The Perth Mint’s latest minted coin and bar sales are out, which reflect retail investor interest. In silver we posted our fifth best month in four years, although the September figure probably should be ignored because we were stocking up for months beforehand for the launch of our silver Kangaroo coin and didn’t expect to sell that all in one go.
For gold, sales dropped back down to the circa one tonne per month they have been averaging this year.
The gold chart shows a general decline, ignoring spikes, where silver is more consistent. This divergence between gold and silver coin buyers is more obvious when you look at US Mint and Royal Canadian Mint sales over the last 15 years.
For silver you can see that sales were flat and then grew dramatically as a result of the financial crisis in 2008 and while easing off, yearly sales are still increasing year on year.
For gold, it too had the financial crisis spike but from that initial “fear trade”, but in contrast to silver, each year’s sales have been lower than the last (and it is not like that happened as a result of the gold price peaking in 2011, the decreasing interest was from 2009 onwards).
I have commented on this divergence between gold and silver before and it is also obvious in the balances of ETFs. The charts below from Nick Laird show the total ounces held in ETF, futures warehouses and other online storage services.
Gold ounces held have declined with the gold price but for silver it has held up in the face of a much larger price drop. Seems silver investors are fearless whereas gold’s are fickle.
This article has been translated into German on Goldseiten.