Buy-Palladium.blogspot.com apologizes for the one-month wait for this interview. Now it's finally here for all to enjoy! Tom, founder of Buy Palladium has interviewed Eitan Cohen, owner of Cohen Mint. The occasion for this special interview is the announcement by Mr. Cohen that he was able to perfect the formula to fabricate coins out of one of the world's rarest, most expensive metals--rhodium.
Rhodium has never been coined until now, so in short, this is big news for collectors and investors worldwide. For some background info regarding the importance of what you're about to read, click here for a list of Buy Palladium's posts regarding this very imporant metal rhodium. Also, click here for the Cohen Mint site to its broad inventory of investment grade bullion and coins.
(Interview with Eitan Cohen of Cohen Mint - Topic: Rhodium Coins, Rhodium Bullion Coins)Tom of Buy-Palladium.blogspot.com - Mr. Cohen, I thank you so much for taking the time to join us at Buy-Palladium.blogspot.com for this interview.
Eitan Cohen of Cohen Mint - I’m glad to be here, Tom. Thanks for having me today.
Buy Palladium - I know that many of our readers here at palladium.blogspot.com have been overly anxious to hear about and get their hands on the brand new rhodium coins. Personally I haven’t been this excited about a coin in a long time! But before we get into that, can you tell us how it came about that Eitan Cohen would start his own mint?
E. Cohen - I get this question a lot, it’s a topic I think many people find fascinating.
As a child, there were two factors about me that later came together to make a company such as this one possible. First, I was a collector of coins. My mother and I would walk on lazy summer days to one of the few coin shops in Brooklyn where I would spend an hour or more gazing at all the interesting gold and silver coins that I couldn’t possibly afford. I had some crinkled dollar bills in my pocket that I had saved up from my allowance and bought as much with it as I could. I would spend most of the walk back holding these treasures from generations past in my hands, my mind a million miles away. To this day each and every one of those coins sits safely in an album, tucked away for all these years.
The second factor about my personality was my insatiable need to take my toys apart, put them back together, see how things worked. It wasn’t enough for me to know how something functioned, I had to get my hands dirty figuring it out. It was during one of these times that at age 11 I minted my first coins out of a curiosity to see the process happen. As the years went by and I became older my interests faded and were replaced by other ones, but the knowledge remained.
Many years later, as the business continues to grow and thrive, I look back at my childhood and I know that the seeds of this company were planted way back then.
Buy Palladium - Minting coins at age 11! I guess childhood dreams do come true. Wow. Now, rather than us seeing the usual 1 oz gold or silver coins from Cohen Mint, a quick look at the Cohen Mint website shows that you specialize in very small coins as well as being the only mint to coin some of the rarer precious metals. Could you explain why Cohen Mint takes on this special niche?
E. Cohen - In the beginning I tried many different approaches to this business, and I found that the larger sizes were very well represented by other, larger manufacturers. It would have been impossible for a no-name at the time to break into that market. Small sizes, however, were very underrepresented, and it was a niche that I was able to fill rather well. I was able to communicate to the average Joe very well, because like him, I came from modest means. There are very few people who can afford to tie up a thousand dollars in a small ounce of gold, although there are plenty of folks who would like to own some of the yellow metal. I made it possible for people to invest in the precious metals they wanted where before they were completely shut out.
Buy Palladium - Yes, I can imagine the hefty price tags of an ounce of gold, platinum, or even palladium would price many investors out of market. But a gram or a ¼ gram would be much more reasonable. Now tell me about some of these rarer metals. Most of our readers have never even heard niobium or tantalum, but you are already selling .999 pure investment grade coins and bars made from these metals. You can’t tell me there is a lot of interest from investors in these rare products?
E. Cohen - Actually, the response from our customers has been great. The Tantalum and Niobium coins represent metals that are critically important to today’s industry, metals that are extremely rare and cannot be substituted for by cheaper substances. Prices have been steadily rising and making bullion coins was just a natural progression from that.
The items on our copper page are some of our best selling products, believe it or not.
