Spot prices

Westminster Mint provides free real time price quotes on gold, silver, platinum and palladium. People interested in the precious metals market can follow the prices and see trends develop 24/7 on the world market by using our free current and historic price charts and graphs. Track your holding and measure how you are performing against other commodities and stock market indexes such as the Dow Jones, S&P 500, S&P Euro currency, Crude Oil and the U.S. Dollar. You get access to exactly what you need to know-when you need to know free and in real time.

Monday, March 30, 2009

“Green Coin,” Contest

MINNEAPOLIS, March 30, 2009 – Westminster Mint, Inc. of Minneapolis, one of the U.S.’s largest silver bullion dealers, today announced the launch of an international contest for the design of its new one-ounce .999 pure silver “Green Coin,” to be unveiled in May 2009.

The deadline for submitting a design for this 39-millimeter coin corresponds with the 39th Anniversary of Earth Day – April 22, 2009. The winning design will incorporate a variety of green themes, such as global warming, climate change, recycling, energy efficiency, conservation and clean fuels.

The contest is open to the public, and designs must be submitted on an Official Entry Form obtained from, either by email or mail (Westminster Mint, 1660 Highway 100, Suite 429 , Minneapolis , MN 55416 ). The grand prize for the winning design of the inaugural "Green Coin" contest will be $2,009 (in cash or in silver equivalent). The winner will also receive the first coin off the press, as well as the hand sculpts created by world renowned sculptor Caesar Ruffo.

“We're seeing an increased demand for silver bullion as more and more people invest in silver and gold due to the state of the economy,” said Westminster Mint President Ian Clay. “We want to mint a silver bullion coin that speaks to the key environmental issues we're facing today, and we believe that this coin design contest will draw more attention to those important issues.”

Once it’s produced in May, the Westminster Mint’s inaugural “Green Coin” will be made available to the public exclusively by Westminster Mint.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gold spikes after Geithner speaks on dollar

Gold spikes after Geithner speaks on dollar

By Frank Tang and Paul Lauener

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Gold prices rose sharply on Wednesday as the dollar weakened after U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner talked about a system put forward by China that would replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency.

Geithner said he was "quite open" to China's suggestion of moving toward a currency system linked to the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), a basket of dollars, euros, sterling and yen, as a super-sovereign reserve currency.

That hit dollar sentiment as it could mean countries selling large portions of their dollar reserves, highlighting the use of gold as a hedge against the U.S. currency, analysts said.

Spot gold was at $937.10 an ounce at 2:10 p.m. EDT, up 1.3 percent from its last quote in New York late Tuesday.

U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled up $12.00, or 1.3 percent, at $935.80 an ounce on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"The dollar came off after Geithner's comments," said Eugen Weinberg, analyst at Commerzbank. "Gold gained on the dollar."

A weaker U.S. currency makes metals priced in dollars cheaper for holders of other currencies.
However, gold pared gains when Geithner later said the dollar would remain the world's reserve currency for a long time.

Gold's use as a hedge against financial uncertainty has come under pressure in recent days as stock markets rallied on optimism about the U.S. government's drive to clean up bad loans held by banks.

U.S. stocks, however, turned negative later in the session as enthusiasm from upbeat economic data faded, supporting the price of the metal.

Bullion is up about 5 percent from a six-week low of $882.90 hit on March 18, but is still more than 7 percent shy of the 11-month high above $1,000 set in February. It soared to an all-time peak of $1,030.80 in March 2008.

Investors piled into gold in recent months as the financial crisis escalated, the dollar tumbled and markets started to worry about price pressures in the pipeline because of the vast amounts of money being pumped into economies.

"In addition to the factors that have always been driving gold prices higher, the Fed's decision last week is simply another impetus," said Dennis Gartman, independent investor and author of the daily Gartman Letter.

Last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said it would buy up to $300 billion worth of long-dated U.S. government debt to help ease credit market conditions.

Strong interest can be seen in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, the SPDR Gold Trust, which said its holdings rose to a record 1,124.99 tonnes on March 24, up 10.7 tonnes from the day before.

