What Is a Gold Krugerrand?

You’ve probably heard of a gold Krugerrand. But what is it? The Krugerrand is a 22-karat gold coin composed of 91.67% gold and 8.33% copper, produced by the South African Mint and Rand Refinery. 

Krugerrand gold coins are popular among numismatists interested in collecting coins for their historical and aesthetic value. They are also a favorite among gold stackers primarily interested in the value of the coin’s physical gold content. 

Popularity has fluctuated since South Africa minted the coin in 1967, seeing a downturn during the 1980s and 90s until apartheid ended in 1994. The gold Krugerrand and its silver and platinum variations remain as popular as ever. Coin collectors and people who prefer to safeguard their wealth through buying gold and other precious metals still share enthusiasm for Krugerrands of all kinds. 

However, it is important to note that the gold Krugerrand is not a gold IRA-eligible bullion coin. We’ll discuss why a little later. But, for diligent coin collectors and precious metals stackers, it’s important to understand the history of this special South African gold coin.

A Brief History of the South African Gold Krugerrand Coin

1967 South Africa gold Krugerrand coin
1967 South Africa gold Krugerrand coin, PCGS MS67

On July 3, 1967, the South African Mint collaborated with Rand Refinery to mint the first 1-ounce gold Krugerrand coins. The name “Krugerrand” combines the last name of Paul Kruger, former president of the South African Republic, and rand, a unit of South African currency. 

The original Krugerrand was minted according to the following specifications:

  • Weight/mass: 1 Troy ounce
  • Metal composition: 91.67% gold (Au), 8.33% copper (Cu)
  • Size: 32.77 mm diameter, 2.84 mm thick
  • Obverse (front/heads): Features a side-profile portrait of Paul Kruger, based on the Otto Schultz portrait of Kruger, with the words “SUID-AFRIKA – SOUTH AFRICA” in Afrikaans and English, respectively.
  • Reverse (back/tails): Features a pronking springbok antelope in the center, mint date on either side, “KRUGERRAND” at the top and “FYNGOUD 1 OZ FINE GOLD” at the bottom.
  • Additional details: Each side of the bullion coin features 160 serrations around the circumference of the coin face. Later proof coin versions have 220 serrations.

Why Did the South African Mint Make the Gold Krugerrand?

Minting the Krugerrand achieved a few major goals by:

  • Enabling private individuals to own gold. For most people, buying a bar of gold bullion wasn’t practical. Striking 1-ounce gold coins shaped South African gold into a size both portable and affordable.
  • Expanding the market and demand for South African gold. In 1974, President Gerald Ford repealed President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1933 Executive Order 6102, once again allowing American citizens to buy gold bullion in the form of coins and bars. People in the US were ready to buy gold, and Krugerrands were convenient to trade and carry, and they were attractive to collectors, too.

This strategy worked brilliantly. The South African gold Krugerrand had captured 90% of the gold bullion coin market worldwide by 1980. 

However, the world grew more aware of South Africa’s apartheid government policy of segregation, and by the mid-1980s many western countries had imposed economic sanctions on the birthplace of the Krugerrand. 

In 1985, the United States, which had been the largest market for the gold Krugerrand at its peak popularity, outlawed the purchase and importation of the popular gold coin. As the South African government began to dismantle its apartheid laws and practices, sanctions eased. In 1994, the US ended the ban on importing Krugerrand coins. Although the market for Krugerrand coins took a substantial hit from the economic sanctions, the coin remains popular today in its many forms. In 2017, the South African Mint marked the 50-year anniversary of its most famous gold coin.

Why Is This Gold Coin So Popular?

Despite political setbacks, the South African Krugerrand remains popular with coin collectors and bullion seekers alike. Many coins are valued as either numismatic coins or bullion coins

Numismatic coins derive their value from their history, scarcity, condition as a graded coin according to the Sheldon coin grading scale, and demand on the coin market. Examples of numismatic coins include Mercury dimes, circulation coins with minting errors, and uncirculated proof coins that remain in pristine “mint” condition

A bullion coin, on the other hand, derives its value primarily from its precious metal content. This means that the bullion coin’s value changes based on the current market value of the precious metal from which it is minted, such as gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.

South African Krugerrands can be valued both ways — as a numismatic coin or as a bullion coin. The design of the coin enables this dual valuation. Each Krugerrand includes the mint year, but does not have a face value, somewhat unusual for coins minted and considered government-backed legal tender. The absence of a face value led to gold prices determining the value of the coin. Beginning in 1989, the South African government officially declared the gold Krugerrand legal tender. That’s no problem in a stable gold market, but you can imagine the difficulty if the purchasing power of your currency fluctuates several rands or dollars from one day to the next. However, the appeal to coin collectors and bullion buyers remains strong. It’s no surprise that this coin has earned such widespread popularity by appealing to related yet different coin markets.

Different Kinds of Krugerrands: Size and Precious Metals Variations

From 1967 until 1980, the South African Mint offered only 1-ounce gold Krugerrands. The Mint introduced smaller sizes in 1980 — 1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 ounce gold coins — increasing accessibility to yet wider markets. 

Krugerrand coins minted from silver and platinum arrived in 2017, the fiftieth anniversary of the original gold version. The SA Mint struck the silver Krugerrand from .999 fine silver and the platinum Krugerrand using .999 fine platinum. While Krugerrand coins are popular, it’s important to understand that they are not eligible for gold IRAs and other precious metals IRAs, according to IRS rules. Whether you’re thinking of buying Krugerrands as numismatic coins or as gold, silver, or platinum bullion, make sure you know why you’re buying and what that may mean for you before laying down your hard-earned money.

Bullion Coins Inspired by the Krugerrand

As happens when most products gain popularity, they inspire other similar versions, imitations, and alternatives. 

In this case, the 1967 gold Krugerrand inspired some of the most popular precious metals mints to create special gold bullion coins: 

How Much Is a Gold Krugerrand Worth?

Maybe you bought or inherited a gold Krugerrand coin and you’re wondering how much it’s worth. It’s important to understand that the value of a Krugerrand can vary greatly depending on weight, gold spot price, and whether you want to determine its numismatic value or the value of its gold content.

