Glossary Term: Certificate of Authenticity

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Investors new to precious metal investing often ask if the metals come with a Certificate of Authenticity (CoA).  Some items are delivered with an actual certificate, printed on a piece of paper (or an assay card, in the case of Gold bars).  With most bullion items however, the coin or bar itself serves as its own CoA. The coin, round or bar is imprinted with a stamp indicating the weight,
the fineness is unique to that item.  Gold, specifically, is such a unique element which is easy to authenticate in a number of different ways.

Approximately 90% of the products on the APMEX website are purchased directly from many of the following mints: government mints such as the U.S. Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint, the Perth Mint in Australia or the Bank of Mexico;  as well as private mints such as the Sunshine Mint in Idaho or Pamp Suisse and Credit Suisse in Switzerland.  APMEX has a qualified team of product managers with decades of experience who verify the authenticity of APMEX products to ensure quality control and customer satisfaction.

By Ryan Schwimmer, Account Manager at APMEX. You can reach Ryan at 1-800-375-9006 extn 232

 

Balance your portfolio with the 4th asset class of Gold today.

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Market recap 4/15/11

This week was one of significant gains for both Gold and Silver prices. However, on Monday it was only Silver going up as Gold retreated on the news that a budget deal had been struck and that Libyan President Gaddafi was going to accept a peace plan brokered by the African Union. Of course, President Gaddafi made it clear he would not step down, which killed this proposal by the next day.

On Tuesday, Japan raised its nuclear crisis to the highest possible level, which is level seven. This puts this radioactive disaster on par with what occurred in Chernobyl back in 1986. The Japanese government, already under scrutiny for what appears to be a campaign of miscommunication tried to make the world feel better by letting us know, that there has been no real change, it has been level 7 the whole time. The government further states that although there is radioactive contamination in the air, water, soil, fish and vegetables, there are no immediate health risks. Comforting indeed!

Wednesday, Gold and Silver began to drift up as President Obama came out with his budget-cutting plan that chops $4 trillion off in the next 12 years. Apparently, many investors felt the need for a safe haven after seeing the details (or lack thereof). An interesting article written by Julian Phillips gave his view on why Silver has been rising faster than Gold. In a nutshell, Gold has been seen as an investment metal by high net worth individuals, central banks and institutions for a very long time. Silver did not take on this aspect until 2009. As Silver becomes the poor man’s Gold and as Silver gets the attention of high net worth individuals and institutions, it is starting to catch up in appeal.

Thursday’s jobs report was an unexpected negative surprise. New jobless claims rose last week rising once again above the 400,000 level. Economist polled by Reuters projected claims to fall to 380,000. The four week moving average, which is considered the best measurement, went up 5,500 to 395,750. Inflation fears grow as US core prices rose faster than projected in March, and the increase from one year ago was the largest since August of 2009. By the end of the day, Gold advanced more than 1% as it nears record highs. Fear of inflation, a weakening US dollar and more problems in Europe continue to drive investors to Gold (and perhaps Silver, which established a31-year high today.)

Friday’s news was that in the US, consumer prices rose 0.5% in March, which is 6% annualized. Also, a separate report shows that real average hourly earnings of US workers fell by .6% in March, and have declined 1.0% in the past 12 months. On the European front, Moody’s has again cut Ireland’s debt rating, which puts it on the verge of becoming junk status. Moody’s is keeping their view of this situation negative, thus pushing the Euro lower and putting added pressure on the Euro Zone’s weaker countries.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,476.40. The high during the week was on Friday, April 15th, at $1,489.80, while the low for the week occurred on Tuesday, April 12th, at $1,445.00. Gold ended the week up $11.70 at $1,488.10. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $41.00. Silver reached a high of $43.12 on Friday, April 15th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Tuesday, April 12th, at $39.71. Silver ended the week up $2.12 at $43.12. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,816.50 and ended the week down $22.50 at $1,794.00. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $769.50 and ended the week up $1.50 at $771.00. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the 2011 1 oz. Platinum Australian Platypus.