Buy Palladium - What about palladium? At buy-palladium.blogspot.com, often, rather than investing in gold or silver, our readers are interested in investing in the rarer metals like palladium and platinum. What do you have to offer these investors?
E. Cohen - Palladium is a key product that we offer our customers. There are few choices out there for people who want to get some exposure to palladium. You wither buy one ounce bars – or you buy one ounce coins. Talk about selection! That’s like having only one political party to choose from, not very American! Our Cohen Mint ¼ Gram Palladium bullion coins are immensely popular. They’re inexpensive, they’re very well made, and they satisfy a hunger for the metal without breaking most people’s budget. We offer price breaks on bulk purchases and most people take advantage of that. It’s a great product.
Buy Palladium - So you’ve really made palladium ownership available to a much larger group of people. What would your advice be to anyone who really doesn’t have a lot of cash but wants to invest in precious metals?
E. Cohen - Look, not having a lot of money to invest is nothing to be ashamed of, especially in this economy when everyone is hurting. With family, the house, kids, and a car, most of us want to do the right thing and prepare for the future, but we get intimidated by the prices of commonly available bars and coins out there.
What people need to know is there is an alternative. The Cohen Mint has been producing world class precious metal bullion coins for over 5 years in sizes that anyone can afford. The quality of our bullion is equal to that of the United States mint and other major facilities throughout the world. What makes us different is we are the nation’s only direct manufacturer to consumer bullion maker, so we can sell at prices no one else can. Anytime you buy precious metals from anyone else you are buying from a middle man, and paying the premium for it. With the Cohen Mint it’s only you, and us.
(Rhodium Coins, Rhodium Bullion Coin)Buy Palladium - Well, okay, for a while now on Buy-Palladium.blogspot.com we’ve been discussing Rhodium Bullion Coins which actually never existed. Then back in February I wrote “Rhodium Coins Coming Soon” and leaked to the world the coins will be available Summer 2009. Since then lot of readers have been anxious to buy some. Cohen Mint is now the only mint to produce Rhodium Coins. First of all, why rhodium?
E. Cohen - Actually, there is a very important reason why. Of the six Platinum Group Metals (PGM’s) the three that are most economically important to mankind are Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium. Of those three, Platinum and Palladium are available to investors in physical form. Bars of these metals are common and easy to get. The big missing piece of this puzzle is Rhodium. Why aren’t there any Rhodium bars or coins just like the other two metals? Once I began asking myself this question, and doing some research, I began to understand that there was a good reason why no Rhodium bullion ever existed until we made some a few weeks ago.
For starters, its an extremely rare and valuable metal, there just isn’t much of it available on the planet. If you compare it to a more common precious metal, like platinum for instance, there are thousands of tons of platinum in existence today, and hundreds more is being mined every year. Rhodium doesn’t exist in such quantities. There may be 50, 100 tons in total in existence, with some meager amount mined and added to this figure each year. This is an extremely low figure, and nearly all of it is tied up in manufactured goods, like catalytic converters, and other industrial products. There are not tons of Rhodium bars sitting in a warehouse somewhere, it’s a few grams here, a few there, spread out across the globe. Yet it plays such a vital role in our society.
Buy Palladium - I think it’s wonderful that we now have the option to own such an important investment metal. Now, I’ve always assumed that rhodium is too brittle to be made into coin form. How were you able to accomplish this?
E. Cohen - Rhodium does happen to be extremely difficult to work with. Normally, to coin a metal, there is a standard procedure used. A metal ingot is rolled into a sheet, blank discs are punched out, and those disks are then stamped between dies at enormous pressures to produce coins. Its pretty straight forward. You can’t do that with Rhodium. Rhodium is very brittle, so when you try to roll it the metal will flake and crack. If you manage to achieve a sheet somehow, the sheet will fracture when you attempt to punch blanks out of it. If you manage to achieve a blank, it will resist the dies pressing onto it and will probably shatter, and may very well shatter the dies.
