August 13, 2022

Demand For Silver Tops One Billion Ounces Per Year

Here’s a great infographic from the Visual Capitalist showing the supply and demand statistics for silver.  Interestingly, most of the silver produced each year is consumed in thousands of different industrial applications, leaving a relatively small amount available for investment in coins, bars and jewelry.  Unlike gold, the vast majority of silver produced over the years has been consumed, with much of it lost to landfills, leaving a relatively small above ground supply.

 

U.S. Mint Numismatic Precious Metals Sales Decline

According to Coin Update, sales of numismatic precious metal coins showed weekly sales declines.  Future sales, however, may increase due to an upcoming price decrease based on the recent correction in precious metal prices.

The latest report of the United States Mint’s numismatic product sales shows mostly lower numbers for precious metals products. Elsewhere in the report, the Chester Arthur Presidential $1 Coin and Alice Paul Bronze Medal Set makes its debut.

Ten out of sixteen gold numismatic products showed weekly sales declines compared to the prior period. The US Mint currently has these products priced based on an average gold price within the $1750 to $1799.99 range. With the market price of gold below this range for the entire reporting period, buyers may be showing restraint as they await the next weekly pricing adjustment.

Eighteen out of twenty-seven of the silver numismatic products showed weekly sales declines compared to the prior period. The US Mint raised prices for many of these products earlier in the month when the market price of silver was approaching $35 per ounce. Silver has since fallen back from this level, although the higher product prices remain in effect. The America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins showed sales declines across all nine options currently available. Gains were seen for the 2012 Proof and 2012-W Uncirculated Silver Eagles compared to the prior period.

The 2012 Proof Platinum Eagle, which is the only available platinum product, showed negative sales on the week.

See the full sales report for U.S. Mint numismatic products here.

Month to date figures for U.S. Mint gold and silver bullion coins remains strong.  Through October 24th, the U.S. Mint sold 2,584,000 one ounce American Eagle Silver Bullion coins.  If the current sales pace continues, monthly sales could exceed 3.5 million ounces which would be the second best monthly sales total after January when 6,107,000 silver Eagles were sold.

Sales of the American Eagle Gold Bullion coins also remain strong through October 24th with 48,500 ounces sold.  If the current pace of sales is maintained, total sales of the American Gold Bullion coins should reach almost 65,000 for October which would be the third highest sales month of the year.  In January the U.S. Mint sold 127,000 ounces of gold bullion coins followed by 68,500 ounces in September.

Although gold prices have soared over the past decade and the purchasing power of the dollar has collapsed, the American public still does not recognize the value of gold and silver as a store of wealth.  Expect this to change as the bull market in precious metals continues.

India’s Attempt To Curb Gold Purchases Will Ultimately Fail

India may increase the import tax on gold for the third time this year in an attempt to shore up the weak rupee.  Purchases of gold and silver account for a huge 12.5% of all Indian imports and are contributing to a record current-account deficit according to Bloomberg.

“The government may look at increasing the duty to 7.5 percent,” Prithviraj Kothari, president of the Bombay Bullion Association, said in a phone interview. D.S. Malik, a finance ministry spokesman in New Delhi, declined to comment.

The tax on bars and coins was doubled to 4 percent in March after imports jumped to a record 969 metric tons in 2011. A further increase may deter jewelry buyers and investors during India’s festival season, which starts this month, as a decline in the rupee against the dollar boosts domestic gold prices to an all-time high. Imports plunged 42 percent to 340 tons in the first half, according to the producer-funded World Gold Council.

Curbing shipments of gold will help the country to narrow the current-account deficit as the drop in rupee boosts the cost of crude-oil purchases, according to the finance ministry. The shortfall widened to a record 4.2 percent of the gross domestic product in the year ended March from 2.7 percent in 2010-2011.

The rise in the deficit, the broadest measure of trade, was due to slower exports and so-called relatively inelastic imports of petroleum products, gold and silver amid a rally in global prices, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Aug. 23.

Will India’s attempt to restrict import of precious metals be successful and what impact will this have on the price of gold and silver?  Let’s consider the following:

1.  The Indian government should know better.  In 1962, India passed the Gold Control Act which prohibited Indian citizens from owning gold bars and coins.  The result was the instant creation of a huge black market that continued to supply gold and silver throughout India.

