Gold, Silver Fall on Month and Quarter; US Coin Sales Robust

Gold bullion and gold coins
Precious metals declined in the third quarter 2015

Gold futures retreated for a fourth straight session on Wednesday, driving prices lower for the month, quarter and year.

Gold for December delivery declined $11.60, or 1%, to settle at $1,115.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"The path of least resistance for prices this week is sideways to lower as the near-term technical postures for both gold and silver markets have become more bearish this week," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., said in a report. A higher U.S. dollar index on this day also worked against the precious metals market bulls."

In September, gold prices fell 1.5%, They rallied 3.4% in August. Still, the precious metal posted a quarterly loss of 4.8% and it is off 5.8% on the year.

Elsewhere, silver for December delivery shed a nickel, or 0.4%, to close at $14.52 an ounce. Silver prices slipped 0.5% in September after giving back 1.1% in August, and they have declined 6.8% in quarter. Year to date, they are down 6.9%.

In PGM futures on Wednesday and in September:

  • January platinum fell $9, or 1%, to $909.10 an ounce, plunging 10% on the month.

  • Palladium for December delivery declined $6.75, or 1%, to $650.95 an ounce, but rallied 8.1% in September.

For the quarter, platinum fell 15.8% and palladium lost 3.2%. And for the year, the two metals are down 24.8% and 18.5%.

London Precious Metals Prices

Earlier fixed London gold and silver prices were mixed. In comparing their prices from Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM:

  • Gold declined $18.10, or 1.6%, to $1,114 an ounce.
  • Silver added 9 cents, or 0.6%, to $14.65 an ounce.
  • Platinum shed $3, or 0.3%, $908 an ounce.
  • Palladium added $11, or 1.7%, to $661 an ounce.

As for the third quarter, declines totaled 4.8% for gold, 7.8% for silver, 15.8% for platinum and 2.4% for palladium. And finally, for the year so far, London bullion prices fell by 7.1% for gold, 8.3% for silver, 25% for platinum and 17.2% for palladium

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in September

All available United States Mint gold products advanced Wednesday, rising 4,000 ounces with splits of 3,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles and 1,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins.

Silver sales were muted on the day with the week’s supply of American Silver Eagles scooped up by Tuesday and the new Bombay Hook America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins selling out. will publish a more detailed analysis later but in monthly and year-ago comparisons:

  • American Eagle gold coins advanced 125,500 ounces in September compared to 101,500 ounces in the prior month and 58,000 ounces from a year earlier. For the year-to-date, American Gold Eagle sales total 670,000 ounces. That compares to 379,000 ounces through the same period in 2014.

  • American Eagle silver coins advanced 3,804,500 for the month compared to 4,935,000 in August and 4,140,000 in September 2014. Unlike last year, the U.S. Mint has been rationing Silver Eagle sales since their return after temporarily selling out in July. Still, they are on a record annual pace. Their sales total 36,054,500 for the year compared to the 32,251,000 sold though the same time in 2014. Last year, American Silver Eagle sales ended at 44,006,000 for an annual record.

  • American Buffalo gold coins advanced 22,000 on the month compared to 20,000 in August and 14,500 in September of last year. Sales at 170,500 for the year compare to 139,500 during the same period last year.

  • America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins gained 45,000 in September, all coming this week with the release and two-day sellout of the Bombay Hook 5-ounce coin. None were available in August. Four designs have been issued in 2015 so far, and they all sold out. The next five-ounce coin launches on Nov. 30.

Below is a listing of United States 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)
Wednesday Sales Last Week This Week August Sales Sept Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 1,500 12,500 9,500 78,500 98,500 520,000
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 1,000 2,000 1,000 8,000 9,000 63,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 2,000 4,000 4,000 24,000 20,000 142,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 5,000 55,000 10,000 130,000 175,000 830,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 1,000 3,000 2,500 20,000 22,000 170,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 750,000 1,000,000 4,935,000 3,804,500 36,054,500
2015 Homestead 5 Oz Silver Coins* 35,000
2015 Kisatchie 5 Oz Silver Coins* 42,000
2015 Blue Ridge Parkway 5 Oz Silver Coins* 45,000
2015 Bombay Hook 5 Oz Silver Coins* 0 N/A 45,000 N/A 45,000 45,000
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