On January 3, 2011, the United States Mint began sales of the 2011-dated American Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins to their network of authorized purchasers. Initially, sales are taking place via the US Mint’s standard allocation process.
So far, the US Mint has recorded sales of 2,085,000 of the one ounce Silver Eagles, 13,500 of the one ounce Gold Eagles, and 5,000 of the one-tenth ounce Gold Eagles. A portion of these totals may included 2010-dated coins that were remaining within inventory.
Last year, the initial sales figures had come in higher. When the US Mint began sales of the 2010-dated coins on January 19, 2010, orders received for the opening day had totaled 2,440,000 Silver Eagles and and 49,000 one ounce Gold Eagles, including prior year dated coins. The relatively weaker opening sales for this year may be the impact of allocation or a result of lower initial demand.
The United States Mint sells bullion coins through a network of 11 primary distributors, who can purchase the coins directly from the Mint in bulk quantities based on the market price of the precious metals plus a fixed (silver) or percentage (gold) mark up. The bullion coins are then resold to other bullion dealers, coin dealers, and the public.