Spot silver was bid $13.45 an ounce from $13.40 an ounce on Tuesday, palladium at $206 from $205.50 and platinum at $1,115 from $1,114.

Platinum used in autocatalysts to clean car emissions has tumbled alongside deteriorating sales in the auto sector. Prices have halved since a record $2,290 in March 2008.

Friday, March 20, 2009

China Aims to Boost Underground Gold Reserves, Output

China Aims to Boost Underground Gold Reserves, Output
By Richard Dobson and Li Xiaowei Bloomberg
March 20 (Bloomberg)

China, the world’s biggest gold producer, will seek to increase its underground gold reserves by 800 metric tons and raise production to 290 tons this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said.

The government aims to encourage industry mergers so the top 10 gold producers account for more than half the nation’s output, according to a statement on the ministry’s Web site, citing Deputy Minister Miao Yu. The country’s output was 282 tons last year, the statement said, without elaborating.

Gold climbed 8.6 percent this year as investors sought to protect their wealth amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The Federal Reserve may buy more than $1 trillion in government and mortgage debt to help end the recession and the credit crisis, it said this week, spurring a slump in the dollar and a gain in gold.

Shandong Gold Mining Co., Zhaojin Mining Industry Co., Zijin Mining Group Co. and Lingbao Gold Co. are among China’s biggest producers.

Gold demand in China, the world’s second-largest consumer after India, may stagnate as volatile prices dissuade buyers and industrial usage drops because of the economic slowdown, Hou Huimin, vice chairman of the China Gold Association, said in December. He estimated annual consumption at about 360 tons.

The country has the world’s biggest foreign-exchange reserves at $1.95 trillion, with about 600 tons of gold, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Gold for immediate delivery traded little changed at $955.83 an ounce at 1 p.m. in Shanghai. The price reached a record $1,032.70 last March.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gold Climbs Most in Four Months as Fed Plan May Spur Inflation

Gold Climbs Most in Four Months as Fed Plan May Spur Inflation

By Nicholas Larkin

March 19 (Bloomberg) -- Gold rose the most in four months in New York after the Federal Reserve said it would buy as much as $1.15 trillion in bonds to lower borrowing costs, reviving concern that inflation will accelerate.

The Fed pledged to buy as much as $300 billion of Treasuries, up to $750 billion of bonds backed by government- controlled mortgage companies and $100 billion in debt from other government agencies to loosen credit and bolster the housing market. Gold, which yesterday dropped the most in two months, is up 5.7 percent this year.

“The action of the Fed and other central banks will no doubt fuel inflationary pressures,” James Moore, an analyst at in London, wrote today in a note. “With no clear plan yet from the U.S. on toxic assets, investors are still likely to favor safer assets.”

Gold futures for April delivery rose as much as $52.50, or 5.9 percent, to $941.60 an ounce in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex division. That’s the biggest intraday increase since Nov. 14. It traded at $937.10 an ounce as of 11:09 a.m. London time.

The metal advanced to $937.25 in the morning “fixing” in London, used by some mining companies to sell production, from $893.25 at yesterday’s afternoon fixing. Bullion for immediate delivery in London traded down 0.6 percent at $936.49 an ounce. Prices had jumped about $56 after the Fed announcement before the London market closed. Comex closed before the announcement.

‘Far From Recovery’

“The effects of the announcement were magnified as it portrayed the fact that perhaps the economy is far from recovery,” Emanuel Georgouras, a precious-metals trader at Marex Financial Ltd. in London, wrote today in a note. “Should quantitative easing continue, you can expect to see further gains in gold.”

The Fed kept its main rate at almost zero and may keep it there for an “extended” time. Central banks are lowering interest rates and spending trillions of dollars in response to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. That may devalue currencies and boost demand for bullion as an alternative investment.

The dollar yesterday fell against a weighted basket of six major currencies and today traded lower for an eighth day. Gold historically has moved inversely to the U.S. currency, though the correlation hasn’t held for much of 2009 as investors sought the safety of both assets.

