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The Austrian Philharmonic – Merrion Gold Guide to Coins

Background

The Austrian Philharmonic is produced by the Austrian Mint as a celebration and a symbol of Austrian musical heritage. First offered in 1989, the coin was designed by Thomas Pesendorfer. The coin is the only bullion coin to have adopted the Euro system, and today bears a nominal value of €100. The Philharmonic is considered legal tender in Austria. The Philharmonic is popular around the world for its unique design features, and is particularly popular in Europe.

The Austrian Philharmonic - Merrion Gold Guide to Coins

History

The coin was first introduced on 10th October 1989, the same year that the Austrian Mint became a publicly limited company. The Austrian Gold Philharmonic was initially produced in two denominations, 1/4 ounce and 1 ounce, and today is also available In 1/2 ounce and 1/10 ounce. To celebrate the coin’s 20th anniversary, a limited run of 20 ounce (622 grams) Philharmonics were commissioned. The coin’s popularity quickly grew and was named the best-selling coin in the world by the World Gold Council on three occasions during the 1990s.

Design

Uniquely for the world’s major gold bullion coins (all of which have a smooth edge), the edge of the Philharmonic is “reeded”. The intricate design on the coin is inspired by one of Europe’s greatest cultural institutions, the Vienna Philaharmonic Orchestra. On the obverse of the coin, Pesendorfer depicts an image of the ‘Great Organ’ of the orchestra which can be found in the centerpiece of Vienna’s Golden Hall. This side of the coin also features the words “REPUBLIK ӦSTERREICH” (“Republic of Austria”), the weight (1oz), the fineness of the 24-carat coin (999.9) and the year of issue. On the opposite side of the coin, there is a litany of predominantly string musical instruments used by musicians in the Orchestra. The reverse features, a Vienna horn, a bassoon, a harp, two violins, a cello, and two more violins, headed by the words WIENER PHILHARMONIKER” (“Vienna Philharmonic”).

The Austrian Philharmonic - Merrion Gold Guide to Coins
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06/11/2020 – This Week in Gold

Price Movements

Gold gained support on Monday extending its recovery from the lows of last week by approaching the $1900 mark. This was mainly buoyed by an easing of gains for the USD as positive US and Chinese manufacturing figures boosted market sentiment. Gold broke through $1900 on Tuesday after a third consecutive day of gains, recording its highest price since October 21st. The price remained above $1900 on Wednesday but struggled to find a clear direction following a tighter than expected race for the US presidential election.

06/11/2020 - This Week in Gold

The gold price surged a substantial 2.3% higher on Thursday in dollar terms as yields consolidated and the USD saw a sharp decline on the inevitable stimulus package to follow the election. This momentum continued into Friday as gold pushed higher towards $1960 and a Biden victory begins to look more and more likely.

Researchers in Italy Develop Covid-19 Test based on Gold Nano-Particles

06/11/2020 - This Week in Gold
Physicists Raffaele Velotta and Bartolomeo Della Ventura

As a second wave of coronavirus cases spreads rapidly across the globe, Italian researchers have innovatively developed a new rapid testing system for COVID-19. A group of Italian physicists claim to have developed a test that combines the sensitivity and effectiveness of genetic material testing using PCR, with the low cost and speed of the more universally administrated antigen-based tests.

The test is a colorimetric test that uses gold nanoparticles that will gather around the virus and cause them to change color when in contact with SARS-CoV-2. In a recent study the test achieved more than 95% accuracy in detecting the virus, the test can be completed within minutes and can also show the severity of the infection in different people. The researchers hope to start administering their test in labs within a couple of weeks.

Gold hits Biggest Weekly Gain Since July

The anticipation of the outcome of the U.S. presidential election and the inevitable stimulus package that will follow the election is the main driving force behind a surge in the gold price this week. As coronavirus cases begin to tick higher across the U.S. the Federal Reserve have outlined how they will certainly require fiscal and monetary stimulus measures to be introduced in the near future. Gold gained support from the prospect of these stimulus measures and the yellow metal saw a 3.5% increase for the week, the largest consecutive increase in price seen since July 31st. As long as the Fed keeps interest rates near zero and the dollar continues to weaken, gold bullion could continue its rally.

