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A bullion coin is a
coin A coin is a small, flat, (usually, depending on the country or value) round piece of metal or plastic used primarily as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, and produced in large quantities at a mint in order to ...
struck from
precious metal Precious metals are rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical elements of high economic value. Chemically, the precious metals tend to be less reactive than most elements (see noble metal). They are usually ductile and have a high lustre. H ...
and kept as a
store of value A store of value is the function of an asset that can be saved, retrieved and exchanged at a later time, and be predictably useful when retrieved. More generally, a store of value is anything that retains purchasing power into the future. The most ...
or an investment rather than used in day-to-day commerce. A bullion coin is distinguished by an explicit statement of weight (or mass) and fineness on the coin; this is because the weight and composition of coins intended for legal tender is specified in the coinage laws of the issuing nation, and therefore there is no need for an explicit statement on the coins themselves. The
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...
defines investment coins more specifically as coins that have been minted after 1800, have a purity of not less than 900 thousandths and are, or have been,
legal tender Legal tender is a form of money that courts of law are required to recognize as satisfactory payment for any monetary debt. Each jurisdiction determines what is legal tender, but essentially it is anything which when offered ("tendered") in paym ...
in their country of origin. Under
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
law, "coins" that fail the last of these requirements are not coins at all, and must be advertised as "rounds" instead. The American Eagle and
Canadian Gold Maple Leaf The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf (GML) is a gold bullion coin that is issued annually by the Government of Canada. It is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. The Gold Maple Leaf is legal tender with a face value of 50 Canadian dollars. The market val ...
series are the only coins available in
gold Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from la, aurum) and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. In a pure form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ...
,
silver Silver is a chemical element with the symbol Ag (from the Latin ', derived from the Proto-Indo-European ''h₂erǵ'': "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical cond ...
,
platinum Platinum is a chemical element with the symbol Pt and atomic number 78. It is a dense, malleable, ductile, highly unreactive, precious, silverish-white transition metal. Its name is derived from the Spanish term ''platino'', meaning "little si ...
, and
palladium Palladium is a chemical element with the symbol Pd and atomic number 46. It is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal discovered in 1803 by the English chemist William Hyde Wollaston. He named it after the asteroid Pallas, which was itself ...

palladium
. Bullion coins are typically available in various weights. These are usually multiples or fractions of 1
troy ounce 1 troy ounce (1.097 avoirdupois ounces, 31.1 g) coin example (Platinum Eagle) A Good Delivery silver bar weighing Troy weight is a system of units of mass that originated in 15th-century England, and is primarily used in the precious metals indu ...
, but some bullion coins are produced in very limited quantities in
kilograms The kilogram (also kilogramme) is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI), the current metric system, having the unit symbol kg. It is a widely used measure in science, engineering and commerce worldwide, and is often sim ...
or heavier. Bullion coins sell for a premium over the market price of the metal on the commodities exchanges. Reasons include their comparative small size and the costs associated with manufacture, storage and distribution. The amount of the premium varies depending on the coin's type and weight and the
precious metal Precious metals are rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical elements of high economic value. Chemically, the precious metals tend to be less reactive than most elements (see noble metal). They are usually ductile and have a high lustre. H ...
. The premium also is affected by prevailing demand. The ISO currency code for gold
bullion Bullion is non-ferrous metal that has been refined to a high degree of elemental purity. It ordinarily refers to bulk metal used in the production of coins and especially precious metals such as gold and silver. The word comes from the Anglo-Nor ...
is XAU. ISO 4217 includes codes not only for currencies, but also for precious metals (gold, silver, palladium and platinum, by definition expressed per one troy ounce, as compared to "1 USD") and certain other entities used in international finance, e.g.
special drawing rights Special drawing rights (SDRs) are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). SDRs are units of account for the IMF, and not a currency ''per se''. They represent a claim to curren ...
.


Gold

The largest demand for gold in the world is jewelry, which consumes 50% of world production. Industry uses 9%, coins use 10% and the rest is for investments. Starting in 1821, with Britain moving to the
gold standard Gold certificates were used as paper currency in the United States from 1882 to 1933. These certificates were freely convertible into gold coins. A gold standard is a Monetary system#Commodity money system, monetary system in which the s ...
, countries' monetary unit became associated with the value of circulating gold or stored gold bullion, but not both. During this time, gold coins were circulated for general use. During the early years of the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across the world; in most countries, it started in 1929 and las ...
, nations abandoned the gold standard and most gold coins were no longer minted. The
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 59 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities: e ...
n
Kruggerand The Krugerrand (; ) is a South African coin, first minted on 3 July 1967 to help market South African gold and produced by Rand Refinery and the South African Mint. The name is a compound of ''Paul Kruger'', the former President of the South Afr ...
became the first modern coin minted in 1967 to help market South African gold produced by
Rand Refinery Rand Refinery (Pty) Limited is the largest integrated single-site precious metals refining and smelting complex in the world. It was established in 1920 to refine gold within South Africa which until that time had been refined in London. History ...
and the
South African Mint The South African Mint is responsible for minting all coins of the South African rand on behalf of its owner the South African Reserve Bank. Located in Centurion, Gauteng near South Africa's administrative capital Pretoria, the mint manufactures coi ...
. By 1980, the Krugerrand accounted for 90% of the global gold coin production.


Palladium

Palladium Palladium is a chemical element with the symbol Pd and atomic number 46. It is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal discovered in 1803 by the English chemist William Hyde Wollaston. He named it after the asteroid Pallas, which was itself ...