On March 1, 2011, the Perth Mint in Australia unveiled a new Platinum investment coin: the Australian Platinum Platypus coin. The Australian Platinum Platypus coin is the latest addition to the Perth Mint’s Australian Bullion Coin Program. Until the release of the Platinum Platypus coin, the Perth Mint had not minted a Platinum investment coin since the Australian Platinum Koala coin. With the discontinuation of the Platinum Koala in 2000, the Platypus coin will pick up where the Koala left off in the Perth Mint’s series of investment coins.

Legal Australian tender under the Australian Currency Act of 1965, the Australian Platinum Platypus is struck from one ounce of 99.95% pure Platinum and has a face value of 100 Australian Dollars. For 2011, the Platinum Platypus coins have a limited mintage of 30,000 and will continue to have the same limited mintage for future years of issue.

Released by the Perth Mint, a world leader in the production of precious metals products, the Platinum Platypus coin features a captivating design. The obverse of the Australian Platinum Platypus coin depicts an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. Additionally, the reverse features one of the most unique creatures inhabiting the Australian Continent: the Platypus. Showcasing this interesting member of the animal kingdom, the Platinum Platypus coin celebrates the wonder of Australian wildlife. Illustrated in its underwater home, this semi-aquatic mammal comes to life on the coin. Created by Perth Mint designer Natasha Muhl, the image of the Platypus gives the newly-released Platinum coin an appeal that is sure to attract collectors and investors all over the world.

The Australian Platinum Platypus coins are a great way to acquire and invest in Platinum. To add these beautiful coins to your coin collection or investment portfolio, shop APMEX’s selection of Australian Platinum Platypus coins. APMEX makes it easy to buy Platinum by offering competitive Platinum prices on all Platinum coins.

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Market Recap 4/1/11

Monday began with Five Things to Watch in the Market this Week. 1) Stocks posted huge gains last week as the volatility index dropped. Will this carry into Monday despite continuing geopolitical risks, more radiation concerns out of Japan and new housing data? 2) What will the latest news be out of Japan? 3) The conflict in Libya and President Obama’s explanation of why and how long we will be there. 4) The New York Times attempt to monetize their online content. 5) Will the housing numbers be as bad as expected and will analysts begin to officially call it a double dip?

The stock market did continue to move up throughout the entire week despite a small pull back on Thursday. There was more bad news coming out of Japan as plutonium was found in the soil at a nuclear plant. President Obama spoke, but with little detail. The conflict in Libya is possibly easing…or at least the news coverage is waning.

Whether or not we say the words double-dip as it applies to the housing recovery or lack thereof, more disturbing data was released this week. The S&P Case-Shiller report showed prices in the top 20 US markets dipped another 3.1% in January. For those unfamiliar with this report, please consider that this is a three month running average, so this data includes October and November when interest rates were at historic lows. “Keeping with the trends set in late 2010, January brings us weakening home prices with no real hope in sight for the near future,” says Standard and Poors’ David M. Blitzer. “The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery. At most, we have seen all statistics bounce along their troughs; at worst, the feared double-dip recession may be materializing.”

The above report, falling consumer confidence and even oil prices going up could not dampen the appetite for risks, as the stock market continued to rise. The appetite for risks may be growing, but some analysts are sounding an alarm. JP Morgan is loaning AT&T 20 billion dollars to help finance their purchase of T-Mobile. Moody’s is warning that this could be an early warning sign of another credit bubble as this will encourage other banks to assume too much risks in order to capture the lucrative underwriting fees.

The big news on Friday is that the economy added 216,000 jobs and unemployment falls to 8.8%. This report will be viewed as positive for the equity markets and bearish for Gold and Silver. We should keep in mind that we have still recovered only a fraction of the 8 million jobs lost in the recession and many economists say we need 250,000 – 300,000 in job gains each month to have any measurable impact.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,430.90. The high during the week was on Thursday, March 31st, at $1,440.00, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, March 28th, at $1,410.10. Gold ended the week down $1.70 at $1,429.20. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $37.42. Silver reached a high of $37.98 on Thursday, March 31st, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, March 28th, at $36.44. Silver ended the week up $0.49 at $37.91. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,750.80 and ended the week up $17.70 at $1,768.50. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $752.00 and ended the week up $23.50 at $775.50. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the bullion coins from the Perth Mint.