Silver Price Movements

Silver saw a sharp increase in Thursday’s market also, buoyed mainly by a weaker dollar. The price broke through the psychological $25.00 point and remained above this mark into Friday’s session. The chaotic U.S. election and potential stimulus measures spurred a sharp sell-off in the dollar market sending silver higher.

06/11/2020 - This Week in Gold
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30/10/2020 – This Week in Gold

Price Movements

On Monday gold ticked slightly higher to rise past the $1900 mark, mainly driven by growing uncertainty as the US election draws nearer and a global spike in coronavirus cases. This continued into Tuesday, as the price bounced back off of a daily low of $1902 to $1910. On Wednesday gold dropped significantly. The yellow metal hit a three-week low as it saw a $40 decrease in price on Wednesday alone, down 1.64% for the day. Analysts cited heightened restrictions and lockdowns for many countries across the globe, mainly in Europe, as the reason for a stronger dollar and therefore a weaker gold price. The stock market and the gold price tumbled in tandem, although gold suffered less than many of the leading stock indices. This downward trend continued on Thursday as the US reported much better than expected GDP figures for Q3, growing a record 33.1%, a stark contrast from the 31.4% decline of Q2. On Friday gold endured a mixed day before ending slightly up at $1879, but down significantly for the week.

30/10/2020 - This Week in Gold

Heightened Tensions to See Gold Transfer

Relations between the US and Germany have deteriorated significantly over the last number of years due to different political and economic tensions. Because of the value gold holds as the foundation of the international financial system, it is seen as a symbol of political power between countries. Where each country stores their gold has a huge bearing on this, for example the more gold Germany stores in the US, the more leverage the US will hold over Germany as they have the power to freeze the assets. Germany began repatriating its gold from the U.S. in 2013 and as they hold the second largest gold reserve in the world, if trans-Atlantic alliances are to deteriorate further after the election, Germany many look to take back more of their gold, which could prove costly for the Fed.

Gold Price to Benefit from US Election?

As attention on the US election intensifies ever further, analysts have stated that either outcome could be beneficial for gold. Their hypothesis is based around the view there will be a low interest rate policy and increased stimulus measures introduced by either candidate should they be elected. Analysts at Haywood and UBS have outlined how the fragility of the U.S. economy met with increased quantitative easing and inflation could put pressure on the greenback and increase investment demand in gold and silver even further.

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23/10/2020 – This Week in Gold

Price Movements

Gold opened the week at $1,898 per ounce, and rose upon opening as expectations of a pre-election stimulus package in America were heightened. A brief dip below $1,900 was soon offset by an extended rally which continued as far as a week high of $1,925 on Wednesday. This marked a record high for a daily finish this month.

23/10/2020 - This Week in Gold

On Thursday these gains were reversed due to a strengthening dollar. US treasury yields rose off the back of better than expected jobless claims, while lower bond prices also paved the way for a lower gold price. Gold ticked higher on Friday morning again buoyed by stimulus hopes, however a reasonably strong dollar put a cap on these gains, and gold reversed below $1,900 again to finish the week back at $1,898.

Silver finished the week up around 1.5%, and was mentioned frequently by a number of analysts forecasting higher prices for the remainder of this year and 2021.

23/10/2020 - This Week in Gold
The Gold:Silver Price Ratio reflects how many ounces of silver are equal in value to one of gold.

Silver Potential Against a Weakened Dollar

Silver has proven popular with investors this year, with the fallout from the pandemic seeing a strong rise in investment demand. The Silver Institute this week reported a 65% increase in demand for silver bullion coins and a subsequent sharp increase in silver bar demand in the first three quarters of 2020. This increase in investment demand has been offset by a fall in industrial demand for the metal, although some analysts who follow the Gold:Silver price ratio still view the metal as undervalued compared to gold.

