Gold Marks 12th Quarterly Gain, Silver Falls for Quarter, Silver Eagles Top 33.4M


Fine Gold BarsU.S. gold prices rose modestly Friday, capping a 12th straight quarterly gain. Despite a sharp 11.4 percent drop in September, the yellow metal advanced 8.0 percent in third quarter 2011.

On Friday, gold prices climbed $5.00, or 0.3 percent, to settle at $1,622.30 an ounce in the December futures contract on the Comex in New York. Gold ranged from an intraday low of $1,607.80 to a high of $1,642.50.

"In markets that have been shaken as badly as gold market has been shaken, it will take days, perhaps even weeks, before the bullish trend clearly reasserts itself, but we do believe that the margin clerk liquidation has probably run its course," said independent investor Dennis Gartman, according to Reuters.

Gold, like all precious metals in September, went through volatile swings. It reached an all-time record high of $1,923.70 an ounce on the 6th, or $301.40 higher than Friday’s settlement price.

For the week, gold prices declined $17.50, or 1.1 percent. Forecasts are for higher gold prices next week, according to the weekly gold survey conducted by Kitco News.

"The majority of participants in the Kitco News Gold Survey expect to see higher prices next week, but those who see weaker or prices unchanged were equally divided, as the gold market continues to try and heal after the recent sharp break in prices.

In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 34 participants, 25 responded this week. Of those 25 participants, 13 see prices up, while six see prices down, and six see prices sideways or unchanged. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders and technical chart analysts.

Jimmy Tintle, analyst at Transworld Futures, sees higher prices. Like several participants who see gold prices up, the fact that the metal has held $1,600 an ounce suggests that gold is trying to build a base as it tries to…"

Gold prices are $200.90, or 14.1 percent, higher in 2011.

Losses in other Precious Metals Futures

Silver retreated for the day, week and month, augmenting its quarterly and year-to-date losses to 13.6 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. Prices have fallen for a second straight quarter.

On Friday, silver prices for December delivery dipped 43.9 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $30.083 an ounce. Prices ranged from $29.660 to $31.335. For the week, prices were nearly unchanged with a slight 2 cent loss. The white metal plummeted 28.0 percent in September, however. Silver had been $11.69 higher to $41.768 an ounce at the end of August when it easily held the top position as the best performing precious metal. At that point it was up 35.0 percent for the year.

In PGM’s on Friday:

  • Platinum prices for January delivery, the new most active contract, fell $9.30, or 0.6 percent, to $1,523.60 an ounce, moving between $1,504.40 and $1,548.50. Platinum declined 5.6 percent this week and lost 17.9 percent in September.

  • Palladium prices for December delivery lost $9.05, or 1.5 percent, to settle at $614.55 an ounce, trading from $608.00 to $636.25. Palladium fell 4.4 percent this week and ended down 22.3 percent in September.

PGM metals have been hit heaviest this year with losses of 14.3 percent for platinum and 23.5 percent for palladium. They declined 11.7 and 19.2 percent, respectively, in third quarter 2011.

London Precious Metals

London bullion prices were mixed on Friday, lower on the week, declined in September and were mixed in third quarter 2011. When comparing London Fix prices on Friday (PM) from those on Thursday (PM):

  • Gold prices advanced $7.00 to $1,620.00 an ounce,
  • Silver rose 26.0 cents to $30.45 an ounce,
  • Platinum declined $19.00 to $1,511.00 an ounce, and
  • Palladium fell $7.00 to $614.00 an ounce

For the week, gold declined 4.1 percent, silver fell 7.4 percent, platinum lost 8.5 percent and palladium declined 6.8 percent.

September losses were 10.7 percent for gold, 26.4 percent for silver, 18.1 percent for platinum and 21.6 percent for palladium.

For third quarter 2011, gold advanced 7.6 percent, silver fell 13.0 percent, platinum lost 12.3 percent and palladium declined 19.3 percent.

U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Weekly Sales

With gold and silver sharply lower, buyers of American Eagle bullion coins have been able to order them at relative bargain levels as compared to their prices for most of the year.

For much of September, it appeared that bullion Silver Eagles would post a rather dreary sales total. Just a bit over 1.4 million had been purchased by Wednesday of last week. Then silver tumbled from around $40 to $30 an ounce and Silver Eagles soared. Buyers snapped up 2.16 million in this week alone. September sales moved to over 4.46 million, making the monthly total the second highest of all-time going back to the series launch in 1986. Sales of Silver Eagles have topped 33.4 million this year, which is a scant 1.251 million shy of matching the annual sales record of 34,662,500 million set in 2010.

One-ounce bullion American Gold Eagles have risen sharply as well. This week’s total came to 41,000, adding to the solid pick-up of 23,500 from the previous week. In contrast, it took the opening 16 days in September to reach the first 23,000 in sales.

The latest daily, weekly, September and year-to-date U.S. Mint bullion coin sales figures follow:

Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins
Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.) 4,000 23,500 41,000 87,500 760,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.) 0 1,000 0 1,000 62,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.) 0 2,000 0 2,000 72,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.) 5,000 5,000 5,000 25,000 345,000
Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.) 500 2,500 5,500 13,000 132,500
Silver Eagles (1 oz.) 460,000 1.2575M 2.16M 4.4605M 33.4115M


Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins*
Gettysburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 126,700
Glacier National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 126,700
Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 81,700
Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 29,600
Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 18,100
TOTAL 382,800


*The Gettysburg and Glacier America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins are sold out. Unlike other investment-grade products, the United States Mint does not provide daily per coin sales totals for the Olympic, Vicksburg, and Chickasaw America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins. The totals are as of Monday, September 26.

Visit this site’s U.S. & World Bullion Coins section for more information on the above coins.

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