According to a post on their blog, the Perth Mint has streamlined their silver bullion coin production amidst a surge in demand. The result is focused production on three options and a temporary suspension for the remaining options.
The Perth Mint has a very extensive bullion program, which includes multiple series with a wide array of different weights available. Some options carry maximum mintages, while others are produced to demand.
Here is a run down of the Perth Mint’s current silver bullion coin series:
- Silver Kookaburra – includes the sizes 1 oz, 10 oz, and 1 kilo. A maximum mintage of 1,000,000 applies to the 1 oz size, with no limits for the others.
- Silver Lunar Series II – includes the sizes 1/2 oz, 1 oz, 2 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz, 1 kilo, and 10 kilo. Maximum mintages are 300,000 for the 1 oz size and 200 for the 10 kilo size. Others do not carry a maximum.
- Silver Koala – includes the sizes 1/2 oz, 1 oz, 10 oz, and 1 kilo. There are no maximum mintages for any sizes.
The Perth Mint has focused production on the 1 oz and 1 kilo sizes for the Silver Kookaburra and the 1 kilo size for the Silver Koala.
Earlier in the week, I was searching for low premium silver options to take advantage of the decline in market price. As has been widely reported, premiums have soared for many silver bullion options, negating the impact of the fall in market prices. For example, premiums for American Silver Eagles have been as high as $6 or $7 over spot, which puts the price per ounce back over $30. Even traditionally low premium options such as bulk quantity 90% U.S. silver coins have seen premiums soar.
In my searches at a major bullion dealer, I did find the 1 kilo Silver Koala and 1 kilo Silver Kookaburra coins priced as low as $1.59 over spot. This was cheaper per ounce than basically all other government minted silver bullion products and even cheaper per ounce than 100 ounce silver bars from the same dealer.
Streamlining production and fulfilling demand for only certain sizes and products seems to have had the impact of keeping premiums low for the given products. This is a much better approach than limited production across all products, leading to rationing, unavailability, and higher premiums.