Demand surged in June for United States Mint bullion coins with sales the highest since 2015-dated issues launched in January, and they hurdled year-ago levels.
The sharp gains were realized in a backdrop of falling precious metals prices with gold and silver posting losses not only for the month but also for second quarter and first half of 2015.
American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins
June sales of American Silver Eagles soared to 4,840,000, more than doubling the 2,023,500 sold in the previous month and leaping 79.8% above orders of 2,692,000 from a year ago. As recently as Monday, the 99.9% fine silver coins logged gains totaling 1.15 million, the most in a day since the 2015 American Silver Eagles debuted on Jan. 12.
Year to date, Silver Eagle sales hit 21,786,000. That’s higher than annual sales of all but 6 years going back to the series launch in 1986, but it is 9.7% lower than last year’s starting six-month total of 24,128,500 coins. The annual Silver Eagle sales record happened last year at 44,006,000 coins.
Supporting recent gains, the U.S. Mint in June ended Silver Eagle rationing and that let bullion disturbers buy as many coins as they wanted.
American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins
American Gold Eagles rallied by 76,000 ounces last month, more than tripling the 21,500 ounces sold in May and surging 56.7% higher than the June 2014 tally of 48,500 ounces.
Gold Eagle sales through the first half of the year reached 273,000 ounces for a modest 2.6% pick up over the 266,000 ounces delivered through the same six months in 2014.
American Eagle gold coins have a 22-karat composition and come in four size options — 1 ounce, 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1/10 ounce. These correspond to denominations inscribed on the coins of $50, $25, $10 and $5. All sizes advanced in June, with a breakout for each coin published further below.
American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins
American Buffalo gold coins surged by 21,000 for more than two times the prior monthly total of 9,500. They vaulted 31.3% higher than sales of 16,000 in June of last year.
Sales of the one-ounce, .9999 fine gold coin through the first half of this year pulled in at 96,500, slipping 13.5% from the 111,500 ordered during the same period in 2014.
ATB Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
2015 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins advanced 35,000 in June after rising 12,000 in May. That said, these coins are minted in multiple designs each year and have varying release dates so monthly comparisons are usually not very telling.
All five ounce sales in June came from the new Blue Ridge Parkway coin. The bullion coin was released on June 22 and temporarily sold out on the same day. It has yet to return. Sales this year by design breakdown with:
- 2015 Blue Ridge Parkway Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins advancing 35,000 in June and temporarily selling out.
- 2015 Kisatchie National Forest Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins selling out in May at 42,000.
- 2015 Homestead National Monument of American Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins selling out in March at 35,000.
- 2014 Shenandoah National Park Five Ounce Silver Coins advancing 600 in January and selling out at 25,000.
Orders of the 99.9% pure silver coins reached 112,600 coins or 563,000 ounces through the first half of 2015. What is really telling for the series this year are individual coin performances. Each of the already released 2015-dated coins has logged higher numbers than any issue from 2014. Last year’s coins posted sales of 67,500 coins or 337,500 ounces through June.
US Mint Bullion Sales by Product
Below are U.S. Mint bullion sales by product type. For comparative purposes, included are totals from a year ago and from prior months in 2015.
|United States Mint Bullion Coin Sales (# of coins)|
|Jan 2015||Feb 2015||March 2015||April 2015||May 2015||June 2015||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 oz Gold Coins||51,500||12,500||35,000||23,500||13,500||62,500||198,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 oz Gold Coins||18,000||2,000||5,000||4,000||3,000||4,000||36,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 oz Gold Coins||36,000||0||8,000||4,000||10,000||12,000||70,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 oz Gold Coins||115,000||50,000||70,000||30,000||40,000||85,000||390,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 oz Gold Coins||34,500||12,000||9,500||10,000||9,500||21,000||96,500|
|ATB 5 oz Silver Coins||600||20,000||15,000||30,000||12,000||35,000||112,600|
|2015 American Eagle 1 oz Silver Coins||5.53M||3.022M||3.519M||2.8515M||2.0235M||4.84M||21.786M|
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.