Gold, Silver Dive in May; US Mint Bullion Sales Exceptional

American Eagle gold and silver coins, and $50s
Gold and silver prices plummeted in May. U.S. Mint bullion coin sales, however, were exceptional for the month.

Gold futures snapped their eight-session selloff on Tuesday but the modest increase came nowhere near to curbing their sharp monthly decline.

Gold for August delivery edged up 80 cents, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $1,217.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"Prices are in a steep four-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart as there is scant, fresh bullish fundamental news to be found," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., said in a report. "This is allowing the chart-based traders to dominate as the near-term technical postures for gold and silver have deteriorated."

Gold futures fell 5.7% in May but they are 14.8% higher so far this year. On Friday, they closed at their lowest level in more than three months and posted their third straight weekly decline.

Elsewhere in bullion trading, silver for July delivery dropped 27.5 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at $15.994 an ounce, the lowest close since April 11. The precious metal dived in May by 10.2%. Still, silver futures are 15.9% higher than their last settlement in 2015 at $13.803 an ounce.

In PGM futures on Tuesday and for the month:

  • July platinum dipped $1.80, or 0.2%, to settle at $980.40 an ounce, falling 9.1% from the end of April.

  • Palladium for September delivery added $8.35, or 1.6%, to close at $547.35 an ounce, but sank 12.8% in May.

Year to date, platinum is 9.8% higher while palladium is 2.6% lower.

London Precious Metals Prices

In comparing earlier fixed London gold and silver prices from Friday PM to Tuesday PM:

  • Gold declined $4.15, or 0.3%, to $1,212.10 an ounce.
  • Silver declined 24 cents, or 1.5%, to $16.06 an ounce.

LBMA platinum and palladium prices are available on the LBMA’s website with a delay of midnight.

In May, London gold and silver registered declines of 5.7% and 10%.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2016

United States Mint coin sales are usually more tepid near and around the middle of the year. With that said, the U.S. Mint actually logged mixed results in May as compared to April with gold coins selling expectantly slower while sales of silver coins moved faster than expected. And overall, both gold and silver coins rallied compared to last year. In headline comparisons:

  • American Eagle gold coins reached 76,500 ounces in May, falling 27.5% from the April total of 105,500 ounces while soaring 255.8% from the 21,500 ounces delivered in May of last year. Year to date, sales total 427,500 ounces to more than double the 197,000 ounces sold during the January to May period in 2015.

  • American Buffalo gold coins moved up by 18,500 ounces in May, slipping 5.1% from April sales of 19,500 ounces but almost doubling the 9,500 ounces delivered in May 2015. Year to date, sales at 98,000 ounces are 29.8% higher than the 75,500 ounces sold during the first five months of last year.

  • The U.S. Mint is rationing weekly sales of American Eagle silver coins because of silver planchet shortages. Their sales still advanced 4,498,500 for the month, up 10.5% from the prior month’s 4,072,000 coins and 122.3% higher than in May 2015 when they reached 2,023,500 coins. 2016 American Silver Eagles are at 23,413,000 for the year to date, which is 38.2% more than the 16,946,000 coins sold through the same time in record-breaking year 2015.

  • America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins climbed in May by 11,000 coins or 55,000 ounces after rising in April by 64,000 coins or 320,000 ounces. Sales in both month are from 2016 Cumberland Gap Natural Historical Park Silver Coins. They launched on April 18 as the second 5-ounce issue for 2016. The next release, commemorating Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, is expected to launch on June 6.

Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold during varying periods of time.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Tuesday Sales Last Week Mar Sales Apr Sales May Sale 2016 Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 7,500 18,500 29,000 93,500 64,500 343,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 2,000 1,000 1,000 6,000 7,000 43,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 0 6,000 4,000 14,000 10,000 76,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 10,000 10,000 75,000 55,000 60,000 435,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 2,500 3,000 7,000 19,500 18,500 98,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 579,500 891,000 4,106,000 4,072,000 4,498,500 23,413,000
2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 0 0 0 0 105,000
2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 0 0 64,000 11,000 75,000


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments