In an unexpected move, the Perth Mint has been forced to cease production of the 2012 Year of the Dragon Silver Proof Coin. According to the Mint, the move is the result of enormous demand for the coin, and the halt in production of the coin is in order to enable existing orders to be fulfilled.
Though the Mint has stressed that the cessation of production is not due to a shortage of silver, speculation is certain to point to that as a cause. There is some precedent for shortage in the supply of silver to major mints – as we reported in February, the Royal Canadian Mint claimed demand had exceeded production levels.
In addition, the US Mint suspended production of the uncirculated Silver Eagle in March, with the coin being periodically available since.
Perhaps the main conclusion one can draw from stop-start production of major silver issues is that silver still retains a historically strong interest from numismatists and precious metal buyers alike – with only gold subject to greater demand and which has only seemed to heighten as the year has progressed.