The Perth Mint has resumed taking orders for its gold and silver bullion coins after a two-month suspension caused by unprecedented worldwide demand.
The Mint, Australia’s biggest gold coin and bar wholesaler, was forced to close its new order book for gold and silver bullion coins (except its 1oz Kangaroo gold bullion coin), when its production facilities could not keep up with demand î º gold bullion sales were 194 percent higher in the 2008 December quarter than in the 2007 December quarter while silver bullion sales were 140 per cent higher in the 2008 December quarter.
Perth Mint treasurer Nigel Moffatt said the unprecedented demand for gold coins was due to the “global economic meltdown”.
“Many people are now hesitant to invest in banks, the share market or any paper currency so they have turned to gold,” he said.
“In my 19 years at the Mint I have never seen anything like it. We have been receiving orders from all around the world – from ‘mums and dads’ to big corporate investors.
“We began operating 61/2 days a week to meet the demand but stopped taking orders when the backlog grew so large that we knew we wouldn’t be able to meet it.”
The mint has now restocked but expects demand to continue to run high so has streamlined its production to just three items –1oz gold and silver coins and 1 kilo silver coins.
By limiting the range to these coins and the 1oz Kangaroo gold bullion coin, the Mint expects to be able to increase production volumes from existing production capacity.
The Mint said that if dealer demand continues to outstrip product availability, coins will be “subject to an allocation process” and “the availability of fractional and other size variations from its bullion coin range will be subject to ongoing review”.