6 fun facts about one of the world’s most innovative mints: The Perth Mint of Australia.

The Perth Mint

The Perth Mint (Photo credit: amandabhslater)

If you’re an APMEX customer, you may know The Perth Mint as the prized destination for our annual “Escape To Australia” contest. As an investor or collector, you probably know The Perth Mint for their products. Their Gold and Silver Lunar coins are among the most beautiful and collected Chinese Zodiac coins in the world. Here are a few surprising facts about The Perth Mint that you might not know.

Rare. Many Perth Mint coins are made in strictly limited mintages, giving even their most value-priced bullion coins a dimension of collectibility.

Same Location since 1899. The Perth Mint was established in 1899 as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint. Today, it’s one of the oldest mints in the world to operate on its original premises, despite the name change.. The Perth Mint is actually incorporated as Gold Corporation and  has two wholly owned subsidiaries – Western Australian Mint and GoldCorp USA.

Created The First Gold Bullion Series. In 1986, The Perth Mint launched the Australian Gold Nugget Coin Series, the first bullion series with a reverse (back) design that changes every year. The first few coins featured Gold nuggets. In 1989, the design switched to a kangaroo. Today, we commonly call this series the Australian Gold Kangaroo.

Biggest and Best. In 2011, The Perth Mint unveiled the biggest, heaviest and inherently most valuable Gold coin in the world. Weighing in at 1,000kg (2,204.6 pounds), this coin contains one metric tonne of 99.99 percent pure Gold and is worth more than $42.6 million at current Gold prices.

A Refinery and A Mint. There’s only one Gold refinery in Australia and it’s The Perth Mint. Between coins, bullion and industrial Gold, The Perth Mint produces more than 400 tonnes of Gold per year.

Visit Perth and The Mint. Located on the Western Shore of Australia, Perth is a bustling and beautiful city with beaches, parks and natural wonders unique to this island continent. You can also visit The Perth Mint while you’re there. In fact, you could…

WIN A FREE TRIP TO PERTH AND THE PERTH MINT!

Every fall, when the new Perth Mint coins come out, APMEX launches the “Escape To Australia” contest. Watch for it on this blog and APMEX.com.

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5 things you never want to do with Gold and Silver.

Gold and Silver may last forever, but coins, bars, rounds and jewelry require special care to preserve their value. Here are a few things you never want to do.

  • Don’t touch or talk over a coin: Fingerprints can be almost impossible to remove so be sure to always wear gloves, preferably made of soft cotton, when you handle coins. And don’t talk in a coin’s direction. Subtle, indiscernible drops of saliva can land on a coin and turn into smudge marks over time.
  • Don’t take a certified coin out of its slab: Grading services like PCGS and NGC seal coins in tamper-evident slabs to protect them and certify their authenticity and condition. Once the seal is broken, the certification is lost and the value of the coin is reduced.
  • Don’t try to authenticate a product yourself: We’ve seen coins, rounds and bars lose value when people drill into or pour chemicals on them. Always ask a professional to help you authenticate. Or better yet, buy from a reputable dealer whose products need no authentication.
  • Don’t clean your coins: Improper cleaning can turn a rare, valuable coin into a $25 Silver ingot. Collectors prefer coins that show the deep coloration of age over those whose surfaces have been stripped away.
  • Don’t swim wearing Gold jewelry: Chlorine breaks down the alloys in 14K and 18K Gold jewelry, weakening prongs and ring shanks. Chlorine bleach can destroy 14K Gold in 24 hours. The 24K Gold found in most APMEX products is impervious to almost every chemical, but is generally too soft and pliable for everyday jewelry.

Do you have any ideas for protecting your Gold and Silver? Share them in the comments section below.

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Learn more about the Sheldon Grading Scale

2014 1 oz Gold American Eagle MS-70 NGC Early Releases

2014 1 oz Gold American Eagle MS-70 NGC Early Releases

Why graded coins are so prized and valued by collectors

Here’s a collector’s horror story that never has to happen to you.

You fall in love with a coin that appears to be in absolutely perfect condition. Not a scratch or smudge – you’d never know anyone touched it since it left the mint. You pay top dollar. Then to your surprise, an expert looks at it and spots a barely discernible nick near the rim on the coin’s obverse. It’s a great coin, but it’s not worth what you paid for it.

That’s exactly the nightmare Dr. William Herbert Sheldon set out to eliminate when he created the Sheldon Grading Scale in 1949.

