American Eagle bullion sales rise during May

Mint sales show increase after declining in April
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Published : 06/06/12
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Sales of American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins in May by the U.S. Mint to its authorized purchasers rebounded after recording a sharp decline in April.

Silver American Eagle sales reached 2.75 million coins in May, 80.9 percent higher than April’s 1.52 million coins. May’s sales were 8.1 percent higher than March.

Silver American Eagle sales are still well off the record pace of calendar year 2011, when 39,868,500 coins were sold combined for the year.

The cumulative silver American Eagle sales of 14,409,000 during the first five months of 2012 are 23.7 percent lower that the first five months of 2011 when 18,901,000 of the 1-ounce silver bullion coins were recorded sold.

The monthly average has dropped to 2,881,800 coins in 2012 compared to a monthly average of 3,780,200 over the same five months in 2011.

The spot price per troy ounce of silver based on the London PM fix has traded in a narrower range in 2012 than it did during the same period in 2011.

Silver closed Jan. 3, 2012, at $28.78; it reached a high of $37.23 on Feb. 29 and a low of $27.25 on May 16. On May 31, silver closed at $28.10.

In comparison, in 2011, silver started out the year closing at $30.67 on Jan. 4; it dropped to a low of $26.68 on Jan. 28 and reached a high of $48.70 on April 28. Silver closed at $38.65 on May 31, 2011.

Gold bullion coins

Gold American Eagle bullion coin sales more than doubled the previous month’s sales, reaching 50,000 ounces in May, after dropping to 20,000 ounces in April.

May’s total derives from sales of 46,000 of the 1-ounce coins, 1,500 ounces in half-ounce coins (3,000 coins), 1,000 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (4,000 coins) and 1,500 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (15,000 coins).

For the first five months of 2012, gold American Eagle sales reached 280,500 ounces — 227,000 ounces in 1-ounce coins, 27,000 ounces in half-ounce coins (54,000 coins), 11,500 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (46,000 coins) and 15,000 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (150,000 coins).

During the first five months of 2011, sales totaled 514,500 ounces — 451,500 ounces in 1-ounce coins, 27,500 ounces in half-ounce coins (55,000 coins), 14,000 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (56,000 coins) and 21,500 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (215,000 coins).

American Buffalo 1-ounce gold $50 bullion coin sales in May totaled 8,500, which is 500 coins below April’s levels. For the first five months in 2012, American Buffalo gold coin sales total 64,000 coins, compared with 74,000 coins over the same period in 2011.

The 74,000 coins in 2011 were sold during three months, since none were sold in January or February of last year.

The spot price per troy ounce of gold started 2012 at $1,598 on Jan. 4, reaching a high of $1,781 on Feb. 28 and a low of $1,540 on May 30. Gold closed at $1,558 on May 31.

In comparison, gold started 2011 at $1,388.50 on Jan. 4, reached a low of $1,319 on Jan. 28, and a high of $1,541 on May 4. Gold closed at $1,536.50 on May 31, 2011.

The U.S. Mint has neither produced nor issued any American Eagle platinum bullion coins since November 2008. Resurrection of the platinum bullion coin program is under consideration for 2012.

The U.S. Mint does not sell the bullion coins directly to the public. The Mint instead 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 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. ■

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