Precious Metals

Sales open for 2017 American Eagle bullion coins

First-day sales Jan. 9 for the 2017 American Eagle silver and gold bullion coins outpaced first-day sales for 2016 issues, but the 2017 starting sales for American Buffalo 1-ounce gold coins totaled slightly below 2016 levels.

The West Point Mint is striking 2017 American Eagle 1-ounce .9995 fine platinum bullion coins but U.S. Mint officials have not disclosed how many will be produced and when they plan to offer the coins for sale to authorized purchasers.

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The American Eagle silver bullion coin is a 1-ounce .999 fine silver piece; the American Eagle .9167 fine gold bullion coins are issued in four denominations and weights; and the American Buffalo $50 coin is a .9999 fine gold piece.

Numbers sold

The Mint’s Jan. 9 sales for the 2017 American Eagle silver bullion coin reached 3,747,500 coins, 35 percent higher than first day sales in 2016 of 2,756,500 coins.

Sales of the 2017 American Eagle gold bullion coins totaled 68,000 ounces, 15 percent higher than the 60,000 ounces recorded in 2016, as follows: 46,000 1-ounce  coins, 16,000 half-ounce coins (8,000 ounces), 26,000 quarter-ounce  coins (6,500 ounces), and  75,000 tenth-ounce coins (7,500 ounces).

In comparison, the 2016 first-day sales were as follows: 41,500 1-ounce coins, 12,000 half-ounce coins (6,000 ounces), 22,000 quarter-ounce coins (5,500 ounces), and 70,000 tenth-ounce coins (7,000 ounces).

American Buffalo gold coin sales totaled 20,500 coins on Jan. 9, 2017, just 500 coins below what was sold on the first-day of sales in January 2016.

How they are sold

U.S. Mint-produced bullion coins are not sold directly to the public. Instead, they are sold to a network of authorized purchasers who offer a two-way market buying and selling the issues.

The authorized purchasers buy the coins based on the closing London PM spot price of the metal the coins contain, plus a small premium. The authorized purchasers may then sell the bullion issues to other dealers and the general public for a small markup.

The authorized purchasers are also approved to purchase the 3-inch 5-ounce .999 fine silver versions of the America the Beautiful quarter dollars.

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