The (Gold Act) legislation killed the official gold market and a large unofficial market sprung up dealing in cash only. The gold was smuggled in and sold through the unofficial channel wherein, many jewelers and bullian traders traded in smuggled gold. A huge black market developed for gold.

In 1990, India had a major foreign exchange problems and was on verge of default on external liabilities. The Indian Govt. pledged 40 tons gold from their reserves with the Bank of England and saved the day. Subsequently, India embarked upon the path of economic liberalization. The era of licencing was gradually dissolved. The gold market also benefited because the government abolished the 1962 Gold Control Act in 1992 and liberalized the gold import into India on payment of a duty of Rs.250 per ten grams. The government thought it more prudent to allow free imports and earn the taxes rather than to lose it all to unofficial channel.

2.  India should be more concerned with maintaining a currency that offers their population a stable store of value rather than depriving their citizens of viable alternate currencies such as gold and silver.

3.  The centuries old tradition in India of holding gold and silver as a source of liquidity and for capital preservation is unlikely to change.  The rupee, like most other paper currencies, has been systematically debased.  Inflation in India over the past decade has made holding rupees a losing proposition.

Courtesy: inflation.eu

4.  The reduction in gold demand during the first half of the year by both China and India has been widely touted in the mainstream press as a reason for a continued sell off in the precious metal markets.  Right.  Despite the reduction in gold demand by China and India, gold based out in the $1,600 range before rallying sharply to $1,697.   Gold is now $99 or 6.2%  higher than it was on the first trading day of 2012.

courtesy: stockcharts.com

5.  By attempting to restrict gold purchases, India has simply advertised the rupee’s intrinsic lack of value to their citizens which will ultimately create an even greater demand for gold and silver.

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

Gold and Silver News & Headlines – February 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gold Market of the 1970s Was A Dress Rehearsal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ex-Fed Governor Warsh Again Confirms Gold Price Suppression

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

If Gold Could Talk

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

$40 Silver Predicted By Year End

Will silver hit $40 by year end?

The latest in depth report on silver from the Silver Institute builds a sound fundamental rationale for a price of $40/ounce or higher by 2011 year end.  The Silver Institute report analyzes the current silver market, sources of investment demand, paper instruments linked to silver, silver mining stocks and privately held silver stocks.

Highlights of the Silver Institute report are summarized below and the full report can be found here.

1.   China and India dominate retail demand for silver but demand from India can be volatile with periods of heavy disinvestment such as occurred in 2009.  The key to silver demand in India remains linked to consumer price expectations and inflation in India has been soaring, reaching almost double digits.

Based on India’s current 9% inflation rate, 2012 is likely to see continued huge demand for both gold and silver.   Paper assets currently have little appeal to Indians seeking to preserve their wealth since interest rates are currently negative.  According to an article published at GATA, the yield on ten year notes is almost 1% below the rate of inflation resulting in an erosion of wealth for holders of paper assets.  Savers are reacting accordingly and purchasing precious metals to preserve their wealth.  During October, imports of gold and silver rose 40% to $7.2 billion.

2.   The Silver Institute forecasts that gold and silver will benefit as a safe haven based on the expanding European sovereign debt crisis which appears to be spiraling out of control.  Silver should also benefit from asset reallocation as recession in Europe causes losses in traditional paper assets.

Amazingly, as both paper currencies and governments continue to collapse, investors still have a blind misguided faith in paper assets back only by the “full faith and credit” of insolvent nations.  Proof of this is seen by the Silver Institute’s forecast of only a 10% increase in retail demand for bullion coin and small bar in Europe.  Demand for precious metals in the U.S. is forecast even lower at 7%.  Such modest demand for the only currency that cannot be debased by government actions completely refutes those who claim that precious metals are in a bubble.

3.  The Silver Institute forecasts that investment demand in 2011 will reach new record highs of $10 billion.  Chinese demand for physical silver should grow by 25% and Indian demand for silver should increase by a massive 55% to 45 million ounces.  The Institute Report also notes that the silver market in China is still very small since the market for silver was only recently liberalized in 2009.

