U.S. bullion coin demand in June followed the market direction of the precious metals they contain. Gold coin sales picked up while silver coin sales retreated, according to sales data released by the U.S. Mint.
And while sales were high for U.S. gold and silver coins through the first half of 2012, they were sharply lower when compared against the first six months of 2011.
American Silver Eagle bullion coins reached 2,858,000 in June, down 0.6% from May when sales logged in at 2,875,000. For the year-to-date, the 99.9% fine silver coins stand at 17,392,000. The half-year mark is the third best dating back to the series start in 1986. However, it is:
- down 22.0% from the first half of 2011 when sales reached 22,303,500, and
- off 4.3% from the first six months of 2010 when sales hit 18,168,500
In looking at the U.S. Mint’s second most popular bullion product, 22-karat American Gold Eagles, U.S. Mint distributors ordered 60,000 ounces in June. That represents a 13.2% increase over the 53,000 ounces sold in May. Year-to-date sales are at 343,500 ounces, marking a 40.4% drop from the 575,000 ounces sold in the first half of last year. Other years with quicker starts include:
- 1987 at 723,000 ounces,
- 1998 at 579,500 ounces,
- 1999 at 1,243,000 ounces,
- 2009 at 670,500 ounces, and
- 2010 at 673,000 ounces
In 24-karat American Buffalo gold coins, 10,000 ounces were ordered in June for a slight 500 increase over the previous month. Sales for the year are at 75,500 ounces, down 5.0% from last year’s six-month total of 79,500 ounces.
Finally, America the Beautiful 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins totaled 7,900 coins, or 39,500 ounces in June. Gains were achieved with:
- 4,500 of the 2012 El Yunque National Forest 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins,
- 3,200 of the 2012 Chaco Culture National Historical Park 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins, and
- 200 of the 2011 Vicksburg National Military Park 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
Three more differently designed 2012-dated 5 ounce bullion coins are expected out later this year.
For reference, the following table provides U.S. Mint bullion coin sales by month and year-to-date.
|January-June and YTD 2012 US Mint Bullion Coin Sales|
|Jan 2012||Feb 2012||Mar 2012||Apr 2012||May 2012||Jun 2012||YTD 2012|
|American Eagle Gold (1 oz)||84,500||20,000||57,500||19,000||49,000||55,000||285,000|
|American Eagle Gold (1/2 oz)||49,000||0||2,000||0||3,000||2,000||56,000|
|American Eagle Gold (1/4 oz)||38,000||2,000||0||2,000||4,000||6,000||52,000|
|American Eagle Gold (1/10 oz)||85,000||5,000||40,000||5,000||15,000||25,000||175,000|
|American Buffalo Gold (1 oz)||13,500||7,000||26,000||9,000||9,500||10,000||75,000|
|America the Beautiful Silver 5 oz Coins||5,700||300||1,800||200||5,600||7,900||21,500|
|American Eagle Silver||6.107M||1.49M||2.542M||1.52M||2.875M||2.858M||17.392M|
All coin sales in the above table are in number of coins sold, not the amount of ounces.