March was a month of excitement for precious metals as gold, silver, platinum and palladium rallied. Throughout the month, banking uncertainty, a weakening U.S. dollar, and inflation concerns helped in boosting their prices.
Although gold for June delivery fell on Friday by $11.50, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,986.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the yellow metal still managed exceptional gains of 8.1% in March and 8.8% in the first quarter.
Gold prices edged 0.1% higher on the week, but more importantly, advanced a combined $169.10, or 9.3%, through five straight weekly gains. On Thursday, gold posted its best settlement since March 10, 2022.
In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street & Main Street surveys:
"This week, 22 Wall Street analysts participated in the Kitco News Gold Survey. Among the participants, 11 analysts, or 50%, were bullish on gold in the near term. At the same time, three analysts, or 14%, were bearish for next week, and eight analysts, or 36%, saw prices trading sideways.
Meanwhile, 782 votes were cast in online polls. Of these, 507 respondents, or 65%, looked for gold to rise next week. Another 158, or 20%, said it would be lower, while 117 voters, or 15%, were neutral in the near term."
Rising for the seventh time in eight sessions, silver for May delivery tacked on 16.7 cents, or 0.7%, to finish at $24.156 an ounce. The settlement is the highest since Jan. 13. Silver has notched gains of:
- 3.5% on the week
- 14.6% in March
- 0.5% in the first quarter
Regarding other precious metals prices on Friday, for the week, and in March:
July platinum added $6.20, or 0.6%, to end at $1,003.10 an ounce. This represents an increase of 2% for the week and 5% for the month.
- Palladium for June delivery added $4.40, or 0.3%, to end at $1,468 an ounce, representing increases of 3.8% for the week and 3.3% in March.
Despite their sharp monthly gains, both declined heavily in the first quarter, with losses of 7.4% for platinum and 18.4% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2023
Based on the information provided, sales of U.S. Mint bullion products for American Eagle platinum and silver coins were muted this week. On the other hand, there were good gains in American Gold Eagles and American Gold Buffalos, but the numbers were lower than the prior week when they soared. In week-over-week comparisons:
- American Platinum Eagles: 0 ounces compared 7,500 ounces, which was their first weekly total this year
- American Gold Eagles: 53,500 ounces against 107,500 ounces
- American Gold Buffalos: 15,500 ounces compared to 38,500 ounces
- American Silver Eagles: 0 ounces against 450,000 ounces
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||Last Week||This Week||January Sales||February||March||2023 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||27,500||107,500||53,500||118,000||41,500||211,000||370,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||37,000||8,000||1,000||46,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||62,000||12,000||10,000||84,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||115,000||85,000||10,000||210,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||6,000||38,500||15,500||59,000||19,500||73,000||151,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||450,000||0||3,949,000||900,000||900,000||5,749,000|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||7,500||0||N/A||N/A||7,500||7,500|
All of the economic conditions and circumstances listed above which have been acting as the driving forces serving to push the values of the precious metals up are now apparently beginning to reverse course. Once again and for the umpteenth time, we can refer to the old maxim that “what goes up must come down” [painted pony or not].
Metal Maniacs end March Madness with the Silver price closing above $24 per ounce.
I once cheered for silver to rise in value, Good Sir Rich, until it finally dawned on me that the Mint would add those increases to the price of their silver products.
Silver bullion doesn’t shine as much as these futures contracts prices per se. Silver is down more than 50% since its all-time record price in all of history of about $50.35 per ounce in 1980. In 2010 when the Mint started selling its first 5-ounce pure silver coins, the ATB “pucks”, silver was $48.88 that first day of issue. With the recent horrible economic conditions during a pandemic the past 3 years & the second largest bank failure in USA history this year & the Russia war & high interest rates & very high inflation last year & this year,… Read more »
Seth, I remember the $279.95 I had to pay for the first ATB 5 ounce “quarter”, the Hot Springs coin. Can you imagine what the mint would be charging for that today if silver was at $49/ounce. It’s a shame Mexico is so dangerous. I used to love going there because your dollars would go far and you could always buy some unique things. How times have changed!
Craig, So true, as I remember that $279.95 price of the 2010 Hot Springs Arkansas 5-ounce silver ATB coin on issue day (I was born in Arkansas & was so excited to see the coin in person & bought both the vapor-blast version from the Mint & the bullion version from a coin dealer). I live in Texas just a 3.5-hour drive from Mexico, but haven’t been there since I was 10 years old & then again at age 12. I grew up to learn how dangerous it is there – it’s the number one country for tourists from the… Read more »
If debt is the money of slaves, then most citizens of the USA are full-time slaves for sure.
A huge percentage of Americans do not even have $400 in the bank at the end of the month to use in case of some kind of emergency expense.
As the old saying goes, Seth, “you said it, I didn’t”. Jocularity aside, there’s no getting around the reality that most of us are/were “wage slaves”, and that just applies to how we earn/earned our living and doesn’t even take into account how very little all too many of us end up having to show for it.