Investors are continuing to buy gold in a bid to protect their wealth. Assets in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest ETF backed by bullion, expanded 1.4 percent to a record 1,084.33 metric tons yesterday, according to the company’s Web site.

Exchange-Traded Products

ETF Securities Ltd.’s exchange-traded products backed by bullion attracted almost $134 million last week, the company said today.

Gold’s climb since yesterday is “insane” because U.S. inflation may not accelerate until 2011, said Peter Fertig, owner of Quantitative Commodity Research Ltd.

“There’s no real spillover from the monetary system to the real economy yet,” Fertig said today by phone from Hainburg, Germany. “The U.S. is far from inflationary pressures. It will take some time before the gap is closed.”

Among other metals for immediate delivery in London, silver futures advanced 7.8 percent to $12.86 an ounce. Platinum added 2.1 percent to $1,064.50 an ounce, and palladium rose 1.7 percent to $198 an ounce.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Case for Inflation

The Case for Inflation
By Howard RuffThe Ruff Times

Inflation is always a monetary phenomenon. Since the printing press, it has in all times and in all places been the inevitable consequence of creating large amounts of money, not backed by any commodity, such as gold.

Now we are in a period of deflation, with falling prices. Government will do what it feels it has to do to fight deflation, because deflation is synonymous with depression, like in the 1930s. But the only way they know how to solve a problem like this is to throw money at it. The amounts are in the trillions; nothing is like it in all of history.

If all of this newly created money does not cause inflation, it will be the first time in the history of fiat money that inflation has not resulted. Based on the lessons of history, that’s the way to bet.

One of the natural consequences of a dominant world-wide currency, like the dollar, being created in vast quantities, is that the dollar will fall versus other currencies. The irony is that right now the dollar is rising against other world currencies. That only means the dollar is the healthiest patient in the hospital. Why? Other currencies are the early victims of the inflationary plague.

You Americans who earn and spend only dollars will soon see the natural consequences of inflation, which are rising dollar prices.

When will we begin to see the consequence of monetary inflation; broad-based price inflation?

I was on CNBC recently, and they asked me to tell them when this was going to happen. I told them I didn’t have my crystal ball, and the best way to become a fallen prophet was to set a date for something like that and get it wrong. I’m too old and smart to do that. I did give my best guess, which is some place between six months to a year, when trillions of dollars we are creating are no longer sitting silently on the balance sheets of banks but start circulating. That’s when the real inflation starts.

What Will It Look Like?
What will the inflationary world look like?

Gasoline and other oil-derivative prices will start rising. Oil will go back above $145 eventually. Sometime within the next year you will see oil at $75 to $80 per barrel, which will put gasoline prices back under $5. Food will get more expensive.

That’s my best guess; it is not an exact science. You are relying on my experience and instincts to be right more often than I’m wrong.

The Death Throes of the Dollar
One consequence of rising monetary inflation is that the dollar will begin its death throes. History tells us that the world is littered with dead paper currencies. They all have a life span of about 75 years. This one is living on borrowed time.

Glenn Beck, one of my favorite talk-show hosts, has said in his gold commercials that he is not buying gold as an investment, but as insurance. Insurance against what? You are insuring yourself against the ultimate total collapse of the dollar because of inflation!

Money is supposed to be a means of exchange and a store of value. The dollar is still a means of exchange, but years ago it ceased to be a store of value. If you want to store the value of your assets, don’t store them in anything that is dollar denominated other than gold and silver, which immediately places into question the stock market.

Again going to the lessons of history, something in the human psyche instinctively moves us towards precious metals. That is exactly what’s happening now. Despite the apparent non-price-responsive metals, eventually they will take off big time, based on demand.

The fundamentals are being built now as the public demands for gold and silver is soaring. One reason I like silver is that people can afford to buy some. When the gold gets near $1,000, an ounce becomes too expensive for the average guy. So I will place my bet on silver where the average guy can act.Worldwide a tremendous amount of bullion and coin buying is going on, even creating silver shortages. The monetary authorities (bankers) have done all they can to keep gold under control. $1,000 an ounce gold seems to be a trigger point for them. They will do all they can to suppress it, because rising gold is an insult to the dollar.

