August 13, 2022

US Mint Gold and Silver Eagle Bullion Coin Sales

Sales of the United States Mint’s gold and silver bullion coins remained on a relatively steady pace with recent weeks. Sales of 908,000 ounces worth of American Silver Eagle coins were recorded, along with 28,000 ounces worth of American Gold Eagles.

In the previous week, the Mint had recorded bullion sales of 833,500 ounces of silver and 31,500 ounces of gold.

The US Mint utilizes a network of authorized purchasers (AP’s) to distribute bullion products to the public. This small group of private sector businesses are allowed to purchase bullion coins from the Mint in bulk quantities, and in turn resell them to the public. The price charged to the APs is based on the market price of the metal plus a mark up.

The mark up for Silver Eagles is currently $2.00 per coin. The mark up for Gold Eagles varies based on the size of the coin. The premium levels are 3%, 5%, 7%, and 9%, for one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce sized coins, respectively.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 2/23/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 908,000 2,638,500 8,152,500
American Gold Eagle 28,000 83,500 189,000
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 0 0 0

For the year to date, the US Mint has sold 8,152,500 ounces of silver bullion and 189,000 ounces of gold bullion. All sales have taken place for the American Eagle coins. Later in the year, 24 karat Gold Buffalo bullion coins and 5 ounce America the Beautiful Silver Coins are expected to be made available.

Pace of US Mint Gold and Silver Bullion Sales Ahead of Last Year

In the past week, the United States Mint sold 833,500 ounces of silver bullion and 31,500 ounces of gold bullion. Available products included the American Silver Eagle in one ounce size and the American Gold Eagle in one ounce or three fractional sizes.

For the year to date, the US Mint has now sold 8,152,500 ounces of silver, which is running well ahead of the pace of sales from the previous year. During 2010, the US Mint had sold 5,642,500 ounces through the end of February. Annual sales eventually reached a record 34,662,500 ounces from Silver Eagles, with an additional 875,000 ounces from the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins.

Gold bullion sales for the year to date are now 189,000. Once again, this is running ahead of last year’s pace when the Mint sold 169,000 ounces through the end of February. By year end, sales had reached 1,220,500 ounces worth of Gold Eagles, plus 209,000 ounces from the 24 karat Gold Buffalo coins.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 2/16/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 833,500 1,730,500 8,152,500
American Gold Eagle 31,500 55,500 189,000
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 0 0 0

This month the US Mint began sales of the fractional weight 2011-dated American Gold Eagles. Throughout January, only the one ounce size was available bearing this year’s date.

Fractional Gold Eagle sales for the month so far include 100,000 of the one-tenth ounce size coins, 16,000 of the one-quarter ounce coins, and 5,000 of the one-half ounce coins. In recent years, the one ounce size coins have accounted for the bulk of bullion sales.

Weekly US Mint Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Sales

After the furious pace of sales experienced during January for the United States Mint’s American Silver Eagle and American Gold Eagle bullion coins, the current month is progressing at a more measured pace. For the week ending February 9, 2011, the US Mint recorded sales of 847,000 ounces worth of silver and 18,000 ounces worth of gold.

The US Mint offers several bullion coin options in order to provide investors with a convenient and cost effective method for physical precious metals investment. The programs include 22 karat gold coins in one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce sizes; 24 karat gold coins in one ounce size; .999 fine silver coins in one ounce and five ounce sizes; and platinum coins in one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce size.

For the year to date, the US Mint has only offered the one ounce Silver Eagle and 22 karat Gold Eagle bullion coins. The Gold Eagles are available in one ounce size bearing the 2011 date, with some remaining amounts of the fractional weight coins bearing the 2010 date. The remaining bullion coin options have not yet been released.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 2/9/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 847,000 897,000 7,319,000
American Gold Eagle 18,000 24,000 139,500
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 0 0 0

Last year, the US Mint recorded sales of 34,662,500 ounces worth of American Silver Eagles and 1,220,500 ounces worth of American Gold Eagles. The amount of silver bullion sold represented an all time record.

