After a record-setting sales month in January, United States Mint
sales of American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coins to authorized
purchasers dropped 49.5 percent in February to 3.24 million coins.
During January, the Mint sold 6.422 million American Eagle .999
fine silver bullion coins, the single highest monthly total since
program sales were inaugurated on Oct. 20, 1986. The January sales
total eclipsed the previous record of 4.26 million coins set in
While the January sales total may include some 2010-dated coins,
most of the sales total comprises 2011-dated coins. The first week in
January was the first time authorized purchasers could place orders
for 2011-dated coins.
Sales the first two months of calendar-year 2011 averaged
4,831,000 coins. Should sales be maintained at that pace, the annual
record of 34,662,500 coins set for calendar year 2010 could be pushed
to nearly 58 million coins.
The Mint has posted successive record sales of American Eagle
silver bullion coins in 2008, 2009 and 2010, driven by investor demand
for alternative investments during the worldwide economic crisis.
For American Eagle gold bullion coins, demand also dropped in
February for the 1-ounce gold coins compared with January sales, but
fractional gold American Eagle bullion coin sales in February climbed
sharply over the previous month’s sales.
During February, the U.S. Mint sold to its authorized purchasers
67,500 of the 1-ounce coins, 6,000 ounces in half-ounce coins (12,000
coins), 4,000 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (16,000 coins) and 10,000
ounces in tenth-ounce coins (100,000 coins).
In January, the Mint recorded sales of 130,500 of the 1-ounce
coins, 500 ounces of half-ounce coins (1,000 coins) and 500 ounces in
quarter-ounce coins (2,000 coins).
The Mint has not offered authorized purchasers any American
Buffalo gold bullion coins in 2011. The American Buffalo gold coins
are .9999 fine; the American Eagle gold coins are .9617 fine. Each
coin contains the same amount of pure gold by weight, with the
American Eagle coins containing additional alloyed metals.
The U.S. Mint sells American Eagle and American Buffalo 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 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 United States Mint’s Web site 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. ■