I will write later on how this manipulation occurs and why gold and silver have not yet gone as high as you think they should. The fundamentals seem to demand higher prices, given the rising worldwide demand.

Ten or 20 years from now, you will brag about having bought the metals at these prices. Remember, you are buying it as insurance against the total eventual collapse of the store-of-value function of the paper dollar.

This is much more apocalyptic sounding than, “You should buy gold and silver because you will make a lot of money.” That happens to be true; but it’s not the real reason to own it.
On CNBC Squawk Box I was asked, “When will you tell the world that the stock market is cheap enough to buy.”

I was caught a little off guard, but basically I sad, “You assume that day will come. I think that is a difficult bet.” I’m betting against it!

The Terminally Ill Dollar!
The stock market is in its death throes, and the dollar will soon be in its death throes, when the Chinese, the Indians, and the Japanese stop buying U.S. paper. Now it seems to be recovering. But that is a temporary phenomenon and eventually the dollar will implode, leaving the world knee-deep in a failed currency, as it has always done throughout history.

Does history always have to repeat itself? No, of course not. But that is the way to bet. All the factors are in place, including a President and a Congress that have no compunction against creating unlimited amounts of dollars and spending them through the banking system. This is sheer madness and makes Obama perhaps the most dangerous president the United States has ever had.

His ignorance of economic principles is monumental, equaled only by his arrogance in pursuing this destructive course.

I’m sorry if you don’t like my politics and because I haven’t joined the ranks of those who have been infected by Obama-mania. I just hope I will live long enough to see the day when we will return to some level of sanity. But that sanity will not include the recovery of the dollar as a store of value. Some day we will need a new currency backed by a fixed commodity. I don’t know what form it will take, but the market will speak and create a new piece of paper that has some tangible anchoring.

In the meantime, the world as we knew it is dying and the dollar is beginning its death throes, regardless of the current daily price of the dollar versus other currencies. When we get sick, the rest of the world gets pneumonia. We will probably attempt to make the euro the reigning world currency (perhaps even the yen), but that is only a temporary stop-gap.

In the meantime, precious metals are an insurance policy that preserves the value of your assets. You can offset the failure of your paper dollars by putting about a third of your assets into precious metals, preferably silver.

By Howard RuffThe Ruff Times

Howard J. Ruff, the legendary author and financial advisor, has re-edited and re-issued his 1978 mega best seller, How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years, still the biggest-selling financial book in history, with 2.6 million copies in print. He is founder and editor of The Ruff Times financial newsletter. This article is from a recent article in The Ruff Times. The newsletter is much more comprehensive and deals with a broad spectrum of middle-class financial issues and includes an Investment Menu from which you can build your portfolio. (You can learn about it here).

The Ruff Times has served more than 600,000 subscribers – more than any financial-advisory newsletter in the world. His updated and revised book, How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years in the 21st Century, is in book stores or at You can get it free when you subscribe to The Ruff Times, or if you buy the book at your favorite bookstore, you can deduct $10 from the subscription price.

Howard was a guest on CNBC on March 4th. You can view the interview at

Friday, March 13, 2009

World mints report soaring demand for gold coins

World mints report soaring demand for gold coins

LONDON (Reuters) - Mints around the world say demand for gold coins has risen sharply as interest in the precious metal soars on the back of financial instability and concerns over the inflation outlook.

The Royal Canadian Mint, which produces Maple Leaf bullion coins, said it quadrupled its production capacity late last year as demand for gold and silver bullion products leapt. Gold was one of the few commodities to rise last year as turmoil in the financial sector sharpened investors' appetite for assets seen as a safe store of value, such as bullion.

Spot gold rallied to an 11-month high of $1,005.40 on February 20 as a slide in equity markets increased interest in the precious metal. Demand for physical gold products such as coins and bars has been particularly strong, traders say.

