Editor's note: The Top 10 Stories
of 2014 have been judged by
staff to be the most impactful and
memorable numismatic stories of the past year. They are not ranked
in any particular order.
See all of the Top 10 Stories of 2014
For U.S. Mint silver bullion sales, 2014 was a
second straight milestone year.
The United States Mint sold a record 44,006,000 American Eagle 1-ounce,
.999 fine silver bullion coins in 2014, topping the previous
all-time high of 42,675,000 coins set in 2013.
Two times during 2014, monthly sales totals exceeded 5 million
coins. In March, 5,354,000 coins were sold, and 5,790,000 were sold in October.
The last day of September and first day of October were especially notable silver sales days. On Sept.
30, 766,000 American Eagle silver bullion coins were sold, followed by
1.15 million on Oct. 1, as the price of silver dropped to just over
$17 per troy ounce.
About a month later, on Nov. 5, the Mint announced it had exhausted its supply of silver American Eagles
and had to temporarily halt sales. After nearly two weeks spent
replenishing inventory, sales of the coins resumed Nov. 17.
Bullion coins struck by the U.S. Mint are not sold directly to the
public. The coins are sold to a network of authorized purchasers,
priced at the day’s closing London PM silver spot value plus a small
premium per coin.
These authorized purchasers sell the coins to collectors, investors
and other dealers.
Dillon Gage is one of the authorized purchasers. That company’s
president, Terry Hanlon, said after the sales record was set that the low
value of silver (which fell further, to below $16 per ounce in
mid-December) is certainly a big reason for the spike in demand. But
he also credited the wide reach of the Internet and the worldwide
exposure of the American Eagle as factors.
“There’s a definite comfort level there,” Hanlon said.
David Hendrickson, president of SilverTowne, another authorized
purchaser, agreed and tacked on another reason.
“I think people are nervous about the economy,” Hendrickson said.
“They’re nervous about the future whether it be the U.S. dollar
inflation, health care, just the overall economy.”
Hendrickson doesn’t see the demand for silver subsiding in 2015.
“I think the silver market is going to get bigger,” he said. “I
don’t see an end to it right now.”
A year’s American Eagle sales number is not the same as that year’s
While mintage numbers apply to the number of that year’s issue that
were struck, sales refers to all coins purchased in a calendar year,
regardless of issue.
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patterns in the Top 10 Stories of 2014
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