Precious Metals

Silver American Eagle bullion coin sales heading toward record

Silver American Eagle bullion coin sales are poised to establish a new annual sales record if the current pace is maintained.

Images courtesy of United States Mint.

Sales by the United States Mint of American Eagle silver bullion coins are well on their way toward setting a record.

With just five months gone in calendar year 2014, sales through May 20 already reached 21.01 million coins.

Sales during the record calendar year of 2013 reached 42,675,000 coins.

The 2014 American Eagle silver bullion coins went on sale to its authorized purchasers Jan. 13.

March is the strongest sales month thus far during 2014, with 5,354,000 coins recorded sold.

The highest single monthly sales total for the American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coins since they were first offered in November 1986 was established in January 2013, when the count reached 7,498,000 pieces.

That total eclipsed the previous sales record of 6,422,000 American Eagle silver bullion coins set in January 2011. 

Production of the American Eagle 1-ounce .999 fine silver bullion coins is divided between the West Point and San Francisco Mints, with the West Point facility executing 80 percent of the total output and the San Francisco Mint the remainder.

The San Francisco Mint began augmenting the West Point Mint production during the spring of 2011 after more than 10 years of the West Point facility handling all bullion coin output.

The silver American Eagles are struck without the Mint mark of either production facility. The only way to know for sure which facility struck a particular date coin is by way of its original Mint packaging — the 500-coin green “monster boxes” bear a strap marked with the Mint of origin.

The boxes contain 25 tubes of 20 coins each.

Authorized purchasers

Unlike the various collector versions of American Eagles that the Mint offers directly to the public as numismatic products, the bullion version is sold to a series of approved “authorized purchasers.”

The authorized purchasers acquire the coins from the U.S. Mint based on the London PM closing spot price for one troy ounce of pure silver on a given day, plus a small premium.

Currently, the premium is $2 per silver coin, to cover minting, distribution, and marketing costs.

The spot price of the metal may fluctuate based on market conditions.

The authorized purchasers have a minimum ordering requirement of 25,000 coins for each order placed with the U.S. Mint.

The authorized purchasers must also arrange for their own pickup and delivery of the bullion coins.

Currently, all of the production, including the San Francisco Mint output, is being distributed through the West Point Mint.

The financial and professional qualifications for becoming an authorized purchaser differ based on the metal type — silver, gold or platinum.

For further information, call the United States Mint Bullion Program at 202-354-6829, or write United States Mint, Sales and Marketing, ATTN: Bullion Program, 801 Ninth St. N.W., Washington, DC 20220.

Monthly and cumulative bullion sales totals can be found on the U.S. Mint’s website.

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