The United States Mint sold the last of the 2016-dated American Eagle silver bullion coins on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Their annual total ended at 37,701,500 coins, ranking 2016 as the fifth best sales year. U.S. Mint bullion distributors will now have to wait about a month for more since next year’s edition doesn’t launch until Jan. 9.
Silver Eagle sales ran at a record pace through the first five months of this year, slowed to a jog in June, and then walked in the summer months until picking up again in October.
2016 American Silver Eagle Sales by Month
Produced annually since 1986, the 1-ounce coins have logged their strongest sales in the last several years. Demand for them starting ticking higher in 2008 when orders reached over 19.5 million coins, nearly doubling those sold in 2007. Their sales peaked in 2016 at a record 47 million. This year’s tally ended 19.8% lower than the record.
Top American Silver Eagle Sales Years
|Year||Sales Total*||Annual Sales Rank|
*These annual levels do not reflect true Silver Eagle demand since the U.S. Mint limited their sales because of silver planchet shortages. For example, this year’s coin was sold under the Mint’s allocation system from its release on Jan. 11 until rationing ended on July 18.
The U.S. Mint does not sell bullion coins directly to the public. Instead, they are sold through a network of authorized purchasers. AP’s, consisting of major coin and precious metals dealers, brokerage companies, and other participating financial intermediaries, pay the U.S. Mint $2 more than the spot value of each Silver Eagle they buy. Then they resell the coins at a markup to other dealers and the public.
Conversely, the U.S. Mint offers collector 2016 American Silver Eagles to anyone at catalog.usmint.gov. The proof version is $53.95 and has sales of 491,255. The uncirculated version is $44.95 and has sales of 134,925. Unlike the bullion edition with its reeded edge, both collector coins feature a one-year-only edge that is smooth and has incused lettering of "30th ANNIVERSARY."