July 6, 2022

Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Sales Rise In March

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

U.S. Mint Sales of Gold and Silver Bullion Coins Jumps 100%

The U.S. Mint reports that March sales of the American Eagle Gold and Silver Bullion coins are on track to more than double from February sales levels.  Sales during February were unusually low with gold bullion sales down 77.3% and silver bullion sales down 54% from the prior year.  Shown below are the U.S. Mint sales figures for gold and silver bullion coins through March 15, 2012.

The U.S. Mint bullion program has been extremely popular with the public and sales of the bullion coins has soared since 2007.  The gold and silver American Eagle bullion coins are sold by the U.S. Mint to authorized purchasers who pay the U.S. Mint for the cost of the metal plus a mark up to cover operating costs.  The dealers, who are required to maintain a market for the coins, sell to the general public at the market price of the coin plus a premium to cover operating costs.  The weight, purity and content of each bullion coin is guaranteed by the United States Mint.

During the U.S. Mint’s fiscal year 2011, demand for bullion coins reached all time highs with sales of 45.2 million ounces of silver and gold bullion coins, up 26.2% from the prior year.  Total U.S. Mint revenue from the sale of the bullion coins also hit an all time record high of $3.5 billion.  Demand for the American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin was especially robust with sales more than doubling from the previous year’s total.   Last year’s sales of the American Eagle Gold Bullion coins, however, declined by 22.7% due to the higher price of gold and a change in the product release schedule for the American Gold Buffalo Bullion coin.

U.S. Mint Bullion Sales

The U.S. Mint also produces numismatic proof versions of the American Gold and Silver Eagles coins which are sold by the Mint directly to the public.  Due to unprecedented demand for gold and silver, the U.S. Mint was unable to offer the proof coins during fiscal year 2009.

The top selling numismatic coin for the past two years was the American Eagle Silver Proof 1 ounce coin with sales of 850,000 coins  in 2010 and 751,000 coins in 2011.

The 2012 American Silver Eagle Proof coin is scheduled to go on sale April 12, 2012 at an expected price of $59.95.

Gold And Silver Bullion Coin Sales Plunge In February

The latest production figures from the U.S. Mint show a dramatic decline in the sale of both gold and silver bullion coins.

According to the U.S. Mint, sales of American Gold Eagle bullion coins in February 2012 totaled 21,000 ounces, a decrease of 83.5% from January sales of  127,000 ounces.  Gold bullion coin sales declined by 77.3% from the prior year when a total of 92,500 ounces were sold in February 2011.

Sales of the American Gold Eagle bullion coins during February is the lowest since June 2008 when the Mint sold 15,500 ounces.  During 2011, the U.S. Mint sold an average of 83,333 ounces of gold bullion coins each month and rang up annual sales of 1,000,000 ounces.  During 2011, sales of the gold bullion coins declined for the third consecutive year.

Sales of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins also declined dramatically during February.  The U.S. Mint reports total February sales of 1,490,000 silver bullion coins, down 76.6% compared to 6,107,000 during the previous month.  Sales of the silver bullion coins during February declined by 54% from February 2011 sales of 3,240,000 ounces.  Sales of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins were the lowest since November 2011 when the U.S. Mint sold 1,384,000 ounces.

Gold and silver sales detailed above do not include U.S. Mint gold and silver numismatic coins which are sold directly to the public.

The American Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins cannot be directly purchased by the public from the U.S. Mint.  The U.S. Mint sells the gold and silver eagle bullion coins only to a network of authorized purchasers (AP’s) who in turn resell them to the public and secondary retailers.  The U.S. Mint determined that the AP distribution system was the most efficient means of retailing coins to the public at competitive prices.

Total yearly U.S. Mint gold bullion coin sales from January 1, 2000 to February 29, 2012 are shown below.