US Mint Silver Bullion Sales Set Monthly Record

The pace of sales for the United States Mint’s American Gold Eagle and American Silver Eagle bullion coins jumped in the past week. This propelled silver bullion sales far into record territory for the month of January.

In the prior week ending February 2, 2011, the US Mint sold 1,748,000 ounces worth of Silver Eagles and 56,500 ounces of Gold Eagles. These are sizable increases from the prior week, when the pace of sales had slowed considerably.

Currently, the US Mint offers only these two options for precious metals investors. The American Gold Buffalo, struck in 24 karat gold, has been unavailable for several months. The American Platinum Eagle remains on indefinite hiatus since late 2008. The recently introduced America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins are now in production for the 2011 designs, following the rapid sell out of the previous year’s coins.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 2/2/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 1,748,000 50,000 6,472,000
American Gold Eagle 56,500 6,000 139,500
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 0 0 0

For the month of January 2011, Silver Eagle bullion coin sales reached 6,422,000, representing the highest monthly sales total in the history of the program. The previous monthly record of 4,260,000 ounces was set in November 2010, at the time breaking the long standing record of 3,696,000 ounces from December 1986.

To put this monthly sales total into perspective, there were ten separate years of the program where annual sales did not reach this level. If the pace of sales continues for the rest of 2011, more than 77 million ounces of silver would be sold. This amount exceeds the total annual domestic silver mining production of the United States.

American Gold and Silver Eagle Sales Slower

After generating some mainstream media attention for the record pace of sales, United States Mint bullion coins had a quiet week. According to figures provided by the Mint, only 136,000 ounces of American Silver Eagles and 7,500 ounces of American Gold Eagles were sold in the past week.

Some have noted the divergence in the sales of bullion coins, which are in record territory for the month, and exchange traded fund (ETF) holdings, which continue to decline. Both have an impact on demand for silver, although the nature the of the buyers for each type of investment are different.

Those purchasing ETF’s are more likely to be professionals or other investors trying to participate in short terms price gains. Since bullion coins are comparatively more difficult to buy and sell and carry larger spreads, these buyers are more likely to be making longer term investments.

US Mint Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 1/26/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 136,000 4,724,000
American Gold Eagle 7,500 83,000
American Platinum Eagle 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 0 0

The US Mint has now sold 4,724,000 of the one ounce Silver Eagles for the year to date. This includes a remaining quantity of 2010-dated coins, as well as the newly released 2011 Silver Eagles. This is the highest monthly sales total in the history of the program.

American Gold Eagle sales total 83,000 for the year to date. This includes sales of 80,500 one ounce coins, 1,000 one-half ounce coins, 2,000 one-quarter ounce coins, and 15,000 one-tenth ounce coins. The fractional weight coins represent 2010 Gold Eagles, while the one ounce coins included 2010 and 2011-dated 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.

Monthly American Silver Eagle Sales Already in Record Territory

Gold and silver bullion coin sales at the United States Mint are showing exceptional strength. In the past week, authorized purchasers ordered 1,181,000 ounces worth of American Silver Eagles and 32,000 ounces worth of American Gold Eagles.

For the Silver Eagle bullion coins, total sales for the month have now risen to 4,588,000 ounces. With the month not even two-third complete, this total already represents a new record high for monthly silver bullion sales. The previous monthly sales record of 4,260,000 ounces was set in November 2010.

On January 3, the US Mint had begun sales of the 2011 Silver Eagle. Strong initial sales are typical when newly dated coins are available, however the strength has persisted, suggesting other factors are at play. Some new investors may making purchases following silver’s stellar performance during 2010. Existing investors may be adding to positions after silver experienced a brief 7% decline.