The United States Mint said sales of its one-ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins rocketed to 710,000 ounces in 2008, from 140,000 ounces a year before. "The demand for gold and silver has been unprecedented," a spokesman for the Mint told Reuters.

The chairman of the French Mint, Christophe Beaux, said sales roughly doubled last year in value terms and are expected to rise by another 50 percent this year.

The 2009 catalogue the mint had produced was almost entirely pre-sold, he said. The French Mint produces 100 euro gold coins, and plans to mint 10-ounce and 1-kilo coins this year.

In South Africa -- the world's second-largest gold producer -- Natanya van Niekerk, deputy general manager for numismatics at the South African Mint Company, said she had seen a big increase in demand for gold.

"I think we will see this same trend in this and the next quarter," she said. "Gold surely has been resilient in these times."

Michael O'Kane, head bullion trader at the New Zealand Mint, said many overseas buyers had come into the New Zealand market. "We're seen as a safe-haven market," he said. He said buying had been strong since the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in September, as investors moved money from banks into hard assets like gold.

The mint was averaging "a month's transactions in a day," he said, adding he saw demand continuing to rise.

(Reporting by Jan Harvey, Frank Tang, James Macharia, Cameron French, Adrian Bathgate, Gus Trompiz; Editing by Sue Thomas)


American Buffalo gold coins Now Extinct! Get yours while you can.

American Buffalo gold coins were first struck in 2006. These coins hold the unique distinction of being the first coins struck by the U.S. Mint in pure 24kt gold. Their popular design is based on the famous Buffalo design by James Earl Fraser that first appeared on nickels in 1913. In 2008 for the first and only time! the U.S. Mint struck three fractional versions of this coin. Now you can own the complete set featuring the $50, $25, $10 & $5 versions of these popular coins. These coins have been certified by PCGS, the leading coin grading service in America as perfect, flawless mint state 70 coins (MS70), the highest grade any coin can be certified. Anyone who knows anything about PCGS knows that only a tiny fraction of coins ever make perfect MS70. You can count the number of these sets in double digits! Less than two people per state can hope to add these to their collections.

• Perfect MS70 coins with First Strike designation• Very rare less than 100 sets known• Includes three fractional coins $25, $10 & $5 made for one year only• Coins struck at WestPoint Mint• Don’t confuse with sets and prices of coins certified by others!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The most valuable coin I own

The most valuable coin I own

I’ve been a coin collector for over 40 years during which time I have bought and sold over $100 million worth of coins. The most valuable coin I own and the only coin I will never sell is my Churchill Crown. I’ve had the coin for over 40 years, I’ve taken it to over 30 countries and after all this time its still only worth about $5.00 on the open market.

The coin was issued in Great Britain following the death of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill in 1965.

Inconvenient Debt - Glenn Beck

Courtesy Fox News and YouTube. Thanks

Friday, March 6, 2009

What are Eagle Coins?

What are Eagle Coins?

In 1986, the U.S. Mint introduced the Eagle coins – the first silver and gold bullion coins in U.S. history. They were known as the Eagle coins because of the eagle designs on the reverse. The eagle is a symbol of the United States. In addition, the term “eagle” is the technical description for the $10 U.S. gold coin, so it conjured up images of classic gold coins.

The Silver Eagle is the largest and heaviest silver coin in U.S. history. It is struck with one full ounce of pure silver, so it is even bigger than a classic Morgan or Peace Silver Dollar. The obverse is the Walking Liberty design that first appeared on the 1916-1947 Walking Liberty Half Dollar, while the reverse shows a heraldic eagle and 13 stars to represent the original 13 states. The reverse also includes the U.S. government’s guarantee of the coin’s silver weight and One Dollar legal tender value. The same design is used each year; in addition to standard Brilliant Uncirculated bullion coins, a small number of Proof coins are also made each year.

