Gold Rises 3.2% on Week; Silver Scores 8.5% Weekly Gain

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Gold and other precious metals logged weekly gains
Gold and other precious metals logged weekly gains

Gold, platinum and palladium declined on Friday while silver rallied to a fresh, seven-month settlement high. All the metals notched exceptional weekly gains.

Slipping from a near four-month high, gold for February delivery shed $5.60, or 0.3%, to close at $1,809.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"With the U.S. jobs number coming in much stronger than expected… what we’re seeing is the concern that the Fed may need to go further with their expected interest rate hikes," Reuters quoted David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Future.

"You’re going to see pressure on most asset classes today, not just the precious metals complex." 

On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department reported employers added 263,000 jobs in November, exceeding economists’ expectations of around 200,000 jobs.

Gold prices advanced 3.2% this week after dipping 0.02% last week. They are 1% lower on the year to date. On Thursday, gold marked its best finish since Aug. 12.

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

"This week, 18 Wall Street analysts participated in the Kitco News Gold Survey. Among the participants, 12 analysts, or 67%, were bullish on gold in the near term and six analysts, or 33%, were bearish for next week. There were no neutral votes in this week’s survey.

Meanwhile, 1,018 votes were cast in an online Main Street poll. Of these, 715 respondents, or 70%, looked for gold to rise next week. Another 188, or 18%, said it would be lower, while 115 voters, or 11%, were neutral in the near term."

Elsewhere, silver for March delivery tacked on 40.9 cents, or 1.8%, to settle at $23.25 an ounce. The settlement was the best since April 27. Silver prices soared 8.5% this week after rising 2.1% last week. They are 0.4% lower on the year.

In PGM prices on Friday and for the week:

  • January platinum declined $28.30, or 2.7%, to end at $1,026.60 an ounce, but registered a 3.9% weekly increase.

  • Palladium for March delivery dropped $45.20, or 2.3%, to end at $1,901.10 an ounce, trimming its weekly gain to 4.4%.

The two metals are divided on the year so far with platinum 6.3% higher and palladium 0.6% lower.

US Mint Bullion Sales in 2022

Published United States Mint bullion sales last changed on Nov. 21. Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of coins sold during varying periods.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Friday / This Week / Dec. July August September October November / Last Week 2022 Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 59,500 47,500 47,500 59,500 6,000 846,000
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin 0 5,000 2,000 0 2,000 0 75,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin 0 2,000 4,000 4,000 2,000 0 140,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin 0 20,000 20,000 15,000 15,000 0 575,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 39,500 22,500 44,500 39,500 4,500 410,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin 0 850,000 850,000 833,000 1,258,000 1,407,000 15,904,500
$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin 0 15,500 1,000 0 0 0 80,000
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Rich

Holy Toledo! Silver is back above $23 an ounce. Seems like only yesterday it was down at $18 per ounce.

chuck

Rich,
It may even end the year higher than it was at the start of the year. Wonder if the Mint bought the ag when it was around $18 for next years coins? Doubt that so expect higher prices for the silver coins/medals in 2023.

Major D

Chuck, the Mint’s bullion and numismatic programs are not operated as non-profits. The Mint should strive to maximize its return on the cost of precious metal planchets by getting as much for the bullion and coins as the market will allow (which as citizens we should all want– otherwise, taxpayers would be subsidizing the purchases of dealers and collectors). From the US Mint’s 2021 Annual Report: “FY 2021 saw the Mint’s bullion program achieve its highest level of revenue in more than 20 years. Bullion revenue was $3.8 billion, with net earnings of $68.9 million. This was complemented by the… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

Major D, there is a monumental discrepancy apparent here between what the Mint takes in as the profit on bullion sales as opposed to what it earns via its profit on numismatic sales. For every $100 in bullion sales the Mint earns a profit of $1.81, while for each $100 in numismatic sales the Mint realizes a profit of $18.40, which amounts to a figure that is ten times as much per equivalent sale. It’s not too difficult to figure out who has ended up carrying the Mint’s water in this setup and which entities this particular arrangement obviously benefits… Read more »

