The United States Mint began accepting orders for 2012-dated American Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins on January 3, 2012. The opening sales numbers exceed the levels seen for the prior year.
Bullion coins produced by the US Mint are distributed through a network of authorized purchasers who are able to buy the coins in bulk quantities based on the market price of the precious metals plus a mark up. The bullion coins are then distributed to secondary dealers and the broader public.
On the opening day of availability, January 3, 2012, authorized purchasers ordered 3,197,000 of the one ounce Silver Eagle bullion coins. Through January 4, 2012, orders for Silver Eagle bullion coins have now reached 3,372,000. These amounts include both the 2012 Silver Eagles as well as some 2011-dated coins. Before the close of last year, the US Mint had indicated that there was a remaining inventory of 2011-dated coins. As long as this inventory remained, authorized purchasers would be required to order one 2011-dated coin for every four 2012-dated coins ordered.
This year’s opening sales for Silver Eagles surpass the numbers seen in the two prior years. The stronger sales may be the result of the lack of an allocation program imposed by the Mint. For the start of sales in 2010 and 2011, the US Mint rationed available quantities of the coins amongst authorized purchasers. This year, the Mint indicated that supplies would not be rationed as sufficient quantities of the coins would be available.
For January 2011, the US Mint had recorded full month sales of 6,422,000 ounces of American Silver Eagles. This amount set a new record for monthly sales.
On the opening day, authorized purchasers ordered 37,500 ounces worth of American Gold Eagles. As of today, orders have risen to 45,500 ounces. This includes a mix of one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce coins.
Before the close of last year, the US Mint indicated that inventories of quarter ounce and half ounce 2011-dated coins would be offered at a discount and 2011-dated tenth ounce coins would be sold on a ratio basis with the 2012-dated tenth ounce coins. The 2012 Gold Eagles would be available across all four sizes.
In January 2011, the US Mint had recorded full month sales of 133,500 ounces worth of American Gold Eagles.