Gold and silver prices soared in February, yet the direction of United States Mint bullion coins split with sales of the bureau’s American Gold Eagles stumbling and its American Silver Eagles running.
Neither of the U.S. Mint’s American Eagles could compete with numbers put up in January. There is no surprise there. January is traditionally a monster sales month for the Mint with both investors and collectors flocking to acquire newly dated coins.
A sales summary across U.S. Mint bullion products for February and this year follows.
American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins
U.S. Mint sales of American Eagle silver coins ended at 3,750,000 in February, dropping 21.5% from January’s total of 4,775,000 while leaping 11.3% ahead of the 3,368,500 sold during the same month last year.
Monthly figures only provide a glimpse into demand levels for the 99.9% pure silver coins and cannot paint the true picture since the U.S. Mint continues to ration how many are sold. But as a point of reference when going through the 29 years of American Silver Eagles, there are just eight months with higher sales than February 2014:
- January 2013 with 7,498,000,
- January 2011 with 6,422,000,
- January 2012 with 6,107,000,
- January 2014 with 4,775,000,
- September 2011 with 4,460,500,
- July 2013 with 4,406,500,
- November 2010 with 4,260,000, and
- April 2013 with 4,087,000
2014 American Silver Eagles stand at 8,525,000 through the first two months of this year. Only two other years through the same time have higher recorded sales — last year at 10,866,500 million coins and in 2011 at 9,662,000 coins.
American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins
American Eagle gold coins are available in sizes of 1 ounce, 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1/10 ounce, which correspond to coin denominations of $50, $25, $10 and $5. As has been the case in every month but one since 2013 but less so before, all Gold Eagle sizes advanced in February. Breakouts by size are offered further below.
February sales of the 22-karat gold coins totaled 31,000 ounces, marking a 66.1% tumble from the prior month’s 91,500 ounces and a 61.5% drop from sales of 80,500 ounces during the same time last year. The monthly tally was the weakest since 13,000 ounces moved in September.
In year-to-date Gold Eagle sales, U.S. Mint distributors have ordered 122,500 ounces, the slowest two-month start since 2008.
American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins
American Buffalo gold coin sales in February hit 12,000 ounces, down 71.1% from the 41,500 ounces in January but 4.3% higher than sales of 11,500 ounces from a year ago.
A total of 53,500 have sold through the first two months of this year, which is down from last year’s opening two-month sales of 84,000 ounces.
American Gold Buffalos are available in one size, one-ounce, and are struck in 24-karat gold to a purity of 99.99%.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
For a second month, sales of the three-inch America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins came up empty since all of last year’s coins sold out and none of the 2014-dated coins have been released. Those 2014 issues will include:
- 2014 Great Smoky Mountains National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
- 2014 Shenandoah National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
- 2014 Arches National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
- 2014 Great Sand Dunes National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
- 2014 Everglades National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
The first five ounce release for Great Smoky Mountains National Park is set to go on sale in late March.
US Mint Bullion Sales by Product
Below is a breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion sales in February by product type. For comparative purposes, included are sales totals from last month and from a year ago.
|United States Mint Bullion Coin Sales (# of coins)|
|February 2013||January 2014||February 2014||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins (1 oz)||68,000||62,500||22,000||84,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/2 oz)||5,000||12,000||3,000||15,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/4 oz)||12,000||28,000||10,000||38,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/10 oz)||70,000||160,000||50,000||210,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins (1 oz)||11,500||41,500||12,000||53,500|
|ATB Silver Coins (5 oz)||14,340||0||0||0|
|American Eagle Silver Coins (1 oz)||3,368,500||4,755,000||3,750,000||8,525,000|
U.S. Mint bullion coins are sold to authorized distributors who resell them to the public and other companies like coin and bullion dealers. Bullion coins, whether gold or silver, are usually available for a few percentage points above the latest value of their precious metal content.