U.S. investors have also taken the opportunity to capitalize on bargain silver prices.   U.S. Mint sales of American Silver Eagle bullion coins should easily hit an all time record high of over 42 million ounces in 2011.

4.   The Silver Institute notes that the rise in silver prices has correlated with the increased price of gold and also benefited from the introduction of ETF products, such as the iShares Silver Trust (SLV).  The iShares Silver Trust has grown to $10.6 billion with holdings of 314.6 million ounces of silver since its launch in 2006.

The correlation of silver to gold prices, as represented by the gold/silver ratio, also suggests that the price of silver is undervalued.   From a long term historical perspective, a gold/silver ratio of 16 has prevailed.   After dropping from 70 to 30 during the first half of the year, the gold/silver ratio has climbed to 52.  If the gold/silver ratio returns to 16, silver prices could easily reach $110 per ounce based on the current price of gold.

The increasingly tenuous “value” of paper currencies combined with increased worldwide demand for silver as a safe haven asset makes a compellingly bullish case for additional investment in silver.

 

 

 

 

Silver Demand To Soar In Solar Energy Applications

Industrial applications for silver continue to increase based on silver’s unique chemical properties.  In 2010, total industrial demand applications for silver increased by almost 21% and since 2001 has increased by 40%.  Industrial applications now consume 46% of total world silver supply and are likely to show continued increases as new uses for silver are discovered.

One fast growing business sector that is projected to consume increasing amounts of silver is the solar energy industry.   According to the Silver Institute, the amount of silver used in photovoltaics could double by 2015 to 100 million ounces from last year’s consumption of 50 million ounces.  Based on last year’s supply statistics, solar energy applications would absorb almost 10% of total silver supply within the next four years.

According to the Silver Institute, silver is used as a film coating on photovoltaic cells to maximize light absorption which enhances the electric output of the cells.  Due to silver’s high efficiency in conducting both electrical and thermal energy, it is an essential component in photovoltaic produced energy.

The Silver Institute notes that silver’s use is also essential in many products of everyday life such as cells phones, personal computers and laptops, solid state lighting, global positioning devices and automobiles.

The Executive Director of the Silver Institute, Michael DiRienzo, stated that “Silver surround us.  And every day, from our commute to work, to our cell and smart phones, to the lighting in our workplace and homes, to our computers, silver is an important element which makes our lives more convenient and energy efficient.”

 

US Mint To Increase Production Of Silver Bullion Coins To Meet “Unprecedented” Demand

The United States Mint announced that it will commence production of American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins at its San Francisco Mint.  For several years now, the Eagle Silver Bullion coins had only been produced at the Mint’s West Point facility.

In a press release this week, the US Mint noted that “Demand for American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins remains at unprecedented high levels.   Adding production at the United States Mint at San Francisco provides manufacturing flexibility across the bullion and numismatic product lines to meet customer needs.”

In the face of huge demand for the silver bullion coins, the US Mint has been allocating orders among its authorized purchasers.  The high demand and limited production has lead to high premiums of up to $5 per coin for purchasers of the silver bullion coins.

The US Mint recently came in for criticism for its failure to meet demand for physical bullion coins.  In early April, during a hearing by the House Financial Services Subcommittee, Rep. Ron Paul criticized the Mint for its failure to meet public demand for silver and gold bullion coins.  Ron Paul linked the shortage of bullion coins to the “huge debasement” of the United State currency and said that it was “imperative” that the US Mint meet public demand for bullion coins.

The US Mint said that it has capacity to mint up to “several hundred thousand coins per week” at the San Francisco facility.  The Mint will use the same packaging and manufacturing process at San Francisco that it uses at West Point and the coins will not have a mint mark.

Although demand for the American Eagle Silver Bullion coins remain high, the purchase of 90% silver coins is becoming a more cost effective and popular way to invest in silver.  There is a very small premium or even a discount from bullion value on the purchase of 90% silver coins.

APMEX is currently selling a $1,000 face value bag of 90% silver coins which contain 715 ounces of pure silver for $27,541.80.  Based on today’s closing New York price for silver of $38.16 per ounce, the silver value of the bag of coins being sold by APMEX is $27,284.