December 7, 2022

US Mint Silver Eagle Bullion Coin Sales Jump

The pace of United States Mint gold and silver bullion coin sales picked up in the prior week. The US Mint currently has available one ounce American Silver Eagles in allocated quantities and unrestricted quantities of American Gold Eagles.

The latest available statistics show an increase of 1,509,500 ounces of silver bullion sales. In the previous two weeks, the US Mint had sold 908,000 and 833,500. Although sales show a big increase, it could be higher if not for the US Mint’s allocation program. Authorized purchasers are currently limited in the number of coins that they can order, which means sales are not an indication of the full demand for silver bullion.

American Gold Eagle sales increased by 37,000 ounces since the last report. This compares to sales of 28,000 and 31,500 in the prior two weekly periods. The increased demand comes as the price of gold recently reached a new all time high above $1,440 per ounce. For the past several years the rising price of gold has been accompanied by strong demand for physical gold.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 3/2/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 1,509,500 0 9,662,000
American Gold Eagle 37,000 6,000 232,000
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 0 0 0

Year to date US Mint bullion coin sales have now reached 9,662,000 ounces of silver and 232,000 ounces of gold. Both figures represent an increase from the average pace of sales experienced in the prior year.

During 2010, the average monthly sales level for Silver Eagles was 2,888,541 ounces, while the average monthly sales of Gold Eagles was 101,708 ounces.

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.

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.

America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins Relaunch with Price Controls

After putting the program on hold earlier this week, today the United States Mint has relaunched the eagerly awaited America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins. If primary distributors wish to purchase the coins from the Mint, they must agree to a new set of terms and conditions, which includes price caps and very specific guidelines for distribution.

Despite extremely limited mintages of only 33,000 coins per design, the coins technically represent a bullion series. By law, the coins must be distributed through the United States Mint’s authorized purchaser network. A small group of 11 primary distributors are able to purchase the coins directly from the Mint based on the market price of silver plus a mark up of $9.75 per coin.

When one of the distributors started charging considerably more than their cost, customer complaints prompted the US Mint to put the program on hold.

The series has relaunched today with a new set of terms and conditions for authorized purchasers.

1.  Authorized Purchasers shall make available for sale to the public all 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins that they acquire.  The intention of this condition is to ensure that all 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins minted and issued by the United States Mint are sold to the public.

2.  Authorized Purchasers may charge to their customers a price no higher than ten percent above the price at which the Authorized Purchasers acquire 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins from the United States Mint.  Authorized Purchasers may charge their customers a reasonable shipping and handling fee; however, Authorized Purchasers may not charge any other fee, premium, or other expense to their customers to circumvent this ten-percent markup limitation.  The intention of this condition is to ensure that members of the public can obtain these coins at a reasonable and affordable purchase price.

3.  Authorized Purchasers must establish and enforce an order limit of one coin of each design for each household.  A household is defined as all persons of a family, or living as a family, at a single mailing address.  The intention of this condition is to ensure the broadest and fairest public accessibility to 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins, which are limited-mintage United States Mint products.

4.  Authorized Purchasers may not sell, either directly or indirectly, 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins to their officers or employees.  The intention of this condition is to ensure that 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins are available to the public and that Authorized Purchaser officers and employees do not have an unfair advantage over members of the public.

Although there was definitely a problem with the distribution system in this particular situation, by imposing price controls, the US Mint is treading into dangerous waters. There may be future implications for the authorized purchaser system and average consumers seeking to invest in gold or silver bullion.

Back in late 2008, the price of silver had plummeted to less than $10 per ounce. The rush to buy physical silver resulted in supply shortages, which pushed premiums to around 50% even for typically low premium products like 100 oz. silver bars. The United States Mint’s American Silver Eagle bullion coins were typically sold for a $4.50 per coin premium or more.

This represented a mark up greater than 10% above the cost to the primary distributors who, at the time, were able to buy the coins directly from the Mint at a $1.40 per coin premium. There weren’t many complaints to the Mint, presumably because all silver bullion products were priced at similar premiums.

