Precious Metals

Silver American Eagles set monthly record

2013 was a record sales year of American Eagle silver bullion coins for the U.S. Mint, with more than 42.6 million of the .999 fine silver dollars sold.

Coin for photography courtesy of SilverTowne.

The U.S. Mint set a monthly sales record for American Eagle silver bullion coins in January — a month during which sales were temporarily suspended while depleted inventories of struck coins were replenished.

Sales resumed Jan. 28.

The Mint recorded sales of 7,498,000 of the 1-ounce .999 fine silver coins to its authorized purchasers in January. That number is the highest total for monthly sales in the history of the American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin Program. Inaugural program sales began in November 1986.

The previous monthly sales record was established in January 2011 when 6,422,000 American Eagle silver bullion coins were sold.

The silver coins have a face value of one dollar.

Authorized purchasers were able to begin placing orders for 2013 silver American Eagles for the first time on Jan. 7. Ten days later, on Jan. 17, U.S. Mint officials suspended sales while the West Point and San Francisco Mints continued production to restock the U.S. Mint’s silver bullion coin inventory.

When sales were resumed Jan. 28, an allocation policy was placed into effect restricting the number of coins any one authorized purchaser could order.

At the time sales were suspended Jan. 17, the Mint had already recorded sales of 6,007,000 silver American Eagle bullion coins.

Gold bullion coin sales

January’s sales of American Eagle gold bullion coins reflects the highest sales volume in ounces since July 2010.

January’s sales of 150,000 ounces of the .9167 fine gold American Eagles represents 124,500 ounces in 1-ounce coins ($50 face value); 8,500 ounces in half-ounce coins (17,000 coins, $25 face value); 6,000 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (24,000 coins, $10 face value); and 11,000 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (110,000 coins, $5 face value).

Sales of the American Buffalo 1-ounce .9999 fine gold $50 coins in January reached 72,500 ounces. That number is the highest monthly sales total since October 2009, when 116,500 ounces were reported sold.

Since the introduction of the American Buffalo gold bullion coins in June 2006, calendar year 2007 is the only one in which sales were recorded for each of the 12 months. Since then, sales have been sporadic. In some cases, sales did not start in January; in other cases, sales, after starting, were interrupted for a month or more; and in some cases, sales ended before the end of a calendar year or even before December.

The U.S. Mint does not directly sell the 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 London 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 website at for American Eagle platinum, gold and silver bullion coins and American Buffalo gold bullion coins, may include coins dated from more than one calendar year and do not represent mintages for a particular year. ¦

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