If you are in the market to purchase precious metal bars, coins, or bullion, you will see many options, and you can find it challenging to make a good selection. You can be confused just based on the sheer volume of options, and this is not to be taken lightly, as you need to part with a good portion of your money to invest in precious metals.
That is why here we’ve prepared a list of the most popular options for precious metals. You will also learn about state-owned and private-owned mints, which are better, more reliable, and much more. After you read our guide, you will be more informed and better prepared to make a sound decision regarding investing in gold and other precious metals.
What Is a Mint?
The term mint, concerning precious metals, is a far cry from the refreshing herb known as mint, responsible for the cooling flavor of toothpaste and chewing gum. A mint is a manufacturing facility that produces coins for circulation as currency or as collectibles and investment options.
Mints can be state or privately operated, and each mint, no matter who owns it, has its own mark that it leaves on the coins it produces. The mint mark is the mark on a coin that identifies the mint at which it was struck. The mint mark is used for accountability and as a mark of quality and reputation.
For example, the US Mint has several facilities across the USA now, the first one was the Mint in Philadelphia, and it was not required to place mint marks. Still, after subsequent branches opened across the country, the mints were required to put marks on their coins for tracking purposes.
History of Minted Coins
Way back in history, people used goods and services instead of currency, but things changed as civilization started developing. It is presumed that the Lydian kingdom (what is today’s Turkey) was the first to use minted coins around 600 BC. These coins were made from electrum, a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver.
The newly introduced coins greatly facilitated things; merchants who traveled long distances and through various cultures now had a more reliable payment system and slowly abandoned the barter system.
As time passed, people developed the coin minting process; some coins were poured into a mold, while others were pressed through a machine. Today, all modern mints use the same (or similar) process of minting coins – pressing the coin stock known as a blank or a planchet between two dies that hold the obverse and reverse of the coin.
Please note that the same process is for minting the coins for circulation, uncirculated coins, bus fare coins, arcade game tokens, and others. Of course, here we only talk about the mints that produce coins (and rounds and bars) from precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and even rhodium.
Top Reputable Mints Worldwide
Here is our selection of the top reputable mints worldwide. These are famous and enjoy an excellent reputation for being reliable, having high-quality products, and having competitive prices:
PAMP – Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux
PAMP is a privately-owned mint founded in 1977 in Ticino, Switzerland. PAMP has a precious metals refinery and a manufacturing facility that produces a broad array of precious metal products. They have various shapes and sizes of bullion coins and bars from gold, silver, and platinum.
PAMP provides a wide range of precious metal products to consumers, industries, banks, governments, and other institutions. The most famous PAMP product for consumers is their 1-oz Lady Fortuna pure .9999 fine gold bar, named the most coveted gold bullion bar in the world. However, PAMP has many more products ranging from 1 oz to 1 kg in gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, and ruthenium. PAMP is accredited as a Good Delivery by all significant precious metal authorities.
US Mint – United States Mint
The US Mint is a government-run coin mint founded in 1792 and now operates out of four main facilities in the USA: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point. The US Mint is the sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the nation. The US Mint produces circulating coinage, but they also have a production line of other coin-related products not for circulation.
The US Mint produces proof coins, uncirculated and commemorative coins, and it produces the Congressional Gold Medals. One of the most famous coins the US Mint makes is the silver and gold American Eagle coins. An anecdote says that George Washington donated some of his silver to get the US Mint started, and it now operates as an autonomous entity at no cost to the US taxpayers.
Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is a government-owned mint founded in Ottawa in 1908. The output of the Royal Canadian Mint is about 1 billion coins annually, and it now operates out of a primary production facility in Winnipeg. The most famous product by the Royal Canadian Mint is the Canadian Maple Leaf coin in gold and silver. In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint created the largest precious metal coin in the world – a 100 kg 99.999% pure gold bullion coin prized at $1 million.
The Royal Canadian Mint creates coins from gold, silver, and platinum, and their collector’s coins are hand-fed into the coining machine. The coins are struck up to three times, and additional technologies are used to enhance the coins’ look.
Sunshine Minting, or SMI, is a privately-held precious metals mint founded in 1979 in Idaho. It is the leading supplier of 1-ounce silver blanks or planchets for the US Mint that are struck in the American Silver Eagle bullion coin. SMI sells its products to clients like private companies, governments, financial institutions, and other businesses.
SMI specializes in fine gold and silver products from 1-gram to 100-oz bars. The most famous product by Sunshine Minting is the US Silver Buffalo round collector bullion coin.
The Perth Mint is a government-owned mint founded in 1899 in Perth, Australia. Initially founded as a gold refinery for refining the precious metal from the gold rushes in West Australia, it was also tasked with distributing sovereigns and half-sovereigns from the British Empire. The Perth Mint offers an array of bullion coins and collectible legal tender coins, bars, and rounds proudly showcasing Australia’s icons to the world.
The most famous products from the Perth Mint are the Australian Kookaburra, Koala, Kangaroo, and the Great Barrier Reef bullion coins in gold and silver. The Perth Mint also makes a variety of pop-culture-themed coins that are popular among coin collectors.
The Bottom Line: Purchase Products from Reputable Precious Metal Mints
Your decision to invest in precious metals can depend on many factors, but you should always strive to buy precious metal coins and bars from reputable manufacturers. Please follow our blog for more information on how to buy gold, silver, and other precious metals, as we cover a lot of vital data that can help you make an informed decision.
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