U.S. Bullion Coin Sales Disappoint

October 8th, 2016 by

A pile of Brilliant Uncirculated American Silver EaglesAfter a torrid start to the beginning of the year, the pace of sales of the U.S. Mint’s gold and silver bullion coin programs has slowed in recent months.

Silver Eagles

While the sales total of American Silver Eagle coins last month was a modest uptick from July and August, the 1,675,000 coins sold was less than half the totals seen in September 2015 and September 2014.

The graph below shows the monthly sales of Silver Eagles for each of the last four years. The beginning of 2016 (the green bars) continued to show strength: through May of this year, it looked like ASE sales were right on track to break their annual sales record for a fourth consecutive year.


Data from U.S. Mint

One reason for the slowdown that is cited by Coin World is rising silver prices throughout this summer. While spot silver prices were below $15 per ounce to begin the year, they surged above $20/oz at their height this summer.


Data from U.S. Mint

The chart above gives a visual depiction of annual Silver Eagle mintage figures since the series was introduced by the U.S. Mint in 1986. (The bullion coins are minted to demand.) Note that sales really began to skyrocket following the financial crisis.

Gold Eagles

American Gold and Silver EaglesUnlike their silver cousins, American Gold Eagle coins have actually sold a higher clip so far in 2016 than in the previous two years. Through September, 692,000 ounces of these gold coins have been sold to the public—versus 670,000 oz last year and under 400,000 oz in 2014 over the same nine-month period. This is in spite of a continuously rising gold price during 2016.

One advantage that the Gold Eagle series may have over ASEs is the fact that the same design and same 22-karat gold content is used for a variety of sizes. AGE coins range from 1/10th oz in size to 1 oz, with 1/4 oz and 1/2 o sizes in between. By contrast, Silver Eagles only come in the standard 1 oz size. This might have encouraged some buyers to add the gold coins to their portfolios in incremental amounts at times when gold prices have periodically fallen.

You can check out Coin World‘s infographic detailing all of the sales numbers detailed above.


The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.

2 thoughts on “U.S. Bullion Coin Sales Disappoint

    1. Everett Millman Post author

      I’m not sure if you’re questioning the “continuous” bit. Prices did pull back sharply last week, but they have been on the rise for basically the entire year. But the point is that sales are usually higher when prices are low, so it’s somewhat surprising that sales were stronger even with higher prices.

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