Since the last quarter of 2013, the Indian government has been imposing taxes, tariffs, and outright bans on gold purchases for their over 1.3 billion citizens. These actions were being done because these same citizens were buying upwards of 1000 tons of gold per year, and pressures from central banks on the Indian government have led to a set of gold restriction policies created to protect the global reserve currency.
But on Jan. 12, rumors are swelling out of Australia that gold shortages may becoming so prevalent in markets around the world, that the threat of rationing could soon be to real possibility for consumers looking to purchase gold bullion.
The extraordinary demand for precious metals coins following the 2008 global financial crisis caught the minting industry by surprise, resulting in never before seen coin rationing and shortages.
It seems not much has changed, with recent reports that the UK Royal Mint ran out of 2014 Sovereign gold coins due to "exceptional demand", as well as the continuation for over one year of an allocation program first put into place early 2013 by the US Mint on its ever popular silver Eagle bullion coins.
For now 2008 style shortages and rationing don't seem to be on the horizon but the fact that the UK and US Mint are having supply issues on a few of their product with metal prices at these low levels is an indicator that as prices rise and (re)attract investor interest, shortages and rationing may become a reality of coin buying life again. - Goldchat.blogspot via Goldcore
A major indicator for the potential of a rationing policy comes from the fact that that the UK's Royal Mint has halted sales of gold bullion twice now within the past 12 months, and most recently, during the first week of January. This means that the pipeline for consumers buying gold coins for wealth protection and investment purposes is becoming limited, especially as China continues to import physical gold at record levels, and long time depositors like J.P. Morgan leave the futures market here in the U.S..
For years, mainstream business analysts have been downplaying the value of gold for investors, and this has allowed the spot price to drop to levels that makes future mining now unprofitable. This drop in supply at the same time demand is increasing for consumers and governments in the East, means that it is almost too late for investors under the Western financial system to purchase gold of any real quantity, and to create an insurance buffer against the fall of fiat currencies that are expected to reset in 2014.
It is a historical fact that people move in herd like fashion once a crisis actually occurs, and rarely prepare in advance for potential emergencies especially when several years go by without any real reason to do so. And as we enter the sixth year since the credit crisis and stock market crash of 2008, those who learned the lessons from that experience have already bought gold and silver as a hedge for the next potential event. And for those who did not, and have focused on assets like stock and real estate, it appears that very soon rationing policies by the gold brokers may become reality and signal that it is too late for those who put their trust more in devaluing currencies like the dollar, Euro, and Yen.