Precious Metals

American Eagle silver sales fall to lowest level since

2011 sales of American Eagle silver bullion coins already eclipse 2010’s totals, but by how far when the year ends remains to be seen.

Images courtesy of Paul Sims Inc.

Although the U.S. Mint’s November sales of American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coins represent the lowest monthly total since July 2008, total 2011 sales are 9 percent higher than the previous annual record, set in 2010.

November sales of 1,384,500 coins are the lowest for the year and for any month in more than four years, and a far cry from January’s sales of 6,422,000 coins — the highest monthly sales total since the silver American Eagle was introduced in October 1986.

Still, between Jan. 3 and Nov. 30, the Mint recorded sales of 37,859,500 coins — a monthly average of 3,441,772 pieces.

The 2010 calendar year sales total for American Eagle silver bullion coins was 34,662,500.

American Eagle gold, platinum

American Eagle gold bullion coin sales of 41,000 ounces in November are 18 percent below October levels.

November sales comprise 38,500 ounces in 1-ounce coins, 1,000 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (4,000 coins) and 1,500 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (15,000 coins). No half-ounce coins were sold.

During the first 11 months of 2011, the Mint recorded sales of 934,500 ounces of American Eagle gold bullion coins — 844,500 ounces in 1-ounce coins, 32,500 in half-ounce coins (65,000 coins), 20,500 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (82,000 coins) and 37,000 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (370,000 coins).

The U.S. Mint has not struck nor sold any American Eagle platinum bullion coins since November 2008.

American Buffalo gold

The U.S. Mint’s complement of bullion coins includes the American Buffalo 1-ounce .9999 fine gold $50 coin. The gold American Eagles are .9167 fine.

During November, American Buffalo gold coin sales reached 8,500 coins, down 32 percent from October.

November’s sales bring the 2011 sales total to 153,500 coins. No American Buffalo gold bullion coin were sold in January or February.

Authorized purchasers

The U.S. Mint does not directly sell American Eagle and American Buffalo bullion coins to the public. The Mint instead sells the bullion coins to a network of authorized purchasers, who acquire the coins from the Mint for the spot price of the precious metal on a given day on the metals market plus a small premium. The authorized purchasers may then sell the American Eagle and American Buffalo bullion coins to dealers and the public.

Monthly sales totals, posted cumulatively on a daily basis by the Mint at for American Eagle platinum, gold and silver bullion coins and American Buffalo gold bullion coins, may include coins dated from more than one calendar year and do not represent mintages for a particular date. ¦

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