Gold Eagle Coin Bullion Sales at 10-Year High

by Mike Unser on March 16, 2009 · 1 comment

The US Mint’s recent actions to temporarily suspend production of collectible 2009 gold and silver American Eagle coins in order to produce their bullion counterparts is, to say the least, annoying to many coin collectors. Worst of all, it could be many months before the collector coins are offered since bullion coin sales are off to their quickest pace in 10 years.

Chart: Gold American Eagle Bullion Coin Sales in Ounces (2000-2009)

The collector community may be able to empathize somewhat by stepping back from emotion over the Mint directives and instead focus on the reality — and the biggest angst that has driven many recent Mint decisions, the "unprecedented demand" for gold coins.

Yes, the Mint’s use of the word unprecedented in many of its communications is perhaps too strong a term. The writing pens of attention seeking bloggers and the conspiracy minded get hot. They correctly point out that larger demand for gold coins was met in past years without any coin suspensions, but then "gotcha" finger pointing and the trendy come lately Mint-bashing generally ensues.

Yes again, the US Mint is not without faults. But to the point, demand for gold coins is exceptionally strong around the world. The chart above illustrates the peaked sales of Gold American Eagle Bullion coins in 2009. No year-leading months for the past 10 years has had higher sales in ounces. (1987 and 1999 also had exceptional leading year months.)

With the Mint’s reliance on third parties for coin blanks, its legal requirement to mint bullion coins to meet demand (not the case for collector versions), and demand off to a fresh high this year with no apparent end in sight, it could be a very long time before collector proof and uncirculated 2009 eagle coins are offered.

A shame? Yes. Preventable? Perhaps with a crystal ball three or four years back. If there was a lesson learned from 2008, when or if the coins ever go on sale, it may be advisable to buy quickly.

The table of US Mint sales in Jan. and Feb. and from 2000-2009 follows:

Gold American Eagle Bullion Coin Sales in Ounces

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
January
11,000
16,000
9,500
96,000
59,500
51,000
51,000
39,500
26,000
92,000
February
21,500
11,000
72,000
55,500
26,000
31,500
4,000
27,500
113,500

For reference, read 2009 American Eagle Silver Coins Suspended and 2009 American Eagle Gold Coins Suspended.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bill Haynes July 26, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Gold Eagles, Silver Eagles and Platinum Eagles mintages by years through 2007: http://www.cmi-gold-silver.com/American-Eagle-coins-minted.html 2008 numbers to be posted soon.

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