As I will always do, I encourage you to conduct thorough research before making any decisions to buy gold or any other precious metals, in any form. Different people choose different options for different reasons. To get you started, make sure you’re aware of how to research spot prices. Also, check out these basic tips for buying gold

Find out more about gold Krugerrands and other gold coins available from Rosland Capital.

Gold IRAs: What They Are, How They Work, and What Kind of Gold Goes Into Them

Although Rosland Capital does not provide investment or tax advice or the gold IRA itself, it does sell a range of IRA-eligible precious metals products. This includes gold, silver, platinum, and palladium in the form of coins and bars.

You’re probably familiar with traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs), such as the SIMPLE IRA, SEP IRA, or Roth IRA, but did you know that you can add certain eligible gold products to a gold IRA? You can also add other precious metals to an IRA: silver, platinum, and palladium. 

Ever since the Great Recession that began in 2008, gold and other precious metals have enjoyed popularity and interest for holding value against market volatility and inflation. The quick recession and relative market volatility during the pandemic took the value of gold and other precious metals to record-breaking highs. 

It’s important to learn about gold IRAs and how they work because this can give you another tool for building and protecting the wealth you’ve built for retirement. Also, while many of the underlying rules for traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs also apply to precious metal IRAs, there are some crucial differences. Let’s take a look at what a gold IRA is, how it compares to traditional and Roth IRAs, and what kinds of gold and other precious metals you can contribute to an IRA.

What is a Gold IRA? How is it different from a traditional IRA?

A pile of gold bars.

Gold IRAs are individual retirement accounts into which the IRS allows the account owner to place and hold physical gold. Other precious metals IRAs include a platinum IRA, palladium IRA, and silver IRA. Only these four precious metals — gold, silver, palladium, and platinum — are eligible for inclusion in these unique, self-directed IRAs. 

With precious metals IRAs, the account owner typically exercises greater control in choosing which eligible assets to include in his or her accounts. This is compared to traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, which are typically established through an employer and managed by a qualified financial professional who uses account owners’ contributions to buy pre-selected collections of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds chosen by their brokerage firm.  

Most people are more familiar with traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. Traditional individual retirement accounts take different forms to appeal to different employment situations and financial goals. Some of the most common types of IRAs include:

  1. SIMPLE IRAs — a Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA is a form of traditional IRA retirement account that employers with under 100 employees can establish for employees. Employers must either offer a 3% matching contribution of the employee’s pay or a 2% nonelective contribution regardless of whether the employee contributed to the IRA or not.
  2. SEP IRAs — a Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP) IRA can be established by an employer of any size for an employee, but a SEP IRA is often used by self-employed individuals and freelancers because only the employer contributes to the account.
  3. Roth IRAs — these follow most of the same rules for other traditional IRAs, except for a few differences regarding contributions, tax rules, and distribution of funds. 

These kinds of IRAs only allow owners to contribute paper assets. In this case, paper assets include cash, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and other representations of wealth, as opposed to hard assets or physical assets such as physical precious metals or real estate.

A few similarities between traditional IRAs and precious metals IRAs include:

  • Tax benefits and incentives to encourage saving for retirement
  • Annual contribution limits 
  • Penalties of up to 25% for early withdrawal

A big difference between traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs compared to precious metals IRAs is that you can contribute physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium to precious metals IRAs. This means you can purchase and hold approved gold bullion products in your gold IRA, for example. You can also roll over existing traditional IRAs into precious metals IRAs. This process involves converting paper assets into physical assets. Eligible precious metals include bullion in the form of coins and bars.

What Kind of Gold Can I Put In My Gold IRA?

The IRS describes the kinds of gold and other precious metals eligible to contribute to your gold, silver, platinum, or palladium IRA. IRA-eligible forms include “any gold, silver, platinum, or palladium of a fineness equal to or exceeding the minimum fineness that a contract market requires for metals which may be delivered in satisfaction of a regulated futures contract.” 

The following gold, silver, and palladium bullion coins are among the IRA-eligible precious metals products:

How Does a Precious Metal IRA Work and How Do I Start One?

The biggest difference about how gold IRAs work compared to traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs is that you need to have the physical precious metal. Most IRAs use a digital account indicating that you own a certain amount of stock. It’s important to be aware of the rules for storage of the precious metals you contribute. 

These metals must be stored and maintained by a trustee or custodian approved by the IRS in an approved depository. You can’t simply keep your gold and silver coins and platinum bars in a safe at home or in a safety deposit box and call it an IRA. This may lead to early withdrawal penalties.  

No one likes the idea of paying fees to store and maintain the physical precious metals for an IRA. But there can be value in diversifying a portfolio funding their retirement account. When market volatility and worries about inflation, interest rates, and the national debt threaten, it’s hard to put a price on the peace of mind that comes from taking steps to help guard your wealth and your future financial security.

I cannot overemphasize the need to do thorough research into the different kinds of IRAs available. Research and determine which option or options may be right for you. For example, begin with some basics such as researching spot prices and tips for buying gold and other precious metals. Then I encourage you to investigate the finer points about how gold IRAs and other precious metals IRAs work. Understand what fees may be involved.  Get more information about gold IRAs and IRA-eligible precious metals products from Rosland Capital.

What’s the Difference Between Mint State Coins and Proof Coins?

New coin collectors and beginning numismatists often ask questions like: 

  • Are mint state coins or proof coins better? 
  • Are proof coins worth more than mint coins? 
  • What are uncirculated coins?

Answers to some of these questions will vary depending on context. One of the most important contexts is yours. As I have mentioned before, the best choice for you depends on your financial goals. The first step to determining which may be better for your portfolio or collection is understanding the difference between mint state coins and proof coins. This knowledge can help you decide which kind of coin you like better and what makes sense for you. 

So let’s find out: What’s the difference between mint coins and proof coins?

What are Mint State Coins?

