Investments in precious metals have been popular for thousands and thousands of years. When people think of investing in precious metals, however, most only think of gold. For whatever reason, gold is the most popular metal when it comes to investing. With that being said, silver is an equally wise investment yet one that is often overlooked. Silver, like gold, can be found in bars, rounds, coins and a number of other forms.
Silver from Australia is growing in popularity and is quickly becoming the top choice for investors not only from the United States, but from elsewhere around the world. This isolated yet large country produces some of the finest silver in the world and has been ever since the UK had a bigger influence on the region.
The initial settlers that called South Australia home were attracted to the region not because of copper nor gold deposits, but rather due to the silver that was so abundant. The first and most abundant deposit of silver was discovered at Glen Osmond — the same site where Australia’s first silver min would later be set up in 1841. Mining operations at Glen Osmond were commenced by way of a man named Captain Pascoe and ten other miners. Operations at this mine lasted a few years, but before long operations were suspended and the 10 to 12 people who first operated the mine dispersed across Australia.
In 1883, silver was discovered in a place called Broken Hill. Charles Rasp descended upon the region in search of tin, but upon closer analysis of the heavy rocks that were there he realized that what he had found was actually silver and lead. Broken Hill, to this day, still produces a majority of the silver that is mined in Australia.
In 1923, a man by the name of John Campbell Miles discovered another silver deposit in Broken Hill, as well as one in Mt. Isa. These regions were some of the most silver-rich in the world at the time, and began outputting silver shortly after the metal was discovered as being there. Other deposits of silver have been found in various regions of Australia, but Mt. Isa and Broken Hill were the two discoveries that kick-started Australia’s rich silver history.
The Perth Mint of Australia is now not only one of the most well-known and respected mints in Australia, but also in the world. Founded in 1899 after the discovery of massive gold deposits near Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, Perth was originally founded as part of the United Kingdom’s Royal Mint. At the time, the mint in Perth was the UK’s third Royal Mint branch in Australia, but unlike the locations in Melbourne and Sydney, the Perth Mint is still in business today.
During the early days, miners who were out in search of their own fortune would take the raw gold they were able to dig up to the Perth Mint for refining and minting. From its founding just before the turn of the 20th century, up until 1990, the Perth Mint operated out of a single location. After 1990, the mint was moved to a location closer to Perth’s airport.
Over the first 30+ years of the Perth Mint’s existence, more than 106 million coins exited the Perth facility to be used as Australian currency. After the UK abandoned the gold standard in 1931, Perth turned its operation into one that produced bullion bars much more readily than coins. Less than ten years after coin production decreased dramatically, Perth was once again producing the nation’s coinage thanks to an inordinately high demand for currency to be produced. Up until the first day of July, 1970, the Perth Mint remained under complete control of Britain. It was on this day that the ownership of the mint was officially transferred to the government of Western Australia. Though it is still under government control, the mint is unique in that it functions more like a privately owner company than anything else.
Australia is known for producing some of the finest silver coins on the market today, and almost all of those coins could, at one time, call Perth home. With that being said, not all coins produced in Australia come from Perth as the Royal Mint of Australia is also responsible for a wide selection of silver coins.
When it comes to silver coins from Perth, the most noticeable aspect of them is that they feature imagery that is not found on most other coins. The wildlife series, for example, does a great job of depicting and celebrating Australia’s expansive and unique wildlife. The Koala, an animal that is near and dear to the hearts of every Australian, is just one of many animals featured on a Perth coin.
The Royal Australian Mint piggybacks, in a way, off of Perth by also offering silver coins that celebrate Australian wildlife. Their marquis offering, for example, is the series of coins with varying depictions of kangaroos. Kangaroos are another unmistakably Australian animal, and it makes sense that they would be featured on Australian coinage.
Finally, the Perth Mint is known for their production of silver bullion bars across a broad size spectrum. From as small as ½ ounce to as large as 1,000 ounces and beyond, Perth does not skimp on its offering of silver bars. What you will notice about Perth’s silver bars is that they adhere to highest standard and purity specifications. Boasting a purity of .999, Perth bars fall in line with the best bars produced today.
What’s more, the massive scale of Perth Mint’s production ensures that these bars are able to be purchased just about anywhere and at any time. Investors have fallen in love with the security offered by an investment in Perth silver, and that much is shown through the mint’s rise to fame and ability to continue building a loyal base of customers from all over the globe.