The mint sold 243,500 ounces of gold in coins and bars in that period, compared to 205,000 ounces in the entire first three months of the year, marketing director Kerry Tattersall told Reuters in a phone interview.The mint, which doesn't keep a lot of inventory in any case, is currently sold out and whipping up more.
'Demand is exclusively from Europe, we haven't had any orders from the United States and Asia in the last few weeks,' Tattersall said. 'That's a clear sign that there is panic buying because of concerns about Greece and the euro.'
Sales of its signature Philharmonic gold coin reached 108,000 ounces in the same period, also surpassing the 89,000 ounces in the first quarter, which Tattersall said had been an average quarter that did not live up to the previous year's.
'In the last two, three weeks, it was pretty frantic again,' he said. The mint has started working in three shifts again, minting coins and bars around the clock to keep pace with demand, he said.
Another bullion coin that's sold out is the Australian "Year Of The Tiger" 1 oz. bullion coin. That size is limited to 30,000 pieces, while other sizes have no limit. Also limited is a 10-kilogram (!) coin, whose run was 100.
Both of these stories show that the recent thirst for gold is by no means limited to futures contracts and ETFs. The buying frenzy seems confined to Europe, for the moment.