A coin does not come into the world as a “Mint State” coin. Mint state is a description applied to certain coins graded according to the Sheldon Scale, where the coin is considered to be in the same state or condition as when the mint struck the coin. 

The Sheldon Scale, according to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), is a numeric grading scale ranging from 1 through 70. Based on the theory developed by Dr. William Sheldon, the famous numismatist, in 1948, a coin assigned the highest “Mint State” (MS) grade of MS-70 would be worth 70 times more than a coin graded as a 1. A coin graded MS-70 shows no post-production flaws or imperfections even at 5x magnification.

2014 50-dollar gold eagle mint state coin graded MS-69 by PCGS
2014 50-dollar gold eagle mint state coin graded MS-69 by PCGS

The Sheldon coin grading scale uses the letters MS, for “Mint State” for coins judged to score 60 or more on the 70-point scale. This system, used by some of the most respected authorities in the numismatic grading world – including the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and PCGS – allows for some flaws and imperfections on coins still graded as mint state. Sometimes these marks and imperfections occur during the striking and post-production handling process. However, coins officially graded as “mint state” are still at the top of the scale, ranging from MS-60 to MS-70.

The grading scales used by PCGS and NGC break down the criteria for each numeric grade as well as strike type.

Another question also comes up frequently: 

What’s the difference between mint state coins, circulated coins, and uncirculated coins? 

It’s probably not difficult to tell the difference between circulated coins and uncirculated coins, as coins minted for circulation are meant to be handled and exchanged by the public as legal tender for any number of economic transactions. In other words, circulated coins are, or have been used as, everyday money.

According to the US Mint, uncirculated coins share some similarities to proof coins, as we will see, in that they are hand-loaded into the press and struck on special blanks, or planchets. Uncirculated coins are struck to have a matte finish, though still somewhat shiny. But they are not intended for circulation in the general economy as everyday money. 

The uncirculated coins produced by the United States Mint also come with a certificate of authenticity. These coins may be graded as mint state coins because they were not subject to the wear and tear of circulation. 

Ultimately, all of these kinds of coins are of interest to coin collectors and numismatists. The kind and level of interest varies depending on the unique features each individual seeks in a coin. Uncirculated coins and mint state coins are more aesthetically appealing due to the pristine condition, and it is often the case that the higher the grade of the coin, the higher the value. 

However, many collectors seek circulation coins that are rare because of errors made during the minting process. The scarcity of the coin creates the excitement of a kind of pocket-change treasure hunt.

What are Proof Coins?

The determination of a proof coin has more to do with its method of manufacture than its graded condition, although proof coins may still be graded from PF-60 to PF-70 on the Sheldon Scale. Proof coins are the highest quality coins produced by any mint, and typically meet the following criteria:

  • Made from highly polished planchets or blanks
  • Hand-loaded into the coin-striking machines
  • Struck at least twice, often up to five times, with a highly polished die to ensure a frosted-looking image, or “relief,” on a gleaming mirror background, or “field” (as opposed to the matte finish of mint state coins)

The US Mint produces proof coin sets that include an example of each denomination struck for circulation. These sets usually include one:

  • Native American $1 coin
  • Kennedy half dollar
  • Roosevelt dime
  • Jefferson nickel 
  • Lincoln penny
  • Proof versions of each year’s special program coin releases such as the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program 

Before 1933, these sets were given to members of Congress, presented as gifts to other VIPs, and put on display in various exhibits. Now, however, proof coin sets are available to all collectors.

The US Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint, PAMP, Perth Mint, and most other popular mints and precious metal companies produce premium specialty proof coins struck from highly polished bullion planchets, most often precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. For example, Rosland Capital recently donated a gold proof coin featuring the Formula 1 driving legend, Michael Schumacher, to benefit the Caudwell Children charity.

1-kilogram gold proof coin featuring Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher, encased in acrylic
1-kilogram gold proof coin featuring Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher, encased in acrylic

These proof coins are produced for collectors who also wish to purchase a quantity of highly refined precious metal, such as a .999 (three nines) fineness for silver bullion, a .9999 (four nines) fineness for gold bullion, and .9995 (three nines five) fineness for platinum or palladium. These buyers seek the value of the physical metals from which the proof coins are minted, with the aesthetic appeal and collectibility an added bonus.

How to Buy Mint Coins and Proof Coins

Now that you have a better understanding of the difference between mint coins and proof coins, you’re ready to continue your research. Only you can decide which coins are best for you. People buy different types of coins for different reasons, and it’s important for each person to do their research and determine which products they want. 

What should you look for when buying mint coins or proof coins? Any reputable precious metals and coin dealer such as Rosland Capital sells coins – numismatic, semi-numismatic, mint state, proof, or bullion – and can help you find coins graded by a respected third-party authority such as NGC or PCGS, or certified by an assayer at a well-known mint, with proper documentation and certification of authenticity.

Get more information from the precious metals experts at Rosland Capital.

Rosland Capital Donates 1-kilo Gold Coin to Benefit Charity

Model carrying 1-kilogram gold coin featuring Michael Schumacher at a fashion show and auction hosted by Amber Lounge in Monaco

In May, during the festivities ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, I had the privilege of representing Rosland Capital to help raise funds for the Caudwell Children’s charity. In collaboration with the Keep Fighting Foundation, we donated a one-of-a-kind, 1-kilogram gold proof coin featuring the legendary Formula 1 driver, Michael Schumacher, whose fighting spirit inspired the establishment of the Keep Fighting Foundation. 

https://twitter.com/AmberLoungeLtd/status/1397566334624538624/photo/3

Rosland Capital’s tradition of collaboration and giving back to the community

Alt text: Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher (left) and Rosland Capital CEO Marin Aleksov (right) in Monaco

From the beginning, when I founded it in 2008, Rosland Capital has been committed to philanthropy and giving back to the community, especially those in need. During that time, we have collaborated with several passionate charities and organizations in our effort to make a positive impact on the world around us.

Among those organizations, Rosland Capital has maintained an ongoing relationship with Michael Schumacher’s Keep Fighting Foundation, a nonprofit initiative dedicated to promoting the idea of perseverance and resilience. In collaboration with our friends at Formula 1, we have produced a range of gold and silver coins featuring portraits of Mr. Schumacher. 

