January’s sales by the U.S. Mint of 6,107,000 American Eagle silver
bullion coins is the second highest monthly sales total since the coin
was introduced in 1986.
The highest monthly sales total for the 1-ounce .999 fine silver
American Eagle was registered for January 2011, when 6,422,000 pieces
were recorded sold.
During January 2012, the Mint also recorded sales of 127,000
ounces of American Eagle gold bullion coins — 84,500 in 1-ounce coins,
24,500 ounces in half-ounce coins (49,000 coins), 9,500 ounces in
quarter-ounce coins (38,000 coins) and 8,500 ounces in tenth-ounce
coins (85,000 coins).
January’s .9167 fine gold American Eagle sales were nearly double
that of December, when 65,500 ounces were sold, all in 1-ounce coins.
American Buffalo 1-ounce .9999 fine gold $50 coin sales reached
13,500 coins in January, down from December’s total of 21,000 coins.
For the third consecutive year, the Mint’s authorized purchasers
have not been able to order the incoming year’s coins until January.
Until the end of 2009, the authorized purchasers were permitted to
place orders for the following calendar’s coins in the closing days of
December of the previous calendar year, with the new coins not
available for delivery until after the first of the year. In December
2008, for example, authorized purchasers could place orders for the
2009 coins for January 2009 delivery.
While those orders were counted in December’s sales totals, the
coins were actually dated for the incoming year and counted in the
incoming year’s mintage totals.
In December 2009, U.S. Mint officials announced that due to heavy
demand for American Eagle bullion coins and the need to continue
striking 2009 coins, orders for the 2010 coinage would not be accepted
until Jan. 19. In 2011 and 2012, orders for each year’s new bullion
coins were accepted on the first business day of the year.
The U.S. Mint has not produced nor sold any platinum American
Eagle bullion coins since November 2008, but is contemplating bringing
the program back.
The U.S. Mint does not directly sell bullion coins to the public,
except in rare instances when a bullion coin is included as a feature
of a limited edition collector’s set. 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 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 Uncirculated American
Buffalo gold bullion coins, may include coins dated from more than one
calendar year and do not represent mintages for a particular date. ■