May 28, 2024

U.S. Mint Gold Coin Sales Soar 273% in October

gold-bullionAlthough sales totals vary from month to month, annual sales of the U.S. Mint American Eagle gold bullion coins are running at triple the levels prior to 2008 when the wheels came off the world financial system and central banks began an orgy of money printing.

From 2000 to 2007 the average yearly purchases of the American Eagle gold bullion coins totaled 341,500 ounces per year.  From 2008 to 2013 annual purchases of the gold coins have spiked by 300% to an average annual rate of 1,011,000 ounces.

After lackluster sales of gold coins in the slow months of August and September sales soared in October as investor demand for physical gold surged.  Total sales of the American Eagle gold coins for October 2013 came in at 48,500 ounces, an increase of 273% over the September total of 13,000 ounces.   October sales of gold bullion coins for the comparable prior year period totaled 59,000.

The U.S. Mint American Eagle gold bullion coins remain the premier method of building wealth through periodic purchases.  The American public can’t seem to get enough of the bullion coins and the desperate actions of global central banks to keep the financial system afloat with a deluge of paper money can only cause more financial anxiety and more gold purchases going forward.

2013 sales through October 2013

With two months still remaining in 2013, investors have already purchased almost the same amount of gold bullion coins that were sold for all of 2012.   Year to date sales of the American Eagle through October total 752,500 ounces compared to 753,000 ounces for all of 2012.


Gold Bullion U.S. Mint Sales Since 2000
         Year                           Total Ounces
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 753,000
2013 752,500
 TOTAL                               8,755,000
(above 2013 totals through October 2013)

The American Eagle gold bullion coins cannot be purchased by individuals directly from the U.S Mint.  The coins are sold only to the Mint’s network of authorized purchasers who buy the coins in bulk based on the market value of gold and a markup by the U.S. Mint.  The authorized purchasers sell the gold coins to coin dealers, other bullion dealers and the public.  The Mint’s rationale for using authorized purchasers is that this method makes the coins widely available to the public with reasonable transaction costs.


The public is allowed to purchases numismatic versions of gold coins directly from the U.S. Mint.   One of the most popular numismatic gold coins is the American Buffalo, available in both one ounce gold reverse proof and one ounce gold proof.

Are Gold And Silver Bullion Sales Reported To The IRS? Tips For Keeping Bullion Sales Private

Long term gold and silver investors who have gradually accumulated physical precious metals over the years have seen the value of their holdings increase substantially when measured against the value of the paper dollar.   Astute investors realize that a large part of the “gains” on their precious metals have merely preserved purchasing power compared to paper money which has been consistently debased by the monetary and fiscal policies of the government and federal reserve.

In the eyes of the taxing authorities, however, the increased value of an investment due to inflation is still considered a gain regardless of whether or not there was an increase in purchasing power.  As the chart below graphically depicts, a $4,000 investment made in 1986 and now worth $8,000 is still worth only $4,000 in purchasing power -thus the true economic gain is zero.  Try telling that to the IRS!  After paying long term capital gains on the phantom $4,000 “profit”, you are left with less that you had in 1986.

There is, however, a silver and gold lining for investors in physical precious metals since, under many circumstances, the sale of your gold and silver bullion is not reported to the IRS.  There are circumstances, however, in which a bullion dealer is required to file a Form 1099-B with the IRS which reports sales transaction proceeds, name, address and social security number.  It is obviously important to most investors to know what types of sales are kept private and what types of sales are reported to the IRS.

Thanks to our friends at, here is the essential up to date information that you need to know before selling gold and silver bullion.

Before we begin, the following information covers aspects of investor privacy, not an investor’s responsibility to pay income tax gains on any profits made from the purchase and sale of investment grade bullion products.  For tax questions, please seek professional tax consul.

We know investor privacy is very important to physical silver and gold purchasers and confidentiality is one of the values we covet most along with our customers.

For some bullion investors, ensuring themselves a private sale is their most important objective and we understand the myriad of reasons as to why this is so.

That being said, we must always adhere to the rules of our industry.

Being a bullion dealer, we are often asked by customers questions like…

– Are my transactions private?

– When I sell my gold bullion or silver bullion, is it a private transaction, or is it reported to the IRS?


First, when a customer buys from our dealership, the transaction is private.

We have specifically designated the current payment method options on our website so that investors who buy bullion from us, do so in confidentiality.

Secondly, when an investor sells their gold bullion or silver bullion to a dealer like us, some of these trades are private while some are not.

Depending upon what you are selling will depend upon whether the powers that be require us as a bullion dealer to fill out something called an IRS 1099-B Form.



IRS 1099 Gold Reporting & Silver Reporting

When you sell your bullion back to a dealer, the pertinent questions for a dealer are:

1) What form of gold and or silver bullion are you selling?