The next time there is a silver supply shortage and premiums start to rise, will the US Mint seek to impose price controls for Silver Eagle bullion coins? How do you think that will work out?

New US Mint Silver Bullion Coin Series Starts Next Week

The release date, mintages, and premiums for  the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins were finally revealed this week. Precious metals investors and collectors were in for a few surprises.

As covered in a previous post, the coins will feature the same designs as the America the Beautiful circulating commemorative quarter dollars. This will result in five different issues per year from 2010 to 2020, and a single issue in 2021. The bullion coins will be struck in 5 troy ounces of .999 fine silver with the curious legal tender face value of 25 cents. Specifications include a diameter of 3 inches and thickness of 0.16 inch.

The release date for the new series will be December 6, 2010. This is the first date that the United States Mint’s authorized purchaser network can place orders for the new series. As with other bullion coins, the US Mint uses a small network authorized dealers to handle distribution. They purchase the coins in bulk quantities directly from the Mint and then resell them to other dealers and/or the public. Individuals are not able to buy the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins directly from the Mint, but must purchase them from a bullion dealer or other market source.

The US Mint will only be producing 33,000 units for each of the 2010 designs. This results in total production of 165,000 of the silver bullion coins. It had previously been reported that 500,000 would be struck, but for unspecified reasons this amount was reduced. In terms of bullion, 825,000 ounces (165,000 of the 5 ounce coins) is an incredibly small amount. In the last  month, the US Mint sold more than 4.2 million ounces of silver bullion.

Premiums charged to authorized purchasers for the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins will be $9.75 per coin. This is a very reasonable amount, but the premiums that are paid on the secondary market might be another matter. At the primary distribution level, the US Mint has warned authorized purchasers to set premiums at a level “competitive with those charged for other bullion coins.” I think the primary dealers will do their best to follow this mandate, but at subsequent levels of distribution, market forces will take precedence and drive prices higher.

In the first quarter of 2011, the US Mint will offer numismatic versions of the 5 ounce silver coins. These will be limited to only 27,000 units each. This will be another adventure waiting to happen. However, in this case the US Mint will sell the coins directly to the public at fixed prices, and will likely impose household limits to ensure broad distribution.

Details Awaited for America the Beautiful 5 oz. Silver Coins

Silver investors and coin collectors have been awaiting the final details of the United States Mint’s new silver bullion coins. Some preliminary information such as the design, specifications, and production levels have been revealed, but the premiums and exact release dates remain unknown.

The America the Beautiful Silver bullion coins will feature the designs of the new circulating commemorative quarter series struck in 5 ounces of .999 fine silver. Under Public Law 110-456, the coins will be produced with an unusually large diameter of 3.0 inches. By comparison, the Perth Mint’s 5 oz Lunar silver bullion coins have a diameter of about 2.58 inches. The larger diameter makes the US Mint’s coins more difficult to produce and potentially bendable by hand, due to the thickness of only 0.16 inches.

Following the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a total of 56 different designs will be released between 2010 and 2021. The releases will feature a National Park or National Site from each of the 50 States, 5 U.S. Territories, and Washington, D.C. The order of release has been established based on the dates the areas were federally designated.

By law the US Mint may issue make the coins available for sale only during the calendar year that the corresponding quarter dollars are released. This means that the 2010 5 oz silver bullion coins featuring Hot Springs, Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and Mount Hood must be issued available for sale before the close of the year.

Overall production is left to the discretion of the Treasury Secretary. This is in contrast to the American Silver Eagle, which must be struck based on public demand. For 2010, the US Mint has planned production of 500,000 of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins, equally divided amongst the five designs.

The new silver bullion coins will be distributed through the US Mint’s authorized purchaser network, which currently distributes other bullion products. The premium that authorized purchasers will need to pay above the market value of the silver has not yet been announced. For the American Silver Eagle, the premium is currently $2.00 per coin. Premiums for American Gold Eagles range from 3% to 9% depending on the bullion weight.