Analysts from Citibank and Goldman Sachs this week indicated a very positive outlook for silver. Citibank have upped their forecast to $40 per ounce, a height they expect silver to hit within the next 12 months. The analysts cited a possible increase in demand driven by the attractiveness of silver as a cheap entry point into the precious metals market for new investors, and a large-scale increase in industrial demand.

Goldman Sachs analysts cited a weakened dollar as a distinct possibility due to expected stimulus measures in the US, whether before or after the Presidential Election, and identified silver as an attractive method of hedging against this devaluation.

Chilean Reforms Pave Way for Gold Rush

Chilean pension funds have been given the green light to invest in gold for the first time. This change in regulation is part of a wide scale reform in Chile. Up until 2018, Chilean pensions were restricted to investing only in liquid assets. Gold has now been added to the wide list of alternative assets available for investment, which analysts have identified as a possible driver of demand for the yellow metal.

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The Britannia – Merrion Gold Guide to Coins

Background

Britannia Coins are produced by the Royal Mint, and were first issued in 1987. Like the Canadian Maple Leaf, the Britannia was introduced following the enormous success of the Rand Mint’s launch of the South African Krugerrand. As the first European coin of its kind, the Britannia soon became popular both in Britain and further afield. The coin is considered legal tender in the UK with a face value of £100.

The Britannia - Merrion Gold Guide to Coins

History

The coin’s intricate design and the good reputation of the Royal Mint (which traces its origins back to 886) have made the Britannia popular among collectors and investors alike. Britannias minted before 2012 are 22 carat gold, while all coins minted from 2013 onwards are 24 carat gold. 

The name Britannia first came to be associated with the island of Britain following the invasion of the Romans. The name became a symbol for the land, and soon developed into a feminine representation of Great Britain as a goddess warrior armed with a helmet and a trident. It first featured on the British farthing in 1672 and went on to become the image of the gold Britannia.

Design

The most popular version of the Britannia is made up of one troy ounce of pure gold. The coin can also be bought in smaller denominations of 1/2oz, 1/4oz and 1/10oz. Each coin is 24 carat gold and have a fineness of 0.999 gold. The obverse of the coin depicts a profile of Queen Elizabeth II, with the reverse depicting the goddess Britannia, from which the coin’s name is derived. The coin has featured various different depictions of the Britannia. The most commonly featured image is a graceful depiction of a standing Britannia with an arm out-stretched holding a trident.

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16/10/2020 – This Week in Gold

Price Movements

Gold started the week at $1,930 an ounce, and dipped slightly on Monday. On Tuesday afternoon gold fell sharply, losing 1.5% in a matter of hours as the dollar strengthened. The price stabilised below the $1,900 mark, before a sharp rebound on Wednesday saw the price briefly touch $1,912, which analysts linked to US Presidential election uncertainty, a weaker greenback and increasing COVID19 cases. After dipping below $1,900 on Thursday, growing concern regarding further lockdowns in Europe saw an increase in the gold price later in the week, when the price settled at $1,901.

16/10/2020 - This Week in Gold

Silver suffered a 3.5% loss during this week, eventually settling at $24.27 per ounce. The Silver:Gold price ratio increased to around 78:1 this week, higher than in recent weeks but significantly lower than the all time high of 121:1 reached in March this year.

Goldman Sachs Identify Opportunity for Silver in Solar Power

Goldman Sachs analyst Mikhail Sprogis identified a possible global surge in the demand for solar power as a major catalyst in a future bull run for silver. Sprogis believes silver will benefit substantially from a global shift towards renewable energy. This would inevitably lead to a global surge in the demand for solar energy. According to Sprogis, 18% of industrial demand and 10% of the overall demand for silver is accounted for by solar investments. This would stand to prove that a future energy shift to solar would consequently be hugely beneficial for the silver market.