The Gold Eagle is made in four different sizes: $5 coin with 1/10 ounce of pure gold, $10 coin with 1/4 ounce of pure gold, $25 coin with 1/2 ounce of pure gold, and $50 coin with one ounce of pure gold. The obverse is Augustus Saint Gaudens’ design of Liberty that was first used on the 1907-1933 $20 gold coin, while the reverse is a family of eagles and the U.S. government’s guarantee of the coin’s gold weight and legal tender status. Like the Silver Eagle, the same design is used each year. A small number of Proof coins are also struck every year in addition to the Brilliant Uncirculated coins.

The Platinum Eagle was first issued in 1997. There are four different coin sizes: $10 coin with 1/10 ounce of pure platinum, $25 coin with 1/4 ounce of pure platinum, $50 coin with 1/2 ounce of pure platinum, and $100 coin with one ounce of pure platinum. The $100 Platinum Eagle is the highest- denomination U.S. coin ever made. The obverse of each Brilliant Uncirculated coin depicts the face of the Statue of Liberty, while the reverse shows an eagle in flight. Proof coins in 1997 had the same design, but since 1998 a new reverse design of an eagle has been used each year for the Proof coins.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What is a silver bullion round?

What is a silver bullion round?

Silver bullion rounds are simply another name for silver coins.

How do silver bullion rounds differ from silver bullion coins?

For counterfeit and vending machine protection, private mints in the United States are not allowed to strike coins/rounds with the same diameter as United States Mint issued coins.
Silver bullion is marketed in Troy Ounces, 1 Troy ounce = 31.1 grams. U.S. Mint silver eagle bullion coins have 31.101 grams of silver, silver bullion rounds also have 31.101 grams of silver but have a different diameter and thickness. Silver bullion coins like American silver eagles and Canadian Maple Leafs are issued by governments and are legal tender for the amount stated on the coins. Despite having legal tender status they are not expected to be used as money because their silver value exceeds their face value. An American silver eagle has a face value of $1 but is made from one troy ounce of silver that has an approximate value of $12.00 an ounce or 12 times its face value. Silver rounds Are privately minted for investors and collectors they often have designs that resemble famous coins, people and places. Typically silver rounds sell for a lower premium than government issued coins.

Are silver bullion rounds and silver bullion coins .999 silver ?

Yes both bullion coins and bullion rounds are minted from .999 fine silver. They both have the same net weight but are slightly different sizes.

Why do silver rounds sell for a lower premium over silver than American silver eagle coins?

The United States Mint does not sell its bullion coins directly to the public. Instead, the United States Mint distributes the coins in bulk, through a network of official distributors called Authorized Purchasers who, in turn, mark them up and sell them to secondary retailers. In many cases this means you the investor are the fourth person in the chain!
The U.S. Mint, the Authorized Purchaser and the coin/bullion dealer have all made a mark up before you buy! When you buy silver rounds you are cutting out and removing these middlemen, which lowers the premium over spot silver that you have to pay.

Are some silver rounds more valuable than others?

Silver bullion rounds are available in both brand name and generic. Some people prefer one design over another. However, their current and future value is directly correlated to the price of silver. So ultimately they have the same monetary value.

What is the advantage of buying silver bullion rounds over other forms of silver?

Silver bullion rounds are a safe, low cost and convenient way to own silver. They are easy to buy, sell, count and stack. They are portable, offer privacy and take up very little storage room. They are especially convenient when measured against other silver investments. When measured against silver coins they have the same weight and purity but can be bought for a much smaller premium. Prices vary but often rounds can be bought for $2 less premium than coins. This means on a purchase of 100 rounds over 100 coins you could be getting 13 ounces of pure silver FREE. Because of the high margin many bullion dealers promote $1,000 face value sacks of 90% silver coins. These sacks usually have 10,000 dimes or 4,000 quarters or 200 half dollars. These sacks are heavy and weigh 54.5 pounds, they are also very bulky. Imagine storing or transporting $10,000 face value in silver bags versus neatly stacked compact rolls of silver rounds. 100 ounce silver bars are a popular silver investment and usually have a low premium over spot silver. However, these are bulky and don’t have the flexibility of rounds. When you want to sell your 1,000 ounce bar you have to sell it all. With silver rounds you can determine how many ounces you want to sell and how many you want to keep.