Modern Coin Scene: Orion Coin Launched

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Royal Australian Mint releases the 2014 Orion Coin

2014 Orion Coin | Goldmart.comOne of the most eagerly anticipated world coins of 2014 has just been released by the Royal Australian Mint, and is now available for ordering from various Australian dealers, e-Bay, etc.
The coin is the third in the highly popular, domed and colored Southern Sky star constellation series.  This time the Orion constellation is depicted against a brown and purple background.  The previous two coins in the series were blue and green and depicted the Southern Crux and Pavo constellations respectively.  The first was released in 2012 and the second in 2013.Goldmart.com | America's low-cost precious metals dealer
Orion, which is also known as the Hunter, is different from the other Southern Sky star constellations because it is on the celestial equator that makes it visible all over the world.
The coins feature a  convex/concave shape, are made of one ounce of 99.9% silver with a proof finish, and have a diameter of 39.62 millimeters.
The Southern Crux coin was a runaway success, selling out of its 10,000 mintage quickly, probably because it was only the second major curved coin ever minted by a world mint and because it was the first in a series, which always adds to the appeal for collectors.  Initially available for about $120, today it goes for close to $500 in original packaging
or in graded PF70.  That kind of increase in a two year period is very unusual for a modern world coin.
The Pavo issue, second in the set, has sold 90% of its mintage according to Australian dealer, Downies.
I would not be surprised to see a quick sell-out of the Orion coin and ordered two myself the day it was announced, July 21.  I may even pick up a graded PF70 later if the price is right.

 

Modern Coin Scene: Is the London Gold Fix Going to be Scrapped?

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Is the London Gold Fix Going to be Scrapped?

In May, as I discussed recently, London Silver Market Fixing announced that the London silver fix will end on August 15.  Since then many precious metal watchers have been asking if the London gold fix will also come to an end.

In addition, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority or FCA said recently that while it is possible manipulation of gold prices has taken place, it found “no clear evidence” that the major banks involved in setting the gold fix were colluding with each other.

A new article in Gold Investing News explains that there are three basic perspectives on the gold fix: “those who think the gold fix needs replacing, those who think it should be modernized, and those who believe it is fine as it is.”

The article also notes that during a recent discussion of gold industry members at the World Gold Council, “there was no real view from anyone in the room that the gold fix should be abandoned and we should start redesigning it from scratch.”

So it appears that reform of the gold fix is the most likely outcome, especially since gold market participants play such a major role in this area.

In a survey of readers of Gold Investing News, 64.7% favored getting rid of the gold fix, 29.41% said get rid of it, and about 6% said either leave it as it, or other, as of July 11.  These results, when compared to what market players favor, show how opinion is strongly divided on the issue, depending on whether you are in or outside the market.

It is also worth noting, or reinforcing, a point I have made before, which is that many observers have always argued that manipulation of silver prices has been more blatant than gold price fixing, something which regulators on both sides of the Atlantic seem to agree with.

 

Modern Coin Scene: Mint Reveals Final Details on Kennedy Coins

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Modern Coin Scene: Mint Reveals Final Details on Kennedy Coins

On July 16 the U.S. Mint held a teleconference with representatives of the numismatic media during which the remaining details on how it will handle sales of the long-awaited and much-anticipated 2014 John F. Kennedy half dollar tribute coins were revealed.

The release dates for the gold three-quarter ounce coin and the two-coin clad half dollar set and the ordering limits of two in-person and five online had already been made available recently.  In addition, in the fall a special four-coin silver set will be released.

But it was only last week that the Mint, in a comment on its Facebook page, indicated there will be no mintage limit for the gold coins in order to give everyone who wants one a chance to purchase it.  Continue reading

Modern Coin Scene: Tokelau Year of the Goat Coins Launched

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Tokelau Year of the Goat Coins Launched

2015-TOKELAU-Silver-Luna | Goldmart.comFor the third year in a row the island nation of Tokelau located near New Zealand has issued the first coins in the Chinese Lunar year series. Lunar coins are issued by numerous countries and are widely collected around the world, especially in Asia.

2015 is the year of the goat in the Lunar calendar.  Continue reading

Modern Coin Scene: Art that Changed the World

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Art that Changed the World

The Mint of Poland, which was founded in 1766, is one of the oldest mints in the world, and it is known for its cutting-edge technology and innovative coins, which they issue for many different countries.  The mint began issuing a beautiful series for the island nation of Niue called Art that Changed the World about the key periods in art history such as the gothic period, Romanesque period, etc. Each coin has exquisite detail and includes agate inserts in different colors, and the coins come with a 3-D display frame.


There are three versions for each coin- a square 1 ounce, a round proof 3 ounce, and a round antique silver 3 ounce piece. The use of architectural elements and craftsmanship is reminiscent of the popular, but substantially more expensive Tiffany coins, which recently reached their 10th anniversary. The mintages of the 3 ounce pieces are miniscule at 555 proof and 222 antique silver. The 1 ounce coins have mintages of 3,333.  The smaller square coins are not just smaller versions of the larger round coins. They have different designs.

There is also an amazing 1.5 oz gold coin with Swarovski elements that is really stunning but costs $3,500 from the Polish Mint’s U.S. distributor, First Coin Company (www.firstcoincompany.com).  The one ounce coins are $119 from FCC, and the three ounce pieces run $350 for the proof and $375 for the antique finish.  The coins are also available from other companies, but usually at higher prices.

This series, especially the three ounce versions, has the potential to do well on the secondary market because of the extremely low mintages, beauty of the coins, and widespread interest in art and architecture among world coin collectors.  Plus, the lower price point of these coins compared to other series of this nature like the Tiffany coins makes them even more appealing as art to be enjoyed and for possible price