Private Mints on Silver.com
Sovereign government mints around the globe serve a dual role of producing national currency for everyday use, as well as bullion and proof coins designed to attract the attention of investors and collectors who prefer precious metals to the modern stock market. If there’s one thing that sets sovereign and private mints apart, it is the variety and pricing of precious metal products. Private mints often produce precious metals with the greatest level of variety, and lower premiums over the spot price of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
There are private mints located around the globe. Some, such as many of those in the United States, focus intently on both rounds and bars, while many foreign private mints predominantly manufacture bars. In the following sections you’ll learn more about the gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products offered on Silver.com from private mints around the world.
United States of America
The United States Mint is the sovereign mint of the federal government, but there is also a robust private sector for precious metals in the United States. There are countless private mints striking rounds and bars, many of which have growing profiles and portfolios.
The Anonymous Mint is a small facility that has a rising profile in the precious metals industry, offering a variety of creative rounds available for purchase. These range from the exciting new Medusa and Blackbeard Series of silver rounds, available in 1 oz. and 5 oz. weights with brilliant, antique finishes, to the Kraken Series. Coin Creator Julie Lindquist is the brains behind many of the popular programs currently offered by Anonymous Mint and available on Silver.com.
Asahi Refining is a subsidiary of Japan’s Asahi Holdings, a precious metals recycling firm founded in 1952. The company bought the gold and silver refining operations of Johnson Matthey after the British multinational firm decided to divest from the industry. Asahi Refining operates mints in Salt Lake City Utah and Brampton, Ontario. Its primary product is the 100 oz Silver Bar.
The Atlantis Mint is one of two private mints in the United States producing unique, hand-poured silver bars. Among its popular designs are the Alien Skull Bar and its range of Skull & Crossbones silver bars. All of its bars contain .999 pure silver and have rustic, matte finishes indicative of the hand-poured approach to minting.
Elemetal Mint is the new operating name for Ohio Precious Metals. Operating for the past several years as part of a collaborative team involving NTR Metals and Provident Metals, in July 2015 OPM assumed the name Elemetal Mint for production of precious metals under the combined company’s brand. Its most popular products to date are its 2 oz Ultra High Relief Proof Rounds; the Privateer Series and the North American Landscapes Series. Included in the current Silver.com catalog is the newest release in the Privateer Series, the 2 oz Ultra High Relief The Plank. This new silver round continues the pirate-themed series with the image of a mutinous dog being sent to Davey Jones’ locker courtesy of a short walk on the plank.
Great American Mint
The youngest private mint in the US is the Great American Mint. Opened in 2011, it is the largest private mint on the West Coast of the United States. In addition to producing silver rounds and round bars featuring designs from America’s past, including the Indian Head Nickel, Walking Liberty, and Morgan Silver Dollar, the Great American Mint provides investment-grade bullion blanks to the United States Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, and other sovereign mints around the globe.
Florida’s Highland Mint was founded in the 1980s, and is best known for producing silver commemorative medals and licensed products for professional sports teams from America’s major sporting leagues, as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association. It does also produce silver rounds with .999 pure silver content. Their most popular silver rounds feature the iconic Indian Head Nickel (1913-1938) and Walking Liberty Half Dollar (1916-1947) designs on a Buffalo Silver Round and Walking Liberty Round, respectively.
Monarch Precious Metals
Founded in 2008 in the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon, Monarch Precious Metals is the other private mint in the United States to produce all of its silver bars using hand-poured techniques. All of its bars, including the popular Monarch Pistol Silver Bar, Skull Silver Bar, and its MPM-branded silver bars are hand poured using at least .999 pure silver and stamped with unique markings. Monarch is also expanding its offering of silver rounds, which includes the one-of-a-kind ½ oz Egyptian Rounds and the 3D Sports rounds, featuring convex/concave designs focusing on basketball and soccer.
Osborne Precious Metals
Located in the state of Ohio, Osborne Precious Metals has one of the richest histories in the United States. In 2016, the mint sent a number of impressive silver rounds to the market with brilliant designs, limited mintages, and .999 pure silver; all the factors necessary to drive both investors and collectors crazy in the pursuit of silver precious metals. Below you’ll find more information on the two popular product lineups from Osborne Precious Metals.
The most extensive offering from Osborne is the Norse God Series which features five design honoring the major gods from Norse mythology, which are placed on the obverse of 1 oz and 5 oz antique silver rounds. Other major programs available at the moment include the Frank Frazetta collection celebrating the famed science-fiction artists two greatest design on three different rounds; a 1 oz antique round, 1 oz proof round, and 5 oz proof. The Silver Hobo Nickel Series is a five-round series with three design currently available, and Osborne is the new home of the latest Alyx the Fairy design in the Silverbug Silver Fairy series of rounds.
Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Scottsdale Mint has a vast array of silver and gold products available for purchase. Scottsdale Mint products range from their own branded silver rounds and stacker silver bars to the production of foreign bullion and commemorative coinage. For example, the Scottsdale Mint strikes the Silver Congo Silverback Gorilla Coin series. This all-new series debuted in 2015 and is planned for annual releases with a new obverse gorilla design each year. Alternatively, the Scottsdale Silver Round series is a unique stacker product that features three different weights, all of which are compatible with one another and easily stacked together, regardless of weight and size courtesy of uniform shapes and interlocking, 3D designs.
Switzerland is often viewed as the financial and banking capital of the world. It is not surprising then that this nation would be at the forefront of precious metals production and design. Three of its mints in particular stand out in the crowd, providing investors and collectors alike with some of the finest products available today.
