14 Oct 2008

New Zealanders join the rush for gold

8:35 pm on 14 October 2008

Gold coin sales have reached record levels in New Zealand, as worried savers try to beat the financial crisis.

Home safes and secure vaults are also in hot demand as people concerned about the health of banks move to store valuables and cash themselves.

The New Zealand Mint says there has been a rush on investment coins since American investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed in September.

Head bullion trader Mike O'Kane says it is now dealing in a day what it used to deal in a month.

Overseas mints are also experiencing increased demand for products.

New Zealand Mint's one-ounce gold Kiwi coin reached a record price of just over $NZ1650 late last week, $NZ200 more than what it averaged before the New Zealand dollar dropped.

Mr O'Kane says customers are moving to protect the money they have by investing in something tangible that will not disappear.

He says the worldwide demand for gold and silver products is so high, that some coins cannot be delivered until early next year.