcome any suggestions/feedback (positive or constructive) which you can direct to bullionbaron@gmail.com or post a comment below.

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 Buy bullion online - quickly, safely and at low prices

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Warning: Fake/Counterfeit Silver & Gold

A warning posted recently on Silver Stackers is worth sharing. You can read it in full here. Goldpelican writes:
It has come to my attention that a Chinese website is advertising counterfeit Perth Mint 2012 Year of the Dragon 1oz silver coins, and is currently shipping to Australia. It has been disclosed that at least one shipment of 500+ coins is on its way to Australia, presumably intended for resale.
No photos of the Dragon coin were available, but a photo of a replica Perth Mint 2011 Gold Kangaroo was shared:

Click Image to Enlarge
Members on Silver Stackers picked some discrepancies between the above fake and the real coin:

- Background on Queen side doesn't have proof like finish
- No earring on the Queen's ear
- Lettering under the Queen's neck differs
- Kangaroo's mouth appears different

Of course there's no guarantees that other Kangaroos aren't circulating without these differences.

Here is another photo of some Silver 1 ounce Ingots being sold as Silver when they are only a plated Zinc alloy:

Click Image to Enlarge
Here's a video shared by ozcopper showing some fake Silver bars:



Unfortunately there are many items sold (particularly on auction sites like eBay) which are not real Gold/Silver and should be avoided at all costs. Some examples include:

German (Nickel) Silver: This is a copper alloy with nickel and often zinc. The usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc.

100 Mills/Mils: Refers to a Silver (or Gold) plated product. While the very thin exterior layer *might* be real Silver or Gold, the inside will be something else (usually copper).

HGE Gold: Stands for Heavy Gold Electroplate and consists of a base metal that has been plated in Gold.

Gold Flakes: Often sold in vials this alloy is unlikely to contain significant amounts of (if ANY) real Gold.

Columbiam (Niobium) / Molybdenum Bullion: Other metals may be manufactured into bars and coins and sold as a “precious” metal, but ultimately they are of little value to the investor.

Other keywords to look out for when avoiding products which are likely to be fake and contain little or no real Gold/Silver: Copy, Replica, Plated, Layered

However not all fake products will be labelled as such. The easiest way to avoid fake, replica or otherwise worthless metals is to buy from a reputable source (such as a well known and respected dealer, one that sources their bullion direct from the distributor and/or one that appropriately checks/tests products when buying back).


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 Buy bullion online - quickly, safely and at low prices

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

American Silver Eagles - New Record - Charts

12 months ago I posted about the high level of buying demand that was being seen in American Silver Eagle sales:
...the US Mint has released updated figures which show January 2011 will officially set a new record with over 4.5m having been sold. If the current rate of sales continues we could see over 6m ounces sold in January alone.

To put that in perspective, United States Silver mine production is around 40m ounces of Silver per year. So 11.5% of US mine production has been used solely on less than 1 month of ASE sales! This months sales are already higher than some entire year sales, such as 1996 which saw 3.46m coins sold and 1997 which saw 3.63m sold.

With the current level of demand for Silver it's hard to see how the price will be kept this low for much longer. Bullion Baron
Well further strong demand over 2011 saw more records broken. Almost 40 million 1 ounce American Silver Eagles were sold. To put that in perspective annual world production (excluding secondary market) is around 735 million ounces per year, so American Silver Eagle sales alone account for roughly 5.5% of all new Silver mined... that's staggering.

In January 2010 I also posted up a couple of charts in this post: 


Here is an update to those charts:

American Silver Eagles vs Monthly Silver Price (Click chart to enlarge)


Annual American Silver Eagle Sales (2011, new record 4th year running)


We've already seen a strong start to 2012 with 3,197,000 coins being sold in January to date and we are only 4 days into the month! That number only has to double and a little more and we could be once again see a record month for sales (as we saw in 2011).


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