US Presidential Election Uncertainty

This week JP Morgan predicted that the general uncertainty and volatility that will surrounding a win for either Trump or Biden should be beneficial for gold. However, analysts at JP Morgan have alluded to how a ‘blue wave’ for Biden and the democrats would send gold surging to new heights again this year. They have predicted a 2-5% increase in the yellow metal as a result of lower yields and a weaker US dollar on the back of fresh stimulus measures. Corporate worries surrounding higher taxes and further regulation could also add to a rush to gold. These measures could be reflected negatively on the global market as investors react, inevitably sending gold higher.

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The Canadian Maple Leaf – Merrion Gold Guide to Coins

Background

The Canadian Maple Leaf is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint and issued by the Government of Canada. First minted in 1979, the Canadian Government tasked Walter Ott with designing a coin after seeing the success enjoyed by the South African’s government issuing 1 ounce Krugerrands. The Maple Leaf became popular around the world soon afterwards, especially as economic restrictions on the South African apartheid regime made purchasing Krugerrands difficult for many investors in Europe and North America. The coins are considered legal tender in Canada, with a face value of 50 Canadian Dollars.

History of the Maple Leaf

As a 24 carat coin, the Maple Leaf has always been popular with investors, and today is one of the world’s most popular gold bullion coin. The Royal Canadian Mint began minting the coin at 0.9999 purity in 1982 and the coins have remained at this level of fineness to this day. In 2019, the coin marked its 40th anniversary with a special edition of the coin, having sold nearly 30 million ounces in those 40 years.

In 2007 the Royal Candian Mint produced a 100kg version of the coin, with 0.99999 fineness and a nominal value of $1,000,000.

The Canadian Maple Leaf - Merrion Gold Guide to Coins
A 1KG Canadian Maple Leaf

Design

The obverse of the coin depicts an image of Queen Elizabeth II of Canada, the first coin to show the queen without a crown. The coin draws its name from the image found on the reverse side of the coin, this portrays an intricate design of the national symbol of Canada, the Canadian Maple Leaf. 

The most popularly traded version of the coin comes in the weight of 1 troy ounce; however, the coin is also sold in smaller denominations of 1/25, 1/20, 1/10, 1/4 and 1/2 oz. 

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09/10/2020 – This Week in Gold

Gold gains as concerns over U.S. stimulus talks ease

Gold climbed 1% higher on Monday due to increased optimism around a U.S. stimulus bill and a weaker US dollar. This brief rally was halted on Tuesday as gold fell 2% when the US president put a hold on all stimulus package negotiations until after the election.  

However, gold’s appeal as a hedge against inflation was soon restored as fears over further stimulus began to fade on Wednesday.

Uncertainty surrounding the U.S. presidential election caused gold to steady around the $1890 mark on Thursday.

Gold headed for a second straight overall weekly gain as it rose over 1% on Friday. This was mainly due to a weaker greenback, renewed stimulus negotiations and the subsequent possible increase in inflation that would follow such measures.

09/10/2020 - This Week in Gold

Maduro’s Venezuelan Government Wins Appeal Over Gold

Since 2013, the Venezuelan statesman Nicolás Maduro has been in conflict with the Bank of England over his attempts to access gold stored in the bank. He had planned to use the gold to create stimulus in Venezuela amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

09/10/2020 - This Week in Gold

The state bank of Venuzuela (BCV) began pressing charges against the BoE earlier this year. The UK’s central bank refused to hand over the bullion as they failed to recognise Maduro as Venezuela’s legitimate leader following a controversial election in 2018.

The initial high court judgement backed the stance of the BoE. However, following an appeal from Mr. Maduro’s legal team, judge Stephen Males favoured with the BCV.

He went on to state that the UK’s recognition of Maduro’s opposition Guaido as the legitimate leader of the South American country was “ambiguous” and “unequivocal. The trial will return to the High Court to decide who the legitimate leader is.

What next for Silver?

David H. Smith, a Money Metals contributor and senior analyst at the Morgan Report gave an insight to his positive outlook on the future price of silver.

