Government Mints and Private Mints
When buying precious metals, whether it is coins, bars or rounds, it is important to understand the differences between government mints and private mints.
A government mint is a mint that has the ability to produce legal tender coinage. While government mints are often charged with minting a country’s coinage, many also produce other forms of bullion as well such as bars or rounds.
The Royal Canadian Mint, for example, produces not only Canada’s coinage but also produces bullion bars, rounds, collectables and more. Many government mints have been operating for hundreds of years, and the quality of coin and bullion produced by these mints is at the highest level.
Coins, bars and rounds produced by government mints are some of the most well-recognized and sought after bullion products in the world. Government mints, like the Royal Canadian Mint, take great pride in their coins and other products and look to make coinage that is symbolic of their sovereignty.
The Canadian gold maple leaf coin is an excellent example. These gold coins are known throughout the world, and symbolize Canada through their design and detail. These stunning coins are good, legal tender in Canada, and are some of the purest bullion coins available today.
In addition to legal tender bullion coins, the RCM also produces many other coin and round products that are symbolic to Canada. These products may include detailed designs of wildlife, the Canadian flag, historical events and more.
Due to the quality of coin and bullion produced by government mints, these products may carry higher premiums than private mint coin and bullion.
A private mint does not have the authority to produce legal tender coins. Private mints produce many types of bullion bars and rounds.
It is important to note that bullion rounds are similar in shape and size to bullion coins, but carry no face value. These products are valued solely on their precious metals content and any degree of collectability that may exist.
The Sunshine Mint, based in Idaho, U.S.A. is a good example of a private mint. The Sunshine Mint has many well-known products such as one ounce silver bars and one ounce silver rounds.
The Sunshine Mint produces some basic bullion products of high quality, but is a private, for-profit company.
Unlike government mints, private mints often offer additional products or services. The Sunshine Mint, for example, also offers bullion blanks and custom minting. Some private mints feature their own assay labs and services as well. Others may be part of a parent company with operations in other areas of industry such as diamonds or metallurgy.
Private mints produce some of the most beautiful designs and also some of the most simple. When you purchase bars or rounds from a private mint, you may pay a lower premium than purchasing from a government mint.
Should I Buy Government Mint or Private Mint Products?
We feel that both are appropriate. Gold and silver bullion coins are an important component to any precious metals portfolio and must be produced by a government mint. Bullion bars are more comparable when looking at government versus private mint, and in this case it may simply be a preference of product and comparison of premiums. Rounds, like bars, are also more comparable. Choosing gold, silver or other precious metals rounds is more a matter of personal taste and premiums.
Government mints are regarded for their history and their place in a country’s monetary system. These factors, along with the fact that they produce legal tender coinage, make government mint products highly sought after. At the same time, many private mints are very well regarded and have excellent reputations of quality and craftsmanship. Private mint products may potentially be more cost-effective as well.
Overall, diversification of products within a precious metals portfolio will call for both types of bullion to be incorporated.