October 2, 2022

Gold Bullion Coin Sales Up 13% In June, Silver Bullion Coin Sales Remain Steady

According to the latest report from the U.S. Mint, sales of gold bullion coins increased by over 13% during June, while total sales of the silver bullion coins were essentially unchanged from May.

Monthly sales of the American Eagle gold bullion coin have fluctuated considerably during 2012 with sales reaching a monthly high of 127,000 ounces in January and a monthly low of 20,000 ounces in April.  Sales rebounded strongly in May to 53,000 ounces and continued higher in June with the sale of 60,000 ounces.

Sales of the American Eagle gold bullion coin can vary dramatically from month to month based on many factors.  The all time yearly sales record for the gold bullion coins of 1,435,000 ounces was reached in 2009  when many people feared that the financial system would collapse.  Sales volume of the gold bullion coins have not, however, had a direct correlation to the price of gold.  Gold closed 2009 at $1,087.50 per ounce and subsequently went on to hit a 2011 high of $1,895 on September 5th.  Despite the fact that gold increased by over 74% since year end 2009, total gold bullion coin sales declined in both 2010 and 2011.

If the European financial storm continues to unwind into a collapse similar to what we experienced in 2008, sales of the gold bullion coins could easily expand dramatically over the record levels seen in 2009.  With each passing day, there seem to be fewer reasons to maintain confidence in the paper money system as central bankers and governments attempt to prop up a debt burdened world economy with additional debt and money printing.

Listed below are the yearly sales of the American Eagle gold bullion coins since 2000.  The total for 2012 is through June 30th.

Gold Bullion U.S. Mint Sales By Year
Year Total Sales Oz.
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 343,500
Total 7,593,000

If the sales trend of American gold bullion coins continues on the pace it has been on thus far, 2012 may turn out to be the fourth year in a row of lower sales.  The graph below shows gold bullion coin sales since 2000 with figures for 2012 annualized based on sales through June 30th.

U.S. Mint sales of the American Eagle silver bullion coin continued strong in June at 2,858,000 ounces, down slightly from the May total of 2,875,000 ounces.  After a strong start in January with sales of over 6 million ounces, sales dipped below 2 million ounces in February and April.  Year to date sales through June 2012 of the silver bullion coins total 17,392,000 ounces, down by 22% from the comparable sales period in 2011 when 22,303,500 ounces were sold.

If sales of the silver bullion coins continue at the same pace for the remainder of 2012, total sales could exceed 34 million ounces, not far below the record set during 2011 of 39.9 million ounces.   Considering that silver has corrected in price from $48.70 reached during April of 2011, the volume of silver bullion coin sales is very robust, with buyers taking advantage of lower prices.

In addition to gold and silver bullion coins, the U.S. Mint sells numismatic series of both gold and silver American Eagle coins which the public can purchase directly from the U.S. Mint.  Bullion versions of the gold and silver American Eagles are only sold to Authorized Purchasers who in turn resell the product to the general public and other dealers.

Total annual U.S. Mint sales of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins since 2000 are shown below.  Sales totals for 2012 are through June 30th.

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 17,392,000
TOTAL 215,792,500

Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Sales Rebound Strongly In May

According to the latest report from the U.S. Mint, sales of both gold and silver bullion coins rebounded strongly during May.

Sales of the American Gold Eagle bullion coins during April had declined to only 20,000 ounces, the lowest monthly sales since June 2008 when 15,500 ounces were sold.  During May, the U.S. Mint sold 50,000 ounces of gold bullion coins, up 150% from April sales of 20,000 ounces.

The monthly sales figures for bullion coins can vary dramatically for a number of reasons, but support for the increase in demand during May may be due to the recent pullback in gold prices.  During May, the closing London PM Fix Price for gold declined by 6.3% from $1,664 to $1,558 per ounce.  Through the end of May, gold has declined by $40 from $1,598 at the beginning of 2012.  Gold reached a 2012 high of $1,781 on February 28th.

Sales of the American Eagle gold bullion coins hit a record high during the financial turmoil of 2009 as investors eagerly purchased 1,435,000 ounces of gold.  Ironically, sales of gold declined during the next two years despite the fact that the financial system has become more unstable as sovereign governments worldwide continue to borrow and print fiat money on an unprecedented scale in an effort to prop up a world economy burdened by unsustainable debt levels and nonexistent economic growth.  The ongoing simultaneous collapse of the banking systems and economies of the Eurozone is the most obvious trigger for the next phase of the financial crisis.  As confidence in paper money evaporates, expect gold to soar as investors stampede into the only currency that governments cannot debase.

