US Mint Bullion Coins See Record and Sellouts in November

by Mike Unser on December 2, 2015 · 5 comments

Pile of American Eagle gold bullion coins

Most of the U.S. Mint’s American Gold Eagles sold out in November. Its American Silver Eagles hit a new record.

Demand for U.S. Mint bullion products soared in November as tumbling precious metals attracted buyers.

American Silver Eagles rallied to break last year’s record and three of four American Gold Eagle products sold out. With major Gold Eagles gone for the year, sales of American Gold Buffalo coins jumped to their highest level in nearly two years.

American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins

American Silver Eagles scored an annual sales record on Nov. 30, hitting 44,666,500 coins to top the previous record that was set in 2014 at 44,006,000 coins. The U.S. Mint has been annually producing the one-ounce, .999 fine silver coins since 1986. This year’s record will continue to climb since the U.S. Mint is making 2015 American Silver Eagles through next week and selling them until at least Dec. 14. Newly dated 2016 American Silver Eagles go on sale Jan. 11.

In November, buyers scooped up 4,824,000 coins, the most in three months. The tally is 27.4% higher than October sales of 3,788,000 coins and 40.8% more than the 3,426,000 coins delivered a year earlier.

The U.S. Mint has rationed American Silver Eagle sales for most of the year because of planchet shortages.

American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins

American Eagle gold coins have a 22-karat gold composition and come in four size options — 1 ounce, 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1/10 ounce. Every size posted gains for a ninth straight month. That won’t happen this month with all but the least popular 1/2 ounce size selling out in November. Buyers will have to wait for more of the others. The U.S. Mint will begin 2016-dated Gold Eagle sales on Jan. 11.

Last month and across all sizes, the coins totaled 97,000 ounces to mark increases of 185.3% from the 34,000 ounces sold in October and 61.7% from the 60,000 ounces delivered in November 2014.

Year-to-date sales at 801,000 ounces leapt 58.1% over the 506,500 ounces ordered through the same time last year. This year’s 11-month sales are 52.7% higher than the 524,500 ounces moved through all 2014.

American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins

American Buffalo gold coins gained 38,000 ounces last month to more than triple the prior month’s 10,500 ounces and the 12,500 ounces sold a year earlier. The monthly total was the highest since January 2014.

Sales of the one-ounce, .9999 fine gold coins for the year at 219,000 ounces climbed 26.6% from the 173,000 ounces sold through the same stretch of time last year.

ATB Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins

America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins advanced 35,800 in November. Sales came entirely from the Nov. 30 release of the newest coin commemorating Saratoga National Historical Park in New York. Five ounce bullion sales were muted in October with the first four 2015-dated issues selling out earlier. Here’s a breakdown of sales this year by design:

  • 2015 Saratoga Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins opening at 35,800*.
  • 2015 Bombay Hook Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins selling out in September at 45,000.
  • 2015 Blue Ridge Parkway Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins selling out in July at 45,000.
  • 2015 Kisatchie National Forest Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins selling out in May at 42,000.
  • 2015 Homestead National Monument of American Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins selling out in March at 35,000.
  • 2014 Shenandoah National Park Five Ounce Silver Coins advancing 600 in January and selling out at 25,000.

Orders of the 99.9% pure silver coins reached 203,400 coins or 1,017,000 ounces through November 2015. Last year’s issues through the same time posted sharply slower sales of 123,200 or 616,000 ounces.

*Note: Saratoga coins sold out at 45,000 on Dec. 1.

US Mint Bullion Sales by Product

Tables below offer U.S. Mint bullion sales by product. The first table offers sales in November of last year and the months between July and November 2015. The second table presents 2015 monthly sales figures between January and June. Totals are in the number of bullion coins sold.

United States Mint Bullion Coin Sales (# of coins)
Last Year Nov   July 2015 Aug 2015 Sept 2015 Oct 2015 Nov 2015 YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 oz Gold Coins 49,000   144,400 78,500 98,500 26,000 80,500 626,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 oz Gold Coins 8,000   10,000 8,000 9,000 4,000 7,000 74,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 oz Gold Coins 12,000   28,000 24,000 20,000 4,000 12,000 158,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 oz Gold Coins 40,000   135,000 130,000 175,000 50,000 100,000 980,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 oz Gold Coins 12,500   32,000 20,000 22,000 10,500 38,000 219,000
ATB 5 oz Silver Coins 29,600   10,000 0 45,000 0 35,800 203,400
2015 American Eagle 1 oz Silver Coins 3.426M   5.529M 4.935M 3.8045M 3.788M 4.824 44.6665M