In addition to honoring Mr. Schumacher’s remarkable racing career, the sale of these coins directly benefits Keep Fighting and its many charitable projects. In this case, we were able to support Caudwell Children, a UK-based charity with a vision to support and transform the lives of disabled children and their families as “a safety net for families who are unable to gain the help they need.”

Presenting the 1-kilo Michael Schumacher gold coin ahead of the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix

Alongside Mick Schumacher, trustee of the Keep Fighting Foundation, we donated a limited edition 1-kilogram gold proof coin featuring the legendary Formula 1 driver and humanitarian, Michael Schumacher, Mick’s father. The coin sold at auction for more than 100,000 euros at the U*NITE Fashion Show hosted by Amber Lounge in Monaco. 

The proceeds were donated to Caudwell Children to support its vision of helping disabled children and their families. We at Rosland Capital are proud to continue our tradition of collaborating with the Keep Fighting Foundation to raise money in honor of Michael Schumacher and his passion for inspiring and empowering young people. 

Again, we want to thank Mick Schumacher and the Keep Fighting Foundation, Formula 1, Caudwell Children, and the many other wonderful people who helped make this event possible and successful. We look forward to continuing this tradition in the very near future.

Learn more about Rosland Capital’s charity partners and philanthropic efforts.

5 Popular Precious Metal Mints and Brands

Choosing the right precious metals company when you’re buying bullion bars and coins is an important and sometimes difficult task. The stakes are high. You want to ensure that the precious metals products you buy are authentic and high quality. This is your hard-earned money we’re talking about. 

You’ve probably noticed that the number of mints and brands offering precious metal bullion, whether as bars or coins, is vast and sometimes confusing. Did you know that some mints are government-operated, and some are privately owned and operated? And did you know that both types of mints are among the most popular and reliable? 

Let’s start with the basic definition of a mint, and then we’ll move on to the most popular precious metals mints or brands. 

What does mint mean when referring to coins, money, and precious metals? 

Most of us think of the refreshing green leaves used to flavor chewing gum, breath fresheners, and drinks like mojitos and mint juleps. Of course, we mean a very different kind of mint.

According to the Rosland Capital glossary, a mint is an establishment in which coins are produced. Mint is also used as a grading term.

As mentioned earlier, governments operate some mints and private companies own and operate some. Because trust and integrity are essential to creating and maintaining the value of minted precious metals products, each mint places its own mint mark on its offerings. Let’s look again at the Rosland Capital glossary, which says that a mint mark is the “mark on a coin identifying the mint at which it was struck.” This functions as both accountability and a promise of high quality for each mint’s brand reputation.

In the early days of the US Mint, mint marks were unnecessary because the first Mint in Philadelphia was the only one. Mint marks first appeared on US coins when other Mint branches opened in Charlotte, Dahlonega, and New Orleans in 1838. Even after that, the Mint in Philadelphia was not required to mark its coins until 1942. 

A brief history of minted coins

Human beings have used currency since we started exchanging goods and services. Historians say that the Lydians, from a kingdom located in what is Turkey today, first minted coins around 600 B.C., using an alloy of silver and gold called electrum

This new coinage made exchange easier for merchants traveling through diverse societies in varying climates, cultures, and values, opening greater possibilities for exchange beyond the barter system. A modern comparison might be giving someone a gift card they can use anywhere and for almost anything, rather than guessing what kind of specific gift they might like, want, or need — and getting it wrong.

Early modern coin minting grew more sophisticated. Some coins were pressed by rolling blanks through a machine. Other coins were ingots, meaning molten metal was poured into molds and allowed to cool and solidify.  

Today, all kinds of coins and bars are minted for a variety of uses, from authorized circulated currency to uncirculated currency such as bullion coins to coins or tokens used for arcade games or bus fare. Mints produce coins, bars, and other products from a variety of precious metals such as silver, gold, platinum, palladium, and rhodium.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular precious metals brands or mints.

5 of the Most Popular Precious Metal Companies

PAMP

PAMP logo with 1-ounce gold bar

Founded: 1977

Mint type: Private

Perhaps one of the most well-known and popular mints, PAMP is a private mint that was established in 1977, and is based in Ticino, Switzerland. PAMP operates a precious metals refinery and fabrication facility, where it produces a wide range of products, including bullion coins and bars minted from gold, silver, and Platinum Group Metals (PGM), in a variety of sizes, shapes, purities, and weights. PAMP products are accredited as Good Delivery by all major precious metals authorities, including the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). 

PAMP also supplies a diverse range of metal products to consumers, industries, governments, banks, and other institutions. The most popular product among consumers is the 1-ounce Lady Fortuna rectangular pure gold bar ingot at .9999 (four nines) gold fineness. PAMP offers bars ranging in weight from 1 ounce to 1 kilogram in precious metals including silver, gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium, and ruthenium. 


United States (US) Mint

Logo of the United States Mint

Founded: 1792

Mint type: Government

Perhaps the United States Mint is the kind of minting operation you had in mind: one operated by the government to issue the country’s coinage for circulation. The US Mint was founded in 1792, and currently has minting locations in  Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and West Point. According to the Mint, it is the “sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the nation to conduct its trade and commerce.”

In addition to authorized coinage for circulation, the US Mint produces many other coin-related products such as proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins, as well as Congressional Gold Medals. The most popular offerings from the US Mint include silver and gold bullion coins and the American Eagle gold. Many taxpayers will be happy to learn that the Mint is self-sustaining through its programs and operates at no cost to taxpayers. Legend has it that George Washington contributed some of his own silver to get the Mint started.


Royal Canadian Mint

Logo of the Royal Canadian Mint

Founded: 1908

Mint type: Government

Founded in Ottawa, Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint produces over one billion coins annually. The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coin is the RCM’s most popular bullion offering. The Royal Canadian Mint has developed various technologies to protect the integrity of its bullion offerings. 

