Precious Metals

Infographic: January 2017 American Eagle sales

During January, 5,127,500 ounces worth of American Eagle silver bullion coins were sold, which is down from January 2016's total.

Original images courtesy of U.S. Mint.

After a notable year for both silver and gold American Eagle bullion coin sales in 2016, what’s in store for 2017?

We have our first indicator, as one month of the United States Mint sales are in the books.

During January, according to U.S. Mint figures posted on Feb. 1, 5,127,500 ounces worth of American Eagle silver bullion coins were sold, which is down from January 2016’s total of 5,954,500. 

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January 2017 sales were up significantly over the 3,061,000 ounces sold in November 2016, the last full month of sales. (Production of 2016 coins halted Nov. 30.)

Huge demand had led to the record-setting annual American Eagles silver bullion coin sales totals in 2014 and 2015, and as you can see in the infographic below, sales in the early months of 2016 continued the strong trend.

Sales in 2016 began to slide beginning in May. In July, the Mint lifted the weekly allocations that served as buying limits used to portion out the available inventory to its authorized purchasers. Those allocations were put in place in 2015 as demand for the silver bullion coin skyrocketed. The approved dealers are the only customers who buy bullion directly from the Mint. 

Precious Metals Basics: How does the bullion market work?

What about gold American Eagle bullion coins?

American Eagle gold bullion coin sales in January showed a continued strong market for that coin: 117,500 ounces were sold. That's down slightly from January 2016’s 124,000 coins sold, but indicates that the strong sales during the later months of 2016 might be sticking around.

2016 sales overall ended at 984,500 ounces, which was the highest year-end total since 2011, when 1 million ounces were sold.

Monthly American Eagle gold bullion sales rose consistently during the second half of 2016. In July, only 38,500 ounces were sold. Sales rose to 58,500 ounces in August, 94,000 in September, 116,000 in October, and 147,500 in November.

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How long will the strong sales continue? 

Hard to say. While gold was a hot investment throughout most of 2016, the price of gold has fallen from more than $1,300 in early November to $1,204 as of Feb. 1, 2017.

The falling value of gold may slow the pace of sales as purchasers wait for a bottom to be reached. Or it could be that the bottom has just about been hit, and purchasers will be looking to add gold on the cheap.

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