Gold Bullion U.S. Mint Sales By Year
Year Total Sales Oz.
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 280,500
Total 7,530,000
Note: 2012 totals through May 31, 2012

Sales by the U.S. Mint of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins for May almost doubled from the previous month.  Total sales of  silver bullion coins for May totaled 2,750,000 ounces, up 81% from sales of 1,520,000 ounces in April.  Year to date sales of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins through May 31st came in at 14,409,000, down by 23.8% from the first five months of 2011.  Sales of the silver bullion coins reached all an all time high during 2011.   Since reaching a multi decades high of $48.70 during April of 2011, silver has since corrected, closing out the month of May 2012 at $28.10.

Total annual U.S. Mint sales of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins since 2000 are shown below.  Sales totals for 2012 are through May 31.

In addition to gold and silver bullion coins, the U.S. Mint also sells numismatic versions (uncirculated and proof) of gold and silver American Eagle coins which can be purchased by the public directly from the U.S. Mint.  Gold and silver bullion coins are sold by the U.S. Mint only to authorized purchasers who in turn resell them to the general public and secondary retailers.

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 14,409,000
TOTAL 212,809,500

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 GoldSilver.com, 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 GoldSilver.com.

1099 EXEMPT PRIVATE SILVER BULLION

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

 

1099 REQUIRED SILVER BULLION

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)

 

1099 EXEMPT PRIVATE GOLD BULLION

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

 

1099 REQUIRED GOLD BULLION 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)

 

1099 REQUIRED GOLD BULLION BARS

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 GoldSilver.com as of May 2012.

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

Gold And Silver Bullion Coin Sales Plunge In April – What Is John Q Public Thinking?

The latest sales figures from the U.S. Mint show a continuing trend of lower gold bullion coin sales. Sales of American Gold Eagle bullion coins hit an all time high in 2009 when the Mint sold 1,435,000 ounces. During 2010, sales declined to 1.2 million ounces and in 2011 only 1 million ounces of gold bullion coins were sold.

Sales of the American Gold Eagle bullion coins in April totaled only 20,000 ounces, the lowest monthly sales figure since June 2008 when 15,500 ounces were sold.  Total year to date gold bullion sales of 230,500 ounces through April 2012 are down a substantial 43% from the first four months of 2011 when the U.S. Mint sold 407,500 ounces.

If sales of the American Eagle gold bullion coins continue at their present pace, 2012 could turn out to be the fourth year in a row of declining sales.

Gold Bullion U.S. Mint Sales By Year
Year Total Sales Oz.
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 230,500
Total 7,480,000
Note: 2012 totals through April 30, 2012

Total sales of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins for April 2012 totaled 1,520,000 ounces, down from 2,542,000 ounces in March.  Year to date sales of the Silver Eagle coins through April 30 totaled 11,659,000 ounces, down by 23.5% from total sales of 15,248,000 ounces in the first four months of 2011.  Sales of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins reached an all time record high of 39,868,500 ounces during 2011.

Shown below are the U.S. Mint sales figures for the American Silver Eagle bullion coins since 2000.  Sales totals for 2012 are through April 30th.

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 11,659,000
TOTAL 210,059,500

The American Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins cannot be purchased by the public directly from the U.S. Mint. Instead, the Mint sells the coins to a network of authorized purchasers who in turn resell them to the public and secondary retailers.

Sales figures shown above do not include U.S. Mint sales of gold and silver Eagle numismatic coins.  The public is allowed to purchase numismatic versions (uncirculated and proof) of gold and silver coins directly from the U.S. Mint and sales of these coins have also been declining during 2012.

According to Mint News Blog, sales of the 2011 Proof Gold Eagles declined by about 50% from 2010 and sales of the 2012 Proof Gold Eagles have declined by over 60% from the previous year.  The same trend has been seen in the proof version of the American Silver Eagle with 2012 sales down 19% through April.

There are a number of factors likely contributing to the drop off in sales. Over the past few years, the US Mint has caught up with demand for bullion coins, allowing more certainty for the numismatic offerings. The sense of urgency and pent up demand that characterized the product return in 2010 has greatly diminished. There also seems to be a shift away from precious metals in recent months, with some moving back to collector coins. Sales of the US Mint’s Gold Eagle bullion coins were down 30% in the first quarter.