Bullion DNA™ Anti-Counterfeiting Technology uses a digital authentication process for Gold and Silver Maple Leaf coins. Mintshield™ Surface Protection is said to reduce white spots on Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins. 

The circulation presses in Winnipeg can produce 20 million coins each day, or 750 coins per second. In 2007, the Mint created the largest coin in the world, a 100 kilogram, 99.999% pure, $1 million gold bullion coin. 

According to the RCM, “The Mint’s high-tech plant in Winnipeg produces over 1 billion circulation coins each year. The Mint produces limited-mintage numismatic coins honouring major national achievements and themes. Crafted of gold, silver or platinum, the Mint’s collector coins are individually handled as they enter the presses. A single coin may be struck up to three times to achieve a crisp, flawless impression. Certain coins feature the Mint’s proprietary technologies: double holograms, selective plating, colouring or laser enhancement.”


Perth Mint

Logo of The Perth Mint, Australia

Founded: 1899

Mint type: Government

The Perth Mint, founded in 1899 in Perth, Australia, was originally built to refine metal from the gold rushes in Western Australia, as well as distribute sovereigns and half-sovereigns for the British Empire. 

Accredited by five of the major gold exchanges and serving customers ranging from individuals to sovereign wealth funds, the Perth Mint offers “an array of bullion and collectable legal tender coins, bars and medallions each year. We are proud to showcase Australia’s icons to the world and celebrate a variety of popular universal themes, through the original artistry of our coin designs and creative concepts.”

Some of the Perth Mint’s signature products include the Australian Kookaburra, Koala, and Kangaroo bullion coins. Some recent offerings pay homage to pop culture, such as the Star Wars™ Clone Trooper™ Helmet-Shaped 2021 2oz Silver Proof, the Jurassic World 2021 2oz T.Rex-Shaped Silver Antiqued Coin, the SUPERMAN™ Shield 2021 1oz Silver Proof Coin, and the James Bond GoldenEye 25th Anniversary 2020 1oz Silver Proof Coin. Other coins celebrate the unique Australian ecosystem and wildlife such as the Great Barrier Reef and the famous marsupials from down under: kangaroos, quokkas, and koalas. 

Check out this 2 kilo .9999 silver Australian Koala coin:


Sunshine Minting

Logo for Sunshine Minting, Inc.

Founded: 1979

Mint type: Private

Sunshine Minting, Inc., founded in Idaho in 1979, mints over 70 million ounces of bullion each year. Among them, SMI offers its version of the popular Silver Buffalo Round. In addition to striking its own collector bullion coins, Sunshine Minting serves as the primary supplier of 1-ounce silver planchets — the round metal blanks ready to be struck as coins — to the United States Mint for the .9995 American Silver Eagle bullion coin. SMI also supplies precious metal blanks to private mints. 

However, SMI sells to a varied and diverse range of customers, including governments, financial institutions, corporations, marketing companies, other businesses, and private groups. According to SMI, its “minting operation is geared to manufacture products to industry standards in brilliant uncirculated (BU), proof-like or proof quality.” 

Although it can provide platinum blanks, SMI specializes in the fine gold and fine silver varieties, ranging in size from 1 gram to large 100-ounce bars. SMI also offers services for designing and producing custom creations from any silver, gold, platinum, or non-precious metal minted product.

Finding a Precious Metals Mint to Anchor Your Asset Portfolio

How do you decide which mint and which precious metal products are right for you? That depends on your unique situation. Vital first steps include understanding your goals and doing thorough research. You may end up with more questions than answers at first. But we’re here to help you make an informed decision, whether you want to know how to buy gold or any other precious metal.

Get more information from the precious metals representatives at Rosland Capital.

Rosland Capital at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

What’s the Difference Between Bullion and Numismatic Coins?

Is there a difference between bullion coins and numismatic coins? Yes, and when you’re in the market for coins, it’s important to know what you’re looking for and why you’re looking for it. Bullion coins and numismatic coins are different types of coins that are valued differently and for different reasons.

For some coins, you may be more interested in mintage and coin grading from grading services such as NGC and PCGS than in the price of gold or market value of silver bullion coins.

But there’s still some overlap, especially when considering well-known eagle coins like gold eagles that are minted from physical gold planchets, or silver eagles that have high silver content, both of which are impacted by precious metals prices as well as their mintage and collectible value. This can leave you asking, “How much is a gold coin?” The answer is: It depends on what kind of gold coin you mean. So, before you commit to working with any coin dealers, let’s explore the differences and the similarities, and what that may mean for you.

What is bullion?

What does the word “bullion” make you think of? Do you imagine the huge rectangular gold bullion bars stacked like bricks in a vault at Fort Knox? You’re not wrong. But that’s only part of the picture. Bullion coins are minted using those same highly refined precious metals such as silver, gold, platinum, and palladium. 

As Rosland Capital’s Precious Metals & Coins Glossary (by kind permission of Lorenz Books, publishers of one of our favorite books, The World Encyclopedia of Coins, written by Dr. James Mackay) succinctly states: “Bullion is precious metal whose value is reckoned solely by its weight and fineness.”

Regardless of the shape or size, bullion is all about the purity of the metal itself. Precious metal purity is graded according to millesimal fineness, or parts per thousand, and the standard varies by metal. For example, an assayer certifies the grade of fine silver only for silver bullion with a millesimal fineness of 999, or 999 parts per thousand. This translates to 99.9% pure silver. The same purity standard holds for gold bullion. This level of purity is called 24-karat gold, though that term is most commonly used with jewelry.

According to London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) purity standards for Good Delivery, platinum and palladium bullion must meet the minimum requirement of 99.95% pure platinum or palladium. Although we know that gold is mined along with other precious metals such as platinum to be used in jewelry, electronics, and sustainable energy industries, coins remain one of the most popular forms and uses. All these precious metals are available as bullion coins. Which brings us to our main question.

What’s the difference between bullion coins, numismatic coins, and semi-numismatic coins?

What is a bullion coin?

Again, to quote the Glossary, a bullion coin is a coin struck in precious metal, now usually with an inscription giving its weight and fineness, whose value fluctuates according to the market price of the metal.