US Mint Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 1/19/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 1,181,000 4,588,000
American Gold Eagle 32,000 75,500
American Platinum Eagle 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 0 0

For the year to date, the US Mint has now sold 75,500 ounces worth of Gold Eagle bullion coins. This is comprised of 73,000 one ounce coins, 1,000 one-half ounce coins, 2,000 one-quarter ounce coins, and 15,000 one-tenth ounce coins. Sales of the 2011-dated one ounce coins began on January 3. Sales of the fractional weight coins are remaining 2010-dated coins.

The month to date total for gold bullion sales now approaches the full month sales level for the year ago period, when 85,000 ounces were sold.

US Mint Added New Silver Blank Supplier in 2010

For much of the past three years, the United States Mint has struggled to keep up with the boom in demand for physical precious metals. Although they have been required to mint and issue American Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins in quantities sufficient to meet public demand, they have often fallen short of this mandate, resorting to sales suspensions and rationing programs.

The US Mint’s 2010 Annual Report details some of the specific steps they have taken to increase the quantity of precious metals blanks that they are able to acquire:

  • The US Mint worked with their existing precious metals blanks fabricators to revise delivery schedules to fit production levels. Level loading materials allowed these fabricators to increase productivity and increase output.
  • A new silver blank fabricator began delivering blanks late in the fiscal year. The US Mint also continues to pursue additional suppliers. The reliance on a small number of foreign suppliers was previous noted as the “heart of the problem” in the US Mint’s struggle to manufacture sufficient gold and silver bullion coins.
  • Productivity and efficiency enhancements were implemented at the West Point Mint. Coin encapsulation and packaging processes were automated, employees were trained to handle more areas of responsibility, and coordination with suppliers allowed continuous assaying, inspection, and coin production to take place.

The US Mint cited the results of their efforts during the year:

  • The average monthly supply of all gold and silver blanks from vendors increased from 2.6 million ounces to 4.1 million ounces.
  • Output at the West Point Mint increased from 175 ounces per labor hour to 215 ounces per labor hour.
  • By August 2010, the US Mint had sufficiently expanded supply to remove order limits and fully satisfy demand for silver bullion coins by August 2010.
  • Popular numismatic products like the 2010 Proof Gold Eagles and 2010 Proof Silver Eagles were launched in October and November 2010. These offerings had been canceled in the previous year.

US Mint 2011 American Silver Eagles Selling Quickly

United States Mint bullion coin sales remained robust for the two available options. In the prior week, authorized purchasers ordered 1,322,000 ounces of American Silver Eagles and 25,000 ounces of American Gold Eagles.

For bullion coin programs, the US Mint does not sell directly to the public, but distributes the coins through a network of authorized purchasers. A group of 11 primary distributors can order coins in bulk quantities from the Mint based on the market price of the precious metals, plus a mark up. In turn, they resell the coins to other precious metals dealers, coin dealers, and the public, as well as facilitate a two way market for the bullion coins.

The US Mint began sales of 2011-dated Gold and Silver Eagles on January 3, 2011. Because inventory of 2010-dated coins remained, the Mint required authorized purchasers to order the newer coins on a ratio basis. For every five 2011 Silver Eagles ordered, they were required to take one 2010 Silver Eagle. For Gold Eagles, the AP’s could order four 2011 coins for every one 2010 coin.

At this time, the US Mint only has available one ounce 2011 Gold Eagles, with fractional weight coins planned to be issued later in the year. The American Silver Eagle is only produced in one ounce size. The release dates for the 2011-dated American Platinum Eagle and 24 karat American Gold Buffalo coins have not yet been announced.

So far, the month of January 2011 is shaping up to be a strong one for silver bullion sales. The past week’s orders for 1,322,000 ounces, bring the monthly (and year to date) total to 3,407,000. In January 2010, the US Mint had sold 3,592,000 ounces for the entire month.

US Mint Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 1/12/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 1,322,000 3,407,000
American Gold Eagle 25,000 43,500
American Platinum Eagle 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 0 0

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.