October 2, 2022

“How To Buy Gold and Silver Bullion Without Getting Ripped Off” – Free Kindle Book For Gold and Silver Blog Readers

Here’s a really great book on how to buy gold and silver that came to my attention.  I would recommend this book (“Stack Silver Get Gold”) to both long time gold and silver investors as well as those considering their first purchase.  Best of all, the price is right.  Author Hunter Riley has offered readers of the goldandsilverblog.com a free copy anytime between this Saturday, October 27th and Wednesday, October 31, 2012, offered through Amazon Kindle.  After October 31st, the purchase price of the book will be $9.99.

If you have a computer, you do not need a kindle to read the book. You can download Amazon.com’s free kindle reader here.
In addition, the author of the book, Hunter Riley, has added a contest where anyone who downloads the book during the Oct27-Oct31st free promotional period gets entered to win some American Eagle silver bullion.
Here’s the introduction to the book which I found compelling

 

The short book covers the following essential topics:

– How to avoid dealers and con artists who will rip you off

– Coins, rounds, bars, numismatic coins and junk silver – what premium you pay for each form of metal, and the advantages of each type
– What is premium and spot price?
– What type of silver and gold should you buy?
– What forms of gold and silver investments should you avoid?
– What are the dangers of ETF’s?

– Fraudulent dealers selling gold and silver that they don’t possess!
– Gold and silver mining stocks – good or bad investments?
– Gold and silver pools and leveraged accounts
– Phone dealers, TV ads and commemorative coins
– Where should you store your silver and gold?
– What type of home safe should you invest in?
– Wan you ad physical gold or silver investments to your IRA?
– Which is better as an investment? Gold or Silver?

– How to profit as the dollar collapses.
– What are the best gold and silver investing newsletters?
– Where can you buy gold and silver online?

– Which are the most reputable companies to deal with?

Note:  The Gold and Silver Blog receives no compensation for promoting this book.  It is done solely to educate investors on investing in gold and silver.

Sound Money Advocate Faces Terminal Jail Sentence

The New York Times reports on the “domestic terrorism” case of Bernard von NotHaus who awaits sentencing for minting private money known as the Liberty Dollar.  At the age of 68, Von NotHaus is facing the equivalent of a terminal jail sentence since he faces 20 years in prison.

By Alan Feuer, New York Times

Prison May Be the Next Stop on a Gold Currency Journey

MALIBU, Calif. — High above the cliff tops and the beach bars, up a winding mountain road, in a borrowed house on someone else’s ranch, an unusual criminal is waiting for his fate.

His name is Bernard von NotHaus, and he is a professed “monetary architect” and a maker of custom coins found guilty last spring of counterfeiting charges for minting and distributing a form of private money called the Liberty Dollar.

Described by some as “the Rosa Parks of the constitutional currency movement,” Mr. von NotHaus managed over the last decade to get more than 60 million real dollars’ worth of his precious metal-backed currency into circulation across the country — so much, and with such deep penetration, that the prosecutor overseeing his case accused him of “domestic terrorism” for using them to undermine the government.

Of course, if you ask him what caused him to be living here in exile, waiting with the rabbits for his sentence to be rendered, he will give a different account of what occurred.

“This is the United States government,” he said in an interview last week. “It’s got all the guns, all the surveillance, all the tanks, it has nuclear weapons, and it’s worried about some ex-surfer guy making his own money? Give me a break!”

The story of Mr. von NotHaus, from his beginnings as a hippie, can sound at times as if Ken Kesey had been paid in marijuana to write a script on spec for Representative Ron Paul. At 68, Mr. von NotHaus faces more than 20 years in prison for his crimes, and this decisive chapter of his tale has come, coincidentally, at a moment when his obsessions of 40 years — monetary policy, dollar depreciation and the Federal Reserve Bank — have finally found their place in the national discourse.

A native of Kansas City, Mr. von NotHaus first became enticed by making money while living with his companion, Talena Presley, without a car or electric power in a commune of like-minded dropouts in a nameless village on the Big Island in Hawaii. It was 1974, and Mr. von NotHaus, 30 and ignorant of economics, experienced “an epiphany,” he said, which resulted in the writing of a 20-page financial manifesto titled “To Know Value.”

In it he described his conviction that money has a moral aspect and that any loss in its value will cause a corresponding loss in social and political values. It was only three years after President Richard M. Nixon had removed the country from the gold standard, and Mr. von NotHaus, a gold enthusiast, began buying gold from local jewelers and selling it to his friends.

One day, he recalled, “we were all sitting around thinking, ‘Wow, we ought to do something with this gold.’ And I said: ‘Yeah, we could make coins. People love coins. We could have our own money!’ ”

Within a year, he had established the Royal Hawaiian Mint, a private — not royal — producer of collectible coins. Hitchhiking to a library in the county seat of Hilo, he said, he looked up “minting” in the encyclopedia and soon was turning out gold and silver medallions with images of volcanos and the Kona Coast.

