Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Sales Rise In March

April 2, 2012

Production figures from the U.S. Mint for March show a sharp increase in the sale of both gold and silver bullion coins from the previous month.

Total sales of the American Gold Eagle bullion coins increased in March to 62,500 ounces, up from 21,000 ounces in February.  Total sales of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins totaled 2,542,000 ounces in March, up from 1,490,000 ounces in February.  Sales of both bullion coins for the first quarter of 2012, however, declined from the prior year.

Sales of the American Gold Eagle bullion coins totaled 210,500 ounces for the first quarter of 2012, down 29.7% from the 299,500 ounces sold in the first quarter of 2011.  Total sales of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins amounted to 10,139,000 ounces during the first quarter of 2012, down by 18.4% from the 12,429,000 ounces sold in the prior year's first quarter.

The all time record year for sales of the American Gold Eagle bullion coins occurred in 2009 with 1,435,000 ounces sold.  The all time high record for sales of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins was in 2011 when a total of 39,868,500 one ounce coins were sold.

Gold Bullion U.S. Mint Sales By Year
Year Total Ounces Sold
2000 164,500
2001 325,000
2002 315,000
2003 484,500
2004 536,000
2005 449,000
2006 261,000
2007 198,500
2008 860,500
2009 1,435,000
2010 1,220,500
2011 1,000,000
2012 210,500
Total 7,460,000
Note: 2012 totals through March 31, 2012

The amount of physical gold bullion purchased purchased from the U.S. Mint over the past 12 years remains relatively small compared to the amount of gold invested in the two largest gold trust ETFs.  The SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) is the world's largest physically backed gold exchange traded ETF fund with current holdings of 41.4 million ounces of gold.  The iShares Gold Trust ETF (IAU) currently holds 6.2 million ounces of gold.

The total sales of gold and silver bullion coins detailed above do not include U.S. Mint gold and silver numismatic coin sales which are directly sold to the public.  American Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins are only sold to a network of authorized purchasers  who in turn resell the coins to secondary retailers and the public.  The U.S. Mint decided that using  Authorized Purchasers to sell gold and silver bullion coins to the public was the most efficient means of selling the coins to the public at competitive prices.

Shown below are the U.S. Mint sales figures for the American Silver Eagle bullion coins since 2000.  Sales totals for 2012 are through March 31st.

American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins
YEAR OUNCES SOLD
2000 9,133,000
2001 8,827,500
2002 10,475,500
2003 9,153,500
2004 9,617,000
2005 8,405,000
2006 10,021,000
2007 9,887,000
2008 19,583,500
2009 28,766,500
2010 34,662,500
2011 39,868,500
2012 10,139,000
TOTAL 208,539,500

Comments

By Ausecure on April 2nd, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Nice overview of March, Looks like 2012 sales might outpace 2011! :)

By John Sean on April 16th, 2012 at 12:59 am

Nice to See the sale of Gold coins raised up to 10,139,000 OUNCES till March. Hope it will break previous record.

By John Butterworth on April 18th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

ARE WE RUNNING OUT OF SILVER? Great Presentation from Silver Guru David Morgan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KhGexysdIM

By Lee w/GoldBullion-SilverBullion.com on April 23rd, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Good post. It appears Silver Eagle demand can still exceed 2011 sales if you average Q1 sales for the balance of 2012. However, it looks less likely for Gold Eagles … even if the March sales amount is hypothetically sustained for the remainder of the year. Couple these hypothetical numbers with actual annual sales since 2009 and there is a consistent increase in demand for Silver Eagles three years in a row, but a declining demand for Gold Eagles.

I inferred from your post that paper-gold instruments like GLD and IAU are siphoning some US Mint sales. I agree. Especially since entry prices of these paper-gold options are generally cheaper than physical gold — $159.07 per share for GLD and $15.97 for IAU.

Unfortunately, paper gold does not have the same benefits as physically possessing gold bullion.

Best regards,

Lee Campbell
http://www.GoldBullion-SilverBullion.com

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