August 13, 2022

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.

US Mint Silver Eagle Bullion Sales On Pace For Record High

Since Congress authorized the production of American Eagle Bullion coins in 1986, it has become one of the easiest ways for investors to accumulate a physical position in precious metals.   American Eagle Bullion coins have been available in gold and silver since the program’s inception.  Platinum has been available under the Bullion coin program since 1997.

The bullion coins are priced at the current market price of gold, silver or platinum plus a dealer markup.  The US Mint does not sell the bullion coins directly to investors but instead sells the coins to a network of Authorized Purchasers who resell  the coins to the public.  Unlike commemorative or numismatic coins, the bullion coins will closely track the price of the underlying precious metal making it easy for investors to follow the value of their bullion holdings.

The American Eagle Silver bullion coin is available only in the one ounce size and is particularly attractive to small investors as a cost effective way to hedge against inflation and debasement of paper money.  The US Mint’s American Silver Eagle Bullion program has been successful from the start.  The first year’s sales of bullion Silver Eagles in 1986 was 5,096,000.

Between 1987 and 2007 sales of the Silver Eagle averaged 7.1 million coins per year.  The lowest year on record for sales was in 1996 when sales of the coin were only 3.6 million.  Since 1986, sales of the American Silver Eagle  exceeded 10 million coins only two times during 2002 and 2006.

The financial crisis of 2008 resulted in a surge of Silver Eagle sales as worries intensified over the integrity of paper money and the soundness of the financial system.   During 2008 Silver Eagle sales soared to 19,583,500 coins which was a record high.  In 2009, sales continued to explode reaching 28,766,500 coins and 2010 was another year of record sales at 34,662,500.

Year to date sales of the Silver Eagle bullion coins during 2011 has now reached 25,530,000.  Based on average monthly sales during 2011, sales for the entire year could easily reach 42 million coins, up 20% over last year.

Investors in silver have preserved their purchasing power and increased their wealth.  As previously discussed, the dip in silver prices during May was a buying opportunity and silver prices should be hitting all time highs before year end (see How Soon Will Silver Hit New Highs?).

American Silver Eagle Bullion Sales 2011

 

 

Gold And Silver ETF Holdings Show Little Change On Week

Holdings of the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) were unchanged on the week after dropping by 505.10 tonnes in the previous week.

After extreme price volatility at the beginning of May, silver prices were little changed over the previous week.  Based on the closing London PM Fix price, silver closed at $37.17 on May 25th compared to a closing price of $37.95 on June 1st.

The price of silver has now recovered by 16.7% or $5.45 from the low of $32.50 on May 12.  Silver reached a high for the year on April 28th closing at $48.70.  The price correction should be viewed as a buying opportunity since the fundamentals of the silver market have grown stronger with each passing day.

The debt crisis in Europe and the U.S. appear to be on the verge of spinning out of control.  The latest batch of economic reports show weak employment numbers, decline in the manufacturing sector and a continued collapse in U.S. real estate values.  Economies overburdened by debt desperately require higher economic growth which is simply not happening.  The prospect of continued economic weakness was finally acknowledged by previously bullish stock investors, as sellers pushed the Dow Jones down by almost 280 points for a 2.2% loss.

The latest sales figures from the U.S. Mint indicate that many investors see silver as a better store of value than paper currency.  Total year to date sales through May 31st of the Silver Eagle bullion coins totaled 18.9 million ounces, the most since 1986.  Comparable sales of the Silver Eagle for 2010 were 15.2 million ounces.

U.S. Mint sales of the Silver Eagles during May totaled 3.65 million ounces up from 2.82 million ounces in April.  If sales for the rest of the year continue at the average month’s sales volume, U.S. Mint sales of Silver Eagles would total 45.4 million ounces, valued at over $1.7 billion based on today’s closing price of silver.

GLD and SLV Holdings (metric tonnes)

June 1-2011 Weekly Change YTD Change
GLD 1,212.87 -1.21 -67.85
SLV 9,941.33 00.00 -980.24

The holdings of the SPDR Gold Shares Trust (GLD) decreased by a modest 1.21 tonnes over the past week, after gaining 22.74 tonnes in the previous week.   The GLD currently holds 38.99 million ounces of gold valued at $59.8 billion.  The price of gold gained slightly on the week, closing at $1,533.75, up $7.50 from May 25th.

US Mint Gold Bullion Sales Set Rapid Pace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



APMEX CEO Says No Bullion Shortage

Despite recent volatility, gold and silver prices continue to push to new highs.  After a brief pullback on earlier this week, silver rebounded strong and once again approaches the $50 level. Gold, which has lagged the price gains in silver, recently rose to a fresh all time high and remains solidly above the $1,500 level.

The rapid rise in silver prices has resulted in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange increasing the margin requirements on silver futures for the third time.  The press provided numerous accounts of traders taking huge positions in bearish silver puts.  Silver also faces the psychologically important barrier of $50 per ounce.   During the last great silver bull move of the early 1980’s silver rapidly collapsed from the $50 range and subdued for decades.

Despite the calls for a major correction by silver bears, the metal remains near all time highs and there have been numerous press reports of a physical shortage of silver based on intense investor demand.

Indications of a supply/demand imbalance in the bullion markets can be seen in many areas.   The US Mint has been rationing Silver Eagle bullion coins to its authorized purchasers and earlier this year the Royal Canadian Mint admitted that it was having major problems in sourcing adequate supplies of silver due to high demand.  The spot price of physical silver is trading above the price of futures contracts (known as backwardation) and this is an indication of huge physical demand.  In addition, earlier this week, APMEX, a major precious metals dealer, offered to buy bullion at a generous premium from its customers and cited “incredible demand” for gold and silver bullion products.

