Precious Metals

Platinum American Eagle sales below 20 percent of forecast

Current sales of platinum American Eagle bullion coins are below 20 percent of projections.

Images courtesy of United States Mint.

Cumulative sales by the United States Mint of American Eagle platinum bullion coins during 2014 are less than 20 percent of projected levels.

U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White said that through Sept. 9, the Mint had recorded sales to its authorized purchasers of 14,000 of the American Eagle 1-ounce .9995 $100 platinum bullion coins. White said Mint officials had anticipated 2014 sales of 75,000 to 100,000 ounces after not offering platinum American Eagle bullion coins for five and a half years.

The lackluster platinum American Eagle bullion coin sales, according to White, are reflective of a downturn in sales for American Eagle bullion coin sales in all metals.

Gold American Eagle bullion coins sales are currently down more than 50 percent from 2013 levels, while silver American Eagle bullion coin sales are off 13 percent.

Platinum sales

Sales of the 2014 platinum coins to authorized purchasers began March 10.

Before the 2014 resumption of American Eagle platinum bullion coins sales, October 2008 was the last month in which 1-ounce platinum American Eagle bullion coins were sold, with 8,600 recorded.

November 2008 was the last time any platinum American Eagle bullion coins were sold before 2014, with 800 of the half-ounce $50 coins sold.

On Sept. 8, Mint officials announced that in preparation for year-end transitioning of all bullion coin programs, final orders for the 1-ounce platinum American Eagles to authorized purchasers would be accepted by the Mint on Oct. 1.

Oct. 1 is the start of the 2015 federal fiscal year. As a result, costs associated with the production for those final orders will carry into FY2015.

Total program costs will be divided between FY2014 and FY2015, White said.

U.S. Mint officials contemplate taking orders for the 2015 coins in early January.

White said authorized purchasers have currently expressed no interest in fractional versions of the platinum American Eagle bullion coins — half-ounce $50 coins, quarter-ounce $25 coins and tenth-ounce $10 coins.

The bullion versions of American Eagle and American Buffalo coins are sold through a network of authorized purchasers who buy the coins at the spot price of the metal on a given day plus a small premium per coin.

The coins are then resold wholesale to other dealers or retail to the public.

The U.S. Mint does not maintain a supply of platinum bullion, but instead leases the metal from suppliers for eventual fabrication into planchets, White said.

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