Precious Metals

2016 American Eagle silver bullion sales below 2015

Sales of American Eagle silver bullion coins to the U.S. Mint's authorized purchasers rose slightly in September from July and August, but sales during the first nine months of 2016 are significantly behind 2015 and 2014.

Coin for Coin World photography courtesy of SilverTowne.

American Eagle silver bullion coins had another slow month, as total sales in September 2016 were well below September 2015 and September 2014 levels.

The U.S. Mint reported sales of 1,675,000 American Eagle silver bullion coins in September. That's up slightly from July and August — when 1,370,000 and 1,280,000 coins were sold, respectively — but down from the previous two Septembers. 

In September 2015, 3,804,500 American Eagle silver bullion coins were sold. In September 2014, 4,140,000 coins were sold. 

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The U.S. Mint's silver bullion sales began their slide before the mint lifted weekly allocations in July. Those allocations, buying limits the Mint used to portion out available inventory to its authorized purchasers, were put in place in 2015 as demand for the silver bullion coin skyrocketed. 

Authorized purchasers, firms that meet a list of Mint requirements, are the only customers permitted to buy bullion coins directly from the Mint. 

Precious Metals Basics: How does the bullion market work?

Huge demand had led to record-setting annual sales totals in 2014 and 2015 for the American Eagle silver bullion coins. 

American Eagle silver bullion coin sales in the early months of 2016 continued the strong trend. But the price of silver increased in 2016 beyond levels of the previous two years. One ounce of silver is currently valued at $17.82, according to Kitco, after surpassing $20 per ounce during the summer.

Authorized purchasers, who began to also buy back silver from profit-taking customers, are now sitting on stockpiles of the silver coins, lessening their need to purchase from the Mint, thus slowing Mint sales.

So while 2016 got off to a hot start, it looks like an American Eagle silver bullion sales record three-peat is unlikely.

September ended with 2016’s nine-month total (30,575,500 1-ounce coins) significantly trailing that of 2015 (36,054,500 one-ounce coins).

American Eagle gold bullion coins, meanwhile, are having a stronger 2016 than the previous two years. 

In the first nine months of 2016, 692,000 ounces have been sold. That's up from 670,000 in 2015 and 379,000 in 2014.

Look at our infographic for more details. 

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