American Eagle silver bullion coins continue to march at a brisk pace. The United States Mint registered sales of 4,782,000 coins this month, the most ever for a February and the 11th highest month on record since the .999 fine silver series launched in October 1986.
More could have sold but the U.S. Mint has rationed their distribution because of silver planchet shortages.
For the most part, the Mint’s network of bullion distributors has bought all that they can whenever they can. Weekly limits in February were set at 1 million ounces, except when there were left over coins from a week earlier. That happened twice with 1,045,500 coins to start the month and 1,073,500 coins for the week of Feb. 22.
Earlier Monday, the Mint announced this week’s allocation at the expected 1 million level. Buyers grabbed 736,500, or 73.7%, of them by the end of the day.
In headline comparisons, sales in February slipped 19.7% from the 5,954,500 sold in January but vaulted 58.2% higher than the 3,022,000 delivered a year earlier. January did have some help. The U.S. Mint used part of December to produced new 2016-dated Silver Eagles in anticipation of their launch on Jan. 11. The agency had an inventory 4 million coins readied for that first week, and all of them sold.
Along with January, which ranks 4th best all-time, here are the months that scored stronger sales than in Feburary:
- January 2013 at 7,498,000 coins;
- January 2011 at 6,422,000 coins;
- January 2012 at 6,107,000 coins;
- January 2016 at 5,954,500 coins;
- October 2014 at 5,790,000 coins;
- July 2015 at 5,529,000 coins;
- March 2014 at 5,354,000 coins;
- August 2015 at 4,935,000 coins;
- June 2015 at 4,840,000 coins; and
- November 2015 at 4,824,000 coins.
Last year’s 2015-dated American Silver Eagle went on to notch an annual sales record of 47 million, with their sales through February 2015 reaching 8,552,000 coins. This year’s starting two-month total of 10,736,500 coins is running 25.5% faster.
The United States Mint does not sell bullion American Silver Eagles directly to the public but through a network of authorized purchasers who buy them in bulk at melt value, plus a premium of $2 per coin. AP’s consist of major coin and precious metals dealers, brokerage companies, and other participating financial intermediaries.