The Perth Mint is Australia’s oldest currently operating mint. The Perth Mint traces its history to Great Britain’s Royal Mint, which opened the Perth branch of the Royal Mint on June 20, 1899. First established for the purpose of refining Gold and producing British Sovereigns as currency for the British Empire, the Perth Mint remained under British control until 1790. On July 1, 1790, the Perth Mint became a statutory authority of Western Australia. Now, the Perth Mint is owned by the Gold Corporation, a company owned by the Western Australian government. Under the Gold Corporation Act of 1987, the government of Western Australia mandated that the Gold Corporation direct and operate the Perth Mint.

Since its foundation, the Perth Mint has been producing and refining large quantities of Gold and other precious metals. Today, the Perth Mint is still highly involved in the Gold industry and the production of Australian precious metals legal tender. However, the Perth Mint is also involved in manufacturing a wide array of numismatic items for collectors and investors. The coins in the Perth Mint’s numismatic collections feature some of the most dazzling designs in the world. Discover the wonder of Australia with the magnificent Australian Gold and Silver coins produced by the Perth Mint.

APMEX offers a diverse selection of Silver numismatic coins manufactured by the Perth Mint. At APMEX, you can find coins from the following Perth Mint collections: Deadly & Dangerous Coins, Australian Sea Life Coins, Extinct Animal Series Coins, Famous Battles in History, and Discover Australia: The Dreaming Series Coins. These coins bring the Australian animal kingdom and historical events to life. Splashed with brilliant colors and stunning designs, the Perth Mint coins belong in your coin collections. To add these high-quality Silver coins to your coin collection today, shop APMEX’s diverse assortment of Silver products available from the world famous Perth Mint.

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Market Recap 4/30/10

The drama in Europe continued this week as the European Union tried to put together a bailout package for Greece. With the country on the brink of default, Germany changed its position multiple times this week, first stating it would not help Greece and then saying it would support the bailout effort. Gold has been a beneficiary of the turmoil in Europe, with investors piling into gold as a safe-haven investment, according to Forbes. Since last Friday, gold has gained more than $30 per ounce despite strength from the U.S. Dollar.

Bloomberg reported that Portugal had its credit rating cut two steps by Standard & Poor’s as contagion from Greece’s debt crisis spreads through the Euro Region. S & P lowered its long-term local and foreign currency ratings to A- from A+, it said in a statement today. “The outlook on Portugal is negative, reflecting the risk of a further downgrade,” S & P said.

In an interview with CNBC, Vice Chairman of Blackstone Advisory Services Byron Wien predicted gold will reach $1,500 an ounce by the end of this year. “Most people’s assets are in financial instruments and gold is an insurance against financials and the erosion of the value of financials, the dollar, and the purchasing power of paper currencies,” he explained.

This week, APMEX announced its 77 Cent Spring Silver Sale. Until Sunday, May 2, 2010, at 11:59 p.m. (CST), jump into Spring and take advantage of spectacular savings on 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 1 oz. Sunshine Mint Silver Rounds at $0.77 per ounce over spot in any quantity!

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,160.40. The high during the week was on Friday, April 30th, at $1,182.30, while the low for the week occurred on Tuesday, April 27th, at $1,146.50. Gold ended the week up $21.90 at $1,182.30. This week, gold investors concentrated their purchases on 2010 Gold Buffalos, Gold American Eagles and South African Krugerrands.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $18.36. Silver reached a high of $18.67 on Friday, April 30th, while the low for silver occurred on Wednesday, April 28th, at $17.84. Silver ended the week up $0.31 at $18.67. This week, the most popular silver items included Silver American Eagles, 1 oz. APMEX .999 Fine Silver Rounds and Silver Canadian Maple Leafs.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,750.00 and ended the week down $4.40 at $1,745.60. Platinum American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars and 1 oz. Credit Suisse Platinum Bars were popular with platinum investors this week.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $567.00 and ended the week down $8.20 at $558.80. Popular palladium products this week included 1 oz. .999 Fine Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX features a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we are excited to highlight the Gold Australian Series 1 Lunar coins.

