HIGH SILVER PRICES have led to a decision by the German Ministry of Finance to postpone the issue of its latest commemorative €10 coin. The coin – whose theme was to be 125 years of the automobile – was postponed indefinitely last week, according to a report from Heraeus, the German precious metals refiner.
The Ministry last year reduced the silver content of €10 commemorative coins, from 925 parts per thousand to 625 parts per thousand, in order to prevent the value of each coin's metal content rising above its face value. However, the silver value of 'new', lower content coins is already above €9.
This means that coins with silver content of 625 parts per thousand are "no longer possible", a Ministry spokesman told Reuters, since such coins would cost more to produce than they would generate in revenue.
Germany is not the only country where high silver prices have disrupted commemorative coin production. Earlier this month the US Mint suspended sales of its 2010 Silver Proof Set and 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Set. Production of the latter had already been reduced by two thirds.
The Spot Silver Price has risen 41% since the start of the year, and has more than doubled since April 2010.
Meanwhile the gold silver ratio has almost halved in the last six months, as Silver Prices have risen faster than Gold Prices.