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U.S. News

FACTBOX: World mints' products and sales

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.

Below are details of gold and silver products issued by mints around the world, with sales figures where available.

UNITED STATES

* The United States Mint produces American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins in four denominations: one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce. The Silver Bullion Coin is only available in the one-ounce size.

* The U.S. Mint said sales of its one-ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins rose to 710,000 in 2008 from 140,016 the previous year.

* Sales of its half-ounce gold bullion coins rose to 61,000 in 2008 from 47,200 a year earlier, while sales of its quarter-ounce coins doubled to 70,000 from 34,004.

* Sales of its one-ounce silver bullion coins more than doubled to 20.6 million in 2008 from 9 million in 2007.

* In ounce terms, the U.S. Mint sold 41,500 ounces of gold in January. That slipped to 15,500 ounces in June, a seasonally slow period, but spiked to a high of 176,000 ounce in December.

* A spokeswoman at the mint said American Eagles silver bullion coins were by far the most popular non-circulating bullion coins.

* “The demand for gold and silver has been unprecedented. We are working diligently to meet demand,” she said.

ROYAL CANADIAN MINT

* The Royal Canadian Mint refines and produces Maple Leaf bullion coins, gold kilo bars, trade bars and gold wafers.

* “We have seen a huge rise in demand for our gold and silver bullion products, and we actually quadrupled our capacity to produce bullion, gold and silver Maple Leaf coins in late 2008,” a spokesman said.

* The Mint releases 2008 sales data later this year.

SOUTH AFRICAN MINT

* The South African Mint produces a range of coins, including the one-ounce gold Krugerrand. In the December quarter of 2008, it made 175,000 Krugerrands, against 110,000 in the same quarter of the previous year.

* It manufactured 13,600 ounces of proof coins in the second half of last year, against 12,570 ounces a year before. The mint said it had tooling problems in the last quarter.

* “I think we will see this same trend in this and the next quarter,” Natanya van Niekerk, deputy general manager for numismatics at the mint, said

CHINA MINT

* The China Mint produces Gold Panda coins in seven weights -- 1/20th ounce, 1/10th ounce, 1/4 ounce, 1/2 ounce, one ounce, 5 ounces and 1 kilogram. It does not release sales data.

* The face value of the coins is 20 yuan ($2.93), 50 yuan, 100 yuan, 200 yuan, 500 yuan, 2,000 yuan and 10,000 yuan respectively.

* It also makes Silver Panda coins in 1 ounce, 5 ounce and 1 kilogram sizes, with a face value of 10 yuan, 50 yuan and 300 yuan.

JAPAN MINT * The Japan Mint produces only commemorative gold coins.

* The last commemorative coin it issued was for the 2005 Aichi Expo in Japan. It produced 70,000 of these coins with a face value of 10,000 yen.

* Before that it produced 100,000 gold coins for the 2002 FIFA world cup. The face value of the gold coin was 10,000 yen.

ROYAL MINT

* The UK’s Royal Mint produces only commemorative and collectable coins, including Gold Bullion Sovereigns, half Sovereigns and quarter Sovereigns in 22-carat gold.

* The 2009 Gold Proof sovereign -- which weighs around quarter of an ounce -- sells for 310 pounds ($429.9).

* “Demand for Royal Mint coins of all metals continues to increase, showing year-on-year growth,” said a spokesman.

MOSCOW MINT, ST PETERSBURG MINT

* The mints produce the Georgy Pobedonosets and Chervonets gold investment coins, weighing 7.78 grams and 7.74 grams respectively, and the Sobol silver coin, which weighs 31.1 grams. Other coins in the database are collectable coins.

* In 2009, Russia’s central bank plans to produce up to 500,000 Georgy Pobedonosets gold coins, which sell for 14,000 roubles ($396.7). In 2008, the bank produced 630,000 such coins.

* The coins are distributed through 100 commercial banks.

* State-controlled Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, sold the equivalent of 55 tonnes of precious metals in 2008, including 40 tonnes for precious metals accounts.

* In January 2009, Sberbank’s retail clients bought the equivalent of 6 tonnes of precious metals.

* Vladimir Tarankov, director of Sberbank’s currency and non-trade operations department, said on February 11 Sberbank had never seen such great demand for Russian investment coins.

NEW ZEALAND MINT

* Produces Gold Kiwi bullion coins in one-ounce, 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce, 1/10 ounce 1/20 and 1/30 ounce sizes.

* Michael O’Kane, head bullion trader at the Mint, said the mint was averaging a month’s transactions in a day.

FRENCH MINT

* The French Mint said its sales of gold coins roughly doubled last year in value terms and should rise by around 50 percent this year, based on the 2009 catalog they have issued and which is already almost entirely pre-reserved.

* Sales represented several million euros a year, Chairman and Chief Executive Christophe Beaux said. He declined to give an exact figure.

* Last year’s spike in sales included the sale of 50,000 100 euro ($128.7) coins, which, exceptionally, are both solid gold and also legal currency, he said.

* This year the mint will sell coins with more than the usual maximum of 5 ounces of gold. It will be producing 10-ounce coins, which will sell for 12,000 to 13,000 euros each, and 39 copies of a kilo gold coin which will sell for 30-35,000 euros.

* The mint said it adjusts its prices in response to the fluctuations in gold markets but it does not adjust production. The program is fixed at the beginning of the year and stuck to in order to preserve the rarity/collector’s appeal of the coins.

GERMAN MINTS

* Germany has five mints, which are producing the 100 euro coin.

For main gold market report, click on

Compiled by Jan Harvey; Reporting by Frank Tang, James Macharia, Paul Lauener, Gleb Bryanski, Michael Hogan, Gus Trompiz, Cameron French, Sarah Marsh, Adrian Bathgate, Polly Yam, Miho Yoshikawa; Editing by Sue Thomas

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