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 148,000
7,397,500
Note: 2012 total through February 29, 2012

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

American Silver Eagle Bullion Coin Sales
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 7,597,000
TOTAL 205,997,500

The U.S. public has acquired over 200 million ounces of American Silver Eagle bullion coins since 2000 which are now valued at roughly $7.4 billion.  By comparison, the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) currently holds 313 million ounces of silver bullion valued at $11.7 billion.

Gold and Silver News & Headlines – February 2012

Gold and silver continue their strong 2012 advance with relatively sparse mainstream press headlines.  Gold is now only $114 per ounce below the all time high of $1,895 reached on September 6, 2011 and silver looks more and more like it is getting ready to challenge the $50 range last seen in mid 2011.

Based on the closing London Fix Price, gold has advanced from $1,598.00 at the beginning of the year to today’s closing price of  $1,781.00, for a gain of 11.5% or $183 per ounce.  Silver’s advance has been even more dramatic.  Since the start of the year, silver has risen 23.7% to $35.60 per ounce, a gain of $6.82 per ounce.

Here are some recent links to excellent gold and silver related stories and blog posts:

One-Half Ounce Proof Gold Eagle Sold Out, Some Silver Products Suspended

The one-half ounce 2011 Proof Gold Eagles have sold out at the U.S. Mint.  The one ounce Proof Gold Eagle had previously sold out last October.  In addition, some silver numismatic product sales have been suspended pending pricing updates due to the rapid rise in silver prices.

The Financial System Is Sick – Are Precious Metals The Cure?

Over thousands of years, gold and silver are the only currencies that have not failed and have protected wealth.  With rampant worldwide money printing, the wealth of nations is being stolen through endless money printing.  Expect the severely undervalued gold stocks to rally strongly.

Gold Market of the 1970s Was A Dress Rehearsal

Jim Sinclair sees QE to infinity and persuasively argues that the only tool left in the toolbox is money printing which is required to prevent a global implosion from towering levels of debt.

Gold Should Be $2,100 – $2,200 Right Now

Great interview with Jim Puplava who discusses central bank money printing, financial repression, economic issues and why gold is undervalued by at least 22%.

Why The U.S. Government Confiscated Gold in 1933 – Can It Happen Again?

The U.S. government is already seizing the wealth of millions of Americans through financial repression.  Through executive order U.S. citizens were forbidden to own gold from 1933 through 1974.  Julian Phillips examines the reasons why this occurred and wonders if  it could happen again?

Silver Price Rises Twice As Fast As Gold As The Eurozone Floods With Money

Silver has been on a tear this year, up 24% compared to an increase of 12% for gold.  How should investors react to position themselves  if gold soars over $2,000 and silver spikes to over $50?

Ex-Fed Governor Warsh Again Confirms Gold Price Suppression

GATA highlights the role of governments in financial repression and suppression of gold prices.  Ex Fed Governor Kevin Warsh notes the growing call in Europe and the U.S. to devalue debts through money printing and higher inflation.  Warsh says that “Such an inflation tax would transfer wealth from those who have lent money, in good faith, to the borrowers.  Inflation is a blunt and inappropriate instrument for assigning winners and losers from profligate fiscal policy or excessive borrowing by private individuals and firms.”

If Gold Could Talk

Terrific article on the enduring characteristics of gold, why gold is money and how much gold should an investor own?  Be prepared to get your checkbook out after reading this article.  Whatever amount of gold you currently own, it’s not enough!

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 Gold Bullion Coin Sales Slower

The United States Mint currently has three gold and silver bullion coins available to its network of authorized purchasers. This includes the one ounce American Silver Eagle; the 22 karat American Gold Eagle available in one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce sizes, and the recently released 24 karat American Gold Buffalo coins.

The group of primary distributors is able to purchase the bullion coins directly from the US Mint in bulk quantities based on the market price of the precious metals plus an established mark up for each product type. The coins are then resold to other bullion dealers, coin dealers, and the broader public. The sales levels for US Mint bullion coins can be an indicator of the demand for physical precious metals.

