Precious Metals

5-ounce silver bullion sales highest since 2011

U.S. Mint sales  through Feb. 8  of the first America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver bullion quarter dollar for 2016 are the highest for the program since 2011.

U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White said that Feb. 8 sales of the 2016 Shawnee National Forest 5-ounce silver bullion quarter dollar reached 13,400 coins, with another 4,600 coins sold Feb. 9, and 2,000 more on Feb. 10, bringing total sales to date to 75,000 coins.

Sales began Feb. 1.

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The 75,000-coin amount is the highest since the reported final total of 104,900 coins sold of the 2011 Olympic National Park 5-ounce silver bullion coin, the third of five issues for 2011.

The highest sales totals for the 3-inch 5-ounce .999 fine silver bullion coins, since the release of 2010-dated coins that began the program, are the 126,700 final totals recorded for both the 2011 Gettysburg National Park and Glacier National Park issues.

U.S. Mint officials announced an initial production of 150,000 of the Shawnee National Forest 5-ounce silver coins, with 120,000 of them being the bullion version, without a Mint mark, and 30,000 of the total being the Uncirculated numismatic version bearing the P Mint mark of the Philadelphia Mint where both versions are struck. U.S. Mint officials indicate the bullion coin production could be increased.

The bullion version of the America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver coins is not sold directly to the public. Instead, the coins are sold to a group of authorized purchasers who buy the coins based on the closing London PM spot price of silver per troy ounce plus a $9.75 premium per coin. These purchases then sell the coins to other dealers, collectors and investors at a mark-up.

The Uncirculated versions, bearing the Mint mark, are numismatic products and are offered at price that is subject to change weekly with the fluctuating price of silver.

When the U.S. Mint first offered the Uncirculated 2010 Hot Springs National Park 5-ounce silver coin on April 28, 2011, priced at $279.95, the spot price of silver was $48.70 per troy ounce.

The U.S. Mint offers the current Uncirculated 5-ounce silver quarter dollars priced at $149.95 per coin; the spot price of silver is $15.34 per troy ounce, as of Feb. 9.

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