World Mints Report Soaring Demand for Gold Coins


"The [New Zealand] mint was averaging 'a month's transactions in a day.'"

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.

The Royal Canadian Mint, which produces Maple Leaf bullion coins, said it quadrupled its production capacity late last year as demand for gold and silver bullion products leapt.

The United States Mint said sales of its one-ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins rocketed to 710,000 oz in 2008, from 140,000 oz/y before.

"The demand for gold and silver has been unprecedented," a spokesperson 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% this year.

Michael O'Kane, head bullion trader at the New Zealand Mint, said many overseas buyers had come into the New Zealand market.

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. The mint was averaging "a month's transactions in a day", he said, adding he saw demand continuing to rise.

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