Precious Metals

Silver American Eagle bullion sales nearly double

Sales by the U.S. Mint to its authorized purchasers of American Eagle silver bullion coins experienced an unexpected surge in September, to nearly double the number of 1-ounce .999 fine silver coins recorded sold in August.

Meanwhile, demand for American Eagle and American Buffalo gold coins dropped in September from August demand.

Because of the increased demand for American Eagle silver bullion coins, the Mint reported Sept. 6 that its inventory was temporarily depleted, while additional production was being executed at the West Point Mint. That facility has produced all American Eagle silver bullion coins in 2018.

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According to U.S. Mint sales figures, September sales of American Eagle silver bullion coins reached 2,897,500 coins compared with 1.53 million pieces in August. In comparison, in August 2017, sales reached 2.72 million silver coins followed by 1.025 million pieces sold in September.

Silver demand also spilled over into the America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver quarter dollars. Sales throughout 2018 for the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and Voyageurs National Park coins all reached 30,000 coins each, while the Cumberland Islands National Seashore coin registered sales of 52,000 coins. The 52,000-coin count is the highest sales amount for the 5-ounce silver coins since 2016, when the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park recorded sales of 75,000 coins.

Gold loses luster

While silver attracted investment interest, gold demand fell off in September to 20,500 ounces for the American Eagle coins, down 1,000 ounces from August. However, 2017 sales for the same months were much less, with 9,500 ounces sold in August 2017 and 11,500 ounces in September 2017.

American Buffalo gold bullion coin demand reached 11,000 ounces in September, down from 20,000 ounces in August. Both numbers, though, are considerably higher than sales in the corresponding months of 2017. In August 2017, the Mint recorded sales of just 3,000 of the 1-ounce American Buffalo coins, and only 1,500 coins in September.

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