Gold prices may also be having an impact in various ways. For the past two years, the Proof Gold Eagles were released in an environment of rising prices. For the current year, prices have fallen over the past two months leading up to the release. Despite this recent drop, the initial prices for this year’s offerings were higher by the equivalent of $200 per troy ounce compared to last year, possibly making affordability a factor for some collectors. Finally, some collectors may have been delaying orders in anticipation of the price decrease which will take place later today.

With the world economy on the brink of collapse in 2008, Americans decided that they needed to prepare for a financial hurricane and subsequently purchased record amounts of both gold and silver.  Perhaps the public has not noticed that a financial crisis potentially worse than 2008 (and certain to impact the U.S. economy) is brewing “across the pond” with European governments and banks tottering on the brink of insolvency and many countries already in full blown depressions.

With the global economy drowning in debt and facing unprecedented financial problems, it is almost comical that many Americans are avoiding the only asset class able to preserve their wealth.

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.

US Mint Gold Bullion Sales Set Rapid Pace

The recent declines in precious metals seem to have shifted some investors preferences. For the current month to date, US Mint sales of gold bullion sales are on pace for the highest levels of the year, while silver bullion sales remain at typical levels.

From their peak prices reached in late April, silver has declined by about 32% while gold has declined by a modest 6%.

In the past week, the US Mint has sold 15,500 troy ounces of gold bullion coins, comprised of 11,000 ounces of American Gold Eagles and 4,500 ounces of American Gold Buffaloes. Monthly totals are now 89,000 and 9,500 ounces respectively. These figures reflect sales through May 16, 2010.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales for Week Ending 5/16/2011 (troy ounces)

Gold Eagle 11,000
Gold Buffalo 4,500
Silver Eagle 756,500
Silver ATB 15,000

Silver bullion products, which remain subject to rationing, sold a combined 771,500 troy ounces in the past week. This consisted of 756,500 ounces worth of American Silver Eagles and 15,000 ounces worth of the 5 ounce America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins. For the latter product, the US Mint has now sold all of the available coins for the first two designs of the year featuring Gettysburg National Military Park and Glacier National Park. An additional 126,700 coins (633,500 troy ounces) featuring the Olympic National Park design will go on sale to authorized purchasers on May 23, 2011.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales for Year to Date (troy ounces)

Gold Eagle Gold Buffalo Silver Eagle Silver ATB
January 133,500 6,422,000
February 92,500 3,240,000
March 73,500 38,000 2,767,000
April 108,000 20,500 2,819,000 1,127,000
May 89,000 9,500 2,177,500 140,000
Total 496,500 68,000 17,425,500 1,267,000

For the year to date, silver bullion coin sales have reached 18,692,500 troy ounces. Last year, the US Mint had sold 35,487,500 ounces across the two available silver bullion coin programs.

Gold bullion coin sales have reached 564,500 ounces for the year to date, compared to 1,429,500 for the prior year.



2011 Proof Gold Eagles Available April 21

The United States Mint has provided details for the upcoming release of the 2011 Proof American Gold Eagle coins. These collector versions of the popular bullion coin have traditionally been offered each year since the introduction of the series in 1986.

The only year that the US Mint did not offer a collector version of the Gold Eagle was in 2009. In explaining the cancellation, the US Mint cited their requirement to produce the bullion versions of the coins in quantities sufficient to meet public demand. Since they could not meet full demand, they sourced all incoming precious metals blanks to the production of more bullion coins.

In 2010, the offering was resumed, with Proof Gold Eagles available starting on October 7, 2010. The available options sold out by early January of the following year.

The 2011 Gold Eagles will go on sale April 21, 2011. The US Mint will offer individual product options for the 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz coins, as well as a combined 4 Coin Set option. Each coin is struck in 22 karat gold, with the stated weight reflecting the gold content of each coin. The product limits established by the US Mint are shown below.

Product Product Limit
1 oz. Coin 30,000
1/2 oz. Coin 15,000
1/4 oz. Coin 16,000
1/10 oz. Coin 30,000
4 Coin Set 40,000

If the US Mint can achieve a full sell out of the stated product limits for each option, that would represent 118,500 troy ounces of gold. Through the first three months of the year, the US Mint has sold an average of just under 100,000 ounces of Gold Eagle bullion coins per month. Sales of the collector versions typically take place more slowly, since they are sold at a higher premium and marketed to collectors.

Prices will be determined based on the average London Fix gold price for the week prior to the release date. If gold remains within the current range, the 1 oz proof coin would be priced at $1,735.00, reflecting a premium of 16.68% over the market price of the gold content. The 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz coins would cost $881.00, $453.00, and $195.50, respectively. The 4 coin set would cost $3,215.50.

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.