WASHINGTON, April 19 (Xinhuanet) -- The US Mint announced Tuesday it will begin producing new 24-karat uncirculated gold bullion investment coins in early 2006. This will be the first time the Mint makes 24-karat gold coins.
Upon completion of a successful test strike, the designs, specifications, quantities and denominations will be considered. Possible themes for the images on the 24-karat gold bullion coins will be presented on April 28, 2005 in Washington, a press releaseissued by the Mint said.
Global investors have been turning increasingly to the purer gold coin in recent years. The Mint estimates the potential globalmarket for 24-karat gold bullion coins at 2.4 billion dollars.
Currently, 60 percent of global gold coin sales are of 24-karatcoins. And purchases of foreign-minted 24-karat gold coins represent almost a third of all gold bullion coins purchased annually in the United States, according to the press release.
"There is a demand, both here and abroad, for 24-karat gold coins," said Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore. "We want to meet this demand by producing the highest quality and most beautiful coins in the world."
The US Mint is currently the world's largest manufacturer of 22-karat gold bullion investment coins, as well as silver and platinum bullion coins, the press release said.The current 22-karat American Eagle gold coin contains 91.67 percent gold with the rest of the coin made of other alloys.
The American Eagle coins went on sale in October 1986. Before that time, the United States had not had a gold coin in general circulation since 1933.
The American Eagle coins have face values of 50 dollars, 25 dollars, 10 dollars and 5 dollars but they sell for much more thanthat with the price set by the market price of gold. The 50-dollarAmerican Eagle was selling for around 445 dollars on Monday. Enditem