Demand for United States Mint bullion coins tends to weaken in summer months, and particularly in July. And they sure did last month.
Gold and silver trading plunged about 3% in July, but declines in U.S. Mint bullion sales dived deeper with the bureau’s core Gold Eagles down 37.1% and its popular Silver Eagles off 26.6%.
A sales summary across U.S. Mint bullion products for last month and for the first seven months of this year follows.
American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins
July sales of American Eagle gold coins rose 30,000 ounces, tumbling from the previous month’s 48,500 ounces and declining 40.6% from the 50,500 ounces sold during the same time last year. The monthly amount is the second lowest this year, behind sales of 21,000 ounces in March.
Gold Eagle sales in the January to July period total 296,500 ounces. That is 56.4% weaker than the same period in 2013 when 679,500 ounces moved, and marks the slowest start through the first seven months 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. All but the 1/2 oz size gained in July, but that was the first time this year that not all denominations advanced in a month. Breakouts by weight are offered further below.
American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins
American Silver Eagles tagged in at 1,975,000 coins, dropping from sales of 2,692,000 coins in June and plunging 55.2% from the 4,406,500 coins sold in July 2013. Last month is the first time this year that orders fell below 2 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 when contrasted against the Silver Eagle’s 29-year history, ranking as the 6th best July.
Silver Eagles were actually selling faster than any other year until demand started to plummet 10 weeks ago. Orders through the first seven months of this year total 26,103,500 coins, which is 11.4% lower than during 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 29,450,000 coins through July. Still, this year’s Silver Eagle total is already higher than annual sales of all but 5 years since 1986.
American Eagle Platinum Bullion Coins
July sales of American Eagle platinum coins flattened after gaining 700 in June; 1,000 in May; 1,200 in April; and 10,000 in March. Before then, the 99.95% pure platinum coins had not been issued since 2008. In that year, annual sales combined to 33,700 ounces across sizes of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz. This year there is only the 1 oz size and its sales are at 12,900.
American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins
24-karat American Buffalo gold coins limped in at 5,500, down 65.6% from sales of 16,000 in June for the weakest monthly total since 4,000 coins moved in July 2012.
Sales through the first seven months of 2014 reached 117,000 coins for a 35% drop from last year’s pace when orders hit 180,000 coins.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
Finally, orders of 99.9% pure 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins went up 2,000 after rising 21,400 in June when sales kicked off for the coin honoring Arches National Park in Utah. The next design honoring Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado is scheduled for a late August release.
The latest sales breakdown for 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins by design are:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins rose 500 in July to 29,500. It was released on April 21.
- Shenandoah National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins at 20,000 were flat for the month. The silver coin debuted on May 5.
- Arches National Park Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins rose 1,500 in July to 20,000. It was released on June 9.
2014 ATB Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin sales total 69,500, or 347,500 ounces. The tallies through July of last year for the 2013 ATB coins reached 68,100, or 340,500 ounces.
US Mint Bullion Sales by Product
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold during each month in 2014 as well as the 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)|
|Jan 2014||Feb 2014||Mar 2014||Apr 2014||May 2014||Jun 2014||Jul 2014||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Eagle Platinum Coins (1 oz)||N/A||N/A||10,000||1,200||1,000||700||0||12,900|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins (1 oz)||62,500||22,000||16,000||26,000||29,000||43,000||26,000||224,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/2 oz)||12,000||3,000||2,000||5,000||3,000||2,000||0||27,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/4 oz)||28,000||10,000||4,000||20,000||6,000||4,000||6,000||78,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Coins (1/10 oz)||160,000||50,000||30,000||50,000||35,000||35,000||25,000||385,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins (1 oz)||41,500||12,000||12,000||17,500||12,500||16,000||5,500||117,000|
|ATB Silver Coins (5 oz)||0||0||12,400||10,600||23,100||21,400||2,000||69,500|
|American Silver Eagle Coins (1 oz)||4.755M||3.750M||5.354M||3.569M||3.9885M||2.692M||1.975M||26.1035M|
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 priced at a few percentage points above the latest value of their precious metal content.