Debuting last Thursday, the 22-karat 2010 American Eagle Gold Bullion Fractional Coins are off to a brisk pace according to the most recent coin sales figures released by the United States Mint.
An impressive 310,000 were sold during the first five days amounting to 48,500 ounces of gold. A look at the individual coins sales are shown below:
2010 Fractional Bullion Eagle Debuting Sales
|2010 1/2 oz Gold Eagle
|28,000 coins for 14,000 ounces
|2010 1/4 oz Gold Eagle
|42,000 coins for 10,500 ounces
|2010 1/10 oz Gold Eagle
|240,000 coins or 24,000 ounces
While these numbers are indeed high, they are actually lower than what were seen when the 2009 fractionals were released on Dec. 3, 2009. On that opening day alone, 345,000 were sold totaling 58,000 ounces of gold. Of course, it should be noted that an apple-to-apple comparison is not possible.
First, and foremost, the 2010 fractionals were released under an allocated or rationed process. Buyers are limited in how many they can order.
Second, the U.S. Mint typically strikes and issues gold fractional eagles consistently throughout the year. However, 2009 saw an over-whelming demand which resulted in over 1.3 million one ounce American Gold Eagles sold. Unable to keep up as a result of limited gold coin blanks, the Mint had suspended sales of the fractional Eagles until late in the year.
As a result, they launched into an environment of unprecedented, pent-up demand. In a single day, the Mint declared a sell-out of their entire inventory of the 1/10 ounce sizes with 270,000 sold. It delayed additional sales of the 1/4 ounce and 1/2 ounce varieties until more could be produced. On December 14, 2009, the Mint released the remaining fractionals and declared a sell-out several days later with the 1/2 and 1/4 ounces each at 110,000.
2010 Fractional American Eagles still have a ways to go before they reach record status, but if the Mint can keep them available they should lay claim to a title. Both investors and collectors have been purchasing gold coins at an ever increasing rate. The one ounce Gold Eagles in May hit their highest level since 1999.
The Mint sells bullion coins for a small amount over the current spot price of gold, but only to authorized purchasers. The authorized purchasers in turn resell the coins to coin dealers, precious metal providers and/or directly to the public.