More than a dozen gold and silver products have once again been halted by the United States Mint — the victim of soaring precious metal prices. The bureau indicates that a total of eighteen different gold and silver products have been affected by the suspension.
The suspension announcements, released by the Mint earlier Friday afternoon, include a total of fourteen gold coins and four silver sets. As of this posting, only the collector grade coins have been impacted, leaving the gold commemorative coins intact. Their prices have more cushion as they recently received a price increase based on rising gold prices and a new commemorative gold coin price guide.
Gold and silver products taken off sale include:
|2010 Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse Gold Proof Coin|
|2011 Eliza Johnson First Spouse Gold Proof Coin|
|2011 Eliza Johnson First Spouse Gold Uncirculated Coin|
|2011 Julia Grant First Spouse Gold Proof Coin|
|2011 Julia Grant First Spouse Gold Uncirculated Coin|
|2011 Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Proof Coin|
|2011 Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Uncirculated Coin|
|2011 American Eagle 1 oz Gold Uncirculated Coin|
|2011 American Eagle 1 oz Gold Proof Coin|
|2011 American Eagle 1/2 oz Gold Proof Coin|
|2011 American Eagle 1/4 oz Gold Proof Coin|
|2011 American Eagle 1/10 oz Gold Proof Coin|
|2011 American Eagle 4 Coin Gold Proof Set|
|2011 American Buffalo 1 oz Gold Proof Coin|
|2010 United States Mint Silver Proof Set|
|2010 United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set|
In addition, the Mint has also halted sales of the 2011 United States Mint Silver Proof Set and the 2011 United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set from its bulk purchase program. These two sets are, at least for now, still available for consumer purchase directly from the Mint.
Product suspensions have almost become routine in the recent past, having already occurred twice last month for some of the gold coins as well as three times this year for the silver sets. All of the suspensions were and are based on the fact that the bullion price of the affected coins have crept too close to the actual selling price of the products.
Gold has been trading the last few days for over $1,800 — it reached over $1,884 an ounce in New York on Friday, driving the average cost for an ounce of the precious metal for the year to over $1,500. In comparison, gold averaged around $1,224 an ounce last year. Higher gold prices are seen for next week as well, according to Kitco Metals Inc’s weekly gold survey.
"Gold prices are expected to rise next week as most participants in Kitco News’ Gold Survey cite the continued economic turmoil to support firmer values.
In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 34 participants, 25 responded this week. Of those 25 participants, 20 see prices up, while two see prices down, and three see prices sideways or unchanged. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders and technical chart analysts.
Worries in Europe and a dismal monthly U.S. jobs report have helped to spur prices back to the upper $1,800s level on Friday and most participants expect these concerns to continue to underpin gold prices."
Silver has also shown remarkable strength with an average of only about $20.19 an ounce in 2010. The white metal’s increase could be called meteoric this year with recent day highs of over $41 an ounce — up to $43.50 in New York on Friday, or more than double what it averaged just last year.
Unprecedented increases like these have forced drastic measures from the United States Mint as it has had little or no time to follow established procedures to account for the changes. For example, typically the Mint allows for gold coin price adjustments each week based on the previous week’s average London Fix. However, with gold at times leaping by enormous bounds, the Mint has had to halt all sales of affected products to allow time for the price changes to occur, or for the market to fall sufficiently to return the coins at their previous prices.
This forces collectors to wait until the products return to availability, which should happen after next week’s Wednesday London PM fix in this round, at least for the gold products. The silver products will have to wait until either the market declines adequately or the United States Mint has time to publish new price points in the Federal Register.