The United States Mint has suspended sales of their popular one ounce American Gold Eagle and one ounce American Silver Eagle bullion coins. The suspension was announced in a memo sent to the US Mint’s authorized bullion purchasers.
The suspension comes during an environment of steadily rising precious metals prices and increased demand for physical gold and silver investments. This month alone, the price of gold and silver have each risen by approximately 12%.
During the month of November, the US Mint has recorded sales of 124,000 one ounce Gold Eagles and 3,132,000 one ounce Silver Eagles. Sales of the Silver Eagle have now reached 25,993,000 to date, which already exceeds the record number of coins sold in the prior year. Sales of the Gold Eagle have reached 1,193,500 to date.
Last year, the US Mint also took measures to deal with increased demand for their bullion coins. Sales Silver Eagles and Gold Eagles were both briefly suspended and then resumed on a rationed basis, which limited bullion coin sales at the authorized purchaser level. Rationing programs were finally lifted in June 2009.
Later in 2008, the US Mint halted production of fractional and 24 karat gold bullion coins to focus production on one ounce 22 karat gold coins. Production of the 24 karat gold bullion coins finally resumed in October 2009. Sales of fractional gold bullion coins are expected to resume in December 2009.
Finally, the US Mint halted production of platinum bullion coins near the end of 2008. Production of bullion coins has still not resumed, although the US Mint will offer a collectible proof platinum coin starting next month.