Some of the most popular bullion coins include ones minted in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Austria, and the United Kingdom:

It is worth noting that different bullion coins can have different metal content. For example, the American Buffalo is 99.99 fine gold, while the American Eagle is 91.67% pure gold. The Eagle still contains 1 Troy oz of gold, because it weighs 33.931 grams, or around 1.09 Troy ounces.

As long as a bullion coin’s gold content and weight are known, and the issuing authority—in this case the US Mint—is trusted, these variances are of no import.

Although bullion coins are not now meant for use as currency, they are issued by a sovereign nation, have a legal tender value and could theoretically be used for purchases. The fact that the legal tender value is a small fraction of the metal content’s worth discourages that sort of activity.

You may also come across “rounds” that have the same metal content as a bullion coin of the same weight, but these are not legal tender coins whose production is authorized by a sovereign government.

While bullion coins can be seen to have a functional, transactional purpose, they are not immune to the tides of fashion. Before the US Buffalo coin was introduced, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, promoted as ’24-karat,’ was a particularly popular purchase. The arrival of the Buffalo, with its nostalgic use of the Buffalo Nickel design, and its homage to the incuse lettering of the $2.5 and $5 Indian Head coins, created a new favorite.

What are numismatic coins?

What does numismatic mean? 

Let’s check with our Glossary again. It says: “Numismatics (from Latin numisma, coin) is the study and collection of paper money, coins and medals.”

According to the American Numismatic Association (ANA), numismatists study money in any of its forms, often focusing on certain areas of numismatics, such as coins, tokens, or paper currency. For our purposes here, numismatics relates to coins. This often involves an interest in coins as currency, as part of human histories, cultures, and societies. 

Numismatic coins are essentially coins that are no longer in production, are in limited supply and, in the case of US coins, were minted before 1933. They were usually minted as bullion for use as currency and as a medium of exchange. They only acquired their ‘numismatic’ status later, once they became part of history.

One example would be the beautiful $2.5 and $5 Indian Head coins first issued in 1908. These have a recessed, or “incuse” design, and were initially not popular—people thought germs might hide in the crevices—but now they are beloved collectors’ items.

Coin buyers also seek coins minted up to present day, especially limited or special editions, sets such as the U.S. quarters featuring the fifty states, and the now-rare first euros released by each state that joined the European Union prior to standardizing the currency across nations. The scarcity of coins stamped with errors will always be a source of attraction and fascination for numismatists.

That’s not to say that value is unimportant. On the contrary, the value of numismatic and semi-numismatic coins can sometimes greatly exceed that of bullion coins with the same metal content. One difference between bullion coins and numismatic coins is what gives each its value. As we’ve seen, bullion coins are valued for their precious metal content and weight, whereas numismatic coin values also derive from factors such as rarity, historical context and importance, condition, and current demand for a particular coin.

The most valuable numismatic and semi-numismatic coins are worth far more than the spot price for their inherent metal value. One of the most famous numismatic coins is the United States $20 double eagle gold coin. This U.S. gold coin was the result of a collaboration between President Theodore Roosevelt and American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. While visiting the Smithsonian and seeing the ancient Greek coins bearing the image of Alexander the Great, Roosevelt had the idea to reinvent American coinage, introducing a higher caliber of artistic quality. Mission accomplished.

What are semi-numismatic coins?

While “numismatic coins” can be defined as older coins that are no longer made, semi-numismatic coins can still be in production. Along with “First Strikes”, semi-numismatic coins can include proof coins, which are specially minted coins produced in limited runs by some of the most popular mints and precious metals brands. These coins are usually double or triple struck and placed into protective casings without being touched by human hands or placed into circulation, leaving them in “mint condition” without scratch or blemish. 

Proof coins will have a highly polished mirror background, with their design rendered in frosted finishes, giving a cameo-like appearance – they are visibly different and often much more appealing than their mass-produced bullion cousins.

These uncirculated, collectible coins are often of the same metal content as bullion coins while also being relatively rare and unusual, and they draw value from both of these aspects. 

For example, the American Eagle Gold Proof, produced in limited quantities by the US Mint, is a popular item with coin enthusiasts, while the “Uncirculated” version of the same coin is minted in much larger quantities, and would be described as a bullion coin.

In general, semi-numismatic coins can add unexpected character and value to your portfolio. They are also available in a greater variety of sizes compared to coins designed for circulation.

Is it better to buy bullion coins or numismatic coins?

There’s no one answer to that question—it depends on your goals. Whatever you choose, it often makes sense to diversify your holdings and help solidify your portfolio. If you’re thinking about buying precious metals, whether gold, silver, or others contact our precious metals specialists at Rosland Capital.

How is Gold Mined? 3 Ways to Find Gold

What do you imagine when you think of how gold is mined? Maybe you see a prospector panning for gold in a river or a miner with a pickaxe during the California gold rush. Or perhaps you think of current TV shows following the companies that are open-pit mining in the wilderness of Alaska, who are probably excavating, hauling, crushing, and processing gold ore as you read this. 

1. Placer Mining

Placer mining is done in areas where the soil or rock is loose. These areas called placer deposits are often found on beaches and riverbeds. The most common and effective gold mining methods in placer deposits use tools and machines to move and sift through the sediment. The much denser gold settles and remains as the lighter sand, soil, and rocks separate and get washed away.

Dredging

Sometimes the gold deposits sit in deeper water, inaccessible by simply wading into the river. Dredging uses machines to remove sediment and soil from a live riverbed. Sometimes this process involves digging with a machine from above the water’s surface. Occasionally, large hoses are used to suck both water and soil away from the riverbed, depositing it into a machine for processing. 

Suction dredging usually requires a miner to dive down to the riverbed and operate a suction hose that carries sediment up to a sluice box on a floating platform. Gold dredging has been practiced since the early 1900s, when steam and electricity made it possible to build machines capable of handling large amounts of material. In the United States, using a gold dredge requires a license and is heavily regulated in areas where this method is common, including states like Alaska, Montana, and California. Suction dredging for gold remains a common practice in South America, Asia, and Africa.

