If there has been one constant in the global community for thousands of years, it has been precious metals. Gold and silver, and more recently platinum and palladium, have been popular vehicles for personal and national wealth protection. Today, high silver prices and a wide array of silver precious metals products have investors and collectors’ heads spinning trying to keep track. At JM Bullion, we offer silver bars, rounds, and coins from countries across the globe. Below you can learn more about the products and specializations of mints from various countries.
The US has one of the most robust precious metal industries. There is only one sovereign mint system in the US, the United States Mint. Founded with enactment of the Currency Act of 1792, the US Mint has served as the official coining facility and paper print operator for the federal government. However, the United States is also home to a variety of private mints striking everything from investment-grade bullion blanks to hand-poured silver bars.
The US Mint operates four facilities in total for its coining operations: The San Francisco Mint, Denver Mint, Philadelphia Mint, and the West Point Mint. Silver products from the US Mint are confined to commemorative and historic circulation coins. When it comes to products from the US Mint, you can expect to find the following on the market:
Florida’s Highland Mint was founded in the 1980s, and is best known for producing silver commemorative medals and licensed products for professional sports teams from America’s major sporting leagues, as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association. It does also produce silver rounds with .999 pure silver content. Their most popular silver rounds feature the iconic Indian Head Nickel (1913-1938) and Walking Liberty Half Dollar (1916-1947) designs on a Buffalo Silver Round and Walking Liberty Round, respectively.
The Atlantis Mint is one of two private mints in the United States producing unique, hand-poured silver bars. Among its popular designs are the Alien Skull Bar and its range of Skull & Crossbones silver bars. All of its bars contain .999 pure silver and have rustic, matte finishes indicative of the hand-poured approach to minting.
SilverTowne is one of America’s oldest private mints, having been established in 1949 in Winchester, Indiana. Its most popular product is its line of silver bars and rounds feature the company’s Prospector logo. These rounds and bars feature a lonely old prospector, with an axe over his shoulder, leading a trusty pack mule to the next location of precious metals.
Founded in 2008 in the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon, Monarch Precious Metals is the other private mint in the United States to produce all of its silver bars using hand-poured techniques. All of its bars, including the popular Monarch Pistol Silver Bar, Skull Silver Bar, and its MPM-branded silver bars are hand poured using at least .999 pure silver and stamped with unique markings.
The youngest private mint in the US is the Great American Mint. Opened in 2011, it is the largest private mint on the West Coast of the United States. In addition to producing silver rounds and round bars featuring designs from America’s past, including the Indian Head Nickel, Walking Liberty, and Morgan Silver Dollar, the Great American Mint provides investment-grade bullion blanks to the United States Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, and other sovereign mints around the globe.
Elemetal Mint is the new operating name for Ohio Precious Metals. Operating for the past several years as part of a collaborative team involving NTR Metals and Provident Metals, in July 2015 OPM assumed the name Elemetal Mint for production of precious metals under the combined company’s brand. Its most popular products to date are its 2 oz Ultra High Relief Proof Rounds; the Privateer Series and the North American Landscapes Series.
Located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Sunshine Mint is one of America’s most respected private mints. It produces a variety of silver rounds and bars, most featuring its own brand and logo. Sunshine Mint operates refineries in Idaho and Nevada, with retail locations in Las Vegas and Shanghai, China.
The Royal Canadian Mint is not only the preeminent mint in Canada, it is also one of the most respected facilities in the world. Operating state-of-the-art refining operations in Ottawa and Winnipeg, the Royal Canadian Mint offers a variety of silver products, all of which feature .9999 pure silver, and include:
The Mexican Mint, also known as Casa de Moneida de Mexico, is the official mint of the Mexican government. Although it is often overshadowed by its dominant neighbors to the north, the Mexican Mint actually holds the status as the Western Hemisphere’s oldest operating facility. Founded in 1535 by Spanish conquistadors, the Mexican Mint boasts almost 500 years of gold and silver refining. Today, its single most popular product is the Mexican Silver Libertad. The coin is based upon the original gold Centenario from 1921, and features iconic Mexican imagery on the obverse, with the nation’s coat of arms on the reverse. Details include:
The British Royal Mint was originally founded in 886 as the London Mint. Since that time it has been the primary facility responsible for the production of British sovereign coins. Today, in addition to producing coinage and paper currency for the United Kingdom, it produces a variety of silver commemorative bullion coins, including:
Switzerland is often viewed as the financial and banking capital of the world. It is not surprising then that this nation would be at the forefront of precious metals production and design. Three of its mints in particular stand out in the crowd, providing investors and collectors alike with some of the finest products available today.
