Precious Metals

Gold and silver Eagle bullion sales rise in January

Sales by the United States Mint through Jan. 21 of American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coins have already exceeded sales of the 2018 version for all of January 2018.

According to the U.S. Mint sales report, orders placed by the Mint’s 12 authorized purchasers beginning Jan. 7 reached 3,556,000 coins, 10 percent higher than the same period in 2018.

1794 Flowing Hair dollarInside Coin World: Collecting silver dollars by type: The February monthly edition of Coin World features the nation’s legacy of silver dollars, stretching from 1794, when a small number of Flowing Hair dollars were struck, to today’s American Eagle silver dollar, produced by the millions every year.

American Eagle silver bullion coin sales for all of January 2018 tallied less, at 3,235,000 coins.

Gold bullion coins

The U.S. Mint offers two distinctly different gold bullion coins: the American Eagle and the American Buffalo coins. American Eagle gold coins are .9167 fine and are offered in four weights. The American Buffalo coins are .9999 fine and are sold currently only in the 1-ounce size.

Fractional sizes of the American Buffalo coin — the tenth-, quarter- and half-ounce pieces — were numismatic offerings only in 2008, the Uncirculated American Buffalo program’s inaugural year, when the Mint began producing that version for direct sale to collectors, with a W Mint mark of the West Point Mint above the date. (The American Buffalo 1-ounce gold coins were first marketed in 2006 with the collector Proof version, with Mint mark, and the bullion version sold to authorized distributors, with no Mint mark.)* 

American Eagle gold bullion coin sales in January 2019 are also ahead of the same period of January 2018.

According to Mint sales figures, 60,000 ounces of American Eagle gold bullion coins were sold between Jan. 7 and Jan. 21, 2019.

Those 60,000 ounces comprise 40,500 ounces in 1-ounce coins; 7,000 ounces in half-ounce coins (14,000 coins); 5,000 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (20,000 coins); and 7,500 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (75,000 coins).

Total January 2018 sales reached 58,500 ounces in American Eagle gold coins — 36,000 ounces in 1-ounce coins; 8,000 ounces in half-ounce coins (16,000 coins); 6,500 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (26,000 coins); and 8,000 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (80,000 coins).

January 2019 American Buffalo sales between Jan. 7 and Jan. 21 by the Mint to authorized purchasers reached 21,000 coins, compared with 24,000 coins for all of January 2018.

Silver 5-ounce bullion coin

The Mint’s authorized purchasers were able to place orders Jan. 21 for the first time for the 2019 Lowell National Historical Park 5-ounce silver bullion coin.

Previous versions of the 3-inch America the Beautiful silver bullion coins have had maximum combined mintages of between 120,000 and 150,000 coins per design release.

At least 30,000 coins per design have been reserved for bullion versions, with the Uncirculated finish collector version accounting for the remaining mintage.

The number of bullion coins sold can be increased at the Mint’s discretion, based on demand, as long as the combined bullion and Uncirculated version mintage does not exceed the maximum authorized.

Both the bullion and Uncirculated 5-ounce silver coins are struck at the Philadelphia Mint, but only the Uncirculated version bears the production facility’s P Mint mark.

The Uncirculated version is sold by the Mint to the public at a set price. 

The U.S. Mint does not sell the American Eagle, American Buffalo and America the Beautiful bullion coins directly to the public. The bullion coins are instead sold to authorized purchasers, who offer a two-way market buying and selling the bullion coins. The authorized purchasers initially buy the coins from the Mint for the closing London PM spot price of the metal per ounce on a specific day plus a premium.

The coins are then sold to other dealers, investors and collectors at a markup. 

Note: Start dates clarified for American Buffalo gold coin series.

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