American Silver Eagle Bullion Sales Jump in March, Platinum Eagles Debut

platinumSales of the United States Mint’s American Silver Eagle bullion coins experienced strong sales during the month of March, exceeding the levels of both the prior month and year ago period. American Gold Eagle sales were decidedly lower for the month, and American Platinum Eagles saw their return after more than a five year gap in availability.

Silver Eagle bullion sales reached 4,476,000 ounces for March 2014. This represented a gain of 19.36% compared to the prior month when sales were 3,750,000 ounces. The latest monthly figure is also up by a more significant 33.35% compared to the year ago period of March 2013, when sales had reached 3,356,500 ounces.

For the first quarter of the year, Silver Eagle sales have reached 13,001,000 ounces. This compares to first quarter sales of 14,223,000 ounces in the prior year.

Sales levels for Silver Eagle bullion coins have largely become a function of how many coins the US Mint can produce rather than a reflection of market demand. For more than a year, the US Mint has offered the coins under their allocation program, which rations the available supply amongst authorized purchasers. The US Mint has previously indicated that the impediment to producing larger amounts of silver bullion coins is the inability to source sufficient precious metal blanks.

March 2014 US Mint Bullion Coin Sales

Mar 2014 YTD 2014
American Platinum Eagle 1 oz 10,000 10,000
American Gold Eagle 1 oz 16,000 100,500
American Gold Eagle 1/2 oz 2,000 17,000
American Gold Eagle 1/4 oz 4,000 42,000
American Gold Eagle 1/10 oz 30,000 240,000
American Gold Buffalo 1 oz 12,000 65,500
American Silver Eagle 1 oz 5,354,000 13,879,000
America the Beautiful Silver 5 oz 12,200 12,200

Table above updated per changes in US Mint statistics made after publication.

During March 2014, Gold Eagle bullion sales measured 21,000 troy ounces across the four different sizes available. The top seller by weight was the one ounce coins, with the top seller by volume, the one-tenth ounce coins.

Gold Eagle sales were down compared to the prior month when sales were 31,000 ounces. The latest monthly figure is also down sharply from the year ago period when sales had reached 62,000 ounces.

During the first quarter of 2014, the US Mint sold 143,500 ounces worth of American Gold Eagles, down by more than 50% compared to the first quarter 2013 sales of 292,500 ounces.

This month, the US Mint began accepting orders for 2014-dated American Platinum Eagle bullion coins, representing the first availability of the bullion product in more than five years. The offering had been suspended in late 2008 amidst high demand for gold and silver bullion coins and not resumed in subsequent years. While the production of American Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins is mandated by law, production of Platinum Eagles is left to the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury.

On the first day of availability on March 10, 2014, the US Mint received orders for 8,500 of the one ounce Platinum Eagle bullion coins. For the rest of the month, another 1,000 piecesĀ  were ordered to bring cumulative sales to 9,500 pieces.

During the month, the US Mint also began accepting orders for the first 2014-dated America the Beautiful 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins featuring the Great Smoky Mountain National Park design. Sales have tallied 12,200 coins, accounting for 61,000 troy ounces.

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