Produits Artistiques Metaux Precieux, or simply PAMP, is the world’s leading bullion brand. PAMP was founded in 1977, and is now part of the global MKS Group, which has an international footprint in the precious metals and financial services industries. Among its most popular products are the following:
Credit Suisse is Switzerland’s oldest operating refinery, having opened as a financial institution in the 1850s to support the financial and investment needs of the growing railroad industry. Today, Credit Suisse produces a variety of silver bars branded with their own logo for use in investing. Many of their heavier bars also have Good Delivery status with the LBMA.
Founded as Valori & Cambi in 1961, this Swiss refinery was actually owned for almost 40 years by Credit Suisse. The combination of the companies created Valcambi Suisse, which lives on today under new ownership. While it does produces standard silver bars as minted ingots and Good Delivery LBMA silver bars, it’s most popular product is the 100 oz Valcambi CombiBar. Using proprietary technology, investors can divide these bars into either 100 individual 1 oz bars or 10 individual 10 oz bars (depending upon the product purchased), without losing metal content or purity in the process.
Germany’s national mint system consists of four different mints owned and operated by state governments. When it comes to the production of coins for international governments and investors around the world, Geiger Edelmetalle and the Bavarian State Mint are the go-to facilities in Germany.
Geiger was founded in the Saxony region of Germany in 1218. It is located in a region of Germany with more than 1,000 years of silver mining history. Today, the most popular product from Geiger Edelmetalle is actually struck for another nation. The Armenian Silver Noah’s Ark coin tells the biblical tale from the Christian bible’s book of Genesis. Armenia has a deep connection to this tale, as it was the first modern nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion, and the famous Mount Ararat where the ark came to rest was traditionally located within its borders. These coins feature .999 pure silver and a face value of 500 Drams in a 1 oz weight.
Bavarian State Mint
The Bavarian State Mint is owned and operated by the Free State of Bavaria, and is located in Munich. With a rich history of its own that dates back to 1158, it is one of Germany’s oldest mints. In addition to producing Euro currency for the Eurozone, it also produces the popular Somalian Silver Elephant. These coins feature .999 pure silver and are available with a new obverse design each year. First introduced in 2004, these coins are highly coveted by investors and collectors alike.
Given that the nation of China was closed off to the Western world until the 1970s, its international profile is growing in the precious metals industry thanks to the Chinese Silver Panda. These coins are produced on an annual basis, and have undergone a series of changes since introduction in 1983. The original three-year production featured only 1 oz coins with .900 purity and a proof version. No coins were issued in 1986. The coins returned in 1987 with .925 pure silver, and have been struck annually since 1989 in six weights.
The modern Chinese Silver Panda is available in bullion and proof versions, with .999 pure silver, and a face value listed in Chinese Yuan (¥). Each coin features the same reverse design, that of the external edifice of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. The obverse bears a new design of the panda each year, with the exception of 2001 and 2002 when the image remained the same.
The Land Down Under just happens to be home to some of the most sought-after and beloved coins produced in the world. There is no shortage of impressive coins struck by Australia’s Perth Mint. These products include:
Perth Mint is not the official production facility of Australia. The national government prints its official coinage and paper currency at the Royal Australian Mint. However, the Perth Mint is the nation’s oldest facility and its products enjoy legal tender status under the Currency Act of 1965.
The New Zealand Mint is a privately-owned company in Auckland, and is not responsible for the production of coinage or paper currency for New Zealand’s government (this is done at the Royal Mint and Royal Canadian Mint). However, it is responsible for producing coinage and commemorative coins for numerous, small Pacific Island nations such as the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, and Fiji. The most popular product from the New Zealand Mint celebrates the Hawksbill turtle, which features a new design set on the reverse each year.
Silver precious metal bars, rounds, and coins are available from mints on continents around the world. The countries and mints listed above are indicative of recurring and popular products featured through JM Bullion. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 800-276-6508. You can also connect with us conveniently through our website’s live chat feature or by submitting your questions via email.