San Francisco Mint striking silver bullion

American Eagle production resumes at two Mints
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Published : 05/31/11
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American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coins struck at the San Francisco Mint were scheduled to be made available to authorized purchasers beginning May 31.

The 2011 production will be the first time in more than a decade that American Eagle silver bullion coins will be produced at both the West Point and the San Francisco Mints. American Eagle silver bullion coins were produced concurrently at both facilities from 1989 through 2000 inclusive. All American Eagle silver bullion coin production was moved strictly to the West Point Mint in 2001.

As a result of the San Francisco Mint production, authorized purchasers now have the option to pick up American Eagle silver bullion coins at either location — West Point or San Francisco — according to U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White.

Trial strikes of 2011 American Eagle silver bullion coins were struck at the San Francisco Mint in March. Full-scale production began earlier in May.

The San Francisco facility is employing the same manufacturing process and packaging currently used for silver bullion coins struck at the West Point Mint. No visible differences between the coins will exist, according to U.S. Mint officials.

The bullion coins do not bear the Mint mark of the facility where the coins were struck.

The decision to add production at the San Francisco Mint is, according to U.S. Mint officials, tied to unprecedented demand for American Eagle silver bullion coins and the planned production at the West Point facility of up to 2 million National September 11th Memorial and Museum 1-ounce, .999 fine silver medals authorized under Public Law 111-221.

U.S. Mint officials anticipate American Eagle silver bullion coin sales in 2011 being from 28 percent to nearly 43 percent higher than the record 2010 sales of 34,662,500 coins.

Adding production at the San Francisco Mint provides manufacturing flexibility across the bullion and numismatic product lines to meet customer needs, according to U.S. Mint officials. The San Francisco Mint will be able to produce several hundred thousand coins per week, U.S. Mint officials said.

The U.S. Mint will use the same procedures for weekly allocations of silver bullion American Eagles to the authorized purchasers, but combine both the San Francisco and West Point production in making the allocations.

The U.S. Mint does not sell the bullion coins directly to the public. The bullion coins are sold to the authorized purchasers who offer a two-way market. The authorized purchasers purchase the coins from the U.S. Mint in specified increments, with the price based on the London PM closing price on a given day, plus a $2 premium per coin.

The coins may then be sold by the authorized purchasers directly to the public, or to other dealers for eventual secondary market resale.

The U.S. Mint currently has 12 authorized purchasers qualified to purchase silver American Eagle bullion coins. ■

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