Gold and Silver Prices Soar in May


Precious metals rose slightly Friday, padding their weekly gains. Gold bounced back above $1,900 an ounce to close at a more than 20-week high. The yellow metal also ended sharply higher on the month, as did silver.

Gold for August delivery rose $6.80, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,905.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was again the highest since Jan. 7 when gold ended at $1,913.60 an ounce.

"Gold has enjoyed the return of inflation in the economic data of May and capital flows have returned to drive higher as [bitcoin] has experienced up and down volatility," Jeff Wright, chief investment officer at Wolfpack Capital, told Market Watch.

Gold futures traded 1.5% higher this week, for their fourth straight weekly gain, and booked an increase in May of 7.8%. They are 0.5% higher for the year to date.

In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street & Main Street surveys:

"Kitco’s gold price survey results showed that out of 14 participating analysts on the Wall Street side, 57% were bullish on prices next week, 21.5% were bearish, and the other 21.5% were neutral.

A similar trend is seen on Main Street. Out of the 1,236 participating retail investors, 67% were bullish on prices next week, 17% were bearish, and 16% were neutral."

Elsewhere, silver for July delivery added 7.4 cents, or 0.3%, to end at $28.014 an ounce. Silver futures tacked on 1.9% this week after climbing 0.4% last week. They notched an 8.3% monthly gain, bringing prices for the year up to 6.1%.

In other precious metals futures on Friday and for the week:

  • July platinum rose $3.30, or 0.3%, to finish at $1,182.40 an ounce, for a 1.1% weekly increase.

  • Palladium for September delivery settled up $19.60, or 0.7%, to $2,830.10 an ounce, for an advance on the week of 2%.

In May, platinum fell 1.9% and palladium tumbled 4.2%. As for the year so far, platinum is 9.6% higher while palladium is ahead by 15.3%.

US Mint Bullion Sales in 2021

Sales of American Eagle silver and gold bullion coins slowed in May from April, according to U.S. Mint published figures. They improved, however, for American Buffalo gold coins and American Platinum Eagles. In headline comparisons:

  • American Eagle gold coins increased by 20,500 ounces, falling 46.8% from sales of 38,500 ounces in April but rising 78.3% from sales of 11,500 ounces in May 2020. For the year so far, American Gold Eagle sales at 471,000 ounces are 40.6% higher than the 335,000 ounces delivered during the first five months of last year.

  • American Eagle silver coins were muted after sales of 1,053,000 ounces in April and 490,000 ounces in May 2020. American Silver Eagle sales for the year at 13,106,500 are 16.8% higher than the 11,218,500 coins sold through the same time in 2020.

  • American Buffalo gold coins jumped 44,000 ounces, marking increases of 300% from sales of 11,000 ounces in April and 1,660% from sales of 2,500 ounces in May 2020. American Gold Buffalo sales for the year so far at 166,000 ounces are 40.1% higher than the 118,500 ounces delivered in the same period last year.

  • American Eagles platinum coins increased by 40,000 ounces, after registering no sales in April and a gain of 35,000 ounces during their March release month, for a 2021 total of 75,000 ounces. Last year’s edition logged sales in each of the first four months and none later. It ended at 56,500 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)
Friday Last Week This Week February Sales March Sales April Sales May 2021 Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 18,500 2,000 121,000 55,500 38,500 20,500 426,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 9,000 0 0 0 31,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 0 20,000 0 0 56,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 0 55,000 0 0 150,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 31,000 13,000 16,000 33,500 11,000 44,000 166,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin 0 0 0 3,191,500 4,087,000 1,053,000 0 13,106,500
$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin 0 26,400 13,600 N/A 35,000 0 40,000 75,000
Tuskegee Airmen 5 oz Silver Coin 0 2,900 0 N/A N/A 50,000 2,900 52,900
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