How Small Can You Make Them?
April 21, 2009
There is some talk among the producers of coins from precious metals that a half gram size is needed.
When I first saw this, I had to read it a second time. Half gram? Not half ounce?
There are more than 31 grams in a troy ounce, 31.103 to be precise. A half gram coin would be smaller than 1/60th the size.
The rationale is that a smaller size would be more affordable. To illustrate, if gold were $900 an ounce. A half gram coin would contain roughly $15 in bullion value.
I am rounding. Please, don't make me use a calculator.
Oh, never mind. I will probably have to get one out to finish making my point.
Is there really a large unmet demand by $15 gold buyer's? I haven't noticed.
What I do know is the U.S. gold dollar, which was introduced in 1849 because at the time the United States was swimming in the precious metal bonanza from the California Gold Rush, was never popular because of its small and inconvenient size.
During its lifetime they even made it thinner to increase the diameter to 15mm from 13mm. For comparison, the dime is 17.9mm.
The dollar coin is actually more than three times the size of half a gram. It weighs in at 1.672.
Somehow, I think the world's coin manufacturers should catch up with the demand for the one-ounce coin first. But then, the premium on the one-ounce coin is far lower than the mark-up would be for half a gram.
After all, what's an extra $15 or $20 tacked onto a half gram gold coin price. Remember, you are paying for convenience. Yeah, right.
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