US gold coin sales rebound, platinum sales slide

New York (May 30)   US gold coin sales in April recovered from a seven-month low in March as retail buying picked up, while early interest of the newly launched platinum coins slackened after a burst of initial buying in their first month, US Mint data showed.

American Eagle gold bullion coin sales totalled 38,500 ounces in April, up more than 80 per cent from the 21,000 ounces sold in March.

"There seems to be a floor we've hit on both silver and gold already. Investors have noticed that and taking advantage," said David Cooper, president at Upstate Coin & Gold in Fayetteville, New York, a national wholesaler.

In April, the price of gold gained less than 1 per cent and ended near $1,300 an ounce after it held key support at above $1,250.

In the first three months of the year, some investors had sold used coins, flooding the beleaguered market with secondary supplies and hurting demand for new 2014 coins.

But a dwindling supply of older-dated coins has started to underpin the US Mint's new-coin sales, dealers said.

"From what I have noticed, a lot of that inventory has been absorbed into the market because the older-dated coins are cheaper than 2014 ones," Cooper said.

On a year-over-year basis, however, April sales tumbled from the 209,500 ounces sold in April 2013.

On April 12 and April 15 of 2013, gold posted a record $225 two-day drop on fears the Federal Reserve would start to unwind its massive stimulus program and possible gold reserves sales by Cyprus. That significant price drop unleashed years of pent-up demand and prompted investors to soak up gold coins and bars.

Silver eagles up, platinum down

Meanwhile, sales of silver Eagles fell 13 per cent year-over-year to 3.57 million ounces in April.

However, sales of the Eagle platinum coins totalled only 1,200 ounces, a steep drop from the 10,000 ounces in the three weeks beginning March 10, which ended a four-year absence from the market.

Dealers said they have sharply reduced their orders in April following its relaunch last month. Sales last month were also boosted by worries about future supplies from top-producing country South Africa, they said.