In last week’s report, Coin Update noted that several U.S. Mint bullion categories had been officially declared sold out, and that the only 2016-dated bullion types still available to Authorized Purchasers (APs) were the 1/2-ounce gold American Eagle, the 1-ounce American Buffalo, and the 5-ounce America the Beautiful coins from Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument). No U.S. Mint news releases have been sent since last week to indicate further sell-outs.
In the Mint’s latest report, the sales figure for American Eagle silver bullion coins remains at 240,000 for December. The Mint will begin accepting orders for 2017-dated ASEs on January 9 (see below). All told, one-ounce Silver Eagles sold 37,701,500 pieces this year, falling 9.3 million short of last year’s total of 47 million ounces.
For the second week in a row, the figures for all America the Beautiful 5-ounce bullion-coins are also unchanged. Total figures for each type are as follows:
- Shawnee National Forest—105,000
- Cumberland Gap National Historical Park—75,000
- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park—38,100
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park—40,000
- Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument)—27,800
Combined sales for 2016’s five 5-ounce bullion coins total 285,900 units, for a grand total of 1,429,500 ounces of silver. 2016 has the second-largest annual mintage ever for 5-ounce America the Beautiful bullion coins (2011 ranks first, with the extremely high total of 465,100).
Net amount of all silver bullion (ASE and ATB) sold by the Mint—
- last week: none
- in 2016: 39,131,000 ounces.
The value of an ounce of silver is down $1.21 from this time last week, to $15.80. Silver’s average last week, Monday through Friday, was $16.63 per ounce, a bit down from the previous week’s average of $16.85. (Charts of the six-week averages for silver, gold, and platinum are located at the bottom of the page.)
December’s American Eagle gold bullion coin sales are also unchanged; however, a few November numbers have been adjusted on the Mint’s current report. The 1-ounce, 1/2-ounce, and 1/4-ounce figures have been adjusted upward by a total of 22,000 ounces, yielding a November figure of 147,500 ounces and a year-to-date total of 985,000 ounces for all AGEs. American Buffalo 1-ounce gold bullion coin sales have reached 219,500 pieces; 5,500 units were sold during this period, compared to 1,500 the previous week. In 2015, the Mint sold 801,500 ounces of Gold Eagles and 220,500 ounces of Gold Buffalo bullion coins, for a total of 1,022,000 ounces. The Mint has now exceeded last year’s total by 182,500 ounces.
Net amount of all gold bullion (AGE and AGB) sold by the Mint—
- last week: none
- in 2016: 1,204,500 ounces.
Gold’s value is down $32.85 an ounce from this time last week. Gold is now appraised at $1,125.70, according to the London Bullion Market Association. Gold’s average last week, Monday through Friday, was $1,147.09, down from the previous week’s average of $1,169.40.
The sales total for the 2016 American Eagle one-ounce platinum bullion coins is 20,000 units. Platinum is up $2.00 compared to this time last week, when it was priced at $923.00 per ounce; platinum is now at $925.00 per ounce. Platinum’s average last week, Monday through Friday, was $923.40, compared to the previous week’s $936.00.
The Mint will continue to sell the remaining 1/2-ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins and 1-ounce American Buffalo gold bullion coins until the supply is sold out. APs may begin placing orders for 2017-dated American Buffalo gold coins and American Eagle silver and gold coins on Monday, January 9. The 2017-dated silver and gold bullion coins will be launched on an unallocated basis. Orders for 2017-dated American Eagle platinum bullion coins will be accepted starting in late January. More details will be provided by the Mint at a later date.
Bullion issues are sold by the U.S. Mint to a network of authorized buyers, who then make the coins available to the public. This year marks the 30th anniversary of American Eagle bullion coins, which were introduced in 1986. ❑