A bullion mint is a facility that produces physical precious metals products. These products range anywhere from government-backed legal tender coinage to bars, rounds, and collectors coins. In general, bullion mints are divided into 2 categories: sovereign mints (also called government mints) and private mints .
As the producer of some of the world's first government-backed coinage, sovereign mints have been around for hundreds of years. Private mints, although not as old as sovereign mints, have been widely-trusted in the bullion industry for decades. Both types of mints enjoy a rich history of producing precious metals products that are in high demand by collectors and investors all over the world.
One type of bullion mint is called a sovereign mint (or government mint), due to the fact that it is established by its respective national government. Sovereign Mints are responsible for producing government-backed circulation coinage for their country. They follow a set of stringent standards that guarantee the weight, purity, and face value of the bullion products they manufacture. Because of this guarantee, sovereign-minted bullion products have earned a worldwide reputation as a source of high-quality precious metal investments.
The United Kingdom's Royal Mint is the earliest-known sovereign mint. Established in 886 AD, it remains the world's leading manufacturer of currency, coinage, bullion, and medals today. Other long-standing government mints are the Bavarian Central Mint (1158 AD), the Austrian Mint (1194 AD), and the Mexican Mint (1535 AD). Although not as old, a few of the most popular sovereign mints today include the Mexican Mint , United States Mint, the Perth Mint, and the Royal Canadian Mint.
Sovereign mints strike coins as currency that carry a legal tender face value. If a coin does not carry a face value, it is referred to as a round. Sovereign-minted coins come in several different types:
Countries around the world use circulating coins as currency for daily transactions. For example, United States circulating coinage consists of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, etc. In general, circulating coins made by government mints are composed of cupronickel: an alloy of nickel, zinc, and copper.
Sovereign mints strike bullion coins from gold, silver, platinum, or plalladium to be sold as long-term precious metals investments. Although they vary in size from 1 gram to over a kilo, many buyers prefer to buy 1-ounce bullion coins because they're easier to collect and trade. Most sovereign mints produce bullion coins that carry a government-backed legal tender face value. But as the value of the metal usually exceeds the face value of the coin, they aren't used in typical financial transactions.
Many sovereign mints are known for their flagship bullion coin series that issue exciting new releases every year. Each annual release is highly-sought after by investors and collectors alike for their beauty, purity, and government-backed face value. Some popular coin series include the US Mint's American Silver Eagles and America the Beautiful Series, the Perth Mint's Gold Lunar Series, the British Royal Mint's Silver Britannia Series, and the Chinese Mint's Gold Panda series. These coins typically demand higher prices per ounce compared to private mint rounds due to their popularity in the secondary market and government guarantee.
Sovereign mints produce proof coins in superior finishes and limited numbers to be sold as high-value collectibles. They often celebrate important figures, icons, historic events, or even animals and fauna of the issuing country. Proof coins are also produced as legal tender, even though they are much more valuable than their face value and aren't used as money.
Also called numismatic coins, collectible coins are valuable for different reasons than bullion or proof coins. Collectible coins are precious to collectors because they are extremely old or rare, have mint-made errors, or are otherwise in limited supply. When it comes to collectible coin values, the sky is the limit.
A few sovereign mints produce bullion bars in addition to coins. For example, the Royal Canadian Mint strikes gold bars and silver bars, and the Perth Mint strikes gold bars. Sovereign-minted bullion bars typically demand higher prices per ounce compared to privately-minted bars due to their popularity in the secondary market and government guarantee.
The other main type of bullion mint is called a Private Mint. Private mints are owned by private companies and operate independently of the national government.They create a wide range of investment-grade precious metal products that appeal to many types collectors and hobbyists.
Privately-minted products often have the same metal content and purity as sovereign-minted products. But they are usually more affordable and come in a wider variety of beautiful designs. Examples of popular private mints include PAMP Suisse, SilverTowne Mint, and Golden State Mint. Private mints typically produce two types of products:
Rounds are circular bullion discs of varying weights and designs. Most private mints produce bullion rounds to an equally-high purity standard as coins. They have no “face value”, which means they are not recognized as legal tender and can't be spent as currency. But many buyers feel that bullion rounds are a good investment because of their purity, wide range of gorgeous designs, and affordability.
Like bullion rounds, privately-minted bars generally match sovereign mint products in content and purity, but cost less. Private mints produce gold bars, silver bars and platinum group bars in a variety of weights and styles to suit any budget and investment goals. Some of the most popular bars include the Provident Metals 10 oz silver bar, the Sunshine Mint 10 oz silver bar, and the Engelhard 100 oz silver bar.
Choosing the right mint for you is based on your personal preference and investment goals. Perhaps you buy bullion based on design, or you stick with one type of metal. Or maybe you prefer only sovereign-minted products or privately-minted products–or a combination of the two. Whatever the case, Provident Metals provides the best investment-grade bullion at the lowest price.
Whether you're buying bullion to invest, to build a collection, or simply for fun, Provident Metals is a secure place to continue your precious metals journey. We proudly offer coins, rounds, and bars from the most trusted sovereign and private bullion mints around the world. Each mint in our catalog crafts only the highest quality, investment-grade bullion. We've shipped over 1 million orders through our secure online ordering process, and we are proud to maintain an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau.
With so many products to choose from at industry-leading prices, your only challenge will be deciding which one best suits your style. Shop our mints today to find the right precious metal products for you!