Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

The Royal Mint quadruples gold coin production

Gold bars
Global gold prices are at all-time highs

The Royal Mint has more than quadrupled its production of gold coins in recent months, as the record price of the metal has caused demand to soar.

Its output of gold coins during July, August and September rose to 32,736 ounces, compared with 7,500 ounces for the same period last year.

On Wednesday, gold hit an all-time high of $1,152.75 an ounce, and has climbed more than 30% so far this year.

The Mint has also increased production of silver coins, up 56% in the quarter.

The price of gold has risen strongly over the past year, as it is seen as a haven purchase in times of economic uncertainty.

Its price has been further lifted by investors using it has a hedge against inflation, which some economists argue will be re-ignited by quantitative easing policies.

In addition, central banks have been buying more gold, most recently, the Reserve Bank of India, while bought 200 tonnes from the International Monetary Fund at the start of this month.

The value of silver has also risen strongly this year, rising more than 70% to $18.45 an ounce this week.

In the US, the United States Mint has doubled its production of American Eagle gold coins to 954,000 ounces during the first nine months of the year.

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