So went the better part of 20 years. Then came 1991, which saw the emergence of a successful local currency in Ithaca, N.Y., called the Ithaca Hour. The 1990s were a time of great ferment in the local-money world with activists and academics writing books and papers, like Judith Shelton’s “Money Meltdown.” Mr. von NotHaus, traveling with his sons, Random and Xtra, to adventuresome locations, like Machu Picchu, read these seminal works.

“I had been working on it since 1974,” he testified at his federal trial in North Carolina. “It was time to do something.”

The Constitution grants to Congress the power “to coin money” and to “regulate the Value thereof” — but it does not explicitly grant an exclusive right to do such things. There are legal-tender laws that regulate production of government currency and counterfeiting laws that prohibit things like “uttering” gold or silver coins “for use as current money.”

Mr. von NotHaus claims he never meant the Liberty Dollar to be used as legal tender. He says he created it as “a private voluntary currency” for those conducting business outside the government’s purview. His guiding metaphor is the relationship between the Postal Service and FedEx. “What happened in the FedEx model,” he testified, “is that they” — a private company offering services the government did not — “brought competition to the post office.”

To introduce the Liberty Dollar in 1998, Mr. von NotHaus moved from Hawaii to Evansville, Ind., where he joined forces with Jim Thomas, who for several years had been publishing a magazine called Media Bypass, whose pages were filled with conspiracy theories and interviews with militia members, even Timothy McVeigh.

Working from the magazine’s office, Mr. von NotHaus lived in a mobile home and promoted his nascent currency to “patriot groups” on Mr. Thomas’s mailing list while reaching an agreement with Sunshine Minting Inc., in Idaho, to produce the Liberty Dollar. His marketing scheme was simple: he drove around the country in a Cadillac trying to persuade local merchants like hair salons and restaurants to use his coins and to offer them as change to willing customers.

Banks, of course, did not accept his money; however, to ensure that it found its way only into hands that wanted to use it, Mr. von NotHaus placed a toll-free number and a URL address on the currency he produced. If people mistakenly got hold of it, they could mail it back to Evansville and receive its equivalent in actual dollar bills.

Now jump ahead to 2004. A detective in Asheville, N.C., learned one day that a client of a credit union had to tried to pass a “fake coin” at one its local branches. An investigation determined that some business acquaintances of Mr. von NotHaus were, court papers say, allied with the sovereign citizens’ movement, an antigovernment group.

Federal agents infiltrated the Liberty Dollar outfit as well as its educational arm, Liberty Dollar University.

In 2006, with millions of the coins in circulation in more than 80 cities, the United States Mint sent Mr. von NotHaus a letter advising that the use of his currency “as circulating money” was a federal crime.

He ignored this advice,and in 2007, federal agents raided the offices in Evansville, seizing, among other things, copper dollars embossed with the image of Mr. Paul.

Two years later, Mr. von NotHaus was arrested on fraud and counterfeiting charges, accused of having used the Liberty Dollar’s parent corporation — Norfed, the National Organization for Repeal of the Federal Reserve — to mount a conspiracy against the United States.

At his federal trial, witnesses testified to the Liberty Dollar’s criminal similitude to standard American coins. They said his coins included images of Lady Liberty and cheekily reversed “In God We Trust” to “Trust in God.” Then again, his coins were made of real gold and silver, as American coins are not, and came in different sizes and unusual denominations of $10 and $20.

In his own defense, Mr. von NotHaus testified about a “philanthropic mission” to combat devaluation with a currency based on precious metals and asserted that he was not involved in “a radical armed offense against the government or their money.”

It was, of course, to no avail; and in 2011, a jury found him guilty after a 90-minute deliberation.

These days, Mr. von NotHaus paces shoeless in a mansion, in the hills above the ocean, that was lent to him by a friend. His sentencing has yet to be scheduled, and this leaves time for reflection. He feeds the hummingbirds outside his window. He reads books on fiat currency. He is even writing a book — on the gold standard, of course.

“The thing that fires me up the most,” he will say, “is this is what happens: When money goes bad, people go crazy. Do you know why? Because they can’t exist without value. Value is intrinsic in man.”

Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Sales Jump 25% In August, San Francisco Silver Eagle Set Sold Out

The latest sales figures from the U.S. Mint for August show a significant increase in sales of both gold and silver bullion coins.

Sales of gold bullion coins during 2012 have varied dramatically from month to month with a high of 127,000 ounces in January to a low of only 20,000 ounces in April.  Monthly gold bullion sales through August have averaged 51,625 ounces.

Monthly sales of silver bullion coins have been more consistent during 2012.  The U.S. Mint sold over 6 million ounces of silver bullion coins in January, but the monthly pace has tapered off to under 3 million ounces.  The average monthly sales of silver bullion coins through August is 2,817,500.