2) What amount of silver bullion and or gold bullion are you selling?


The following covers private investor sales of bullion products we currently offer at


Private silver bullion ( IRS 1099 Form exempt ) consists of any quantity sold to a dealer of the following items:

– American Silver Eagle Coins

– Canadian Maple Leaf Silver Coins

– Austrian Philharmonic Silver Coins



Reported silver bullion ( IRS 1099 Form required ) consists of 1000 ounces or more sold to a dealer of the following items:

– .999 fine silver bullion bars  (any sizes)

– .999 fine silver bullion rounds  (any sizes)



Private gold bullion ( IRS 1099 Form exempt ) consists of any quantity sold to a dealer of the following items:

– American Gold Eagle Coins

– American Gold Buffalo Coins

– Gold Austrian Philharmonic Coins



Reported gold bullion coins ( IRS 1099 Form required ) consists of 25 ounces or more sold to a dealer of the following items:

– Canadian Gold Maples (1 oz)

– South African Krugerrands (1 oz)



Reported gold bullion bars ( IRS 1099 Form required ) consists of 32.15 ounces or more sold to a dealer of the following items:

– .999 fine gold bullion bars (any sizes)


These are the IRS 1099-B Form reporting requirements for the bullion products we offer at as of May 2012.

Stay tuned to for any future news or proposed changes to the current IRS 1099 gold and silver reporting requirements.

US Mint Gold and Silver Bullion Sales Flat as Prices Hit New Highs

Currently, the United States Mint has three bullion products available to its network of authorized purchasers. The American Silver Eagle is struck in one ounce of .999 fine silver. The American Gold Eagle is struck in 22 karat gold and comes in one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce bullion weights. The American Gold Buffalo is struck in 24 karat gold and available in one ounce size only.

Authorized purchasers may order bullion coins from the US Mint in bulk quantities based on the price of the previous metals plus a fixed (silver) or percentage (gold) markup. In the latest week, bullion sales at the US Mint were little changed from recent levels, even as the price of gold hit a fresh all time high and the price of silver trades at a 31-year high, approaching its all time high price.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 4/20/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 727,000 2,101,000 13,803,000
American Gold Eagle 13,500 58,500 358,000
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 5,000 12,500 50,500

The US Mint sold 727,000 ounces worth of Silver Eagles during the period. For several weeks running, sales have stayed around this same basic level, which is a more reflection of the US Mint’s production capacity than market demand. Since the start of sales for the 2011 Silver Eagles, the US Mint has imposed its rationing program, allocating available supplies amongst the authorized purchasers.

Gold bullion sales were 18,500 ounces in the past week, up slightly from the 17,500 ounces sold in the prior period. Sales consisted of 13,500 ounces of Gold Eagles and 5,000 ounces of Gold Buffalo coins.

Next week, the US Mint will expand their bullion offerings when the first two designs of the 2011 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins go on sale. Production has been indicated at 126,500 units for each design, representing 1,265,000 troy ounces of silver since each coin has a weight of 5 ounces.

Sales of US Mint Gold Bullion Coins Slower on the Week

Gold Eagle Sales Slower, Silver Eagles Little Changed

The number of ounces of gold sold through the US Mint’s bullion programs was slower the past week. Meanwhile, sales of silver bullion rose slightly, although they remain within the same basic range seen over the past several weeks.

The US Mint sold 17,500 troy ounces of gold bullion for the weekly period ending April 13, 2011. This consisted of 13,000 ounces of American Gold Eagles and 4,500 ounces of American Gold Buffalo coins. All gold bullion coins sold during the week were one ounce coins, with no fractional weight coins sold.

This sales level is down from the 32,000 ounces sold in the previous week. The drop may be the impact of seasonality, as precious metals sales tend to be slower around the US individual income tax filing deadline. For the year to date, gold bullion sales have reached 390,000 ounces.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 4/13/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 715,500 1,374,000 13,803,000
American Gold Eagle 13,000 45,000 344,500
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 4,500 7,500 45,500

Silver bullion sales for the week reached 715,500 ounces, consisting entirely of the one ounce American Silver Eagle coins. As mentioned in previous reports, these bullion coins continue to be subject to the US Mint’s allocation program. This serves to ration the available supply of coins amongst the authorized purchasers. As such, the weekly sales levels are an indication of the number of coins the US Mint was able to produce and make available, as opposed to the level market demand.

The US Mint has plans to expand the production of Silver Eagles by utilizing the facility at San Francisco, which may be able to strike a few hundred thousand additional coins per week. Test strikes have reportedly begun, and full scale production is expected to begin some time next month. Hopefully, this will alleviate some of the excess demand for silver bullion coins, although it doesn’t seem like it will solve the problem completely.

