Gold Dips 0.7% on Week, Silver Up 1.6%; US Bullion Sales Slow

Silver bars, gold and silver coins
Precious metals bounced higher Friday but only silver logged a weekly gain. US Mint bullion coin sales slowed from the week-ago pace.

Precious metals rebounded Friday from two days of across-the-board declines. Silver pushed ahead for a strong gain on the week while gold and other metals pared their weekly losses.

On Friday, gold futures for December delivery climbed $13.50, or 1%, to settle at $1,386.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Advances came on the heels of a disappointing payrolls report that showed U.S. employers added 169,000 jobs in August. Expectations were for an 180,000 level. July’s figure was also revised down to a 13-month low at 104,000 from 162,000 and June’s moved to 172,000 from 188,000.

"Today’s data makes it clear that the economy is still weak and needs economic support," Carlos Perez-Santalla, a New York-based broker at Marex North America LLC, said in a telephone interview according to Bloomberg News. "People now think that the Fed may have to delay the tapering."

The Fed’s stimulus has been a driver for stronger gold prices in recent years. As for the latest week, gold declined $9.60, or 0.7%, for its first loss in five weeks. The precious metal is down $298.30, or 17.3%, for the year so far. Last month gold rallied 6.3%.

Gold Forecasts

Gold surveys from last week had weighed bullish for prices this week. Expectations were higher for safe-haven demand and an extension of upper movement with the strong August. This week’s survey by Kitco is more bullish than the last one.

"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 36 participants, 20 responded this week. Of those 20 participants, 13 see prices up, while six see prices down and one is neutral," reports Kitco News.

"Many survey participants said they turned bullish gold following a surprisingly weak U.S. August nonfarm payrolls report. Others said gold prices are finding support from concerns about Syria… Those who see prices weaker said they were disappointed gold didn’t get back to about $1,400 an ounce on Friday."

Conversely, the latest survey from Bloomberg News cooled compared to last week, though traders were divided. Thirteen participants cast their vote for higher gold prices in the coming days, with 13 bearish and 5 neutral.

Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures

In other precious metals this week, silver notched its sixth weekly gain in seven weeks with its pick up of 1.6% but platinum fell 2.1% and palladium sank 3.7%. In their closings on Friday:

  • Silver futures for December delivery advanced 63.6 cents, or 2.7%, to close at $23.89 an ounce.

  • October platinum added $13.60, or 0.9%, to finish at $1,495.70 an ounce.

  • Snapping a sixth session losing streak, palladium for December delivery advanced $9.65, or 1.4%, to $696.85 an ounce.

All are lower for the year-to-date, with declines of 17.3% for silver, 3% for platinum and 0.9% for palladium.

London Fix Precious Metals

London precious metal fixings were mostly higher Friday but fell on the week. When comparing the Thursday PM to Friday PM London fix prices:

  • Gold inched up $2, or 0.1%, to $1,387 an ounce,
  • Silver fell 47 cents, or 2%, to $23.05 an ounce,
  • Platinum added $11, or 0.7%, to $1,498 an ounce, and
  • Palladium gained $10, or 1.5%, to $699 an ounce

Their weekly losses accumulated to 0.6% for gold, 2.5% for silver, 1.1% for platinum and 3.9% for palladium.

U.S. Mint Bullion Sales in September

United States Mint bullion products in the first week of September slowed from the okay to exceptional range of advances logged toward the end of August. Silver coins were near half of last week’s soaring level and gold coins reached just a third of their prior week’s fairly modest mark. In weekly breakdowns:

  • Silver coins advanced 677,500 ounces compared to last week’s total of 1,257,000 ounces. Splits were 675,000 ounces in American Silver Eagles and 2,500 ounces in America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins. The ATB sales came entirely from Fort McHenry coins.

  • Gold coins rose just 2,000 ounces versus the prior weekly total of 6,000 ounces. Splits were 1,500 ounces in 22-karat American Gold Eagles and 500 ounces in 24-karat American Gold Buffalo coins.

American Silver Eagles continue to march toward a new annual record with sales this year at 33,750,000. The 99.9% pure silver coins were introduced in 1986. Since then, there have only been two other years with higher sales totals, and that is through all twelve of their months.

Sales on Friday, for the week, the month and year-to-date follow.

American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales
  Friday Sales Last Week Weekly / September Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 4,000 1,000 597,500
$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 0 1,000 49,000
$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 2,000 0 100,000
$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 0 0 455,000
$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins 0 1,500 500 190,500
White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins 0 1,200 0 31,200
Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins 0 1,200 0 23,600
Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins 0 2,900 0 22,000
Fort McHenry 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins 0 10,800 500 10,800
American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins 0 1,179,000 675,000 33,750,000


Figures above are in the number of coins sold, not in ounces. Read about the performance of silver coins in August.

Current US Silver Coin Melt Values

Silver coin melt values rose sharply last month but they’re starting September lower based on the London silver fixing. The following table offers current and past melt values of older U.S. circulating coins that were minted in 90% silver.

US Silver Coins Silver Coin Melt Values (12/31/2012) Silver Coin Melt Values (8/30/2013) Silver Coin Melt Values (9/6/2013) Net Change in August Net Change Year-To-Date
1942-1945 Jefferson Nickels $1.68 $1.33 $1.30 -$0.03 -$0.39
1892-1916 Barber Dimes $2.17 $1.71 $1.67 -$0.04 -$0.50
1916-1945 Mercury Dimes $2.17 $1.71 $1.67 -$0.04 -$0.50
1946-1964 Roosevelt Dimes $2.17 $1.71 $1.67 -$0.04 -$0.50
1892-1916 Barber Quarters $5.42 $4.28 $4.17 -$0.11 -$1.25
1916-1930 Standing Liberty 25c $5.42 $4.28 $4.17 -$0.11 -$1.25
1932-1964 Washington Quarters $5.42 $4.28 $4.17 -$0.11 -$1.25
1892-1915 Barber Half Dollars $10.83 $8.55 $8.34 -$0.21 -$2.50
1916-1947 Walking Liberty 50c $10.83 $8.55 $8.34 -$0.21 -$2.50
1948-1963 Franklin 50c $10.83 $8.55 $8.34 -$0.21 -$2.50
1964 Kennedy Half Dollars $10.83 $8.55 $8.34 -$0.21 -$2.50
1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollars $4.43 $3.50 $3.41 -$0.09 -$1.02
1878-1921 Morgan Dollars $23.16 $18.28 $17.83 -$0.46 -$5.34
1921-1935 Peace Dollars $23.16 $18.28 $17.83 -$0.46 -$5.34
1971-1976 Silver Eisenhower $1s $9.47 $7.47 $7.29 -$0.19 -$2.18
1986-2013 American Eagles $29.95 $23.64 $23.05 -$0.59 -$6.90
2010-2013 ATB Silver Coins $149.75 $118.20 $115.25 -$2.95 -$34.50


The coin melt values above are based on London Fix silver prices at the end of 2012 and August and on September 9.

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