Silver Bullion Coin Sales Soar In March, Gold Coin Sales Slump – Are Coin Buyers Stupid?
Sales of the American Eagle gold bullion coins in March totaled 21,000 ounces, down by 32% from February’s total of 31,000 ounces and down by a dramatic 66% from March 2013 when 62,000 coins were sold. Year to date sales through March of 143,500 ounces of the American Eagle gold bullion coins plunged 51% from the comparable period last year when the U.S. Mint sold 292,500 ounces.
The decline in sales of gold bullion is in marked contrast to last year when sales boomed despite an almost 30% decline in gold prices, the worst performance since 1981. Investors in physical gold across the globe viewed the decline in gold as a buying opportunity. Sales of gold coins in 2013 by The Perth Mint soared over 40% while sales by the Royal Canadian Mint surged over 80%. Sales of American Eagle gold coins by the U.S. Mint in 2013 jumped by 6.3% to 800,500 ounces.
Are Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Buyers Stupid?
While gold rebounded in 2014 from a low of $1221 to as high as $1385 before pulling back to a current price of $1284, perhaps buyers are waiting to see if the rally in gold will continue or if gold will decline again in 2014 as predicted by the likes of Goldman Sachs. Long term it does not matter since the entire concept of fiat money has never ended well over the long term. According to Bloomberg, the “long term” may be upon us sooner than many think.
Sound money and sound banking policies of governments have always been suspect but since the financial crisis of 2008, the entire concept of sound money has been utterly abandoned on a global basis as central banks printed trillions of dollars to support a financial system that imploded due to over indebtedness. “Curing” the problem of too much debt with more debt and printed fiat money has in many people’s mind saved the world financial system, a tenuous theory at best.
According to the Bank for International Settlements, the amount of global debt (primarily government borrowings) has soared by a staggering 40 percent to $100 trillion since 2008 with the U.S. in the lead increasing the national debt to $12 trillion from $4.5 trillion at 2007 year end. Fast forward to the next recession which could have its roots in a variety of events from the collapse of Japan’s epic empire of debt to the start of a serious military conflict over Ukraine driven by the warmongering military industrial complex in the U.S. Another serious economic crisis, whatever its genesis, will result in money printing on an unimaginable scale as central banks do the only thing they can do which is to print more money.
Buyers of physical bullion are long term investors who understand what’s happening and are buying the only true money that cannot be debased by government profligacy and rapacious tax policies. In the meantime, fluctuations in the price of gold caused by speculators such as hedge fund operators who can push around the price of physical gold without ever owning it through the use of futures contracts or options merely provide fantastic buying opportunities when they slam down gold prices. Long term gold and silver are the only protection to preserve wealth against governments determined to debase fiat money to keep the highly leveraged financial system from imploding. Current gold buyers will at some point will be holding an asset that soars in value as confidence in central banks completely evaporates as the value of paper money collapses.
American Eagle silver bullion coins meanwhile continue to soar and are a much more affordable option for many buyers compared to gold. March sales of American Eagle silver bullion coins soared in March to 5,354,000 ounces, up by 43% from the prior month’s sales of 3,750,000 ounces and up by 60% from the March 2013 sales of 3,356,500 ounces. Sales of silver bullion coins also increased dramatically in 2013 to a new record high of almost 42 ounces, up from almost 34 million ounces in 2012. Based on annualizing the year to date sales of silver bullion coins, 2014 could turn out to be another block buster year with sales approaching another record of over 55 million ounces compared to 42 million ounces in 2013.
Buyers of physical gold and silver are long term investors who are intelligently protecting their wealth against governments hell bent on inflation and debasement of the currency in order to keep the house of debt cards from collapsing. Accordingly, short term declines in the sale of gold bullion coins is totally irrelevant.