Gold Rises in April, Silver Tumbles; US Mint Gold Bullion Sales Crawl

Pile of American Eagle gold bullion coins
While gold advanced in April, sales of U.S. Mint gold bullion coins were the weakest for a month since December 2015

Precious metals ended mixed this week and in April. Gold futures, while logging their first weekly loss in seven weeks, were among gainers for the month.

Gold for June delivery added $2.40, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,268.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices dropped 1.6% this week, trimming their April increase to 1.4%.

"Most of the correction should be done by now," Reuters quoted Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said. "We see good support at this level. There are a lot of uncertainties remaining."

Now, the yellow metal is 10.1% higher on the year. In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:

"Twenty-three traders and analysts took part in a Wall Street survey. Ten voters, or 43%, see gold prices rising by next Friday. Seven, or 30%, said lower, while six voters, or 26%, were either neutral or expected sideways prices.

Meanwhile, 1,019 Kitco readers submitted votes in an online Main Street poll. A total of 493 voters, or 48%, are bullish. Another 361, or 35%, say that gold will fall, while 165, or 16%, are neutral."

Falling for a fourth straight day and a second week in a row, silver futures for July delivery shed 7.2 cents, or 0.4%, to close at $17.262 an ounce. The settlement is the lowest since March 15.

Silver futures lost 3.3% this week, after sinking 3.5% last week, and they tumbled 5.4% in April to pull down their gain on the year to 8%.

In other precious metals dealings:

  • July platinum dipped 10 cents to $948.70 an ounce, for weekly and monthly losses of 3% and 0.4%.

  • Palladium for June delivery advanced $13.70, or 1.7%, to $826.70 an ounce, scoring weekly and monthly gains of 4.6% and 3.6%.

Both metals are higher so far this year with increases of 4.8% for platinum and 21% for palladium.

London Precious Metals Prices

London precious metals prices were also mixed. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:

  • Gold rose $3.65 or 0.3%, to $1,266.45 an ounce.
  • Silver declined 5 cents, or 0.3%, to $17.41 an ounce.
  • Platinum added $2, or 0.2%, to $946 an ounce.
  • Palladium rose $14, or 1.7%, to $824 an ounce.

For the week, palladium advanced 2.6% while the other metal prices fell by 1.2% for gold, 3.2% for silver and 3.4% for platinum.

In April, silver fell 3.6% while the other metal prices climbed by 1.7% for gold, 0.6% for platinum, and 3.3% for palladium.

London metal prices marked year-to-date gains of 9.3% for gold, 7.2% for silver, 4.3% for platinum, and 21.9% for palladium.

US Mint Bullion Sales in 2017

U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo bullion sales slowed sharply in April. In headline comparisons:

  • American Eagle gold coins tallied to only 6,000 ounces in April — their weakest month since December 2015 when the three most popular 2015 Gold Eagles had already sold out by November. The total was off 71.4% from the 21,000 ounces delivered in March and down 94.3% from April 2016 when sales soared to 105,500 ounces. Year to date, sales at 172,000 ounces are 51% lower than the 351,000 ounces moved during the first four months of last year.

  • American Eagle silver coins reached 835,000 ounces for their lowest sales month since December when the U.S. Mint had already sold the last of its 2016-dated supply by Dec. 6. The level was off 48.3% from March sales of 1,615,000 ounces and down 79.5% from the 4,072,000 ounces delivered in April of last year. 2017 Silver Eagle sales at 8,792,500 are 53.5% lower than the 18,914,500 sold through the same time in 2016.

  • American Buffalo gold coins moved up by 3,500 ounces — their weakest month since December 2015, marking declines of 58.8% from March sales of 8,500 ounces and 82.1% from April 2016 sales of 19,500 ounces. Year to date, sales at 59,000 ounces are 25.8% lower than the 79,500 ounces moved during the January to April period of last year.

  • America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins rose by 92,500 ounces in April after climbing by 1,000 ounces in March. Most of the gains came from the newest coin honoring Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, D.C.

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

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Friday Sales Last Week This Week Mar Sales April Sales 2017 Sales
$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin 0 0 0 0 0 20,000
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin 500 0 1,000 16,000 3,500 127,000
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 1,000 0 25,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 4,000 2,000 46,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin 0 5,000 10,000 35,000 20,000 210,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin 500 500 1,000 8,500 3,500 59,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin 0 220,000 235,000 1,615,000 835,000 8,792,500
2017 Effigy Mounds 5 Oz Silver Coin 0 300 0 200 900 20,600
2017 Frederick Douglass 5 Oz Silver Coin 0 4,200 1,400 N/A 17,600 17,600


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Seth Riesling

Mike Unser –

Speaking of gold…Are you going to publish your usual high res photos of your 1792-2017-W $100 Proof high relief .9999 fine gold 1-oz African-American Lady Liberty 225th anniversary of the US Mint commemorative gold coin? Or did you not purchase this beautiful, historic, groundbreaking gold coin & a beautiful piece of artwork in precious metal form?