Major D

Kaiser, dealers also purchase a lot of numismatic products through the Mint’s Numismatic Bulk Purchase Program. Additionally, I believe they’re allotted a per cent of other products that are not in the bulk program. Exactly what the split is between dealers and non-dealers, I have no idea- but I tend to think the Mint would not be nearly as profitable without dealers. Whether you make coins or a product for the grocery shelf you’re going to have several sales customers. For the later, a number of name brands sell product to Aldi and Costco that’s discounted and rebranded- same product,… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

In regard to the clearly somewhat off base conclusion I had come to in my prior comment, it’s clear that I had forgotten about those two modes of acquisition you subsequently denoted. I also neglected to include the typically large number of numismatic Mint products the big dealers, buying clubs and other assorted major flippers make a practice of purchasing at retail by way of their compensated surrogate buyer operations. These, when added to their acquisitions via the bulk and allotted percentage programs, must certainly add up to be a goodly percentage of the Mint’s total numismatic sales and therefore… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
chuck

Major D,
Yes, the Mint’s programs do not, overall, nor should they lose money (unlike most of the Government programs do). My point is if they bought at $18 instead of at $23 they would reap even more. After all, when was the last time they reduced prices on silver products? They certainly raise prices fast but not so much when prices perhaps should/could be lower. Taking what you say into account should they not stop making the one cent and five cent coins which are big money losers for them and for all of us?

Kaiser Wilhelm

Indeed, chuck, the Mint should ideally have bought silver at $18 an ounce and not waited until it was up to $23 again, but we’ll likely never know if they did. As for the Mint reducing silver product prices, I’ve never seen it, but then, it’s the only precious metal not on a pricing grid so perhaps they have no need or inclination to do so. Regarding the cent and the nickel, they could at least begin with eliminating the former immediately; the latter may take some more time and inflationary pressures to make it equally irrelevant.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Major D

The market determines the prices- its supply and demand.

Kaiser Wilhelm

What’s remarkable about modern market forces, Major D, is how they don’t necessarily always follow the traditional model. In the “good old days” demand routinely drove supply while in our brave new world it is often a particular supply that creates demand. Essentially, there are now more than a few instances where whimsy has supplanted necessity as a motivating factor.

Major D

I don’t know, Kaiser. The demand for ASE seems to be there no matter number what the number that is minted. And the re-sale prices, with a few exceptions, seem to defy the scarcity argument, as I see many high mintage year ASE selling for about the same price as low mintage year ASE. So far in 2022: 688,943 W Proofs, 343,832 S Proofs, and 193,779 W Burnished/Uncirculated sold by the Mint (based on 11-27-2022 sales report–including the Congrat set, Bulk 40, and the Ltd Ed set sales). I don’t think that necessity was ever part of the equation. Nobody… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

It appears, Major D, that I was woefully unclear regarding not only the thrust but even more egregiously so the subject of my comment. You are absolutely right on point with your reportage concerning the reality of American Silver Eagle sales and I am of course happy to be among the recipients of that useful illumination. Ironically, I myself was referring to the concept of supply and demand in “the world out there” rather than addressing the state of ASEs in particular or for that matter coins sales in general, but I sadly neglected to make that clear. It’s alright… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

The fact that rather than needing ASEs people instead just want them is a very good explanation for why the prices of ASEs don’t vary according to their scarcity. If there is only a desire rather than an imperative need for a product there is nothing in play to drive up the prices as long as there are enough of the items to go around. No pressure, no premium pricing.

Rich

Sir Kaiser, Here is the listing of the 1986-2022 original/initial US Mint prices for the American Eagle Silver Proof coins: 1986 = $21.00 1987 = $23.00 1988 = $23.00 1989 = $23.00 1990 = $23.00 1991 = $23.00 1992 = $23.00 1993 = $23.00 1994 = $23.00 1995 = $23.00 1996 = $23.00 1997 = $23.00 1998 = $24.00 1999 = $24.00 2000 = $24.00 2001 = $24.00 2002 = $24.00 2003 = $24.00 2004 = $27.95 2005 = $27.95 2006 = $27.95 2007 = $29.95 2008 = $31.95 2010 = $45.95 2011 = $59.95 (price increased to $68.45 on… Read more »

