Economic uncertainty has caused a rush on gold and silver bullion from Australian mints, while mints across the world have been forced to stop non-essential production due to coronavirus.
Perth Mint sold more than $340 million worth of gold bullion in April alone, a more than 500 per cent increase on the same period last year.
Perth Mint General Manager Minted Products Neil Vance said that's more than 120,000 ounces of gold sold. One ounce is selling for a minimum of $2860.
The sale of silver was up by 134 per cent on last April's figures.
"These are really significant numbers and really show the economic uncertainty," Mr Vance said.
"What's happened is at times of crisis like this, people do tend to go to gold which is considered a safe asset during turbulent times."
"We have seen sales in the last two months that we haven't seen since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 and 2009."
Mr Vance said while he doesn't know exactly where people get their money to buy gold and silver in times like this, he believes they move it out of the stock market or other investments.
Mr Vance said they export about 90 per cent of their investment products to Germany and the US.
"We're one of the few mints around the world that hasn't closed. We've managed to remain open the whole time and that's due to very stringent measures we've taken to keep our people safe. We're able to stay open and supply investors around the world."
Mr Vance said the mint had cut production to some of its product lines to focus on the most popular products - the silver and gold kangaroo coins.
"They're our two major investor coins and certainly the most popular coins for the Perth Mint."
Meanwhile the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra has also seen a growth in demand for investment products, but that's a niche market for them as their focus is on circulation and collector coins.
Royal Australian Mint executive director Ross McDermott said sales in that area had increased by about 30-40 per cent.
As for circulating coins, typically there is little demand this time of year as banks use what they have.
"Normal demand is August and September when you start to see the pre-Christmas purchasing of coins. We're anxious about what that will look like for that period coming up," Mr McDermott said.
He said it would be interesting to see if Australian customers reverted to using cash, as many businesses had rejected coins during the coronavirus crisis due to the risk of them carrying the virus.
"Businesses preferred card or preferred tap and go to cash, and we could see that affect [coin production] in the immediacy and there could be a legacy effect of that where people have converted to using electronic means as opposed to using cash.
"Certainly for Australia, it would be naive to say there hadn't been an impact," he said.
However, he said, historically people had reverted to using cash in economic uncertainty to control spending, so they were still trying to determine what the likely impact of coronavirus would be.
"It's very much a wait and see. We have some research underway to look at how behaviour change may impact demands of some currency, particularly coins. Fundamentally, and this applies to so many different organisations in Australia, it's going to come down to 'let's see what happens'."