Gold Posts Biggest Quarterly Loss Since 2016; U.S. Mint Bullion Sales Mixed in March


Precious metals surged on Wednesday, trimming the monthly losses for gold and silver, pushing platinum back into positive territory for the month, and padding palladium’s monthly gain. As for the first quarter, gold and silver sank while platinum and palladium soared.

Gold for June delivery rose $29.60, or 1.8%, to settle at $1,715.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"As we’ve seen bond yields stabilize and the dollar pull back off its recent highs, we have seen a little move off the lows in the gold market," Reuters quoted David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

Gold futures edged 0.8% lower this month, for their third straight monthly decline, increasing their first quarterly loss to 9.5%. The yellow metal’s quarterly loss was its biggest since the one ended 2016.

Silver for May delivery tacked on 39.5 cents, or 1.6%, to close at $24.532 an ounce. Silver futures sank 7.2% in March, driving their loss on the quarter to 7.1%. On Tuesday, they ended at their worst price since Dec. 14.

In other precious metals futures prices on Wednesday and for the month:

  • July platinum added $30.90, or 2.7%, to end at $1,191.50 an ounce, for a March gain of 0.5%.

  • Palladium for June delivery added $50.90, or 2%, to settle at $2,619.90 an ounce, for a sharp monthly advance of 13.2%.

The two logged first quarter increases of 10.4% for platinum and 6.8% for palladium.

US Mint Bullion Sales in 2021

United States Mint American Eagle and Buffalo bullion products split in March from February with silver sales higher and overall gold sales lower. In headline comparisons:

  • American Eagle gold coins increased by 55,500 ounces in March, recording declines of 55.8% from sales of 125,500 ounces in February and 63.4% from sales of 151,500 ounces in March 2020. For the year so far, American Gold Eagle sales at 401,500 ounces are 83.8% higher than the 218,500 ounces delivered during the first quarter last year.

  • American Eagle silver coins rose this month by 3,302,000 ounces, up 3.5% from sales of 3,191,500 ounces in February and down 39.8% from sales of 5,482,500 ounces in March 2020. American Silver Eagle sales for the year at 11,268,500 are 12.9% higher than the 9,978,500 coins sold through the same time in 2020.

  • American Buffalo gold coins advanced 32,500 ounces in March, up 103.1% from sales of 16,000 ounces in February and 50.4% lower than sales of 65,500 ounces in March 2020. American Gold Buffalo sales for the year so far at 110,000 ounces are 25.7% higher than the 87,500 ounces delivered in the first quarter last year.

  • American Eagles platinum coins registered a first quarter total of 35,000 ounces — all from their debut release in March. Last year’s edition logged March sales of 31,200 ounces for a starting three-month total of 55,000 ounces.

Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint 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)
Wednesday / This Week Last Week January Sales February Sales March Sales 2021 Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 10,500 191,000 121,000 45,000 357,000
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 22,000 9,000 0 31,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 36,000 0 20,000 56,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 95,000 0 55,000 150,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 17,500 61,500 16,000 32,500 110,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin 0 850,000 4,775,000 3,191,500 3,302,000 11,268,500
$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin 0 0 N/A N/A 35,000 35,000
America Samoa 5 oz Silver Coin* 0 0 0 0 0 0
Weir Farm 5 oz Silver Coin* 0 0 0 0 0 0
Salt River Bay 5 oz Silver Coin* 0 0 0 0 0 0
Marsh Billings 5 oz Silver Coin* 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tallgrass Prairie 5 oz Silver Coin* 0 0 0 0 0 0
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin* 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Kaiser Wilhelm

Hey, wasn’t precious metal coinage something the Mint used to sell to us?

Makes sense.jpg

Perhaps HR 2284 will become law (DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH THOU)!

Kaiser Wilhelm

Are you in fact referring to the Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019? I must confess I am totally unclear as to how this in any way relates and/or applies to the completely unfair practice of the U.S. Mint making it practically impossible for the average collector to be able to acquire any of the especially desirable coins on what were initially intended to be the only official new product release days. This very sad turn of events has of course been orchestrated by the Mint thanks to its recently-implemented policy of not only allowing but in effect actually encouraging… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Kaiser Wilhelm

No. HR 2284 refers to the “Monetary Metals Tax Neutrality Act” which could/may affect many things in the future including bit coin etc.

I’ve commented several times about selling coins that should have been destroyed and not later sold by the mint. Also, the mint selling more than authorized on occasion etc.
Since I believe there is no “fair” and everyone can claim to be a “Victim” all we can do is what is “right” and try for accountability.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Sorry about the misunderstanding, chuck. While I did have the correct bill number it was unfortunately the one out of the 115th instead of the 117th Congress. That being said, I am still not clear as to what passage of this particular Bill would specifically accomplish regarding the elimination of the incredibly frustrating and counterproductive conundrum the Mint has managed to put individual collectors aka customers into. Incidentally, just because the Mint is not playing fair doesn’t in and of itself mean that there is no objective fair in place here; there is in fact a hard and fast fair… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Kaiser Wilhelm