Major D

Hey Rich, thanks for the chart. I’d argue that is only part of the story. I’d also look at the US Mint’s original price when adjusted for inflation, then subtract the price of silver when adjusted for inflation to get the price over spot. But then this only helps explain the pricing side of things. The demand side is the bigger factor IMO. ASEs were suspended in 2009 because of unprecedented demand (2009 American Eagle Silver Coins Suspended | CoinNews) – hence, the big jump in price from 2008 to 2010. To this day there is a huge demand, and… Read more »

Rich

Major D, you certainly are correct in your comment. As you point out, the Mint’s established pricing of the ASE Proof coins over the past 36 years is the end result of all the critical parts of the story, such as: the average spot price of silver from 1986-2022, the rate of inflation and inflation adjustments, silver and silver planchet supply considerations, and silver/silver coin demand in the US over those years. The yearly final mintage figures can roughly give us an idea of the demand component of the picture. It would be interesting to analyze and compare the chart… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

First of all, Good Sir Rich, allow me to express my gratitude for the obviously considerable time and effort it took you to create that list/chart; it provides a very useful illumination regarding the course of the Mint’s ASE pricing throughout that coin’s existence. Two things surprised me the most; that there were so many periods of a series of years when no price change was implemented, and that there actually were occasions where for two years in a row the price of ASEs was actually lowered.

Antonio

For some reason, I thought the 1994 proof ASE was much more than that.

Major D

Chuck, I agree with you about the one cent and five cent being minted at a deficit- however, the Mint’s primary mission is making circulating coins and it does not get to decide to stop making those denominations.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Indeed, Major D, this decision is entirely within the realm of Congressional deliberating and decision making, which is another way of saying it all depends on what the lobbyists want and how much election funding they are willing to ante up for it.

Antonio

I believe the U.S. Mint sells per the current price, not the price they paid for the metal, silver, gold, platinum and palladium. The government’s business is business; or was that America’s business is business? It’s a business nontheless.

Kaiser Wilhelm

The original statement is usually quoted as having been “The business of America is business”, but to this day there is still a question as to how accurate that particular rendering of it actually is.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Good Sir Rich, tapping into my typical never being satisfied with halfway measures inclination/propensity, I am now of course anticipating silver breaking the $25 barrier.

Rich

That would be explosive!

silversurfer.jpg
Kaiser Wilhelm

What if he had instead been envisioned as the Golden Surfer?

R.jpg
Dazed and Coinfused

Antonio. Maybe your mom would keep a proof set if it was gold or silver. Nah. Just the diamond. Sparkly over shiny. I think platinum is going to start creeping up and maybe overtake gold again. When silver was $50 not long ago, what were the ase going for? I see it steady went up then quick surge. But dropping from 50 to $13 I don’t see that exposed in the price list. Also. I think I have an error 10 dollar bill. The left or right side looks wrinkled, like it was in a paper jam, but on the… Read more »

Antonio

I think mom preferred a visit, hug and kiss on the cheek. Saying, “I love you mom” doesn’t hurt either. I just think she wasn’t interested in coins. What in the world!

Kaiser Wilhelm

I just can’t wrap my head around that. How could anyone possibly prefer attention, affection and love to money? 😉

Last edited 1 month ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Major D

In comparing the 2022 Limited Edition Silver Proof set (22RC) to the 2022 Silver Proof set (22RH) apples-to-apples: subtract the cost of the AWQ silver set (22WS) and the cost of the ASE ‘S’-proof (22EM) from the Ltd Ed ($201-$73-$73) and you have $55 for the silver half and dime; subtract the AWQ silver set from the Silver Proof set ($105-$73) and you have $32 for the silver half and dime plus the clad ‘S’-proof cent, nickel and NA $. Not only does the Ltd Ed set not offer anything new, but you’re overpaying $23 for the silver half and… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Major D
Antonio

That’s why I pass on that one. Perhaps years from now it’ll make sense (no pun intended) but for now, not really.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Antonio and Major D,
So there we have the dollar math courtesy of Major D and the non-pun thanks to Antonio, and I agree completely; the rationale for this Set does not compute.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kaiser Wilhelm