US Mint Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Sales

The weekly sales levels for the United States Mint’s gold and silver bullion coins were little changed from the levels of the previous period. Across the available options for gold, sales reached 23,000 ounces. Meanwhile total sales of 697,500 ounces of silver bullion were recorded.

The American Silver Eagle bullion coins feature the obverse design from the classic Walking Liberty Half Dollar. These coins were designed by Adolph A. Weinman and issued for circulation from 1916 to 1947. The reverse design features a heraldic eagle designed by John Mercanti specifically for the series. Each coin is struck in .999 fine silver and contains one troy ounce of silver.

Under current law, the US Mint is required to issue the coins “in quantities and qualities that the Secretary determines are sufficient to meet public demand.” Currently, the bullion version of the coins are subject to rationing, as demand exceeds the available supplies. Recent reports indicate that the US Mint will start limited production at the San Francisco Mint to supplement the production at the West Point Mint.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 3/30/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 697,500 2,069,500 12,429,000
American Gold Eagle 17,000 56,500 299,500
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 6,000 38,000 38,000

The American Gold Eagle bullion coins feature the obverse design of the Saint Gaudens Double Eagle struck for circulation from 1907 to 1933. The reverse design features an image of a family of eagles designed by Miley Busiek. Coins are struck in 22 karat (.9167 fine) gold and are available in sizes of 1, 1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 troy ounces. These gold bullion coins are not currently subject to rationing.

American Gold Buffalo coins feature the obverse and revers design of the Buffalo Nickel, issued for circulation from 1913 to 1938. These gold bullion coins are struck in 24 karat (.9999 fineness) and come only in one troy ounce size. The US Mint began sales of the 2011-dated versions of the bullion coins on March 14, 2011.

US Mint Begins 2011 Gold Buffalo Coin Sales

Earlier this week the United States Mint began sales of the 2011 American Gold Buffalo coins to their network of authorized purchasers. So far, sales are off to somewhat of a tepid start compared to the high initial demand experienced in recent years.

The American Gold Buffalo is a one ounce 24 karat gold coin that has been issued since 2006. Featuring the classic Buffalo Nickel design created by James Earle Fraser, it has enjoyed popularity with both bullion investors and collectors. The US Mint has offered a bullion version of the coin, which is sold to authorized purchasers based on the market price of gold plus a premium, and various collector versions, which are sold to directly by the Mint at higher premiums.

The bullion versions of the coin have not been available since late September, when inventories of the 2010-dated coins became depleted. Prior to the start of sales for the 2011-dated coins on March 14, 2011, the US Mint indicated that they would have a sufficient quantity of the coins to meet public demand. As such, their allocation program, which serves to ration available supplies, would not be necessary. The authorized purchasers were allowed to order unrestricted quantities of the coins, under the typical procedures.

Through March 16, 2011, the US Mint has recorded sales of 21,500 of the one ounce gold bullion coins.

This represents a slower start than the prior two years. In 2009, figures available for the first three days of sales indicated 71,500 coins sold. Last year, opening day sales figures had reached 48,500 coins.

United States Mint Bullion Program Net Margin Remains at 1.9%

Amidst increased demand for physical gold and silver investment products, the United States Mint achieved record revenue from the sale of bullion coins during their 2010 fiscal year. Annual sales totaled $2.86 billion, which yielded net income of $55.2 million for the segment.

The US Mint produces gold, silver, and platinum bullion coins which are distributed through a network of authorized purchasers. The various programs were authorized by Congress, and the weight, content, and purity of each bullion coin is guaranteed by the U.S. government.

During the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, the US Mint issued one ounce American Silver Eagles; one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce American Gold Eagles; and one ounce American Gold Buffalo coins. The American Platinum Eagle, which is typically produced in four different bullion weights, was not produced or issued during the year.

Because the purpose of the US Mint’s bullion coin programs is to provide investors with a convenient and cost effective method for investing in precious metals, the programs are managed to a nominal net margin. The bullion coins are sold to authorized purchasers based on the current market price of the metal plus a fixed or percentage mark up to cover minting, distribution, and marketing costs, as well as a net margin targeted at or below 2%. For the past three years, the net margin has remained steady at 1.9%.

The US Mint utilizes a hedging program to avoid the risk related to fluctuations in silver costs. Silver is purchased in large quantities on the open market and then an interest in that silver is sold to a trading partner. The US Mint maintains physical custody and title to the silver. As finished silver bullion coins are sold to authorized purchasers, the trading partner’s interest is repurchased. Transaction fees related to the hedging program were $170,000 for the 2010 fiscal year.

US Mint Sells 1,429,500 Ounces of Gold Bullion During 2010

The United States Mint sold less gold bullion during 2010 than the previous year, as measured in ounces. Across their offerings of American Gold Buffalo and American Gold Eagle bullion coins, sales reached 1,429,500 in the current year compared to 1,625,000 in the prior year.