American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin Sales

Total sales of the American Eagle Gold bullion coins during August totaled 39,000 ounces, up 27.9% from July’s total of 30,500 ounces.  Total sales of gold bullion coins by the U.S. Mint through August totaled 413,000 ounces, valued at approximately $700 million based on today’s closing gold price.

On an annualized basis, the U.S. Mint will sell almost 620,000 ounces of  gold bullion to investors this year valued at $1.0 billion if the price of gold remains at $1,692.  During 2009, the peak year of gold bullion coin sales by the U.S. Mint, investors purchased 1,435,000 ounces valued at $1.4 billion based on the average price of gold of $972 per ounce.

Investors who have reduced gold bullion purchases due to the increased cost per ounce will no doubt regret this decision as the price of gold continues to increase.  The value of gold should be viewed in the context of the reduced purchasing power of the dollar – as the Federal Reserve constantly destroys the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar, the “dollar cost” of gold will naturally increase.  The price of gold is merely reflecting the fact that paper dollars are worth less and less every day.

As the Fed continues to do what it does, expect the bull market in gold to continue.

Listed below are yearly sales figures for the American Eagle gold bullion coins since 2000.  Sales for 2012 are through August 31st.

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 413,000
Total 7,662,500

American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin Sales

Sales of the American Eagle Silver bullion coins by the U.S. Mint during August totaled 2,870,000 ounces, up 25% from the July total of 2,278,000 ounces.  Investor demand for silver has remained strong, with many investors taking the opportunity to purchase additional silver below the highs reached during 2011.  Sales of the silver bullion coins remain near record levels and total sales for 2012 should be well in excess of 30 million ounces for the third consecutive year.

Total annual sales by the U.S. Mint of the silver bullion coins since 2000 are shown below.  Sales for 2012 are through August.

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
Jul-12 22,540,000
TOTAL 220,940,500

U.S. Mint Numismatic American Eagle Gold and Silver Coins

Both the American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins can only be purchased from the U.S. Mint by Authorized Purchasers who in turn resell the coins to other dealers and the general public.  The numismatic versions of the American Eagle series coins can be purchased directly from the U.S. Mint.

Many of the numismatic silver coins produced by the U.S. Mint attract strong demand and often times, the coins will sell at a premium in the secondary market.  A recent example of this is the 2012 San Francisco Silver Eagle Set.  According to the Mint News Blog:

The 2012 San Francisco Silver Eagle Set was one of the United States Mint’s most anticipated product releases of the year. Each set contained one 2012-S Proof Silver Eagle and one 2012-S Reverse Proof Silver Eagle.

Product sales began on June 7, 2012 at 12:00 Noon ET with pricing of $149.95 per set. Rather than establishing a maximum product limit, as had been done for similar products in the past, the US Mint would accept orders during a four week ordering window and produce the sets to meet the total demand. A sales odometer which was updated daily gave collectors an indication of the progress of the offering. Sales officially closed on July 5, 2012 at 5:00 PM ET. The last indicated sales total was 251,302 sets.

On the secondary market, prices for the sets remain above the issue price. A quick survey of eBay auctions completed within the past few days show the prices realized for raw sets mostly falling into a range of $180 to $190, compared to the issue price of $149.95.

Sets which have been graded by PCGS or NGC and received the top grade of Proof-70 have sold for premiums above raw sets. Sets with the two coins graded PCGS PR70DCAM and PR70 have recently sold for prices around $425 to $450. Sets with the two coins graded NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo and PF 70 have sold for prices around $300 to $325.

Gold Bullion Coin Sales Plunge 50% In July, Silver Sales Off 20%

The latest sales figures from the U.S. Mint show that sales of both gold and silver bullion coins declined dramatically during July.  While sales of silver bullion coins have remained at historically high levels, sales of the gold bullion coins have been in a steep decline since 2009.

American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin Sales

Sales of the American Eagle Gold Bullion coins during July totaled 30,500 ounces, a 49.2% decline from June sales of 60,000 ounces.  Two previous months of the year had lower gold coin sales than July.  During February 21,000 ounces of gold bullion coins were sold and in April only 20,000 ounces were sold.   The year to date average monthly sales figures for gold bullion coins total 53,428 compared to a monthly average of 83,333 during 2011.

The all time yearly sales record for the American Eagle gold bullion coins was set during 2009 when it looked as if the entire U.S. banking system was about to collapse.  Sales in each subsequent year have been lower than 2009 despite the increase in the price of gold since then.  In 2009 gold closed the year at $1,087.50 per ounce, subsequently hit a high of $1,895 on September 5, 2011 and closed today at $1,615.90 in New York trading.  If sales during 2012 are annualized, total gold bullion coin sales will reach approximately 641,000 ounces, the lowest amount since 2007 when yearly sales came in at 198,500 ounces.