This series of Australian legal tender coins was minted at the world-renowned Perth Mint in Perth, Australia. From 1996 through 2007, these incredible coins were minted to celebrate Chinese New Year, which is a large and popular celebration in Australia and around the Pacific Region.

The Australian Lunar coin motif draws its inspiration from the animals featured in China’s ancient Lunar Calendar. Central to this lunar calendar are stories and legends of the 12 lunar animals and their respective characteristics according to Chinese folklore. Each animal is said to have a profound influence over those born under its ‘rule’ in the Chinese Zodiac. Each year, the reverse design of these beautiful coins is changed to match the animal featured for the year in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. The obverse of these coins depicts Queen Elizabeth II.

Each coin contains .9999 pure gold and carries an Australian legal tender face value. The coins have been available in a wide variety of different weights, including 1/20 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz, 1 oz, and larger sizes. These coins are a great way to acquire and invest in precious metals.

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Market Recap 3/5/10

The U.S. economy shed an additional 36,000 jobs in February. Although fewer jobs were lost than expected, the unemployment rate remained at 9.7%, according to The Wall Street Journal.  An industry report said the U.S. manufacturing sector grew in February but at a slower rate than was expected.

The Commerce Department said on Monday that spending rose 0.5%, increasing for the fourth straight month, reported Reuters. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected consumer spending, which normally accounts for over two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, to increase 0.4% in January. “The message is continuing progress for the economy, if not as fast as hoped,” said Pierre Ellis, a senior economist at Decision Economics in New York.

MSN Money warned this week that the Federal Reserve’s recent increase in the discount rate may mean that higher interest rates are coming. Although the move came sooner than many had expected, it was a step toward more-normal conditions. The Fed stressed that the move doesn’t mean an imminent rise in the more-important federal funds rate. But despite those words, it’s a clear warning from the Fed that near-zero interest rates won’t last forever. This action has led some to speculate that U.S. consumers may begin to feel the pinch of inflation very soon, making precious metals all the more attractive as a hard asset.

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,119.00. The high during the week was on Wednesday, March 3rd, at $1,145.80, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, March 1st, at $1,112.10. Gold ended the week up $17.20 at $1,136.20. This week, Gold American Eagles, Canadian Gold Maple Leafs, and 1 oz. .9999 Pamp Suisse Gold Bars remained popular with investors.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $16.62. Silver reached a high of $17.52 on Friday, March 5th, while the low for silver occurred on Tuesday, March 2nd, at $16.42. Silver ended the week up $0.80 at $17.42. This week, the most popular silver items included 1 oz. APMEX .999 Fine Silver Rounds, Silver American Eagles, and 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,540.00 and ended the week up $41.90 at $1,581.90. 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, Platinum American Eagles, and 1 gram Credit Suisse Platinum Bars were popular with platinum investors this week.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $433.90 and ended the week up $48.50 at $482.40. Popular palladium products this week included 2009 Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs MS-69 NGC and 1 oz. .999 Fine Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX features a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week’s featured product is the Australian Gold Kangaroo from the Perth Mint.

Founded in 1899, the Perth Mint is a world leader in the innovative design and minting of precious metal products. The Perth Mint introduced the Australian Gold Kangaroo/Nugget series of bullion coins in 1987. From its beginning, this issue of coins had two unique features: these coins featured a ‘two-tone’ frosted design effect, and each coin was sealed in an individual hard plastic case. Issued as Australian legal tender, gold Kangaroos are a favorite with investors worldwide.

At first, the reverse of these coins displayed an Australian gold nugget. Then in 1989, the design was changed to feature a more world-recognized symbol of Australia — the kangaroo. The Australian Kangaroo designs vary every year, making these bullion coins highly sought after as collectibles. Struck from .9999 pure gold, Australian Kangaroos make a great addition to anyone’s bullion position.

APMEX offers Australian Gold Kangaroo/Nugget coins in a variety of sizes, including 1 ounce gold coins and fractional gold coins in 1/2, 1/4, 1/10 and 1/20 ounce weights.

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