Panning 

Probably one of the oldest methods associated with gold mining is panning. Panning is widely recognized as one of the simplest and cleanest ways to extract gold from a placer deposit. In this gold mining process, the miner uses a large pan to scoop up soil and then slowly swirls or shakes the pan underwater to sweep away loose and light sediment, leaving the heavier gold material in the pan. Due to the simplicity and effectiveness,  it remains a favorite method among those prospectors who don’t need to move metric tons of earth to strike gold. 

Sluicing

Water is an incredibly useful tool for separating gold from waste rock. Sluicing takes advantage of water’s power to move a large amount of material efficiently. This is especially useful when separating gold from soil and gravel. Ultimately, sluicing uses a channel-like box to recreate the effect of a river. The sluice is placed in the river to keep water moving through it, pushing sediment along and separating materials as it goes. The bottom of the channel has fins or ridges that trap the heavier gold material that settles as the moving water carries the unwanted sediment tailings away. 

A method similar to the sluice box is the rocker box. Using a rocker box is preferable in areas with less water available. It uses the same effect of separating soil and sand from gold and capturing gold fragments in the ripples at the bottom of the box. Instead of using the river’s natural movement, a rocker box (also called a cradle) is rocked back and forth to create the movement needed to separate the good stuff from all the rest.

2. Hard Rock Mining

Sometimes the ground is too hard to scoop up with a pan, a shovel, or even a digging machine with steel carbide teeth. In this instance, you need tools that can process thousands of tons of rock to get to the gold. Typically, larger gold mining operations have the resources to extract gold that would otherwise be impossible for smaller outfits to reach. But before they begin mining, they have to do some exploration to find lode deposits.

This kind of gold mining exploration, known as hard rock mining, requires the expertise of teams that often include geologists, geographers, chemists, engineers, and more. Among these disciplines, core samples are drilled, local geography is surveyed, and many other factors are taken into account when deciding the viability of developing a gold mine in a particular place. 

How scarce and disbursed is the gold likely to be in an area under consideration for hard rock mining? Less than 0.1% of potential mining sites ever develop into fully functional and productive mines. However, if a mining operation has the tools available to get to the gold, a smaller amount of gold per ton is worthwhile to extract. 

Open Pit and Underground Mining

Open pit mining is what most people picture when they think of gold mining. Huge digging machines, earth movers, massive motorized sluicers, and enormous pits carved into the earth give you a good idea of what open pit mining is all about. This is what you see at the famous Fimiston Open Pit, aka the Super Pit gold mine, in Western Australia.

When the ground happens to be exceptionally hard, dense rock like granite, miners drill holes and place explosives in them to break apart the rock for hauling and processing. This is used with underground mining as well. When the lode deposits are far enough below the earth’s surface, mine shafts are created to give miners access to the veins of gold. The material is sent to the surface for processing and the tailings and the waste rock are placed out of the way. 

3. Byproduct Mining

It’s not often you hear about gold being the secondary metal sought out by a mining operation. But, as the name suggests, byproduct mining means that gold happens to have come along with another material that is mined, such as copper and other metals, and sometimes even gravel. Gold is mined as a byproduct from mines in Utah as well as the mine in Papua, Indonesia, which primarily mines copper. 

Processing Gold Ore

With a greater understanding of chemistry came alternative methods for extracting gold from gold ore. Rather than dredging, sluicing, blasting, crushing, and separating the gold manually and mechanically, it can be done chemically. The two most common methods of chemically processing gold ore have used a sodium cyanide solution or an older, now-obsolete method involving mercury. However, traditional mechanical methods remain the most commonly used.

The good news is that many precious metals are increasingly used in sustainable energy solutions, so the benefits of mining and processing gold go beyond their aesthetic appeal to more practical applications to improve both environment and economy.

Knowing more about the ways that gold is mined has hopefully grown your appreciation for what goes into getting this precious metal out of the earth and into the gorgeous gold coins and bullion bars we all enjoy.

Learn how to buy gold with Rosland Capital at BuyGold101.com.

stack of platinum bars

What Platinum Is Used For

From Dental Work to Jewelry: 5 Ways That Platinum is Used

Platinum is not only one of the rarest elements in the world; it’s also one of the most valuable and useful precious metals. Despite its high melting point and difficulty to work with, platinum lends itself to many uses — from jewelry to dental work to cancer treatments — and extends its value to aesthetic and practical purposes all over the world. 

The Origins of Platinum

Platinum, often mixed with gold, is known to have been used by ancient peoples in Central America and Egypt to make jewelry. However, the earliest known reference to the precious metal comes from an Italian physician named Julius Scaliger who first wrote about platinum in 1557, calling it “platino,” which means “little silver” in Spanish. He found this metal notable because it wouldn’t melt. 

For nearly 200 years, people were unable to melt or fashion platinum into something useful. Then, in the early 1800s, British chemists Smithson Tennant and William Hyde Wollaston developed a method for purifying platinum by dissolving it chemically in “aqua regia,” which is a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acids. This separated platinum from the other metals it’s often found with, such as palladium, rhodium, iridium, and others. A similar technique is still used today. 

Platinum’s resistance to corrosion and high melting point makes it a valuable candidate for a wider range of applications than softer metals like silver and gold that can’t take more extreme conditions. Here are five common and everyday uses of platinum.

1.  Uses of Platinum in Jewelry

When Europeans arrived in South America, they discovered that the ancient people in South America had already been using platinum to make jewelry. Jewelers still use platinum to make jewelry today , using approximately 40% of available platinum. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, platinum jewelry in the United States is approximately 85-95% pure, and any jewelry in the U.S. that contains less than 50% pure platinum cannot in any way be labeled as platinum.

Shine and durability make platinum a prized material in jewelry making, especially when setting precious gems securely, and the precious metal is naturally hypoallergenic. 

