US Mint Ends 2016 American Silver Eagle Rationing

by Mike Unser on July 18, 2016 · 8 comments

American Silver Eagles, bullion

U.S. Mint is no longer rationing sales of 2016 American Silver Eagles

The United States Mint is no longer limiting how many 2016 American Eagle silver bullion coins it sells. Rationing ended this morning, July 18, the agency told its network of bullion distributors called "Authorized Purchasers."

AP’s include major coin and precious metals dealers, brokerage companies, and other participating financial intermediaries who buy U.S. Mint bullion coins in bulk and then resell them for a small premium above their melt value.

"We are pleased to announce after 28 weeks of allocation in 2016, effective Monday, July 18, 2016, we have lifted allocation of American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins," the U.S. Mint said in a statement. "Authorized Purchasers may purchase as many American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins they desire."

This year’s bullion American Silver Eagles launched on Jan. 11, 2016 under the limited sales system. By rationing coins, the U.S. Mint always has some on hand and that eliminates extended sales suspensions during periods of high demand.

"The United States Mint will continue to monitor its American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin demand and adjust its bullion coin production accordingly," the agency added.

The U.S. Mint has the production capacity to strike coins to meet demand but it does not always have sufficient quantities of silver blanks. Blanks are the metal discs used in making the 1-ounce, 99.9% pure silver coins. The U.S. Mint does not manufacture these blanks like it does for nickels, dimes and quarters. They are instead purchased from a select group of vendors who ration how many they sell.

Demand for new bullion coins often eases around summer months, enabling the U.S. Mint to at least temporarily suspend its allocation policy. Last year turned into a quick exception. The agency halted rationing in June but ran out of Silver Eagles by July after higher-than-expected sales. The year ended with a record 47 million sold.

By comparison, demand for new American Silver Eagles has fallen sharply so far this summer even as silver prices marched toward a 2-year high. Still, their sales are tracking a new record. Their year-to-date total of 26,945,500 coins is 10% higher than the amount sold by July 18, 2015.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe C. July 18, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Hey, Mint. Why not make the ASE’s available directly to the public? Major coin and precious metals dealers, brokerage companies, and other participating financial intermediaries who buy U.S. Mint bullion coins major coin and precious metals dealers, brokerage companies, and other participating financial intermediaries who buy U.S. Mint bullion coins are already overloaded with ASE’s.
Just my 2 cents worth.

Carl S. July 18, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Maybe it’s time for the American Liberty Silver Medals made at West Point and San Francisco and better yet the 30th anniversary proof silver American Eagles.

Seth Riesling July 18, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Mike Unser –

You state that the APs sell the bullion coins they buy directly from the U.S. Mint at a “small premium” above melt value. That is funny! Have you seen what some dealers charge for these common as sand ASE bullion coins. A $6 or so premium for $20 worth of silver is not a small premium. Like I have said before, you have to shop around for the best deal of course.
This will not be a record year for sales of the ASE bullion $1 coins IMHO.

-NumisDudeTX

Seth Riesling July 18, 2016 at 3:37 pm

FYI CoinNews readers –

The US Mint was supposed to issue its new 2016 $25 1-ounce palladium bullion coin this year under the 2010 law, updated last year, but ran into problems & now instead will issue the $100 1-ounce Platinum American Eagle bullion coins on July 25 to its bullion coin Authorized Purchasers to appease Congress.

-NumisDudeTX

Johnny D July 18, 2016 at 4:25 pm

Since we are now are in the middle of July, why is the mint permitted to keep TBD as the product release date for the following?:
2016 Coin & Chronicles Set – Ronald Reagan
American Eagle 2016 1oz Silver Proof Coin
American Eagle 2016 1oz Silver Uncirculated Coin
American Liberty 2016 1oz Silver Medal (W&S)
Limited Edition Silver Proof Set 2016
Standing Liberty 2016 Centennial Gold Coin
Walking Liberty 2016 Centennial Gold Coin

joera July 18, 2016 at 6:27 pm

I agree with Seth. I’ve been looking for the APs that DO SALE AT A SMALL PREMIUM! We should not have to look to hard for that “small premium” over melt value. Maybe the Mint, or Congress, should set what that small premium should be. Or like Joe C. asked, why not sell the bullion ASE directly to the public like they sell the burnished ASE?

jim July 21, 2016 at 8:49 am

Johnny D –
I complained to Sec Lew about the mint and all he did was forward my letter to the mint (i.e. passing the buck instead of doing his job as a manager).
I got a response from Jon J. Cameron, Acting Associate Director (another temporary job assignment) but not actually from him but from somebody else signing for him (I guess he can’t even do his temporary job) saying they publish dates one month at a time giving the mint greater flexibility in ensuring that sufficient inventory is available (yada, yada, yada), ignoring the fact that for example graduations traditionally happen in June and marriages and other congratulatory events happen all year and still the 2016 Congratulations set release date remains TBD. Maybe they’re trying to drop that product offering altogether and making it’s release date so late as to be useless is how they think it’s best to do that.

The mint’s boilerplate caveat on the product schedule says all dates and prices are subject to change and in fact is even mentioned in this response letter but apparently all the temporary job workers either can’t read or don’t understand so they seem to think that once a date or even just a month is published on the product schedule they are duty bound to treat that as a life or death commitment.

All this is to say of course that the mint is being mismanaged beyond comprehension, so much so that even Rosie Rios couldn’t handle it and had to resign as US Treasurer.

Joe C. July 21, 2016 at 1:42 pm

I was lucky enough to be selected to receive a signed set of 2015 150th Anniversary Sets from the BEP with Rosie Rios autographs. S/N’s xxxx0123 which I consider to be a ladder S/N. Now a prized possession of mine since she has left office.

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