The American Gold Buffalo is struck in one ounce of 24 karat (.9999 fine) gold and carries James Earle Fraser’s classic design from the Buffalo Nickel. The 2010-dated coins were first available on April 29, 2010 and remained available for ordering by authorized purchasers until late September 2010.

The American Gold Eagles are struck in a composition of 22 karat ( .9167 fine) gold and carry the obverse design of Augustus Saint Gaudens’ classic double eagle. A range of weights are available to provide greater investment flexibility. The one ounce 2010 Gold Eagle went on sale January 19, 2010, with the one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce size coins on sale June 10. The coins remained on sale through the end of the year.

For the calendar year, the US Mint sold the following quantities of gold bullion coins:

Coins Total oz.
American Gold Eagle 1 oz 1,143,000 1,143,000
American Gold Eagle 1/2 oz 46,000 23,000
American Gold Eagle 1/4 oz 62,000 15,500
American Gold Eagle 1/10 oz 390,000 39,000
American Gold Buffalo 1 oz 209,000 209,000
Total 1,429,500

The drop in total ounces sold from the prior year is 195,500, representing a decline of about 12%.

Despite the drop in ounces sold, there was likely an increase for the year based on total dollar sales due to the higher price of gold. For 2010, the price of gold was up more than 27%.

Authorized purchasers are allowed to order gold bullion coins directly from the US Mint in minimum quantities of 1,000 ounces. The price paid is based on the London PM Gold Fix price following the day of order.

2010 Gold Buffalo Bullion Coin Inventories Depleted

Even though its only September, US Mint sales of the 2010 American Gold Buffalo bullion coins are done for the year. Availability for the one ounce 24 karat gold bullion coin has become erratic in recent years, with the coins only available for a few months at a time, rather than throughout the year.

A memorandum sent to the US Mint’s authorized purchaser network included the following brief statement: The United States Mint has depleted its inventory of 2010 American Buffalo One Ounce Gold Bullion Coins. No additional inventory will be made available.

The 2010 Gold Buffalo bullion coins originally went on sale April 29, 2010. After just under five months of availability, the US Mint recorded sales of 209,000 coins.

The American Gold Buffalo series was introduced in 2006, in part to compete with the 24 karat gold offerings of other world mints. The US Mint’s popular American Gold Eagle is struck in a composition of 22 karat gold.

The 2006 Gold Buffalo was launched on June 22, 2006 and the coins were available throughout the remainder of the year. In 2007, the coins were available all year, although sales levels took a dip from the strong levels of the inaugural year. The following year, the more erratic availability would begin.

In September 2008, the US Mint announced their inventory of Gold Buffalo bullion coins depleted. The offering remained unavailable for more than a month. In November sales briefly resumed to sell one last batch of 25,000 coins. After that point, Gold Buffalo bullion coins were not available again for nearly a year.

The 2009 Gold Buffalo coins finally went on sale October 15, 2009 and only lasted until December 4, 2009 before inventories were depleted.

Will we ever see a return to normalcy when bullion coins are available throughout the year and not subject to depletion, suspensions, and rationing?

US Mint Cancels 2009 American Gold Buffalo Bullion Coins

CoinWorld has reported that the US Mint has canceled the American Gold Buffalo bullion coin offering for 2009. The production of one ounce proof coins for collectors is still planned. This bullion coin program was originally launched in 2006, as the first 24 karat gold bullion coin offering from the United States Mint.

Update: 2009 Gold Buffalo bullion coins and 2009 Proof Gold Buffalo coins have been offered by the US Mint.

While the majority of the United States Mint’s gold bullion sales are derived from the 22 karat American Gold Eagle bullion coins, the Gold Buffaloes still account for a sizable amount of sales. Last year, Gold Buffalo bullion sales tallied 172,000 ounces, while Gold Eagle bullion sales tallied 860,500 ounces.

The Gold Buffalo Coins were also viewed as an offering which allowed the US Mint to compete with other world mints that offer 24 karat gold coins. The US Mint does continue to sell First Spouse Gold Coins minted in 24 karat gold, however, these coins are sold directly by the US Mint at high premiums usually associated with collectors coins. The half ounce gold coins are currently priced at $616 for the uncirculated finish.

News of the canceled bullion coin offering is particularly surprising given the news that the US Mint had ended rationing for other gold and silver bullion coins. This seemed to be an indication that supply constraints were lifting and heavy demand was falling, suggesting a return to normality. Also of note, other world mints are taking steps to expand their bullion coin offerings during this time of increased interest in precious metals.

The cancelation of American Gold Buffalo bullion coins raises many questions, but I doubt reasonable answers will be forthcoming.

Update: CoinWorld published a subsequent story stating that the 2009 Gold Buffalo Bullion coins are not canceled. The information received from the US Mint which was the basis of their initial story was not correct.