Even the world’s most advanced and experienced precious metal refiners occasionally had breaches of security. This seems to be the case in a story reported by CoinWeek about Australia’s Perth Mint, one of the most successful government mints in the world. The mint appears to be the victim of theft in the form of a brazen “inside job” by an independent contractor.
What were the leading gold mines, in terms of annual output, during 2016? This question was recently answered by The Motley Fool, and what’s fascinating about the list is understanding which big gold miners or state governments operate each of these projects.
With investors again jumping head-first into the stock market, the precious metals saw some modest selling pressure on Tuesday morning. Spot gold traded down about $5 per ounce to about $1,220/oz, extending a slump that dates back to the beginning of last week. The silver price lost 2¢ to fall to $16.18/oz.
By now, most aspiring treasure hunters are aware that Great Britain is essentially the treasure capital of the world.
Aside from an extensive history of habitation that has produced almost innumerable antiquities and medieval coins, the country boasts the world’s most equitable treasure trove laws. This is effectively the reason why so many people who have the time and money to afford the treasure detecting hobby are enthusiastic to explore in the U.K. (It also makes preserving the artifacts while still dividing up the proceeds from their sale a much more amicable experience.)
Gold prices were slightly higher on Monday morning following the triumph of centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron in France’s presidential election over the weekend. Macron, a former investment banker who represented neither of the two traditional political parties in France (the Socialists and Republicans), bested National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, who is staunchly anti-EU and anti-immigrant.
For the first few months since the newly designed £1 coins made their debut in the United Kingdom, people have been noticing that something is wrong with a small amount of their pocket change.
Back in 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint wowed the numismatic community (and much of the world) when it issued a special “Big Maple Leaf”—a real legal tender gold coin of unmatched girth and purity.
Weighing in at 100 kilograms—a staggering 32,150 troy ounces!—and struck from ultra-pure “five-nines” gold, the coin is .99999 fine (or 99.999% pure) gold. Its nominal face value is C$1 million, but its intrinsic value is much greater.
Somehow, this massive and extremely valuable gold coin has actually gone missing.
More so than many other industries, the gold market is especially concerned with supply chain integrity. This means that where your gold comes from is important.
As they have been for the past month, gold prices were fairly idle when markets opened on Monday, the first trading day of May. Spot gold was down about 0.1% in early trading in New York, steadying around $1,266/oz. Meanwhile, the silver price was off 0.25% to fall below $17.20/oz.
For the other precious metals, the losses were slightly bigger. Platinum fell 0.5% to $940/oz while palladium slid 0.6% lower to about $820/oz.
The numismatic world was treated to the discovery of a new rare variety coin early in 2017 when it was discovered that the U.S. Mint struck a very small number of its flagship American Silver Eagle coins at the Philadelphia Mint beginning in 2015. These coins do not bear a mintmark that identifies where they were struck, so this Silver Eagle variety was previously unknown to collectors.
Friday not only marked the end of the week of the week but also the last trading day of the month. The precious metals were steady early in the session, although many experts expected more volatility given the expiration of various options and a disappointing report of how much the U.S. economy expanded during the first quarter.
Spot gold traded slightly higher at $1,265/oz this morning while spot silver lost 1¢ per ounce to $17.35/oz. Platinum added 0.3% to trade near $950/oz and palladium was roughly 0.9% higher, approaching $825/oz.
Gold insider Ronan Manly of BullionStar recently carried out a journalistic investigation into how Sweden audits its gold reserves. He began with the broader goal of gathering information about central bank gold reserves generally—a topic shrouded in much mystery indeed.
The financial markets were largely quiet at Wednesday’s open as investors eagerly awaited the scheduled release of President Trump’s plans for a tax overhaul later today. Most expect the plans to be quite favorable to the public, a scenario which is not likely to drive fresh investment into the gold market. Spot gold was just below unchanged at 9:15 am EST in New York, trading around $1,265/oz, while spot silver was down about 0.4% to $17.50/oz.
Supply and demand are the essence of any market, and the precious metals are not excepted from this fact. This principle is particularly true of silver, however. More so than even gold, which has tremendous existing stockpiles that are frequently remelted (and endlessly loaned out), the price of silver is sensitive to disruptions in the mining industry.
Platinum also followed its cousins lower, losing more than 0.7%. Meanwhile, palladium was flat at $800/oz.
The focus of the markets on Monday was the results from the preliminary round of France’s presidential election. The polls showed that Emmanuel Macron, who is seen as the moderate or centrist candidate, finished first in the pack with 24% of the vote. Macron came in ahead of right-wing National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, who finished second in the polls.
In response, much of the safe-haven flight into gold eased up in early trading. The gold price retreated about $15 per ounce, or 1.15%, to trade around $1,269/oz. Spot silver was also lower, dropping about 0.67% to $17.75/oz.
Much has been made by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her predecessor Ben Bernanke about making the central bank’s actions more open and transparent. A variety of steps have been taken toward this end, but they mainly consist of greater disclosure of Fed officials’ thinking on monetary policy and interest rates.
As far as the actual business of conducting policy goes, however, the Fed still has a long way to go.
With unrest and uncertainty characterizing the global climate heading into the first round of France’s presidential elections this weekend, gold prices moved marginally higher in early trading on Friday. Spot gold traded at $1,283/oz around 10 am EST in New York while silver prices were actually 15¢ per ounce lower at $17.85/oz.
For several years, one of the least controversial criticisms of the way the Treasury Department operates has been the need for a major coinage reform. For each of the last 11 years, Treasury has been subsidizing production of the one-cent penny and the five-cent nickel, both of which actually cost more to manufacture than they are worth as legal tender.
It costs 1.5¢ to strike and distribute each penny, and about 7.5¢ for the nickel. In other words, the government—and taxpayers—actually loses money by making these coins. 11 years in a row!