China''s revaluation would hurt dollar and U.S. bonds, poll is told

Section:

By The Associated Press
via Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tuesday, April 19, 2005

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/0405/19goldcoin.html

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Mint announced on Tuesday it will begin
producing a new 24-karat gold bullion coin early next year, hoping to
capitalize on growing international demand for purer gold coins.

The Mint already produces the 22-karat American Eagle gold bullion
coin, and Mint officials estimate the potential global market for 24-
karat gold coins at $2.4 billion annually.

This will mark the first time the U.S. Mint has produced a 24-karat
gold coin, a designation that means it contains 99.99 percent gold.
The current 22-karat gold coin, on the market since 1986, contains
91.67 percent gold with the rest of the coin made of other alloys.

Global investors in recent years have been turning increasingly to
the purer gold coin, although the American Eagle is still the best-
selling gold coin in North America. The Mint estimated that currently
60 percent of global gold coin sales are of 24-karat coins, with
Canada's Maple Leaf a top seller.

"There is a demand, both here and abroad, for 24-karat gold coins,"
said Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore. "We want to meet this
demand by producing the highest quality and most beautiful coins in
the world."

Congress authorized the sale of the American Eagle gold coins in
December 1985 after then-President Ronald Reagan banned imports of
the South African gold Kruggerand. The American Eagle coins went on
sale in October 1986.

Before that time, the United States had not had a gold coin in
general circulation since 1933.

The American Eagle coins have face values of $50, $25, $10 and $5 but
they sell for much more than that with the price set by the market
price of gold. The $50 American Eagle was selling for around $445 on
Monday.

The gold contents range from an ounce in the $50 American Eagle to
one-tenth of an ounce in the $5 coin.

Currently, American purchases of 24-karat gold coins made in other
countries represent almost one-third of all gold coin sales in the
United States.

"The United States Mint plans to match and exceed world class
business practices with this new 24-karat gold bullion coin," Fore
said.

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