United States Mint American Eagle and American Buffalo sales exploded in January with newly dated 2015 bullion coins attracting investors and collectors and as gold and silver prices soared during the month.
Gold bullion coin sales leapt for the highest totals since a year ago while silver bullion coin sales notched the third strongest month since the all-time monthly record was set in January 2013.
American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins
American Silver Eagles shot up 5,530,000 last month to more than double December sales 2,459,000, although this comparison lacks fairness since the U.S. Mint’s inventory of 2014-dated Silver Eagles sold out on Dec. 24 with the 2014 annual record ending at 44,006,000.
January sales of the one-ounce, 99.9% pure silver coins topped the year-ago January level of 4,775,000 by 15.8%. Introduced in 1986, only four other months scored higher Silver Eagle sales:
- January 2013 with 7,498,000 coins,
- January 2011 with 6,422,000 coins,
- January 2012 with 6,107,000 coins, and
- October 2014 with 5,790,000 coins.
This year’s 2015-dated American Silver Eagles debuted on Jan. 12, or about 2 1/2 weeks after last year’s coins sold out. United States Mint distributors could not, and still cannot, order as many as they want since sales are rationed by the Mint to maintain an inventory and to ensure even distribution. This Mint-imposed allocation system kicks in when demand exceeds supply.
American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins
January sales 22-karat American Eagle gold coins advanced 81,000 ounces, the most for a month in a year. Sales surged 350% from December though they slipped 11.5% from a year ago January.
2015-dated American Gold Eagles debuted on Jan. 5. To rid itself of older inventory, the U.S. Mint requires its distributors to order new Gold Eagles along with the prior year’s coins. This year, distributors were able to order the new coins by themselves for just over two weeks. Then on Jan. 20, the Mint mixed 2015 coins with 2014 coins with orders fulfilled on a one-for-one basis.
American Gold Eagles are sold in four sizes — 1 ounce, 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1/10 ounce, and they correspond to denominations stamped on the coins of $50, $25, $10 and $5. All sizes advanced last month, with a breakout for each one published further below.
American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins
Like the Gold Eagles, American Buffalo gold coin sales registered the biggest monthly gains in a year. The 24-karat gold pieces reached 34,500 ounces in January for more than seven times the December tally of 4,500 ounces, but it was also 16.9% lower than the 41,500 ounces sold in January 2014. This year’s 2015-dated coins were released alongside the 2015 American Gold Eagles on Jan. 5.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin Sales
Lastly, January sales of 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins advanced by 600 units. Four of the 5 designs for 2014 had already 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 600 to 25,000.
- Arches National Park Five Ounce Silver Coins sold out in October at 22,000.
- Great Sand Dunes National Park Five Ounce Silver Coins sold out in December, although the Mint did make an adjustment in January of an extra 100 to bring the total to 22,000.
- Everglades National Park Five Ounce Silver Coins sold out in December at 34,000.
No five once coins had been available for sale in January 2013. The first 2015-dated America the Beautiful Five coin goes on sale this month.
US Mint Bullion Sales by Product
Below is a breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion sales by product type. For comparative purposes, included are totals from a year ago, in December and from last month.
|United States Mint Bullion Coin Sales (# of coins)|
|January 2014||December 2014||January 2015|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins (1 oz)||62,500||13,000||51,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/2 oz)||12,000||0||18,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/4 oz)||28,000||6,000||36,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/10 oz)||160,000||35,000||115,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins (1 oz)||41,500||4,500||34,500|
|ATB Silver Coins (5 oz)||0||12,100||600|
|American Eagle Silver Coins (1 oz)||4.755M||2.459M||5.53M|
U.S. Mint bullion coins are sold to authorized distributors who resell them to the public and other companies like coin and bullion dealers. Bullion coins, whether gold or silver, are usually available for a few percentage points above the latest value of their precious metal content.