Palladium
is a silvery-white metal. Its primary uses are for
catalytic converters A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction (an oxidation and a reduction reaction ...
, jewelry, electronics, professional flutes and
fuel cells A fuel cell is an electrochemical cell that converts the chemical energy of a fuel (often hydrogen) and an oxidizing agent (often oxygen) into electricity through a pair of redox reactions. Fuel cells are different from most batteries in requir ...
. The highest price for an ounce of palladium was $2,877 in February 2020.


Platinum

Platinum Platinum is a chemical element with the symbol Pt and atomic number 78. It is a dense, malleable, ductile, highly unreactive, precious, silverish-white transition metal. Its name is derived from the Spanish term ''platino'', meaning "little si ...
is a silverish-white with its name is derived from the Spanish term platino, meaning "little silver". Platinum is used in
catalytic converter A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction (an oxidation and a reduction reaction ...
s, electronics and jewelry. The first and only case when platinum coins were used as a regular national currency was in Russia. The coins were minted between 1828 and 1845. Russia stopped minting platinum coins as it proved to be impractical: platinum resembles many less expensive metals, and, unlike the more malleable and ductile silver and gold, it is very difficult to work. From 1975 to 1985, the
Isle of Man ) , anthem = "O Land of Our Birth" , image = Isle of Man by Sentinel-2.jpg , image_map = Europe-Isle_of_Man.svg , mapsize = 290px , map_alt = Location of the Isle of Man in Europe , map_caption = Location of the Isle of Man (green) in Europe ...
sold commemorative coins with various designs such as a
gyrfalcon The gyrfalcon ( or ) (), the largest of the falcon species, is a bird of prey. The abbreviation gyr is also used. It breeds on Arctic coasts and tundra, and the islands of northern North America and the Eurosiberian region. It is mainly a residen ...
,
herring Herring are forage fish, mostly belonging to the family Clupeidae. Herring often move in large schools around fishing banks and near the coast, found particularly in shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans, inclu ...

herring
,
Manx cat The Manx cat (, in earlier times often spelled Manks) is a breed of domestic cat (''Felis catus'') originating on the Isle of Man, with a naturally occurring mutation that shortens the tail. Many Manx have a small stub of a tail, but Manx cats ar ...
, and of the
Manx Loaghtan The Manx Loaghtan ( ''loch-tan'') is a rare breed of sheep (''Ovis aries'') native to the Isle of Man. It is sometimes spelled as ''Loaghtyn'' or ''Loghtan''. The sheep have dark brown wool and usually four or occasionally six horns. The Manx Lo ...

Manx Loaghtan
sheep. The American Platinum Eagle comes in two versions. The bullion version is a static design while the proof versions are the only U.S. bullion coins that change designs every year. The highest price for platinum was $2250 an ounce in 2008.


Rhodium

Rhodium Rhodium is a chemical element with the symbol Rh and atomic number 45. It is an extraordinarily rare, silvery-white, hard, corrosion-resistant, and chemically inert transition metal. It is a noble metal and a member of the platinum group. It has ...
is a rare silver-white metallic element. Its primary use is in
catalytic converters A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction (an oxidation and a reduction reaction ...
found in automobiles and jewelry. The highest price for Rhodium was in 2008 when it rose above $10,000 per ounce ($350,000 per kilogram). The first coin was produced by the privately owned Cohen Mint of New York City. It was only minted in 2009 and came in a 1 gram size. The first bullion coin issued by a nation is Tuvalu's South Sea Dragon. There have been two
bar Bar or BAR may refer to: Food *Bar (establishment), a retail establishment that serves alcoholic beverages; also the counter at which drinks are served. * Candy bar, a type of candy that is in the shape of a bar * Chocolate bar, a bar-shaped piec ...
s produced by Pamp and
Baird & Co Baird & Co. is the largest gold refiner and the only full-service bullion merchant in the United Kingdom. Founded by Tony Baird in 1967; Baird & Co. initially dealt numismatic coins expanding into bullion bars and jewellery as time progressed. The ...
.


Silver

The first modern silver bullion coin was the Mexican Onza. It was minted in 1949 and struck intermittently with that date until the 1978, 1979 and 1980 mintages. Mexico created a new coin, the Libertad, in 1982. It was not released until 1984 due to a financial crisis in Mexico. The value of the coin is listed as 1 Onza. The Libertad and South Korea's ZI:SIN are technically not bullion coins as they are not legal tender. In 1986, the American Eagle became the second bullion coin to be minted. It was authorized by the Title II of Public Law 99-61 (Liberty Coin Act) as a way to reduce America's stockpiled silver and to pay for the federal budget. In its first year, 5.8 million Silver Eagle coins were minted. The most minted in one year occurred in 2015, with 47.9 million coins. Countries that did not have their own mints, turned to private mints. Majority of these coins are done for Pacific or Caribbean island nations and are used to bring income into their treasury. Examples are Congo's silverback gorilla coin minted by Scottsdale Mint and Niue's hawksbill turtle minted by New Zealand Mint. The design of the Obverse and reverse, obverse (heads) side of the coins rarely change. Many coin's Obverse and reverse, reverse (tails) side does change from year to year but retains the same overall theme. For example, the Chinese Panda always includes pandas on the reverse side but has different portraits of pandas every year. The reverse side of Australian's Kookaburra and Koala, Congo's Gorilla, Isle of Man's Angels and Cats, New Zealand's Kiwi, Rwanda's Wildlife, Serbia's Tesla and Somalia's Elephant change every year. Silver bullion coins also come in limited series that usually contain two to twelve coins. Examples are animals from Chinese Lunar New Year or the Astrological sign, twelve signs of the Zodiac.


See also

*Palladium coin *Platinum coin *Silver coin


References


External links

{{DEFAULTSORT:Bullion Coin Bullion coins,