United States Mint gold and silver bullion sales experienced their typical seasonal rise in sales for January 2014, although sales levels remained well below prior year levels.
The month of January usually represents one of the strongest months for US Mint bullion sales. Precious metals investors and collectors are often eager to obtain the newly dated coins, driving high initial demand. In recent years, the seasonal strength for silver bullion has been supplemented by pent up demand following periods of unavailability at year end. The US Mint made their final allocation of 2013-dated American Silver Eagle bullion coins on December 9, 2013. The 2014-dated coins were not available until more than a month later on January 13, 2014. A similar gap in availability had occurred leading into the release for the 2013-dated coins.
When the US Mint began accepting orders for their initial allocation of 2014 Silver Eagles on January 13, authorized purchasers ordered 3,180,500 coins from total availability of 3,575,000 coins. These opening day sales were slower than the prior year when 3,937,000 coins were ordered on the first day of availability.
With the full month completed, Silver Eagle sales have reached 4,775,000. This amount is up sharply from the prior month of December 2013 when only 1,200,000 coins had been sold during the shortened availability period. The amount is down by 36.3% from the year ago period of January 2013 when sales had reached a record breaking 7,498,000 coins.
The US Mint started accepting orders for the 2014-dated American Gold Eagle and American Gold Buffalo bullion coins on January 2, 2014. These coins were not subject to allocation, so authorized purchasers could place orders for any amount desired. Initially, all orders were fulfilled with 2014-dated coins. Starting the week of January 20, orders were fulfilled with both 2014-dated coins and the remaining inventory of 2013-dated coins for the one ounce and one-tenth ounce size Gold Eagles and for the one ounce Gold Buffalo coins.
For the month of January 2014, Gold Eagle bullion sales totaled 91,500 ounces. Sales included 62,500 one ounce coins, 12,000 one-half ounce coins, 28,000 one-quarter ounce coins, and 160,000 one-tenth ounce coins. This amount was up sharply from the prior month of December 2013 when orders reached 56,000 ounces. Sales were down by 39% from the year ago period of January 2013 when sales had reached 150,000 ounces.
Gold Buffalo bullion sales for January 2014 reached 41,500 ounces. In similar fashion, the amount was up sharply from the prior month of December 2013 when sales were 7,000 ounces. The amount was down by 42.8% from the year ago period of January 2013 when sales were 72,500 ounces.