This is why no Rhodium bullion coins or bars have ever been created before. Not because no one would want one, but because no one could figure out how to make them. So the demand grew, unsatisfied, year after year. But as they say, where there is a will, there is a way. Naturally, using the normal process for coining wasn’t going to work, so we had to come up with a completely different process. After consulting with many experts, and doing many expensive experiments here at our facility, after a long time we were able to perfect a process to make beautiful, attractive pure Rhodium metal coins – a feat no one has yet been able to achieve. In a few short weeks when our coining dies come back from our die maker they will be commercially available.
Buy Palladium - I can hardly wait! How are the coins going to be shipped, will they be packaged in protective sleeves like other similar products?
E. Cohen - The coins will be shipped in sealed plastic coin slabs, exactly like those used by the common grading services PCGS and NCG. The Rhodium coin will be attractively and securely presented with a label stating its composition as well as a security hologram on the back. Along with each coin will come a certificate of authenticity.
Given the historic nature of these very first Rhodium coins, every effort is being made to present them as tastefully and professionally as possible. Check back at our website where we will be updating with photos of the whole package, the coin, the packaging, everything.
Buy Palladium - It sounds like people are going to very satisfied with their orders. Let’s see, rhodium was worth $10,000 an ounce last year and has recently been trading in the $1000-1500 range. What can you tell us about these price fluctuations?
E. Cohen - Something that wasn’t critical to our way of life would never be $10,000 an ounce. (<----This sentence is great!) Rhodium is an important element that cannot be substituted for by other means. The current price depression in my opinion is a direct result of the terrible recession our country is facing, together with so many other nations throughout the world. Industries all over the globe are slowing down, and many are shutting their doors. The consumption of this metal is currently not there, the industrial demand has temporarily ceased, and that is why the price is a tenth of what it was last year. Its many people’s opinion that once this economic recession has lifted, once the factories light back up, once production resumes its normal levels, the natural consumption of Rhodium will bring its price heavily upwards. People will look back at the present as having been an incredible time to buy. Buy Palladium - I totally agree with you there. What can you tell us about the current $89 price tag on one of these coins?
E. Cohen - The price that most people see quoted when they talk about the price of Rhodium is the Kitco spot price. When quoting such a price, care needs to be taken that we understand just what that price represents. That is a quote for a contract of rhodium, or in other words a piece of paper like a stock claiming a certain amount of rhodium. That quote does not represent physical ownership of the metal. Towards the bottom of the page is written that various fabrication charges are not included in the quotations.
If you are of the mind to own a piece of paper stating that you own Rhodium, good luck to you. To me anyone who would pay thousands of dollars for such a paper is out of their mind. There is no Rhodium metal to back up that paper, because no bullion coins or bars of the metal have ever been created. It doesn’t exist.
Per each Cohen Mint Rhodium bullion gram, the fabrication charges are actually not that high, you get a lot for your money. [As mentioned above,] each pure rhodium coin comes in its own sealed plastic slab identical to the ones used by grading services like PCGS and NCG. The coin is perfectly protected inside the holder and features a security hologram. Along with that comes a certificate of authenticity with each purchase, and arrives shipped to your door priority mail free of charge. That’s quite a deal for the first ever rhodium coin.
Buy Palladium - Indeed it is. I'm planning to invest in these coins as soon as possible! Well, that’s about all the time we have. Are there any last comments you’d like to make to our readers?
E. Cohen - Only that Rhodium is an exciting new investment opportunity for people. This is truly a rare historic moment where a completely new product hits the market that no one has ever seen before. I know from talking to people that there are a lot of excited folks out there who can’t wait to get their hands on these unique coins, and we are simply excited to be the ones to bring this out to the public for the first time.
Buy Palladium - And we at Buy-Palladium.blogspot.com are exited as well. I’d like to thank you so much for joining us, Mr. Cohen. We look forward to talking to you more in the future.
E. Cohen - Thank you for having me, its been a pleasure.
We at Buy-Palladium.blogspot.com would like to extend our sincere thanks to Eitan Cohen for granting us this interview at such an eventful stage for the Cohen Mint. We would also like to thank our readers for your continued support. We'll do our best to continue to provide you with the latest investment information. Don't forget to bookmark us!