09/10/2020 - This Week in Gold

Smith alludes to how the supply of silver has been on a constant and significant decline over the last number of years. This drop in production has been met with a surge in demand as is made evident by the recent shortage in silver coins. He sees the resistance level for silver at $30 but has predicted that if the precious metal could exceed this level the silver market could be in for a significant bull run

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The Krugerrand – Merrion Gold Guide to Coins

Background

The Krugerrand is the world’s most popular gold coin. First minted in 1967 in the Republic of South Africa, the coin was initially designed to appeal to both investors and collectors as a means of promoting South African gold in the international markets. The coins are still produced only in South Africa (by the Rand Refinery and the South African Mint), where they are considered legal tender.

The Krugerrand - Merrion Gold Guide to Coins

History of the Krugerrand

The South African Krugerrand was the first modern government-issued gold bullion coin, and grew to dominate the global gold coin market. The Krugerrand’s position as the world’s best known gold coin was strengthened when it featured in the Hollywood film Lethal Weapon 2, which starred Mel Gibson.

The Krugerrand - Merrion Gold Guide to Coins

The popularity of the Krugerrand suffered later in the 1970s and 1980s as sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid governments made buying Krugerrands in certain Western countries difficult, and in some cases illegal. The decision by the USA to ban the import of Krugerrands in 1985 resulted in a sharp drop in demand. 

Almost all sanctions ended in 1991 after the South African government took steps toward ending its apartheid policy. The Krugerrand has regained its place as the most widely owned bullion coin in the world, with over 50 million ounces in circulation today.

Design

The Krugerrand draws its name from the design on the obverse of the coin, which features the face of the last president of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger. The reverse depicts the national symbol of South Africa, the elegant and nimble Springbok.

The Krugerrand is 22 carat gold, as it is made up of 91.67% pure gold, with the remaining 8.33% comprising of copper. As such, while there is 1 ounce (31.1g) of gold in a Krugerrand, the overall weight of the coin is 34g.

The Krugerrand - Merrion Gold Guide to Coins

To inquire about Krugerrands, or any other gold, please contact a member of our trading team at info@merriongold.ie or on 01 254 7901.

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02/10/2020 – This Week in Gold

Gold Price Movements This Week

Gold opened the week at $1,862 per ounce, more than 10% lower than the record high of $2,069 reached in August. After an initial dip on Monday, gold rose to challenge the $1,900 barrier on what proved to be a volatile Wednesday. On Thursday the price reached $1,910 before falling back to $1,892, a trend which was reversed with a sharp spike following the announcement of President Trump’s positive test for COVID-19. On Friday afternoon gold was trading at $1,907, nearly 2.5% higher than the beginning of the week.

02/10/2020 - This Week in Gold

Trump COVID Diagnosis

Markets tumbled after Donald Trump confirmed on Twitter that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Further uncertainty now surrounds November’s election, adding to existing concerns regarding postal ballots and the possibility of a disputed result. The first presidential debate on Tuesday offered no clear winner, and the remaining debates are now in jeopardy following the requirement for Trump to quarantine. UBS cited these factors when recommending that investors seek safe haven assets in order to protect themselves against the possibility of continuing stock market volatility.

While gold enjoyed an initial spike after the news emerged, equities and other commodities suffered, with oil futures in New York falling by more than 5%. While markets responded with cautious optimism to US job figures released on Friday afternoon, these announcements were overshadowed by the headlines arising from Trump’s COVID diagnosis. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) rose 10% in the hours after the announcement, although later fell back after the positive jobs statistics were released.

Cooperman Enters Gold

02/10/2020 - This Week in Gold

Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman, currently CEO of Omega Investors, this week revealed that he had bought gold for the first time in his career. Cooperman cited the huge increase in government debt as the prime factor in his decision, which follows fellow billionaire Warren Buffett’s decision to buy mining stocks earlier this year.

Brexit Negotiations

Meanwhile, it was announced that Boris Johnson will intervene in the Brexit negotiations for the first time since June. As the deadline for a deal approaches, both sides have spoken of their desire to make a deal, although large firms continue to relocate assets and offices away from London to protect against a ‘No Deal’ scenario.

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