Demand for United States Mint gold and silver bullion coins fell dramatically during August 2010. Silver Eagles dropped to their second lowest monthly total of the year, while Gold Eagles collapsed to the lowest monthly sales level in more than two years. Meanwhile, the US Mint has confirmed that 2010 Proof Gold Eagles are currently being produced and will be offered later this year.
During the month, the US Mint offered .999 pure one ounce American Silver Eagles as their only option for silver bullion. Options for gold bullion included 24 karat one ounce American Gold Buffalo coins and 22 karat American Gold Eagles in one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce sizes. Platinum bullion coins were not available.
The following table summarizes US Mint bullion coins sales for August 2010. The first number column represents the total sales for the month, while the second column represents sales for the current year through August 31, 2010. This report includes bullion coin sales only, and does not include numismatic products.
August 2010 US Mint Bullion Coin Sales
|August 2010||YTD 2010|
|American Gold Eagle 1 oz||39,000||805,000|
|American Gold Eagle 1/2 oz||1,000||34,000|
|American Gold Eagle 1/4 oz||2,000||48,000|
|American Gold Eagle 1/10 oz||15,000||325,000|
|American Silver Eagle 1 oz||2,451,000||23,600,500|
|American Gold Buffalo 1 oz||15,500||199,000|
Sales for American Gold Eagle bullion coins fell to just 41,500 ounces across the available options. This represents a significant decline from the prior month when 152,000 ounces were sold. The amount also represents the lowest monthly sales total since June 2008.
American Gold Buffalo bullion coins sales fell to 15,500 compared to sales of 23,000 the prior month. The year to date total has now reached 199,000, which is just below the total 2009 Gold Buffalo bullion coin sales of 200,000.
As a consequence to the recent lower demand levels for gold bullion coins, the United States Mint has confirmed that they will be offering 2010 Proof Gold Eagles around mid-October. An article from CoinWorld indicates that production of the collectible coins has already begun with maximum authorized mintages established at 64,000 one ounce, 54,000 one-half ounce, 55,000 one-quarter ounce, and 66,000 one-tenth ounce coins.
Last year, the US Mint canceled the 2009 Proof Gold Eagle offerings due to elevated demand for bullion coins. By law the US Mint must produce American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins in quantities sufficient to meet public demand. Following their interpretation of this requirement, the US Mint sourced all incoming precious metals blanks to the production of bullion coins and did not produce collector versions of the coins, which are not legally mandated.
On the silver bullion side, the US Mint sold 2,451,000 of the one ounce American Silver Eagles during August 2010. This is a decline of more than 500,000 from the prior month and marks the second lowest monthly total for this year, behind February when 2,050,000 coins were sold. Despite the recent decline in silver bullion demand, the year to date total suggests that a new annual record will be set by year-end.