After record-setting American Eagle silver bullion coin sales totals
in 2014 and 2015, a sales-record three-peat is starting to look less
likely: the U.S. Mint just reported its slowest sales month in years.
Only 1,370,000 American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coins were sold
in July. That's the lowest monthly total since December 2013, when
1,200,000 of the coins were sold.
The Mint lifted its weekly allocations during July. The
allocations were buying limits the Mint used to portion out the
available inventory to its authorized purchasers, the dealers that are
the only customers who buy bullion directly from the Mint. Allocations
were put in place in 2015 as demand for the silver bullion coin skyrocketed.
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The allocations reflected that 2015 was turning out to be another
record-breaking year for American Eagle silver bullion sales. In all,
47,000,000 coins were sold in 2015.
The record that was broken wasn't very longstanding — 2014 was the
previous high-sales year, with 44,006,000 coins sold.
During the early months of 2016, it looked as though a third
straight record year was very much a possibility, but the price of silver has risen significantly this summer —
it's currently at $20.59 per ounce according to Kitco. Authorized purchasers are
now sitting on stockpiles of the silver coins, which
has led to slower Mint sales to the authorized purchasers and is
putting that record-setting streak in danger.
In June, 2,837,500 were sold before the
two-and-a-half-year low recorded in July.
Despite the slow June and July, 2016 sales through its first seven
months are still a hair ahead of the first seven months of 2015. The
Mint has sold a total of 27,620,500 coins in 2016, up from the
27,315,000 it sold through July 2015.
Take a look at this infographic for more details.