US Mint Ends American Silver Eagle Rationing

by Mike Unser on May 30, 2014 · 9 comments

Bullion Silver Eagle

With an end to American Silver Eagle rationing, U.S. Mint AP’s can now order as many as they like

American Silver Eagle rationing has ended, the United States Mint announced today in a memo sent to its network of bullion distributors called "Authorized Purchases."

AP’s consist of major coin and precious metals dealers, brokerage companies, and other participating financial intermediaries who buy U.S. Mint bullion coins in bulk and then resell them for a small premium above their melt value.

2014 American Silver Eagle bullion coins debuted on Jan. 13, 2014 under a limited sales system. This allocation policy was implemented, similar to past years, to keep enough inventories in place to supply AP’s with some Silver Eagles instead of halting sales entirely. The U.S. Mint now has the production capacity to strike coins to meet demand, but it has not always had sufficient quantities of silver blanks.

Blanks are the metal discs used in making the one ounce, 99.9% pure American Silver Eagle bullion coins. The U.S. Mint does not manufacture blanks for silver coins like it does for nickels, dimes and quarters. They are purchased from a select group of vendors who had also been rationing how many they sell.

The bureau has worked diligently over the last several years to grow its supply of silver blanks. That is one reason for the end of rationing. Another, simply put, is falling demand. Sales of bullion coins have tumbled in recent weeks with precious metals falling out of favor as investors poor their money into riskier assets like equities. Silver futures ended May with a 2.6% loss, and are down 3.6% for the year. The precious metal last traded at $18.68 an ounce compared to its 2013 closing price of $19.37 an ounce.

Here is the text of the memo sent by the U.S. Mint to its AP’s:

We are pleased to announce that effective Monday, June 2, 2014, we will no longer be on allocations for the American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin Program. Authorized Purchasers will be allowed to purchase as many American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins as they wish. The United States Mint will continue to monitor its Silver Eagle Bullion Coin demand and adjust its bullion coin production accordingly.

Even with rationing in place, year-to-date American Silver Eagle sales have hit 21,436,500 coins. The pace was at a record level earlier in the week, but swapped to just below sales through the same time in 2013. Last year when the annual Silver Eagle sales record reached above 42.6 million, the bullion coins totaled 21,768,500 by May 30, 2013.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack May 30, 2014 at 4:10 pm

That would indicate to me that silver is going to tank. Just sayin’

William May 31, 2014 at 12:29 am

I hope it rebounds soon

Boz May 31, 2014 at 8:26 am

Seems like silver already has tanked.

Legend May 31, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Silver prices will fluctuate, totals minted will vary widely for uncirculated, proof and special editions (Anniversary set, etc), supplies of blanks will be scarce, then will be easily found; this is how the Silver Eagle has existed since it’s beginning. There is one absolute certainty, though: the coin itself will always be beautiful, and in coming years it may even have a different reverse. Certainly, some in US Mint circles have considered fractional issues, like the Buffalo some years ago, adding a new, wonderful wrinkle into the mix. This certainly has some of us on edge waiting for news of it. For died-in-the-woll collectors, simply receiving the most recent issue is enough to keep us waiting for next year, and the enhanced set was truly a wondermint, pardon the pun. So let silver prices fall, let supplies dwindle, let prices rise, let there be glut conditions….let winds of change swirl about every subsequent issue, doesn’t matter to some of us. We just want a new coin every year until we pass them on to our family later, and we can’t wait to see eyes bright with excitement to remind us of our first years collecting.

Joe June 1, 2014 at 11:15 am

Buy low sell hi when the time comes. Now is the time buy what you can.

Alex June 1, 2014 at 12:19 pm

i agree to buy now, but was wondering..buy now (6/1/14) or buy 6/2/14) ??

And secondly; why not buy lesser priced quality rounds over Silver eagles?

Kevin June 1, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Ted Butler muses that perhaps the big silver eagle non-retail buyer is done buying. Even with Mint sales at a torrid pace, retail sales have been tepid or soft. So someone has been buying tens of millions of silver eagles and now they’re not. Does that deep pocketed smart money buyer think silver is going to tank? My guess is they think it will launch sooner or later. I’m hoping sooner.

Joe June 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Alex why not.

ALEX July 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I have heard it go both ways..buy ASE (no wait!) but silver rounds (no wait) ….over and over

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