New figures have revealed the extent of the sales for silver coins in 2013 and have shown in the past 12 months there has been an almost unprecedented demand.
Three of the most productive mints in the world – the US, Canada and Perth (Australia) – have all confirmed that 2013 has seen silver coin sales reach new levels.
Silver not gold which is the most sought after
The precious metal coin market is one which has risen in recent years in tandem with the economic challenges, but it is silver, not gold which has turned out to be the most sought-after for 2013.
Many investors have turned to the coin market as a means of not only diversifying their portfolio but also as a way of protecting against the fiat monetary systems which are used. There is no country in the world which now has a gold backed currency; each one used is a so-called ‘paper’ currency which has no intrinsic value and is largely driven by government policy and world affairs. Because gold and silver have a value which is not directly attributable to any one currency, nor any single currency, they provide a means of independent financial security.
It is these qualities in particular which has triggered the sharp increase in the purchase of gold and silver coins.
Historically Gold has been the safe investment
Historically, gold has been the safe haven shelter in the event of economic turbulence and there is no indication this has changed. However, during 2013, silver has become the precious metal of choice for many coin investors for several reasons.
Views from mints around the world
One of the reasons the mints in Australia, Canada and the US have recorded such high sales of silver is the import restrictions put in place in India in the middle of the year. These were primarily imposed on gold, which meant that silver coins became a far more attractive investment.
The US Mint came out top of the pile, selling 42.4 million of its one ounce silver American Eagle coins since January. This smashes the last record which was set in 2011 when 39.869 silver coins were sold.
The Canadian Royal Mint is the next highest seller of silver coins in the world, even though it has not yet released the final figures for the fourth quarter. By the end of the third quarter, 19.7 million ounces of its iconic silver Maple Leaf coin had been sold in 2013. In the third quarter alone, 6.7 million ounces were sold, a sharp increase compared to the previous year when sales reached 4.8 million.
The managing director for bullion at the Canadian Mint, Chris Carkner, confirmed that the mint is on track to beat the previous yearly tally of 23.1 million ounces which was set in 2011.
Sales of the Maple Leaf are likely to increase further in the last quarter of the year as the Canadian Mint celebrates 25 years of this coin. A special edition was released to mark the occasion in November; this is likely to be highly sought after amongst both investors and coin collectors as well.
The Perth Mint registered the third highest level of silver coin sales in the world, hitting 7.799 million ounces by the middle of November. Average monthly sales for silver coins at the mint have reached 708,000 ounces. Perth Mint also have plans to open a new silver blank facility which it hopes will be up and running by 2015, thus boosting its production further.