Gold and silver prices tumbled in November, yet many investors still flocked to United States Mint bullion coins.
To be sure, sales levels were down a tiny bit for American Gold Eagles and a bit more for American Gold Buffalo coins. And it’s hard to say where American Silver Eagles could stand since the Mint increased their rationing levels, but the coins did hit an all-time sales record last month. Also telling for demand, more than half of the bureau’s other bullion silver coins, the five ouncers, are now sold out.
A sales summary across U.S. Mint bullion products for November and this year follows. Release dates for next year’s 2014-dated coins are also provided.
2013 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins
A new record was set in November for American Eagle silver coins but sales during the month tumbled to a mere 2.3 million, the first month in 2013 where the 3 million mark was missed and the weakest monthly total since December 2012.
Demand is not the reason for the fall. It’s about supply and planning for 2014. The U.S. Mint ratcheted up its rationing of the coins, limiting sales to only 500,000 during each of the first three weeks in November. It let 800,000 go during the final week. By selling fewer coins in November and December, its supply of silver blanks increases and it can build a larger inventory of the 2014-dated Silver Eagles. It will need them. January’s are huge with buyers wanting newly dated coins. Last January holds the all-time monthly American Silver Eagle record with sales of 7.498 million.
The Mint is issuing its last weekly allocation of 2013-dated Silver Eagles on Dec. 9, 2013. It will begin accepting orders for 2014-dated American Silver Eagles on Jan. 13, 2014. In between, it will be busy striking next year’s coins.
For the year-to-date, American Silver Eagles scored sales of 41,475,000. No other year has registered more sales. On Nov. 12, the total reached 40,175,000 to surpass the previous annual record sales of 39,868,500 for all of 2011.
2013 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins
American Eagle gold coins raced in the early months this year, peaking in April with sales of 209,500 ounces. Orders then slowed and crawled as low as 11,500 ounces in August. Demand improved in October when sales bounced to 48,500 ounces. The pace in November just missed that mark with sales of 48,000 ounces. That couldn’t compare to last year’s November when orders surged to 136,500 ounces, the best monthly total in 2012.
American Gold Eagles are made in four sizes — 1 ounce, 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1/10 ounce that correspond to denominations shown on the coins of $50, $25, $10 and $5. Rarely the case except for this year, all sizes of the 22-karat gold coins have advanced each month.
For the January through November period, these coins have accounted for total sales of 800,500 ounces, which is 47,500 more than sales through all of 2012. Actually, going back to the series start in 1986 and despite this year’s slower middle months, there are just seven years through the same period that have higher totals. They include:
- 1987 at 1,183,000 ounces,
- 1998 at 1,610,500 ounces,
- 1999 at 1,908,000 ounces,
- 2009 at 1,193,500 ounces,
- 2010 at 1,160,500 ounces, and
- 2011 at 934,500 ounces
2014 American Gold Eagles Gold Bullion coins will go on sale beginning on Jan. 2, 2014.
American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins
This year is huge for American Buffalo gold coins, though less so in November as sales rose 14,000 for a 22.2% fall from the 18,000 in October and a 15.2% drop from the 16,500 sold in November 2013.
But back to a longer period, orders for the 24-karat gold coins through the first eleven months are sprinting at 232,000, or an even 100,000 higher than sales throughout 2012. The only better year for the coins was in 2006 when they were introduced and sales hit 323,000 coins.
Next year’s 2014-dated American Buffalo gold coins also launch on Jan. 2, 2014.
2013 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
Demand for the three-inch, five-ounce America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins jumped in November with sales of 39,100 coins as compared to 6,600 coins from the prior month.
Bigger gains were expected due to the Nov. 4 release of the Mount Rushmore design, the last of this year’s ATB coins. Still, it was somewhat surprising that all 35,000 of them sold by Nov. 22. It wasn’t the only sellout of the month with the remaining Fort McHenry coins claimed just a few days earlier on Nov 19.
Monthly and year-to-date sales for the 2013 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins include:
- 2013 Mount Rushmore America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins, advancing 35,000 and selling out.
- 2013 Fort McHenry America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins, adding 1,800 in November to sellout at 30,000.
- 2013 Great Basin America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins, gaining 1,400 during the month for a new total of 28,600.
- 2013 Perry’s Victory America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins, adding 900 in November for a new total of 27,100.
- 2013 White Mountain America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins sold out in September at 35,000.
Demand for the 99.9% pure silver coins picked up this year with sales combining to 218,800 coins, or 1,094,000 ounces. In high contrast, sales in 2012 totaled just 118,100 coins, or 590,500 ounces.
Sales Tables of 2013 US Mint Bullion Coins
Below are two tables that summarize U.S. Mint bullion sales by product. The first table lists monthly sales between January and May while the second table offers monthly sales figures between June and November. Sales totals are in the number of bullion coins sold, not in the amount of ounces.
|January – May 2013 Sales of US Mint Bullion Coins
(# of coins)
|American Gold Eagle (1 oz)||124,500||68,000||54,000||187,500||61,500||690,000|
|American Gold Eagle (1/2 oz)||17,000||5,000||4,000||14,000||2,000||58,000|
|American Gold Eagle (1/4 oz)||24,000||12,000||10,000||26,000||6,000||118,000|
|American Gold Eagle (1/10 oz)||110,000||70,000||35,000||85,000||60,000||520,000|
|American Buffalo Gold (1 oz)||72,500||11,500||11,000||37,000||12,500||232,000|
|ATB Silver Coins (5 oz)||28,960||14,340||19,800||0||25,800||218,800|
|American Silver Eagle (1 oz)||7.498M||3.3685M||3.3565M||4.087M||3.4585M||41,475M|
|June – November 2013 Sales of US Mint Bullion Coins
(# of coins)
|American Gold Eagle (1 oz)||49,000||43,000||9,000||8,500||41,000||44,000||690,000|
|American Gold Eagle (1/2 oz)||1,000||4,000||1,000||5,000||3,000||2,000||58,000|
|American Gold Eagle (1/4 oz)||8,000||8,000||6,000||4,000||10,000||4,000||118,000|
|American Gold Eagle (1/10 oz)||55,000||35,000||5,000||10,000||35,000||20,000||520,000|
|American Buffalo Gold (1 oz)||17,000||18,500||10,000||10,000||18,000||14,000||232,000|
|ATB Silver Coins (5 oz)||25,300||17,000||19,000||22,900||6,600||39,100||218,800|
|American Silver Eagle (1 oz)||3.275M||4.4065M||3.625M||3.013M||3,087,000||2,300,000||41,475M|
Bullion coins from the U.S. Mint are sold to authorized dealers who resell them to the public and other companies like coin and bullion dealers. These coins are typically available for a few percentage points above the latest value of their precious metal content.
Sales above are aggregated from data published by the U.S. Mint on its website found here.