Precious Metals

American Eagle silver sales shatter record

2011 was another record year for the U.S. Mint in the sale of American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coins, with totals exceeding 39.8 million coins.

Images courtesy of Paul Sims Inc.

The U.S. Mint closed out calendar-year 2011 with record sales of American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coins. The 2011 total represents a 15 percent increase over calendar-year 2010 levels.

From Jan. 2, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011, the U.S. Mint recorded sales to its authorized purchasers of 39,868,500 American Eagle silver bullion coins, compared with 34,662,500 silver American Eagles sold during 2010.

Mint officials have not released mintage figures for any of the 2011 bullion coins. The sales figures for 2011 could include some 2010 coins delivered to customers in early 2011. (The mintage figure for the 2010 American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coin is 34,764,500 pieces, 102,000 coins more than the sales figure for the year.)

Monthly sales of the silver bullion coin averaged 3,322,375 pieces during 2011, with January 2011’s total of 6,422,000 coins the highest monthly total since sales for the program began in November 1986. Sales in 2010 averaged 2,888,541 coins per month.

American Eagle gold bullion coin sales dropped 18 percent in 2011, to 1 million ounces combined for 1-ounce, half-ounce, quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce bullion coins. The 65,500 ounces of gold American Eagles sold to authorized purchasers during December 2011 were all 1-ounce coins.

American Buffalo gold bullion coin sales during 2011 reached 174,500 coins, down from 209,000 pieces during 2010. December 2011 sales reached 21,000 coins, compared with 8,500 coins in November.

The U.S. Mint began accepting orders for the 2012 gold and silver American Eagle bullion coins from authorized purchasers on Jan. 3.

2012 American Buffalo 1-ounce gold $50 bullion coins won’t go on sale until sometime in March, according to U.S. Mint officials.

Mintage figures not final

The Mint will not release final mintages for 2011 coins until after its remaining inventories of gold and silver bullion coins are sold.

The U.S. Mint does not directly sell 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 over the Mint’s Web site at for platinum, gold and silver American Eagle bullion coins and Uncirculated American Buffalo bullion coins, may include coins dated from more than one calendar year and do not represent mintages for a particular date.

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

Community Comments