During the month of August, sales through the United States Mint’s bullion coin programs accounted for 48,000 troy ounces of gold and 2,967,000 troy ounces of silver. As typical, the majority of sales took place through the sale of American Gold Eagle and American Silver Eagle coins.
These two programs have been closely watched as a gauge for physical precious metal demand. Following the financial turmoil of the second half of 2008, gold and silver bullion coin demand rose to levels which the US Mint frequently characterized as “unprecedented.” The US Mint had problems producing sufficient coins to satisfy the surging demand leading to periodic sales suspensions and prolonged periods of rationing. In 2009, certain numismatic offerings were canceled as a result of the bullion situation. American Silver Eagles would achieve four consecutive years of record breaking annual sales.
During 2012, demand for the US Mint’s bullion coins has receded, ironically as the Mint has taken steps to increase their production capacity. Every month for the year to date, American Gold and Silver Eagle sales have shown a decline compared to the year ago period.
August 2012 US Mint Bullion Coin Sales
|August 2012||YTD 2012|
|American Gold Eagle 1 oz||34,000||347,500|
|American Gold Eagle 1/2 oz||3,000||59,000|
|American Gold Eagle 1/4 oz||4,000||58,000|
|American Gold Eagle 1/10 oz||25,000||215,000|
|American Gold Buffalo 1 oz||9,000||88,000|
|American Silver Eagle 1 oz||2,870,000||22,540,000|
|America the Beautiful Silver 5 oz||19,400||59,600|
Despite the decline in year over year figures, program sales did show an increase compared to the prior month. Gold Eagle sales reached 39,000 ounces for August 2012, up from 30,500 in the prior month. Silver Eagle sales reached 2,870,000, up from 2,278,000 in the prior month.
Other bullion programs fared better than typical for this month. The one ounce 24 karat American Gold Buffalo bullion coins recorded sales of 9,000 coins. The America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins recorded sales of 19,400 coins, accounting for 97,000 ounces of silver.
For the year to date, ATB silver bullion program sales include 10,800 of the 2011-dated coins, 16,700 of the 2012 El Yunque National Forest coins, 17,000 of the Chaco Culture National Historical Pare coins, and 15,100 of the Acadia National Park coins.