A standardized system to evaluate a coin’s condition

The Sheldon Grading Scale gives expert coin appraisers a system of standardized attributes to evaluate a coin’s condition. The expert appraisers inspect the coins and grade them on a scale of 1 – 70.

A grade of 1 means the coin may be clear enough to identify, but it may be badly corroded or so worn that a side of the coin is blanked. On the other end of the scale, 70 means uncirculated perfection – no trace of wear, handling, scratches or contact with other coins. All the mint’s original luster is intact.

No circulated coin receives a grade higher than 58. At that grade, just about all of the coin’s original mint luster remains. Uncirculated coins receive grades from 11 – 70.

Who makes the grade?

The Sheldon Grading Scale is not for amateurs. The people who grade coins and assign these values have to be extremely well trained and experienced. That’s why most coins are graded by professional grading services.

There are dozens of grading services, but two of the most popular and highly respected are the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).

Coins graded by these services are highly valued for three reasons.

First, the people who grade coins for NGC and PCGS are unimpeachable experts. Their judgment is highly respected throughout the industry.

Second, after the coins are graded, they are sealed in airtight protective slabs, which help prevent tarnishing. They also provide a strong tamper-evident layer, so coins coin can’t be damaged in handling without a collector knowing about it.

Third, they label the coins with grades and findings. When you see a coin in a plastic slab labeled MS-70, you know it is an absolutely perfect coin. If it has an NGC Early Releases or PCGS First Strike designation, you know it arrived at the grading service within 30 days of the coin’s release by the mint.

Needless to say, graded coins are highly prized and valued.

 A treasure trove of collectibles

APMEX has a huge selection of graded coins, from uncirculated Silver Dollars that are more than 100 years old to the latest bullion coins receiving First Strike and Early Releases designations. Click here to see some of our more popular Graded Gold Coins and Graded Silver Coins.

 

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Share Your Ideal Precious Metals Portfolio By June 24th, 2013 And You Could Win One Of The Pieces.

Enter for a chance to win a piece from your ideal Precious Metals portfolio

Enter for a chance to win a piece from your ideal Precious Metals portfolio

APMEX Pinterest Portfolio Challenge
Put together the Gold and Silver portfolio of your dreams and you could win one of your favorite pieces. All you have to do is share your ideal portfolio on Pinterest. Include at least one item that costs less than $50 and you could win that item. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Go to www.pinterest.com/APMEX and follow APMEX.
  2. Create a pinboard and name it “APMEX Precious Metals Portfolio.” Under Categories, select Products.
  3. Pin your favorites to your Pinboard. Have fun. Find your favorite portfolio pieces on the APMEX Pinterest page or www.APMEX.com and pin them to your pinboard. Be sure to include at least 5 items, including one that costs less than $50.
  4. Go to www.facebook.com/APMEX and enter the contest. After your board is created, submit your board through the (link/entry form) on our Facebook Page. Precious Metals products pinned onto your Pinterest board from sites other than www.pinterest.com/APMEX or www.APMEX.com will disqualify your pin board and your entry.
  5. You could win a product that was pinned to your board. APMEX will choose the nicest board to showcase. You could win the product from your board that’s priced at under $50.

Check out the complete rules here and start pinning your favorites today. You must complete your entry by June 24th, 2013 at 4 P.M (CT) to win.

Rare Perth Mint Gold Highly Discounted

APMEX Is Passing The Savings To You Hurry - Large Selection and Incredible Prices

APMEX Is Passing The Savings To You
Hurry – Large Selection and Incredible Prices

Colorized Perth Mint Lunar Gold – Buy beautiful Australian Gold in full color. Designed by the Perth Mint in Australia, these colorized Australian Gold Lunar coins are among some of the most beautiful coins in the world. APMEX has limited quantities of these highly collectible colorized Gold coins, and special pricing is available for a limited time only.

Struck from .9999 fine Gold, Australian Gold Lunar Series II coins are a great way to acquire and invest in Precious Metals. Inspired by China’s ancient lunar calendar, the Australian Gold Lunar Series coins feature the 12 animals central to the calendar’s stories in striking colorization. According to the lunar calendar, each of these 12 animals has a profound influence over those born under its year of “rule.” The Australian Gold Lunar Series II began in 2008 with the Year of the Mouse coins and will end with the Year of the Pig coins in 2019.

Buy colorized Australian Gold Lunar Series II coins that appeal to collectors and investors all over the world. Add these Australian Gold items produced by the Perth Mint to your Gold coin collection or Gold investment portfolio. APMEX makes it easy to buy Gold by offering competitive Gold prices on all Gold coins.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity- Click here to Buy Now.