Precious Metals

Nowhere near records for bullion coin sales in 2017

Final but unaudited United States Mint sales totals for the American Eagle silver and gold bullion coins and the American Buffalo gold bullion coins in calendar year 2017 are far below sales of the previous year, with American Eagle silver dollar sales alone less than half the number sold in 2016.

2017 bullion sales totaled 18,065,500 American Eagle silver dollars, compared with the 37,701,500 sold in 2016. The 2017 total is the lowest since 2007, when even fewer, a total of 9,887,000 American Eagle silver bullion coins, were sold to authorized purchasers.

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Sales recorded for 2018 are off to a slow start, with 2.52 million coins sold on Jan. 9, the first day authorized purchasers could place orders for 2018-dated coins. During January 2017, sales reached 5,127,500 coins by the end of the month.

The U.S. Mint established a yearly sales record for the silver bullion coin in 2015 with 47 million silver American Eagles sold, following robust 2014 sales of 44,006,000 coins.

American Eagle gold coins

Sales of American Eagle gold coins dropped by 69 percent in 2017 from 2016 levels.

2017 sales of American Eagle gold coins in the various sizes offered total 302,500 ounces of gold — 228,500 ounces in 1-ounce coins, 18,500 ounces in half-ounce coins (37,000 coins), 16,000 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (64,000 coins), and 39,500 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (395,000 coins).

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Sales in 2016, in contrast, totaled 985,000 ounces across all four size options — 817,500 in 1-ounce coins, 37,000 ounces in half-ounce coins (74,000 coins), 38,000 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (152,000 coins), and 92,500 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (925,000 coins).

American Buffalo gold $50 coins

Investors weren't stampeding to buy American Buffalo 1-ounce gold $50 coins in 2017 either.

2017 sales reached 99,500 coins, only 45 percent of the 219,500 coins sold in 2016. The record sales year was 2006, the inaugural year for the program, when 294,000 of the .9999 fine gold coins were sold.

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