Credit Suisse is Switzerland’s oldest operating refinery, having opened as a financial institution in the 1850s to support the financial and investment needs of the growing railroad industry. Today, Credit Suisse produces a variety of silver and gold bars branded with their own logo for use in investing. Of particular interest to some investors and collectors are the lineup of Liberty bars, available in both gold and platinum. Many of their heavier bars also have Good Delivery status with the LBMA.
Produits Artistiques Metaux Precieux, or simply PAMP, is the world’s leading bullion brand. PAMP was founded in 1977, and is now part of the global MKS Group, which has an international footprint in the precious metals and financial services industries. Among its most popular products are the following:
- Fortuna Silver Bars: These just might be the most popular silver bars in the world. Available in weights ranging from 1 Gram to 1 Kilogram, the Fortuna Silver Bar features an image of the Roman goddess Fortuna on the obverse, with the PAMP logo and identifying features of the product on the reverse.
- PAMP Silver Bars: Additional PAMP Silver Bars are available in minted silver ingots and cast silver bars, ranging in weights from 1 Gram to 1 Kilogram. Some of PAMP’s larger products enjoy status as Good Delivery with the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).
Founded as Valori & Cambi in 1961, this Swiss refinery was actually owned for almost 40 years by Credit Suisse. The combination of the companies created Valcambi Suisse, which lives on today under new ownership. While it does produces standard silver bars as minted ingots and Good Delivery LBMA silver bars, it’s most popular product is the 100 oz Valcambi CombiBar. Using proprietary technology, investors can divide these bars into either 100 individual 1 oz. bars or 10 individual 10 oz. bars (depending upon the product purchased), without losing metal content or purity in the process.
Germany’s national mint system consists of four different mints owned and operated by state governments. When it comes to the production of coins for international governments and investors around the world, Geiger Edelmetalle and the Bavarian State Mint are the go-to facilities in Germany.
Geiger was founded in the Saxony region of Germany in 1218. It is located in a region of Germany with more than 1,000 years of silver mining history. Today, the most popular product from Geiger Edelmetalle is actually struck for another nation. The Armenian Silver Noah’s Ark coin tells the biblical tale from the Christian bible’s book of Genesis. Armenia has a deep connection to this tale, as it was the first modern nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion, and the famous Mount Ararat where the ark came to rest was traditionally located within its borders. These coins feature .999 pure silver and a face value of 500 Drams in a 1 oz weight.
Bavarian State Mint
The Bavarian State Mint is owned and operated by the Free State of Bavaria, and is located in Munich. With a rich history of its own that dates back to 1158, it is one of Germany’s oldest mints. In addition to producing Euro currency for the Eurozone, it also produces the popular Somalian Elephant Series. Originally introduced in 1999 as the Zambian Elephant, the coins were shifted to Somalia starting in 2004.
Despite the change in nation of issue, the Elephant Coins have always featured a brand-new design on the obverse side of the coin each year. Originally offered in small mintages, the popularity of the coins has pushed demand higher. Not only are the coins available in silver and gold, with .999 fine silver or .9999 fine gold content, the coin program also features a gilded 24-karat coin and the recently introduced Platinum Elephant coin, as well.
The Land Down Under just happens to be home to some of the most sought-after and beloved coins produced in the world. Coins from Australia are available both from the Royal Australian Mint, and the former Royal Mint (English) facility at the Perth Mint. Today, the Perth Mint is recognized as one of the world’s finest refineries, offering gold and silver coins, as well as investment-grade bars.
There is no shortage of impressive coins struck by Australia’s Perth Mint. These products include:
- Australian Kookaburra: A sovereign bullion coin struck for the first time in 1990, these coins are still minted annually today and feature new reverse designs of Australia’s unique native bird. Each coin features .999 pure silver or .9999 fine gold.
- Australian Lunar Series coins: Introduced in 1996 and running for 12 years, these were the first popular lunar coins in the world. Each year featured a new animal indicative of the creature appearing that year in the Chinese Lunar Calendar, also known as the Zodiac. Though it ended in 2007, Lunar Series coins remain a favorite with investors.
- Australian Koala: Adapting the cuddly and curious koala to the face of a bullion coin, the Perth Mint sells millions of Australian Silver Koala coins each year. Like the Kookaburra coin, the image on the reverse is new each year. Coins in this series are available in .999 fine silver or .9999 fine gold.
- Australian Lunar Series II: The original Lunar Series was so popular the mint immediately launched Lunar Series II in 2008. These coins feature the same .999 purity levels and differing designs for each animal in the Zodiac, but have more intricate and beautiful designs than the original program.
- Australian Silver Kangaroo Coins: The latest silver bullion coin from Perth, these celebrate the continent’s largest marsupial and are the first to feature .9999 pure silver. These coins will continue into the future with alternating designs on the reverse each year, like the Koala and Kookaburra coins.
- Star Trek Proof Silver: The Star Trek Proof Silver Coins honor the characters and starships from Gene Roddenberry’s popular Star Trek The first coins represented the Original Series, and subsequent releases represent the captains and starships moving forward in time, with secondary characters featured on other proofs. These coins have limited mintages of 6,500 in total (5,000 for individual sale, 1,500 for two-coin sets). Each coin features a brilliant .999 pure silver content and colorized design finishes.
Perth Mint is not the official production facility of Australia. The national government prints its official coinage and paper currency at the Royal Australian Mint. However, the Perth Mint is the nation’s oldest facility and its products enjoy legal tender status under the Currency Act of 1965.
The New Zealand Mint is a privately-owned company in Auckland, and is not responsible for the production of coinage or paper currency for New Zealand’s government (this is done at the Royal Mint and Royal Canadian Mint). However, it is responsible for producing coinage and commemorative coins for numerous, small Pacific Island nations such as the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, and Fiji. The most popular product from the New Zealand Mint celebrates the Hawksbill turtle, which features a new design set on the reverse each year.
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