Mints are running out of gold; not enough physical silver to cover paper - former U.S. Mint Director
(Kitco News) - A global shortage of physical gold and silver products has created a premium on coins and bars, and this premium is causing a disconnect between the spot price and the "true" price that retail investors need to pay, said Ed Moy, former director of the U.S. Mint.
Moy, who was the director of the U.S. Mint between 2006 and 2011, cites the inability of the mints around the world to keep up with physical coin and bar demand as a reason for this shortage.
"Not only the U.S. Mint, but other Mints around the world, Australia's Perth Mint, the Mexican Mint, have all run out of gold, they can't keep it in spot and there's so many shortages retailers are having problems accessing that gold," Moy told Michelle Makori, Kitco's editor-in-chief.
Premiums on these physical gold and silver products can run as high as 20% in some places, Moy said.
"If you go to any of the top retailers for gold bullion and take a look at what they're charging for an ounce American Eagle gold bullion coin, even though the spot price right now is $1,775 give or take, you're hard pressed to find a ounce gold coin for anything less than $2,000, and I've seen it as high as $2,100," he said.
One of the main reasons for why the spot prices have not caught up to gold and silver's premium-adjusted price is that the overall markets are flooded with bullion derivatives, Moy said, but it's only a matter of time before the short contracts keeping the price down expire.
"What's artificially depressing the price of gold now is that there's a lot of institutional investors that don't hold gold. What they hold is they buy gold derivatives, like futures...and a lot of them are betting that the economy's going to recover and that everything's going to be fine and gold's going to go down," he said. "As those short contracts come up, what you're seeing is a popping in price."