 

United States Mint Bullion Coin Sales (# of coins)
Jan 2015 Feb 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 oz Gold Coins 51,500 12,500 35,000 23,500 13,500 62,500 626,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 oz Gold Coins 18,000 2,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 4,000 74,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 oz Gold Coins 36,000 0 8,000 4,000 10,000 12,000 158,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 oz Gold Coins 115,000 50,000 70,000 30,000 40,000 85,000 980,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 oz Gold Coins 34,500 12,000 9,500 10,000 9,500 21,000 219,000
ATB 5 oz Silver Coins 600 20,000 15,000 30,000 12,000 35,000 203,400
2015 American Eagle 1 oz Silver Coins 5.53M 3.022M 3.519M 2.8515M 2.0235M 4.84M 44.6665M

 

The U.S. Mint sells bullion coins to authorized distributors who resell them to the public and to other companies like bullion and coin dealers. Bullion coins, whether gold or silver, are usually available for a few percentage points above the latest value of their precious metal content.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

william flick December 2, 2015 at 5:48 pm

Its a real joy just to own a box of silver no matter what the spot price is.

Seth Riesling December 2, 2015 at 8:54 pm

william flick –

Isn’t silver a great buy now at any price since its all-time record high price of approximately $50.35 in 1980? I remember the lines outside coin shops in the state Capital of Austin here at the time with people selling anything made of silver, even Proof common modern coins too ! It seems cheap now & the average person has no idea what the spot price of silver is on any given day or year for that matter. Silver bullion has a low perceived value & according to a recent study/experiment reported on CNN, people offered either a large size chocolate candy bar or a 1-ounce silver ingot, 79% took the large chocolate bar! Amazing! Being at over a 6 year low today, silver is even more attractive whether it’s a coin or ingot. Unfortunately, the U.S. Mint hasn’t received the news on silver plummeting this year because it hasn’t lowered its silver coin prices. The 2015 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set is apparently going to be the same price as the 2014 set at $139.95 for the 8-coin set in nice packaging, but an extremely high premium over spot silver price. The MInt should lower its price on the new 2015 set when offered at least by $10, especially since the older 2014 set has not sold out yet.
Happy silver collecting Mr Flick!

-NumisDudeTX

jim December 3, 2015 at 12:42 am

The US Mint uses silver markups to cover all it’s sins. That’s why they don’t include silver in the pricing guide.

Silgold December 3, 2015 at 12:54 am

Silver Eagle VS 5 OZ ATB silver which one is better bet ?

Seth Riesling December 3, 2015 at 1:48 am

Jim –

You got it exactly right! The U.S. Mint has never to my knowledge explained why they do not use a precious metals grid pricing structure for all its silver coin products but does for all its gold & platinum coins products. My guess has always been kind of like yours, being that silver is the least expensive precious metal they sell & therefore more people can afford them versus gold & platinum pricier coins. So the Mint makes more profit off its silver coin programs & doesn’t want to get stuck to a weekly pricing tier grid. Basically the U.S. Mint plays the silver market with our money! And they store the 1,000 troy ounce .999 fine bars at the West Point Mint in New York state. The West Point Bullion Depository was a silver bullion only depository since it opened in 1938 until it obtained full branch Mint status in the late 1980s. Of course it helped start the American Eagle silver bullion coin program in 1986 with its massive stock of silver. Afterall, how do you think the Mint can charge its bullion coin Authorized Purchasers just $2 over silver spot price on any given London spot fix trading day and still make a profit on the bullion versions!? It has to cost at least $2 for the Mint to purchase the silver blank planchets from their outside vendors & for die production costs & labor costs & packaging too! Something has been very fishy for a very long time on their silver coins both bullion program & numismatic program products. I smell a rat! As a long-time collector i realize they are mandated not to cost the taxpayers a single cent on their numismatic program products, but where is the fairness when they publish on their website & printed catalogs the following ironic statement: “Because of the variability of pricing on the precious metals markets, prices of products containing silver are subject to change.” When is that change coming!?
Even Mike Unser, editor of this fine coin blog website who has been to the West Point Mint at least twice recently doesn’t know the answer to this question, unless i missed an article by him in the past on this important subject.

Silgold –

The ATB 5 ounce silver coins are a better buy due to much lower mintages than the common as dirt silver American Eagle bullion version coins. Just take a bullion version silver American Eagle $1 coin to a coin shop & you will more than likely be offered that days spot silver price only! Good luck.

-NumisDudeTX

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