The Mint sells all American Eagle, American Buffalo and America the Beautiful bullion coins to a series of authorized purchasers, at the spot price per troy ounce of metal on a given day plus a small premium per coin.
The authorized purchasers then redistribute the coins through wholesale and retail sales.
Jim Hausman from one of the Mint’s authorized purchasers, The Gold Center in Springfield, Ill., said that firm was responsible for 15 percent of the Mint’s American Eagle silver bullion coin sales Sept. 30.
“We’re going through a lot of silver,” Hausman said Oct. 1, noting silver was testing the $17 per ounce barrier. “If you see it at $13 or $14 an ounce, I don’t think the U.S. Mint will be able to keep up with production, resulting in shortages.
“The public is putting a lot of silver away, including generics,” Hausman said. Generics are silver rounds, bars and similar items that are not issued by a government.
Hausman said he’s wondering when the U.S. Mint will cut off sales for the 2014-dated coins and begin 2015-dated production. No dates have been announced.
Sales of 2014 silver American Eagles didn’t begin until the third week of January because the West Point Mint was still striking 2013 silver American Eagles to demand.
Scott Thomas, president and chairman of another authorized purchaser, APMEX in Oklahoma City, said the firm purchased 200,000 silver American Eagles from the Mint on Sept. 30.
“Consumers are benefiting from the price drop of the coins and the spot price drop,” Thomas said. “Silver sales have been up, not just with Eagles, but Canadian Maple Leafs and our own silver products as well. September was a great month for us.”