The United States Mint will begin sales of the 2012-dated American Gold Eagle and American Silver Eagle bullion coins to authorized purchasers on January 3, 2012. The newly dated versions available each year are eagerly anticipated by many collectors.
Bullion products of the United States Mint are distributed through a network of authorized purchasers. These AP’s are able to place orders for bullion coins directly with the Mint in bulk quantities at prices based on the market price of the precious metal plus a fixed or percentage mark up. The bullion coins are then resold to secondary retailers or in some cases directly to the public. The AP’s are also responsible for establishing a two way market for the US Mint’s bullion coins.
At the authorized purchaser level, the minimum ordering requirement is 25,000 coins for Silver Eagles and 1,000 ounces for Gold Eagles. The premium charged for Silver Eagles is $2.00 per coin above the market value of the silver content, based on the London Fix on the first business day following the order. The premiums for Gold Eagles are 3%, 5%, 7%, 9% for the one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce coins respectively.
The 2012 Gold Eagle features Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ obverse design from the gold double eagle minted from 1907 to 1933 along with a reverse design by Miley Busiek depicting a family of eagles. The coins are struck in 22 karat gold (91.67%) and contain their stated bullion weight in pure gold. This year both the one ounce size and fractional weight sizes will be available for authorized purchasers to order on January 3, 2012. Last year, only the one ounce versions were available initially, with the fractional weight coins available at a later date.
For the 2011 year to date, the US Mint has sold exactly one million ounces worth of American Gold Eagle bullion coins. For 2010, sales had reached 1,220,500 ounces.
The 2012 Silver Eagle features Adolph A. Weinman’s obverse design from the Walking Liberty Half Dollar minted from 1916 to 1947 along with a reverse design by John Mercanti featuring a heraldic eagle. The coins are struck in one ounce of 99.9% pure silver. There are no larger sizes or fractional sizes minted.
For the 2011 year to date, the US Mint has sold 39,868,500 ounces worth of American Silver Eagle bullion coins. This has already set a new record for annual sales, exceeding the previous record of 34,662,500 set in 2010.
In addition to American Gold and Silver Eagles, the United States Mint also offers American Gold Buffalo bullion coins and America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver bullion coins. Information on the release dates for the 2012-dated versions is not yet available.