Precious Metals

U.S. Mint sells out of most 2016 bullion coins

The U.S. Mint sold nearly 9.2 million fewer American Eagle silver  bullion coins in 2016 than it did during the 2015 record year when 47 million coins were sold.

The near 19.8 percent drop in demand between 2015 and 2016 left the final sales totals for 2016 at 37,701,500 coins. 2016 total sales are the lowest since the 33,742,500 American Eagle silver coins recorded sold in calendar year 2012. The 2016 totals are considered final but remain to be audited.

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The U.S. Mint announced Dec. 9 that it had sold out its inventory of 2016 American Eagle 1-ounce silver dollars, as well as the 2016 American Eagle 1-ounce, quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce gold bullion coins, and the entire production of 2016 Theodore Roosevelt National Park 5-ounce silver bullion quarter dollars.

2016 production ends

U.S. Mint officials announced Nov. 30 that production of 2016 bullion coins had ended, but indicated the Mint would continue selling remaining inventory until it is depleted.

In the same announcement, Mint officials said it would begin accepting orders from authorized purchasers, without allocation, for the 2017 American Eagle and American Buffalo gold bullion coins on Jan. 9.

The five 2017 America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver bullion coins will be offered for sale to authorized purchasers beginning on dates yet to be announced.

Silver Eagle demand

2016 American Eagle silver bullion coin sales were by weekly allocation to authorized purchasers until July 18, when the restrictions were lifted. By then, orders from authorized purchasers had already been dropping, as secondary market inventories of the American Eagle silver bullion coins increased.

January sales of American Eagle silver bullion coins almost always are the highest for the calendar year, as it is the first month that collectors and investors can secure an incoming year's new coins. When production of 2016 coins ended, production shifted to 2017 coins to build inventory ahead of the Jan. 9 opening of sales.

Gold American Eagle, American Buffalo coins

Final but unaudited sales of American Eagle 1-ounce gold coins for 2016 are 30.4 percent higher than recorded in 2015, while sales for the 2016 half-ounce, quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce gold versions are close to the 2015 numbers.

Final but unaudited sales of 2016 American Eagle gold coins reflect 817,500 ounces in 1-ounce coins; 38,000 ounces in quarter-ounce coins (152,000 coins); and 92,500 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (925,000 coins). Sales through Dec. 6 for the half-ounce gold American Eagles reached 36,500 ounces (73,000 coins).

Gold American Eagle bullion coinGold American Eagle bullion just had its best sales month since July 2015:
On the whole, 2016 is well-ahead of 2015 and 2014 in terms of total ounces of American Eagle gold bullion sold.

In comparison, 2015 American Eagle gold bullion coin sales reflect 626,500 of the 1-ounce coins; 37,500 ounces in half ounce coins (75,000 coins); 39,500 ounces in quarter ounce coins (158,000 coins) and 98,000 ounces in tenth-ounce coins (980,000 coins). 

2016 sales of American Buffalo 1-ounce gold bullion $50 coins are running below 2015 levels: 2016 sales reached 212,500 coins through Dec. 6, compared with 220,500 in 2015.

5-ounce silver ATB quarter dollars

The U.S. Mint announced Dec. 6 that the Mint's inventory of 2016 Theodore Roosevelt National Park 5-ounce silver bullion coins was exhausted, with 40,000 coins recorded sold since they went on sale Aug. 29. The Mint still has an undisclosed inventory of 2016 Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) 5-ounce silver bullion coins available that will remain on sale, even into 2017 if inventory of struck coins remains.

Through Dec. 6, the U.S. Mint recorded sales of 38,100 of the Harpers Ferry coin and 27,800 of the Fort Moultrie coin.

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