Listed below are yearly sales figures for the American Eagle gold bullion coins since 2000.  Sales for 2012 are through July 31st.

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 374,000
Total 7,623,500

The graph below shows gold bullion coins sales since 2012, with sales annualized for 2012.

American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin Sales

According to the U.S. Mint, sales of the American Eagle silver bullion coins totaled 2,278,000 ounces during July, a decline of 20.3% from June’s total of 2,858,000.   The highest monthly sales of the silver bullion coins during 2012 was 6,107,000 ounces recorded in January followed by the lowest monthly sales of 1,490,000 ounces in February.  Average monthly sales of the silver bullion coins through July was 2,810,000.

The silver bullion coins have showed resilient demand despite the drop in silver prices since mid 2011.  Based on year to date sales figures, total sales of the silver bullion coins could approach 34 million ounces, not far below the record sales figure recorded in 2011 when almost 40 million ounces were sold.

Total annual sales by the U.S. Mint of the silver bullion coins since 2000 are shown below.  Sales for 2012 are year to date totals through July.

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
Jul-12 19,670,000
TOTAL 218,070,500

The American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins are sold by the U.S. Mint only to Authorized Purchasers who in turn resell the coins to the general public and other dealers.  Numismatic versions of the American Eagle series gold and silver coins can be purchased by the public directly from the U.S. Mint.

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

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.

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 Plunge On Bernanke’s Remarks – What Happens Next?

The price of gold and silver plunged today after investors concluded that the Federal Reserve had no immediate plans for further quantitative easing.  In testimony to Congress Fed Chairman Bernanke made positive comments on future U.S. economic growth.  When Bernanke gave no indication that further monetary easing  would be necessary, a selling stampede began in the precious metals markets.

In New York trading, gold closed down $87.20 for a 4.9% loss on the day and silver declined by $2.29, down 6.2%.  Platinum got rocked with a $40 decline to $1,685 and palladium gave up $18 to close at $707.

Why the violent sell off in precious metals when the Federal Reserve and other central banks worldwide are still printing money on a massive scale?  For some thoughts on today’s precious metals rout and what’s likely to happen next, here are some links to excellent gold and silver related stories and blog posts:

Gold Falls In “Manic” Plunge

Explanations from various money managers on why gold and silver sold off.  Investors expecting continued monetary easing were disappointed.  William O’Neill, partner at Logic Advisors said “Bernanke’s comments seem to have eliminated hope of U.S. quantitative easing coming anytime soon.”

Gold, Silver Tumble on Heavy Profit Taking

Importantly, the gold and silver futures markets were ripe for corrective, technical and profit-taking pullbacks following recent strong gains that had sent gold and silver prices to multi-month highs. The Bernanke testimony gave many traders and investors an excuse to “ring the cash” register and take some profits. Also, veteran commodity market watchers know these markets can make sudden, unexpected price moves to temporarily roil investors and traders.

Kitco Interviews GATA Chairman

Interview with GATA Chairman Bill Murphy on today’s smashdown in the gold and silver markets.

Bernanke Tries Talking Down Commodities

If one basically states that the economy is doing better – not out of the woods yet but better – and all the hedgies are leveraged to the gills because the FED GAVE THEM THE GREEN LIGHT TO DO EXACTLY THAT when it first announced that it would keep this near zero interest rate policy out to the end of 2014, then it is a simple matter of throwing a bit of uncertainty in that regards to generate a bout of selling. Toss in the same permabears as always capping at the highs of the day and the algorithms did the rest of the work as the stops were picked off.

First Eagle’s Eveillard Openly Suspects Gold Market Rigging

Gold fund manager Jean-Marie Eveillard has just told King World News that he suspects that today’s pounding of the gold price was a matter of central bank intervention:

Eveillard, who manages $50 billion in assets, is among the few respectables in the gold world, and his stunning acknowledgment today is the price the Western central banks must begin paying for their increasingly brazen market rigging. It is a sign that GATA is making progress, however slow.

Progress could be made a lot faster, as Eveillard and a few other respectables might blow the market rigging to smithereens if they mustered a little courage and activism, such as a donation to GATA, which has been documenting, litigating against, and screaming about gold market rigging for years:

Today Window Dressing Fall In Gold

Please do not be bothered by today’s intervention. The following news is what creates the absolute need for QE.

It is the thesis of my Formula of 2006 of no major recovery that gives the foundation to my thesis of QE to Infinity.

Has serial money printer Bernanke suddenly converted to become a staunch proponent of a sound dollar?  Don’t bet your gold on that one.  As noted in a previous post, The Federal Reserve Can’t Produce Oil, Food or Jobs But They Will Continue to Produce Dollars.

Late note – gold is up $20.60 in Asian trading.