Cost signals end to Mint’s bullion coin

WHEN the Perth Mint introduced its first platinum coin in 1988, little did it expect to retail the world’s largest selling platinum bullion coin issue for the next seven years.

But the Perth Mint has now discontinued the program due to the “volatility in platinum prices”.

The first Australian Koala platinum bullion coin was released in four denominations, with 100,000 ounces sold within two months.

The Koala reigned supreme in the bullion coin market, until overtaken by sales of the US Mint’s 1997 American Eagle platinum coin. Nonetheless, the Koala bullion coin series continued each year until 1999.

The Perth Mint’s first platinum proof coin issue, dated 1998, but released in 1989, was a 1/2oz 99.95 per cent pure platinum Koala coin, which sold out within five months. It also was a world first – as a legal tender platinum coin denominated by its platinum mass.

While the Perth Mint will not disclose platinum bullion coin sales figures, a spokesperson said total platinum coin sales, without premium and based on current prices, have surpassed $A675 million.

The Perth Mint is continuing the platinum proof coin program, importing platinum ingots from Zurich. However the amount of platinum purchased is also considered commercially sensitive, the representative said.

A Perth Mint unallocated platinum metal account, denominated in ounces and operated like a bank account, is another option for platinum investors.

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