Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first. Coin Invest Trust (CIT) have followed up their surprise hit Brexit coin with a pair of gold versions carrying the same design. One is a 0.5g minigold coin, an increasingly popular format thanks in no small part to this Liechtenstein-based coin producer. It’s cleanly struck with a pattern stamped into the UK part of the map in lieu of the colour on the silver coin. The other coin is far more interesting, and not for the subject matter.
The 1/10 oz coin is a gold version of the silver, right down to the colour. For the first time however, the brilliant SmartMinting ability unveiled at the World Money Fair in Berlin back in February has leapt from silver to gold and picked up a gold-specific name in the process. Called BGM, an acronym of Big Gold Minting, this technique allows, like its silver counterpart, the striking of a detailed coin in less weight of metal than is usually required, but it is a distinctly different process developed just for gold.
The implications for collectors are fully evident here. The Perth Mint strikes relatively large coins for its Lunar range and its 1/10 ounce gold version is 18.6 mm in diameter, giving a surface area of 272² mm. For comparison, the gold Philharmonic in the same weight is just 16.0 mm across (sa. 201² mm). This new CIT coin is an enormous 26.0 mm, giving a surface area of 531² mm, almost double the Lunar. The benefit for gold numismatics is enormous. No longer will the coins under ¼ oz lack size and detail, opening up the yellow metal to wider use without the usual compromises.
As the price of gold rises, the sub-¼ oz coin will become increasingly popular. That’s certainly going to be boosted if the coins aren’t tiny facsimiles of their silver counterparts. A good fit for the NZ Mint for example, whose popular releases often appear in 40 mm silver and 23 mm gold variants. How cool a gold approaching the silver in size while maintaining the relative affordability of the ¼ oz format? CIT are to be congratulated for BGM and I hope we see further examples soon.