Thursday, May 13, 2010
Israel issues first gold coin
By SHARON WROBEL
Tower of David first in annually-issued series.
The Israel Coins and Medals Corp. on Wednesday unveiled the first Israeli gold coin, coinciding with Jerusalem Day.
“There was great excitement among both international and Israeli coin collectors on the day of the initial offering of the first Israeli bullion coin,” the Israel Coins and Medals Corp. said in a statement Wednesday. “In the morning, the telephone lines at our order call center crashed because of high demand and interest for the special gold coin.”
The Tower of David is the first in the Jerusalem of Gold series of gold coins that will be issued annually and depict a treasured historical site in Jerusalem. The coin contains 1 oz. of fine gold and has a face value of NIS 20.
One side features the Tower of David, rising above the Old City of Jerusalem’s walls near Jaffa Gate. The word Jerusalem appears above Tower of David in Hebrew, English and Arabic. The reverse side depicts the famous Lion of Megiddo, and the design of this side will remain constant in the series.
The gold coins are valuable as collector’s items and as financial investments. The Tower of David edition will be limited to 3,600 coins. In addition, there is a strict limit of five gold coins per customer.
The coins in the series are legal tender and are issued by the Bank of Israel. The next coin in the series, to be issued in 2011, will feature the Western Wall.
The first Israeli bullion coins are priced according to their weight and in accordance with the daily international price of gold, plus a reasonable premium above the gold spot price. Hence the price of the coin is not permanent, in contrast to that of most other coins, since it fluctuates in accordance with the daily international price of gold. On Wednesday’s issue date, the Tower of David coin was priced at NIS 6,393, or $1,467.
The price of the coin will be fixed daily by the Israel Coins and Medals Corp., at 9 a.m. Israel time, according to the fixing of the London Metal Exchange of 1 oz. of gold on the previous business day, which is priced in US dollars. A premium of 20 percent will be added to the price of the gold.
The price set each day will remain in effect for 24 hours for transactions completed that day until 6 p.m. Israel time, via the company Web site or by telephone.
Buying gold coins is a popular way around the world of holding gold. One of the most popular coins is the American Eagle bullion coin, which is guaranteed by the US government. The American Eagle coins contain a stated amount of pure gold and are made in four denominations.