Gold Jumps 3.4% in August; US Mint Bullion Coins Impress

Staggered gold bars
Precious metals were mixed in August while U.S. Mint bullion coin sales remained exceptionally strong

Gold futures ended lower to start the new trading week on Monday, the fifth decline in six sessions. Still, they scored robust gains in August that tallied to 3.4% for their biggest monthly increase since January, and a marked contrast from their 6.5% loss in July.

On the day, gold for December delivery dipped $1.50, or 0.1%, to close at $1,132.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"The negative stock-market action we’ve seen this past two weeks would put a bid into gold under normal market conditions, but the [Federal Reserve] meetings out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming have given market participants a spook, as officials are still strongly considering a rate hike by year-end," MarketWatch quoted Adam Koos, president of Libertas Wealth Management Group.

"So while gold has rebounded from one of its lowest closes in over five years … the market cares more about rates and economic data than anything else," he said.

Gold prices dropped 2.2% last week and they are off 4.4% on the year.

Silver futures notched a third day of gains after dropping for five straight, but they fell 1.1% in August. Silver for December delivery tacked on 4 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $14.59 an ounce. Prices tumbled last week by 4.9% and they have declined 6.5% on the year to date.

In rounding out the precious metals complex on Monday and for the month:

  • October platinum declined $11.20, or 1.1%, to $1,010.50 an ounce, trimming gains in August to 2.6%.

  • Palladium for December delivery gained $12.10, or 2.1%, to $602.25 an ounce, paring losses for the month to 1.4%.

For the year, platinum is off 16.5% and palladium is down 24.6%.

London Precious Metals Prices

Markets in the U.K. closed on Monday for a holiday. London precious metals on Friday were:

  • Gold at $1,135 an ounce.
  • Silver at $14.44 an ounce.
  • Platinum at $1,003 an ounce.
  • Palladium at $573 an ounce.

For the month, gold advanced 3.3% and platinum climbed 2.5% while silver fell 0.8% and palladium tumbled 6.1%.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in August

Demand tends to weakens sharply for United States Mint bullion coins during the summer months. That has not been the case this year.

Just last week, American Gold Eagles logged their strongest weekly total of the year. Their sales tally in August ranks second highest for a 2015 month, right behind July.

American Silver Eagles continue on a record annual pace despite sales restrictions that went in place after they temporarily sold out in July. Their monthly total was the third highest of the year, right behind January and July. will publish a more detailed analysis later but in monthly and year-ago bullion coin comparisons:

  • American Eagle gold coins advanced 101,500 ounces in July compared to 170,000 ounces in the prior month and just 25,000 ounces from a year earlier. For the year-to-date, American Gold Eagle sales total 544,500 ounces versus the 321,000 ounces from the same period in 2014.

  • American Eagle silver coins jumped 4,935,000 for the month compared to 5,529,000 in July and 2,087,500 in August 2014. Sales for the year total 32,250,000 and are well above last year’s starting 8-month total of 28,191,000 coins. In 2014, American Silver Eagle sales ended at 44,006,000 for an annual record.

  • American Buffalo gold coins advanced 20,000 on the month compared to 32,000 in July and 8,000 in August of last year. Sales at 148,500 for the year compare to 125,000 during the same period last year.

  • America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins were muted in August after rising 10,000 in July. Three designs have been issued in 2015 r so far, and they all sold out earlier. The next five-ounce coin launches on Sept. 30.

Below is a listing of U.S. Mint bullion products with the number of coins sold during varying periods. Products with an asterisk (*) are no longer available.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Monday Sales Last Week July Sales August Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 9,000 47,500 144,500 78,500 421,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 1,000 4,000 10,000 8,000 54,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 6,000 12,000 28,000 24,000 122,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 35,000 40,000 135,000 130,000 655,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 2,500 12,000 32,000 20,000 148,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 755,000 812,500 5,529,000 4,935,000 32,250,000
2015 Homestead 5 Oz Silver Coins* 35,000
2015 Kisatchie 5 Oz Silver Coins* 42,000
2015 Blue Ridge Parkway 5 Oz Silver Coins* 10,000 45,000


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The big question: Is this a mere relief bounce off the lows or the start of something big?