United States Mint bullion sales split in May with tallies lower for gold coins and higher for silver coins, though demand for them fell sharply in the last two weeks as silver prices tumbled.
A sales summary across U.S. Mint bullion products for May and the year-to-date follow.
American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins
May sales of American Eagle silver coins reached 3,988,500, up 11.8% from a revised 3,569,000 in April and 15.3% higher than a year ago. Last month ranks as the 10th best in the Silver Eagle’s 29-year history. But as touched upon in the first paragraph, demand for the 99.9% fine silver coins has tumbled in recent weeks. Just 426,500 sold last week and 300,000 in the prior week. With buying down, the U.S. Mint on Friday announced an end to its allocation program which limited how many Silver Eagles it would sell.
American Silver Eagle sales in the January to May period total 21,436,500 coins, down 1.5% from the same year-ago period of 21,768,500 coins. Still, the year-to-date tally is already higher than annual sales of all but 5 years since 1986. The annual Silver Eagle sales record happened in 2013 at 42,675,000 coins.
American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins
American Eagle gold coins climbed 35,500 ounces in May, down 7.8% from the previous month’s 38,500 ounces and 49.3% slower than sales in May 2013.
22-karat American Gold Eagles are produced at the West Point Mint in sizes of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz that correspond to denominations on the coins of $50, $25, $10 and $5. As has been the case since the beginning of this year, all logged gains. Breakouts by size are offered further below.
Gold Eagle sales in the January to May period total 217,500 ounces, which is 62% weaker than the same time last year and marks the slowest five-month start since 2008.
American Eagle Platinum Bullion Coins
American Eagle platinum coins added 1,000 in May after rising 1,200 in April and gaining 10,000 in March. Before then, the 99.95% pure platinum coins had not been offered since 2008. In that year, annual sales reached 33,700 ounces. Then they were available in sizes of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz. This year there is only the 1 oz size.
American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins
May sales of 24-karat American Buffalo gold coins rose 12,500, matching the amount from a year ago but down 28.6% from April’s 17,500. The monthly total is the third highest this year. January leads at 41,400 coins.
Sales through the first five months total 95,500 coins, which is 33.9% slower than last year’s five-month total of 144,500 coins.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
Finally, 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins gained 23,100 last month after advancing 10,600 in April.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins rose 4,000 in May to 27,000. The silver coin was released on April 21.
- Shenandoah National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins added 19,100 since launching on May 5.
Sales of the 99.9% pure America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins tallied to 46,100 coins or 208,000 ounces. Last year’s first 2013-dated ATB coins did not launch until May 13, 2013.
US Mint Bullion Sales by Product
Offered in the table below are May sales of U.S. Mint bullion coins by product type. For comparative purposes, included are sales totals from prior 2014 months and from a year ago.
|United States Mint Bullion Coin Sales (# of coins)|
|Last Year May||January 2014||February 2014||March 2014||April 2014||May 2014||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Eagle Platinum Coins (1 oz)||N/A||N/A||N/A||10,000||1,200||1,000||12,200|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins (1 oz)||61,500||62,500||22,000||16,000||26,000||29,000||155,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/2 oz)||2,000||12,000||3,000||2,000||5,000||3,000||25,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/4 oz)||6,000||28,000||10,000||4,000||20,000||6,000||68,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/10 oz)||60,000||160,000||50,000||30,000||50,000||35,000||325,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins (1 oz)||12,500||41,500||12,000||12,000||17,500||12,500||95,500|
|ATB Silver Coins (5 oz)||25,800||0||0||12,400||10,600||23,100||46,100|
|American Silver Eagle Coins (1 oz)||3.4585M||4,755,000||3,750,000||5,354,000||4,590,500||3,988,500||21,436,500|
U.S. Mint bullion products are sold in bulk to "Authorized Purchasers" who consist of major coin and precious metals dealers, brokerage companies, and other participating financial intermediaries. Bullion coins are usually available for a few percentage points above the latest value of their precious metal content.