Market Recap 4/22/11

The week began with striking news that the University of Texas traded out of their Gold ETF and into the actual physical bullion. The University of Texas took delivery of 6,643  100 ounce Gold bars worth $987 million on Friday, April 15. The UT Investment Management Company did not buy Gold, they chose to convert their “paper” Gold investments into the actual bullion bars. “If you own a paper contract where they can only deliver you 10 cents on the dollar or less, you should probably convert it to physical,” said Bass. The bars will be stored at HSBC Bank in New York. This news created additional stories and repercussions all through the week.

Gold and Silver prices were on the rise Monday, but when Standard & Poor’s came out with a negative outlook on US credit, they began to soar. “We believe there is a material risk that US policy makers might not reach an agreement on how to address medium-and long-term budgetary challenges by 2013,” New York-based S&P said in a report. This statement does not lower the current AAA rating, but it still brought the White House to the defensive, as they claim this is all about politics. Gold briefly crossed $1,500 on Tuesday and Silver crossed $44 oz.

More news on Wednesday was bullish for Gold and Silver. The US dollar slipped against six major currencies and is trading at a 16-month low. This, along with continued concerns with inflationary pressures and the US and European debt problems, have propelled both Gold and Silver upwards. Gold cemented gains above the $1,500 threshold. Silver crossed $45.

Wednesday and Thursday were equally as good for the stock market, as the precious metals markets. Platinum and Palladium, which more often move in conjunction with stock prices, reversed downward trends and burst forward with large gains.

Friday is Good Friday. The stock and precious metal markets are closed. Happy Holidays!

Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,488.10. The high during the week was on Thursday, April 21st, at $1,513.50, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, April 18th, at $1,477.80. Gold ended the week up $25.40 at $1,513.50. 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.

Spot Silver prices opened this week at $43.12. Silver reached a high of $46.86 on Thursday, April 21st, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, April 18th, at $42.20. Silver ended the week up $3.74 at $46.86. The most popular Silver products on this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,794.00 and ended the week up $22.60 at $1,816.60. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $771.00 and ended the week up $0.80 at $771.80. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at

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

Unveiled by the Royal Mint in 1987, the Gold Britannia coins are British Gold bullion coins that have begun to play a major role on the coin market. Every year since 1987, the Gold Britannia has been issued in both proof and bullion versions. Gold Britannias are issued in 1, 1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 oz sizes with face values in British pounds (£) of £100, £50, £25, and £10, respectively. Gold Britannias are .917 Gold (22-karat Gold) and are legal tender in Great Britain. Until 1990, the Gold Britannia was alloyed with copper. However, beginning in 1990, the Gold Britannia has been alloyed with Silver, which gives the Gold Britannias issued since 1990 a lighter yellow color than the earlier Britannias.

The Gold Britannia’s attractive design was created to appeal to both collectors and investors alike. The obverse of the Gold Britannia bears a depiction of Queen Elizabeth II. The Gold Britannias issued from 1987 to 1997 feature the “Third Portrait” of Queen Elizabeth II, while the “Fourth Portrait,” a more mature likeness of Queen Elizabeth II, graces the Gold Britannias issued from 1998 and on to the Gold Britannias being produced today.

The reverse pays tribute to the Britannia image that first appeared on coins produced under the rule of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. An ancient term for Great Britain, Britannia began to personify the island of Great Britain in the first-century Roman world. Illustrated as a goddess, Britannia resembles the Roman figure Boudica. Britannia first appeared on British coins in 1672, when she graced the farthings and halfpennies of Charles II. However, the Gold Britannia is the first Gold coin since the days of the Romans to feature the Britannia image.

Since its first appearance on British coins, the image of Britannia has evolved over the years. Though usually portrayed seated, Britannia appeared standing on British Trade Dollars from 1901 to 1935 and on the florins of Edward VII from 1902 to 1910. The Gold Britannia coins feature different variations of the Britannia design, including a Standing Britannia, a Seated Britannia, and others. Designed by Philip Nathan, the Standing Britannia image commonly seen on Gold Britannias brings the story and Roman tradition of Britannia to life in the modern world. For their illustration of the majestic Britannia, the Gold Britannias are some of the most beautiful Gold coins in the world.

Gold prices fluctuate, but the popularity of the Gold Britannia bullion coins only increases. APMEX sells Gold Britannia coins in brilliant uncirculated and proof condition. APMEX makes it easy to buy Gold by offering competitive Gold prices on all Gold bullion coins. British Gold Britannia bullion coins belong in every investor’s portfolio.