Annual 2011 Gold Eagle Bullion Coin Sales Hit 1 Million Ounces

by Darrin Lee Unser on January 4, 2012 · 0 comments

American Gold Eagle Bullion Coin

American Gold Eagle Bullion Coin

December 2011 bullion sales of American Gold Eagle coins from the United States Mint came in at 65,500 ounces, the first monthly increase since August and 59.8% higher than November. The tally strengthened the status established a few months ago when 2011 moved up to the seventh best annual slot in the history of the American Eagle program.

During 2011, buyers ordered exactly 1,000,000 ounces of Gold Eagles. Of that total, the majority was the one ounce coins with 910,000 sold. The United States Mint also strikes half ounce, quarter ounce and tenth ounce sizes. Buyers scooped up 65,000 of the half ounce coins, 82,000 of the quarter ounce and 370,000 of the smallest tenth ounce.

A quick look at the table below shows how demand for Gold Eagles has heated up in recent years, with four of the top ten best annual performances occurring in 2008, 2009, 2010 and now 2011.

Top Ten Annual Gold Eagle Bullion Coin Sales

RANK YEAR SALES (in ounces)
1 1999 2,055,500
2 1998 1,839,500
3 1986 1,787,750
4 2009 1,425,000
5 1987 1,253,000
6 2010 1,220,500
7 2011 1,000,000
8 2008 860,500
9 1997 771,250
10 1988 560,000

 

Supporting 2011 sales was the eleventh consecutive annual gain in gold prices. This also meant investors were shelling out more per coin on average than in any of the year’s leading up to 2011. With that in mind, it might lead one to believe that buyers would be looking to order a higher amount of the smaller fractional-sized coins which cost significantly less. But in typical fashion, they ordered more of the largest Gold Eagle than all three of the fractionals added together. Differing premiums are a significant factor. Above spot, the United States Mint charges premiums of 3% for the one ounce, 5% for the half ounce, 7% for the quarter ounce, and 9% for the tenth ounce.

Surprisingly, the Mint recorded no sales for any of the smaller Eagles during December. All bullion coin sales were attributed to the one ounce.

2011 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coin Sales by Month

(in ounces / number of coins)
Month One
( oz. / # )
Half
( oz. / # )
Quarter
( oz. / # )
Tenth
( oz. / # )
Total
( oz. / # )
January 130,500
130,500
500
1,000
500
2,000
2,000
20,000
133,500
153,500
February 72,500
72,500
6,000
12,000
4,000
16,000
10,000
100,000
92,500
200,500
March 60,500
60,500
4,000
8,000
5,000
20,000
4,000
40,000
73,500
128,500
April 94,500
94,500
6,000
12,000
3,500
14,000
4,000
40,000
108,000
160,500
May 93,500
93,500
11,000
22,000
1,000
4,000
1,500
15,000
107,000
134,500
June 56,000
56,000
0
0
2,000
8,000
3,500
35,000
61,500
99,000
July 61,500
61,500
1,500
3,000
0
0
1,500
15,000
64,500
79,500
August 103,500
103,500
1,500
3,000
1,500
6,000
5,500
55,000
112,000
167,500
September 87,500
87,500
500
1,000
500
2,000
2,500
25,000
91,000
115,500
October 46,000
46,000
1,500
3,000
1,500
6,000
1,000
10,000
50,000
65,000
November 38,500
38,500
0
0
1,000
4,000
1,500
15,000
41,000
57,500
December 65,500
65,500
0
0
0
0
0
0
65,500
65,500
Total 910,000
910,000
32,500
65,000
20,500
82,000
37,000
370,000
1,000,000
1,427,000

 

While an improvement on the two previous months, December sales still fell in the bottom half for the year. The month, however, improved 9.2% over December 2010 which totaled 60,000 ounces.

The figures above represent only the total number of American Gold Eagles sold during the year and will not exactly equal the number of 2011-dated Eagles ordered. That is because the United States Mint continues to sell previous year-dated Eagles into a new year until the older inventory is depleted.

The Mint launched 2012 Gold Eagle bullion coins on Tuesday, January 3. Opening one-day sales were strong with 37,500 ounces claimed.

In other bullion coins, the United States Mint recorded American Gold Buffalo sales of 174,500 in 2011. The annual amount was down 16.5% from 2010’s total of 209,000 ounces. Second year sales of America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins reached 397,700. Just 165,000 were delivered in 2010 but a comparison between the two years cannot be attributed to demand since the Mint had imposed sharp mintage limits during the debut year of the program. Finally, the shining star in 2011 was the American Silver Eagle bullion coin. Sales reached an all-time annual record of 39,868,500, which was up 15.0% from the previous year.

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