2014 turned into a second straight record year for United States Mint silver coin sales with the tumbling value of silver making it cheaper to own the heavily sought American Silver Eagle.
That was not the case for sales of the agency’s gold coins. Demand for bullion American Eagle and Buffalo gold coins tumbled in 2014, but then gold prices never made a sustained break for gains or losses, tending instead to teeter back and forth even to the very last day of the year.
As for December, U.S. Mint bullion sales in this month rarely overwhelm with buyers already looking ahead to January when newly dated coins become available. Further, for Silver Eagles, their time on sale was cut short as the Mint’s 2014-dated inventory sold out on Dec. 24.
American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin Sales
Even with the sellout, American Silver Eagles advanced 2,459,000 last month to more than double year-ago December sales of 1.2 million. The level is 28.2% lower than the most recent November tally of 3,426,000 coins.
Annual sales totaled 44,006,000 coins, the most for a year and a more impressive record when considering that the American Eagle program was in its 29th year. The previous annual record was set in 2013 at 42,676,000 coins.
The United States Mint has sold 401,569,000 Silver Eagles since their introduction in November 1986. Demand has been unprecedented in recent years with 60.6% of that total from the last seven years alone.
The Mint will start selling 2015 Silver Eagle bullion coins on Jan. 12.
American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin Sales
December sales of American Eagle gold coins at 18,000 ounces is the weakest for a month since September 2013 and down 67.9% from December 2013 sales of 56,000 ounces. Orders crawled after Dec. 5, the day the U.S. Mint announced that it had stopped striking 2014-dated bullion coins and that it would begin selling 2015 American Gold Eagles on Jan. 5.
Gold Eagles are produced in sizes of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz. These correspond to denominations on the coins of $50, $25, $10 and $5. All but the 1/2 oz size gained in December.
2014 sales totaled 524,500 ounces, the lowest amount for a year since 2007 and off 38.8% from sales of 856,500 ounces in 2013.
American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin Sales
American Buffalo gold coins climbed 4,500 in December, the weakest for a month since July 2012 and down 35.7% from the same time last year.
Annual sales of the one ounce 24-karat gold coins reached 177,500, the smallest amount for a year since 2012 and 25.7% lower than annual sales of 239,000 in 2013.
2015-dated American Buffalo gold bullion coins also launch on Jan. 5.
American Eagle Platinum Bullion Coin Sales
On Oct. 1, the U.S. Mint stopped selling 2014 American Eagle platinum coins. The 99.95% pure Platinum Eagles ended with annual sales of 16,900 coins. Until this year, the bullion coins had not been issued since 2008. In that year, annual sales combined to 33,700 ounces across sizes of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz. This year the size was limited to 1 oz. Sales of the 2015-dated American Platinum Eagles are expected to begin sometime this month.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin Sales
Finally, December sales of 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins advanced by 12,100 units. Four of the 5 designs for 2014 sold out. Monthly and total sales for the 99.9% fine silver coins include:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park Five Ounce Silver Coins sold out in October at 33,000
- Shenandoah National Park Five Ounce Silver Coins gained 1,100 to 24,400
- Arches National Park Five Ounce Silver Coins sold out in October at 22,000
- Great Sand Dunes National Park Five Ounce Silver Coins added 4,000 and sold out at 21,900
- Everglades National Park Five Ounce Silver Coins added 7,000 and sold out at 34,000
2014 sales of America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins reached 135,300 or 676,500 ounces compared to sales in the previous year of 223,100 coins or 1,115,500 ounces.
The first 2015-dated ATB coin is expected to launch in February.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2014 by Product
U.S. Mint bullion sales by product are below. The first table offers monthly sales between July and December 2014. The second table lists monthly sales figures between January and June. Totals are in the number of bullion coins sold, not in the amount of ounces.
|July – December 2014 Sales of US Mint Bullion Coins
(# of coins)
|Jul 2014||Aug 2014*||Sept 2014||Oct 2014||Nov 2014||Dec 2014||Annual Sales|
|$100 American Eagle Platinum Coins (1 oz)||0||900||2,700||400||N/A||N/A||16,900|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins (1 oz)||26,000||21,000||50,500||57,500||49,000||13,000||415,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/2 oz)||0||0||5,000||6,000||8,000||0||46,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/4 oz)||6,000||6,000||8,000||8,000||12,000||6,000||118,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/10 oz)||25,000||25,000||30,000||50,000||40,000||35,000||565,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins (1 oz)||5,500||8,000||14,500||21,000||12,500||4,500||177,500|
|ATB Silver Coins (5 oz)||2,000||9,200||9,800||5,100||29,600||12,100||135,300|
|American Silver Eagle Coins (1 oz)||1.975M||2.0875M||4.14M||5.79M||3.426M||2.459M||44,006M|
|January – June 2014 Sales of US Mint Bullion Coins
(# of coins)
|Jan 2014||Feb 2014||Mar 2014||Apr 2014||May 2014||Jun 2014||Annual Sales|
|$100 American Eagle Platinum Coins (1 oz)||N/A||N/A||10,000||1,200||1,000||700||16,900|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins (1 oz)||62,500||22,000||16,000||26,000||29,000||43,000||415,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/2 oz)||12,000||3,000||2,000||5,000||3,000||2,000||46,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/4 oz)||28,000||10,000||4,000||20,000||6,000||4,000||118,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/10 oz)||160,000||50,000||30,000||50,000||35,000||35,000||565,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins (1 oz)||41,500||12,000||12,000||17,500||12,500||16,000||177,500|
|ATB Silver Coins (5 oz)||0||0||12,400||10,600||23,100||21,400||135,300|
|American Silver Eagle Coins (1 oz)||4.755M||3.750M||5.354M||3.569M||3.9885M||2.692M||44,006M|
*The United States Mint in December increased August sales of American Platinum Eagles by 200 and in November raised August sales of American Silver Eagles by 80,000.
U.S. Mint bullion coins 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 priced at a few percentage points above the latest value of their precious metal content.