In recent years, it has been common for the U.S. Mint’s bullion sales to run fairly hot in January and cool off in February, and this year is no exception. The Mint reports 42,500 ounces of gold American Eagle and American Buffalo coins sold last month, compared to 149,500 in January, a drop of 72%. The ratio is not wildly out of line with the past few years: although February gold sales fell by only 35% in 2016, they experienced declines of 74% and 68% in 2015 and 2014, respectively.
For American Silver Eagle sales, on the other hand, the reduction was more dramatic. The Mint reports just 1,215,000 ASEs sold in February—a 76% decline from January’s robust 5,127,500. The one-ounce silver coins have not experienced so steep a drop since 2012, when the figures fell from 6.107 million in January to 1.49 million in February—and in fact, this past February’s 1.215 million is the smallest February sales figure since 2008, when just 200,000 of the coins were ordered.
All told, as of March 7, 2017, the U.S. Mint’s authorized purchasers (APs) have bought 6,622,500 American Eagle silver bullion coins, with a net sales figure of 280,000 over the past week. This weekly figure is down from the previous week’s 450,000 units sold.
For last week the Mint reported no change in sales of the 2017 America the Beautiful Effigy Mounds National Monument 5-ounce bullion coins. It’s unclear whether no coins were sold at all, or the figures simply haven’t been reported yet. The total sold this year remains at 19,500, for a total of 97,500 ounces of silver.
|Last Week||Year to Date|
|American Eagle 1-oz. silver coins||280,000||280,000||6,622,500||6,622,500|
|America the Beautiful 5-oz. silver coins (all)||0||0||19,500||97,500|
|Effigy Mounds National Monument||0||0||19,500||97,500|
The value of an ounce of silver is down by 58 cents from last week, to $17.70, according to the London Bullion Market Association. Silver’s average last week, Monday through Friday, was $18.19 per ounce, just slightly more than the previous week’s average of $18.03.
The sluggish sales pace for gold bullion coins continues, although the three-week declining streak has been broken. During the past week, the Mint reported sales of 4,500 ounces of American Eagle gold bullion coins, compared to 3,500 ounces the previous week. (Note that no sales of 1/2-ounce or 1/4-ounce AGE coins were reported this period.) All told, American Gold Eagles have sold 149,500 ounces in 2017. The Mint reports no March sales American Buffalo 1-ounce gold bullion coins, although it has adjusted the final February figure upward by 500 coins. This brings the 2017 total for the category to 47,500 ounces.
|Last Week||Year to Date|
|American Eagle gold coins (all)||13,500||4,500||340,000||149,500|
|American Buffalo 1-oz. gold coins||500||500||47,000||47,000|
The value of an ounce of gold is down by $38.95 from last week, to $1,216,65. Gold’s average last week, Monday through Friday, was $1,243.56, up slightly from the previous week’s average of $1,241.74.
The sales total for the 2017 American Eagle one-ounce platinum bullion coins is 20,000 units. Platinum is down $44.00 compared to this time last week, when it was priced at $1,029.00 per ounce; the value of an ounce of platinum today is $985.00. The metal’s average last week, Monday through Friday, was $1,013.00, up slightly from the previous week’s $1,006.00. ❑