2. Uses of Platinum in Dental Work

We don’t often think of our mouth as an extreme environment, but with the acidity, chewing, and impact of all of the things we eat and drink, not all metals can handle the conditions. Platinum and other related metals, such as palladium and iridium, boast incredible durability and corrosion resistance. This makes them useful and popular choices for many kinds of dental work, from fillings to crowns to bridges. Platinum-group metals are usually alloyed with other precious metals — like gold, silver, copper, and zinc — to increase their malleability, which is essential for custom dental work.

3. Uses of Platinum in Sustainable Energy

In the race to create sustainable and environmentally friendly products, processes, energy, and lifestyles, scientists and engineers are innovating. Improving the efficiency and cleanliness of the things we use every day is a big step in that process. Among the precious metals, platinum plays an important role in the development of sustainable energy. Hydrogen fuel cells use platinum as a catalyst to improve efficiency, and the metal also serves as a vital element in catalytic converters, which reduces the toxicity of car exhaust and helps cut down on pollution.  

Read more about precious metals and sustainable energy >> 

4. Uses of Platinum in Medicine

Platinum-based chemotherapy is used as a major treatment for cancer patients with a wide variety of cancers. When combined, ruthenium and platinum pack a one-two punch as a cancer-fighting combo. Ruthenium gathers light, transferring some of the light energy to the platinum part of the molecule, which turns the platinum site into an effective treatment that can bind more effectively to the DNA.

Additionally, platinum helps to reduce unwanted side-effects and toxicity of the treatment in other areas of the body. The intravenous treatment attacks the structure and function of cancer cells to prevent them from reproducing and growing. 

5. Uses of Platinum in Electronics

Computers often use precious metals in their hard drives, albeit in small quantities. Because of their conductive properties — as well as resistance to high heat and corrosion — metals like gold, silver, palladium, copper, and platinum remain essential to current and future computer technology. 

One of the biggest challenges for the electronics industry and governmental organizations has been figuring out how to reclaim precious metals used in computers and other electronics before they end up in landfills. It’s not likely to be worth your time to try salvaging the metals from your electronics, because there’s not much in a single hard drive, but add up the thousands of electronics thrown away every year, and suddenly it makes sense to recycle those old hard drives instead of sending them to the dump. 

Electronics recycling programs make it easy to safely dispose of your old electronics and keep precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum from going to waste. 

Learn More About Precious Metals Like Platinum 

Along with other precious metals, it’s no wonder that a beautiful and durable metal like platinum has stood the test of time. Platinum continues to surprise us with its versatility and utility as part of everyday life, from aesthetically pleasing jewelry and increased computing power to cancer-fighting treatments and sustainable energy. Interested in learning more about precious metals, including gold and silver? Visit RoslandCapital.com.

rows of solar panels in a green field

Precious Metals and Sustainable Energy

What Is the Connection Between Precious Metals and Sustainable Energy?

Many of us have heard about sustainable energy, from solar energy to hydrogen fuel to renewable resources. But did you know that alternative energy sources and precious metals are deeply intertwined? In fact, the demand for renewable energy sources plays a prominent role in the demand for precious metals.

So, what does gold have to do with solar power? How does silver drive the electric vehicle industry? What does platinum have to do with hydrogen fuel cells? In this article, I’ll explain the many ways that gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are playing an important role in green energy research.

Gold, Silver, and Sustainable Energy

For millennia, nearly every culture in the world has mined gold and silver for various purposes. Besides their most common uses — such as jewelry or medical devices — gold and silver also have enjoyed a variety of “magical” applications throughout history, particularly for ancient and medieval alchemy. 

Although spinning gold into something else might seem like the stuff of fairy tales, researchers have been able to use gold as a catalyst to turn solar energy into methane and methanol. Well-known for its high conductivity, silver, too, has emerged as a key ingredient in the development of solar technologies. When used in the form of a paste in solar cells, silver helps conduct electrons from sunlight and the resulting electrical energy that can be used immediately or stored in batteries. 

Additionally, silver plays a vital role in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, which is growing rapidly. According to McKinsey, 143 new EVs were launched in 2019 and automakers plan on launching 450 additional models by 2022. From the electric engine to the battery pack to the batter management system, silver is necessary for EVs to operate. Gold, too, is used for the circuit boards of EVs. 

A global authority on precious metals, the London Bullion Market Association predicts that the demand for silver in the auto industry will increase 246% by 2040 — from a little more than 1,300 metric tons in 2015 to more than 4,500 metric tons in 2040. Although the amount of silver and gold may be small from car to car, the aggregate total is notable and will only expand the importance and value of these precious metals. 

Platinum, Palladium, and Renewable Energy

Discovered in 1735, platinum is known for its brilliant shine and durability and is used in everything from dental tools to jewelry.

Platinum’s cousin palladium isn’t known as widely for its white luster as it is for its use in the automotive industry where it’s used to turn toxic pollutants into water vapor and less-harmful carbon dioxide. In recent years, the demand for palladium has grown thanks to research into its applications in alternative energy. In fact, although palladium isn’t used in electric car production, the demand for palladium in hybrid cars is on the rise.

Groundbreaking uses for platinum and palladium are emerging as scientists investigate how to shift from a fossil fuel-based economy to a hydrogen-based economy. Both metals are excellent candidates for use as catalysts in hydrogen fuel cells, because of their excellent conductivity. Platinum and palladium make it possible to turn hydrogen into an efficient, powerful, and sustainable fuel source. This potential makes platinum and palladium the standouts among the precious metals for green technologies.

Driven by Precious Metals, the Future Is Green

Although we can’t be sure what the future holds, all signs point toward more industries “going green” at a rapid clip. As interest in sustainability grows, innovative uses for precious metals will only drive demand. If you’re interested in learning more about precious metals, including gold and silver, visit RoslandCapital.com.

How to Research Gold Spot Prices

If you’re considering buying gold or other precious metals, it’s important to understand what “spot prices” are. Unfortunately, this term, along with other industry terms like “bid/ask spread,” “good delivery,” and “troy ounces” can confuse buyers. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems! 

Rosland Capital has published a new blog article that breaks down these concepts. Ready to get started? Read the “How to Research Gold Spot Prices” blog article to learn more.