Demand for gold coins soaring around the world
gold coins has risen sharply as interest in the
precious metal soars on financial instability
and investors' appetite for assets seen as a
safe store of value,
Investors have used gold as a shelter from the
impact of the deteriorating economy on other
assets, pushing the price up and making
jewellery expensive for consumers with shrinking
disposable income. Demand for physical gold
products such as coins and bars has been
particularly strong, traders say.
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.
Gold is being driven by concern about the
financial system and lack of confidence in paper
currencies,” said Adrian Day, the president of
Adrian Day’s Asset Management in Annapolis,
Maryland. “All the pressure is on the upside.”
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 and silver has been
unprecedented," a spokesman for the Mint told
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.
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 coins this year.
In South Africa, the world's third-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.
"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 US 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.
Gold sales in Dubai's traditional jewellery
market have collapsed mainly because of the
decline in tourist arrivals. Local jewelers who
have been waiting for a big chunk of tourists
said that less and less tourists inflow to the
city has badly affected the sale of the yellow
Retail sales in Abu Dhabi’s gold market have
fallen by more than 70%, according to the Gold
and Jewellery Group, due to high prices. There
will be fewer and fewer people who can afford
the intricate jewellery pieces in their windows.
But despite, high prices, demand has been
soaring for physical gold which is seen as a
long-term investemnet and a safe store of value.
As a result, there was an acute shortage of gold
coins in Dubai, during the recent shopping
“People are coming and asking for gold coins.
But there is a terrible shortage of gold coins.
Many gold and jewllery shops in Dubai do not
have the stocks of gold coins,” said a manager
with Joy Alukkas, a leading Dubai jeweller.