Gold and silver prices surged through the first half of 2014 yet demand tumbled for United States Mint bullion coins when compared against the same time last year when coin sales surged as gold and silver logged double-digit declines.
More recently, investors in the last few weeks have run from silver coins. But in a bright spot for the U.S. Mint, sales of its gold coins jumped to a five-month high in June.
A sales summary across U.S. Mint bullion products for last month and the first half of this year follows.
American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins
American Eagle gold coins advanced 48,500 ounces in June, jumping 36.6% from the previous month’s 35,500 ounces. The tally is the second highest monthly total this year with January leading at 91,500 ounces. However, sales last month fell 14.9% from a year ago.
Gold Eagle sales in the January to June period total 266,500 ounces. That is 57.7% weaker than the same period in 2013 when 629,000 ounces sold, and marks the slowest start through the first half of a year since 2008.
22-karat American Gold Eagles are produced at the West Point Mint in sizes of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz that correspond to denominations on the coins of $50, $25, $10 and $5. As has been the case since the beginning of this year, all sizes logged gains. Breakouts by weight are offered further below.
American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins
June sales of American Silver Eagles reached 2,692,000 coins, down 32.5% from the 3,988,500 coins in May and off 17.8% from the 3,275,000 coins sold in June 2013. Last month is the first time this year that orders fell below 3 million coins, and it is the weakest month since December when the 2013-dated Silver Eagles sold out on Dec. 10. The monthly total does show some strength in the Silver Eagle’s 29-year history, ranking as the 5th best June.
Silver Eagles were actually moving faster than last year until demand for them turned lower in the last month and a half. Orders through the first half of 2014 hit 24,128,500 coins, which is 3.7% lower than the same period last year. In 2013 when the annual American Silver Eagle sales record was set at 42,675,000 coins, sales tallied to 25,043,500 coins in the first six months. Still, this year’s Silver Eagle total through the halfway mark is already higher than annual sales of all but 5 years since 1986.
American Eagle Platinum Bullion Coins
American Eagle platinum coins added 700 in June after gaining 1,000 in May; 1,200 in April; and 10,000 in March. Before then, the 99.95% pure platinum coins had not been offered by the Mint since 2008. In that year, annual sales reached 33,700 ounces. Then they were available in sizes of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz. This year there is only the 1 oz size with sales now totaling 12,900 coins.
American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins
June sales of American Buffalo gold coins logged in at 16,000 following a climb of 12,500 in May. The monthly total is the third highest this year, trailing April’s 17,500 and January’s 41,500.
Demand for the 24-karat gold coins is lower this year. Sales through the first half of 2014 hit 111,500 coins for a 31% drop from last year’s pace when orders reached 161,500 coins in the first six months, and June 2013 scored about 6% more orders than June 2014.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
Lastly, the 99.9% pure 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins gained 21,400 in June after advancing 23,100 in May.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins rose 2,000 in June to 29,000. It was released on April 21.
- Shenandoah National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins added 900 last month to 20,000. The silver coin debuted on May 5.
- Arches National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins added 18,500 since launching on June 9.
Sales of the 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins total 67,500, or 337,500 ounces. Last year’s first 2013-dated ATB coins did not launch until May 13 and had sales of 51,100, or 255,500 ounces, through June 30.
US Mint Bullion Sales by Product
Below is a breakdown of the latest U.S. Mint bullion coin sales by product type, month and year-to-date. Totals are in the number of bullion coins sold, not in the amount of ounces.
|United States Mint Bullion Coin Sales (# of coins)|
|January 2014||February 2014||March 2014||April 2014||May 2014||June 2014||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Eagle Platinum Coins (1 oz)||N/A||N/A||10,000||1,200||1,000||700||12,900|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins (1 oz)||62,500||22,000||16,000||26,000||29,000||43,000||198,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/2 oz)||12,000||3,000||2,000||5,000||3,000||2,000||27,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/4 oz)||28,000||10,000||4,000||20,000||6,000||4,000||72,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/10 oz)||160,000||50,000||30,000||50,000||35,000||35,000||360,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins (1 oz)||41,500||12,000||12,000||17,500||12,500||16,000||111,500|
|ATB Silver Coins (5 oz)||0||0||12,400||10,600||23,100||21,400||67,500|
|American Silver Eagle Coins (1 oz)||4,755,000||3,750,000||5,354,000||3,569,000||3,988,500||2,692,000||24,128,500|
U.S. Mint bullion coins are sold in bulk to "Authorized Purchasers" who consist of major coin and precious metals dealers, brokerage companies, and other participating financial intermediaries. Bullion coins are usually available for a few percentage points above the latest value of their precious metal content.