Although APMEX says there is no supply/demand imbalance, they recently increased their buy price for some US Mint bullion products. In particular, they are offering $3 over spot silver for one ounce American Silver Eagles. This is higher than the company’s cost of acquisition directly from the United States Mint, which sells the coins at $2 over spot to authorized purchasers.

In order to get a better assessment of the precious metal markets and supply/demand situation in bullion products, Gold and Silver Blog interviewed Michael Haynes, the CEO of American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX).

When asked about the high prices APMEX is offering for Silver Eagles, Haynes said, “APMEX had not made a general offer to the customer base in quite some time and it seemed logical to remind the customers that APMEX has a need to buy. With respect to prices on Silver Eagles, you rightly describe that APMEX is offering more than the Mint sell price and you also rightly observe that the Mint is allocating product. As previously discussed, APMEX supplements its buying needs from the secondary market. Therefore, APMEX is buying at the bid offered to the customers and as mentioned above, APMEX would rather buy from its customers than a commercial dealer”.

Thus, despite the challenges experienced in other sectors of the market, from APMEX’s perspective they are able to obtain adequate supplies to meet customer demand.   Michael Haynes noted that APMEX is “currently able to buy the products needed to maintain adequate inventories for customers”.

Michael Haynes also provided insights into current customer buying trends.  According to Mr. Haynes, “average order sizes are increasing slightly, but that may be attributed to higher prices of the underlying product.  Recently, the purchases have shifted slightly toward silver”.  There has been no dramatic changes in customer buying patterns related to product size or premium according to Mr. Haynes.

Addressing  the appreciation in precious metals prices, Mr. Haynes noted that “APMEX sales seem to rise in either a rising market or a declining market.  The customers that purchase under those different scenarios are different, in that new customers tend to purchase on increases and mature customers tend to purchase on pullbacks”.

APMEX has apparently met the challenges of meeting surging customer demand for physical bullion products and, in addition, maintains a liquid market for those investors who chose to sell.  Mr. Haynes calls APMEX “one of the great business stories of the internet age”. APMEX was founded by Scott Thomas who has built the company into one of the largest dealers in coins and precious metals based on “a great passion to satisfy customers”.   Mr. Haynes stated that one of his goals is to “reach more of the population with the opportunity to own precious metals”.

US Mint Gold Bullion Coin Sales Shift Back to American Eagles

In the past week, the level of gold bullion sales at the United States Mint rose to a three week high at 35,000 ounces. The level of silver bullion sales remained little changed from recent weeks at 658,500 ounces, as coins continue to be subject to the US Mint’s allocation program.

Buyers shifted their focus back to the American Gold Eagles, which accounted for 32,000 ounces worth of sales. In previous weeks, a larger portion of sales had taken place for the recently released 2011 Gold Buffalo. These one ounce 24 karat gold coins were made available to authorized purchasers starting on March 14. Prior to that date, the coins had last been available from the Mint on September 27, 2010.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 4/6/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 658,500 658,500 13,087,500
American Gold Eagle 32,000 32,000 331,500
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 3,000 3,000 41,000

The US Mint sold 658,000 ounces of silver bullion in the form of one ounce American Silver Eagles. Since the 2011-dated versions of the coins were first released, the coins have been subject to the Mint’s allocation program. This program serves to ration the available supplies amongst the eleven authorized purchasers. While the rationing is taking place, the level of silver bullion sales represents the number of coins the US Mint has made available, rather than the demand of the market place.

At a House subcommittee hearing on the US Mint’s bullion coin programs held earlier today, one of the witnesses estimated that the US Mint loses about a third of potential bullion sales because they cannot meet full demand.

US Mint Gold Bullion Coin Sales Slower

The United States Mint currently has three gold and silver bullion coins available to its network of authorized purchasers. This includes the one ounce American Silver Eagle; the 22 karat American Gold Eagle available in one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce sizes, and the recently released 24 karat American Gold Buffalo coins.

The group of primary distributors is able to purchase the bullion coins directly from the US Mint in bulk quantities based on the market price of the precious metals plus an established mark up for each product type. The coins are then resold to other bullion dealers, coin dealers, and the broader public. The sales levels for US Mint bullion coins can be an indicator of the demand for physical precious metals.

For the weekly period ending March 23, 2011, the US Mint sold a total of 24,500 ounces of gold bullion coins, down from the 45,500 ounces sold in the previous week. The higher numbers in the previous week were in part driven by the release of the 2011 Gold Buffalo, although initial sales levels were not as strong as experienced in 2009 and 2010.

For all of 2010, the US Mint had sold 1,429,500 ounces of gold bullion across all product options. About twelve weeks into the current year, gold bullion sales have reached 314,500 ounces. Assuming the same pace of sales continues for the rest of the year, gold bullion sales would be 1,362,833.

US Mint Bullion Coin Program Sales 3/23/2011 (ounces)

Prior Week Month to Date Year to Date
American Silver Eagle 652,500 2,069,500 11,731,500
American Gold Eagle 14,000 56,500 282,500
America the Beautiful Silver 0 0 0
American Platinum Eagle 0 0 0
American Gold Buffalo 10,500 32,000 32,000

The US Mint sold 652,500 ounces worth of silver bullion coins. The Silver Eagles are currently subject to allocation, meaning that the supplies are rationed amongst the primary distributors based on the available supplies. The allocation program has been in place for all of 2011.

Year to date silver bullion sales have reached 11,731,500. If the rate of sales remains constant for the rest of the year, sales would exceed 50 million ounces. Last year, the US Mint sold a record 34.6 million ounces worth of American Silver Eagles.