American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins, shown, climbed in September relative to August totals. American Buffalo gold bullion coins, not shown, registered lower September sales compared to the previous month.
The U.S. Mint’s sales in September to authorized purchasers of American Eagle gold bullion coins climbed 75.6 percent above August’s figures, to 68,500 ounces.
Despite the month-to-month increase, September sales were the lowest for that specific month since 2007. September 2007 American Eagle gold bullion coin sales totaled only 17,000 ounces.
American Eagle silver bullion coin sales climbed 13.4 percent in September 2012, to 3,255,000 1-ounce coins, compared with 2.87 million coins in August.
American Buffalo 1-ounce gold bullion coin sales dropped 500 ounces in September from August, to 8,500 ounces.
Gold American Eagles are composed of .9167 fine gold; the American Buffalo coins are made of .9999 fine gold. Silver American Eagles are .999 fine, and platinum American Eagles are .9995 fine.
Gold American Eagles
During September 2012, American Eagle gold bullion coin sales reached 68,500 ounces — 63,000 ounces in 1-ounce coins, 1,000 ounces in half-ounce coins (2,000 pieces), 1,000 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (4,000 pieces) and 3,500 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (35,000 coins).
For the first nine months of 2012, the U.S. Mint has recorded sales of 481,500 ounces
in American Eagle gold bullion coins — 410,500 ounces in 1-ounce coins, 30,500 ounces in half-ounce coins (61,000 pieces), 15,500 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (62,000 coins) and 25,000 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (250,000 pieces).
Looking at the first nine months of sales for each of the previous five years, the Mint sold 121,000 ounces of gold American Eagles in 2007, 446,500 ounces in 2008, 964,000 ounces in 2009, 954,500 ounces in 2010 and 843,500 ounces in 2011.
Sales in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 included both 1-ounce coins and the fractional bullion coins.
Sales from January through September 2009 comprised strictly 1-ounce coins. Fractional half-ounce, quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce American Eagle gold coins were not sold until December that year. Unprecedented demand for the 1-ounce gold coins led Mint officials to focus production on that coin for much of the year.
In 2010, sales were restricted to 1-ounce gold coins from January through May, with fractionals included in the offerings beginning in June of that year.
Silver, platinum bullion coins
During the first nine months of 2012, the Mint recorded sales of 25,795,000 American Eagle silver bullion coin. Sales for the coin in 2012 are well off the records set in 2010 and reset in 2011.
2011 and 2012 sales figures include bullion coins struck at both the West Point Mint and San Francisco Mint. The San Francisco Mint resumed production in May 2011 to help meet investment demand after a more than decade hiatus.
Sales of the 1-ounce silver bullion coin in 2012 compare with the 33,411,500 coins for the same nine-month period in 2011, the 25,480,500 coins in 2010, the 20,467,500 coins in 2009, the 13,950,000 pieces in 2008 and 5,812,000 coins in 2007.
The United States Mint has not produced and offered for sale any American Eagle platinum bullion coins since November 2008. Mint officials are still considering whether to resume production and sales of the American Eagle platinum bullion coins at some future date. Sales are currently limited to the Proof coin.
American Buffalo gold coins
September’s sales of 8,500 ounces of the American Buffalo 1-ounce gold $50 coins brought the calendar year 2012 total through Sept. 30 to 96,500 ounces.
This year’s total compares to 132,500 coins for the same nine-month period in 2011; 209,000 coins in 2010 (the coins were only offered April through September); zero coins by September in 2009 (the coins were only offered for sale in October, November and December); 146,500 coins in 2008; and 123,000 coins in 2007.
The American Buffalo 1-ounce gold coin was introduced in June 2006, giving investors and collectors a second U.S. Mint-produced bullion coin to acquire.
June 2006 through September 2006 sales figures for the American Buffalo gold coins totaled 272,500 coins.
The U.S. Mint does not directly sell American Eagle and American Buffalo bullion coins to the public. The Mint sells the bullion coins to a network of authorized purchasers, who acquire the coins from the Mint for the spot price of the precious metal on a given day on the London metals market plus a small premium.
The authorized purchasers may then sell the American Eagle and American Buffalo bullion coins to dealers and the public.
Monthly sales totals, posted cumulatively on a daily basis over the Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov for American Eagle platinum, gold and silver bullion coins and American Buffalo gold bullion coins, may include coins dated from more than one calendar year and do not represent mintages for a particular date. ■