US Mint Bullion Coins Steady in November Sales

New York (Dec 3)  To be sure, sales levels were down a tiny bit for American Gold Eagles and a bit more for American Gold Buffalo coins. And it’s hard to say where American Silver Eagles could stand since the Mint increased their rationing levels, but the coins did hit an all-time sales record last month. Also telling for demand, more than half of the bureau’s other bullion silver coins, the five ouncers, are now sold out.

A sales summary across U.S. Mint bullion products for November and this year follows. Release dates for next year’s 2014-dated coins are also provided.

2013 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins

A new record was set in November for American Eagle silver coins but sales during the month tumbled to a mere 2.3 million, the first month in 2013 where the 3 million mark was missed and the weakest monthly total since December 2012.

Demand is not the reason for the fall. It’s about supply and planning for 2014. The U.S. Mint ratcheted up its rationing of the coins, limiting sales to only 500,000 during each of the first three weeks in November. It let 800,000 go during the final week. By selling fewer coins in November and December, its supply of silver blanks increases and it can build a larger inventory of the 2014-dated Silver Eagles. It will need them. January’s are huge with buyers wanting newly dated coins. Last January holds the all-time monthly American Silver Eagle record with sales of 7.498 million.

The Mint is issuing its last weekly allocation of 2013-dated Silver Eagles on Dec. 9, 2013. It will begin accepting orders for 2014-dated American Silver Eagles on Jan. 13, 2014. In between, it will be busy striking next year’s coins.

For the year-to-date, American Silver Eagles scored sales of 41,475,000. No other year has registered more sales. On Nov. 12, the total reached 40,175,000 to surpass the previous annual record sales of 39,868,500 for all of 2011.

2013 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins

American Eagle gold coins raced in the early months this year, peaking in April with sales of 209,500 ounces. Orders then slowed and crawled as low as 11,500 ounces in August. Demand improved in October when sales bounced to 48,500 ounces. The pace in November just missed that mark with sales of 48,000 ounces. That couldn’t compare to last year’s November when orders surged to 136,500 ounces, the best monthly total in 2012.

American Gold Eagles are made in four sizes — 1 ounce, 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1/10 ounce that correspond to denominations shown on the coins of $50, $25, $10 and $5. Rarely the case except for this year, all sizes of the 22-karat gold coins have advanced each month.

For the January through November period, these coins have accounted for total sales of 800,500 ounces, which is 47,500 more than sales through all of 2012. Actually, going back to the series start in 1986 and despite this year’s slower middle months, there are just seven years through the same period that have higher totals.