For the weekly period ending March 23, 2011, the US Mint sold a total of 24,500 ounces of gold bullion coins, down from the 45,500 ounces sold in the previous week. The higher numbers in the previous week were in part driven by the release of the 2011 Gold Buffalo, although initial sales levels were not as strong as experienced in 2009 and 2010.

For all of 2010, the US Mint had sold 1,429,500 ounces of gold bullion across all product options. About twelve weeks into the current year, gold bullion sales have reached 314,500 ounces. Assuming the same pace of sales continues for the rest of the year, gold bullion sales would be 1,362,833.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 3/23/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 652,500 2,069,500 11,731,500
American Gold Eagle 14,000 56,500 282,500
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 10,500 32,000 32,000

The US Mint sold 652,500 ounces worth of silver bullion coins. The Silver Eagles are currently subject to allocation, meaning that the supplies are rationed amongst the primary distributors based on the available supplies. The allocation program has been in place for all of 2011.

Year to date silver bullion sales have reached 11,731,500. If the rate of sales remains constant for the rest of the year, sales would exceed 50 million ounces. Last year, the US Mint sold a record 34.6 million ounces worth of American Silver Eagles.

US Mint Gold Bullion Sales Rise with Gold Buffalo Launch

The number of ounces worth of gold bullion coins sold by the United States Mint rose in the latest week, bolstered by the launch of the 2011 Gold Buffalo coins. Silver bullion sales showed a slight increase, as the year to date total for American Silver Eagles moved above 11 million.

The United States Mint sells bullion products through a network of authorized purchasers. This small group of primary distributors may buy the coins directly in bulk quantities, based on the market price of the metals plus a mark up. The coins are then resold to other dealers and the public for broader distribution.

At the current time, the available products include one ounce Silver Eagles; one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce Gold Eagles, and one ounce Gold Buffaloes. The 5 ounce America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins are expected to be released in late April. The status of the Platinum Eagle coins remains uncertain.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 3/16/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 748,500 1,417,000 11,079,000
American Gold Eagle 24,000 42,500 268,500
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 21,500 0 21,500

Total ounces of gold sold for the week ending March 16, 2011 was 45,500. This consisted of 24,000 ounces of American Gold Eagles and 21,500 ounces of the newly released 2011 Gold Buffalo coins. The latter are only available in one ounce size and are struck in 24 karat gold.

In the past week, the US Mint recorded sales of 748,500 ounces of American Silver Eagles. This is up from the sales of 668,500 reported for the previous period. Sales levels for silver bullion continue to be restrained as the US Mint imposes its allocation program, which rations the available supply amongst the authorized purchasers.

Silver Eagle Sales Slower as US Mint Rations Supplies

Sales of the United States Mint’s American Silver Eagle bullion coins were slower in the latest week. However, the slow down seems to be the result of the allocation program currently in place, as opposed to a reduction in demand. Sales for Gold Eagle bullion coins dropped to the lowest weekly total for the year to date.

For the weekly period ending March 9, the US Mint recorded sales of 668,500 of the one ounce Silver Eagles. This compares to 1,509,000 coins sold in the previous week.

Since the start of sales for the 2011-dated coins, the US Mint has carried out sales under their standard allocation program. Rather than accepting unrestricted orders, available supplies of silver bullion coins are rationed amongst the authorized purchasers. As such, sales figures reflect the number of coins that the US Mint is able to produce and make available, as opposed to the level of demand from the market.

There has been anecdotal evidence from bullion dealers indicating demand in excess of the available supplies. This reduced availability has caused premium levels for Silver Eagles to expand at the retail level.

Other world mints have indicated that they have been encountering problems obtaining the silver needed to produce coins and other bullion products. The US Mint has not provided any specific explanations.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 3/9/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 668,500 668,500 10,330,500
American Gold Eagle 12,500 18,500 232,000
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 0 0 0

Sales of the bullion Gold Eagles were only 12,500 in the latest week compared to a previous weekly total of 37,000 coins. The demand for physical gold has not been as intense as the demand for silver. Since the start of sales for the 2011-dated coins on January 3, 2011, the US Mint has not used the allocation program.