Thursday, December 5, 2013

US Mint Gold Coin Sales Steady in November. Silver Eagle Sales Drop.

Sales of gold Eagle and Buffalo coins by the US Mint were 62,000 ounces in November, compared to 66,500 in October and 23,000 in September.  November gold sales were 60% less than in November last year which was an exceptional month.  As of November, year to date gold sales are 1,032,500 ounces which is 29% more than in 2012 and 5% less than in 2011.  The US Mint reported November sales of 14,000 gold Buffalo coins and 48,000 ounces of gold Eagle coins.

Sales of silver Eagles by the US Mint were 2,300,000 in November, compared to 3,087,000 ounces in October.  November sales were by far the lowest month of this year.  Sales in November were 27% less than in November 2012.  Year to date silver Eagle sales are a record 41,475,000 ounces which is 29% more than 2012 and 10% more than in 2011.  The Mint has sold the most silver Eagles in 2013 than in any recent year.

The US Mint reduced the retail price for an uncirculated Gold Eagle from $1,625 to $1,525 during November.  And, the US Mint's website currently (Dec 5th) states that uncirculated gold Eagles are sold out.  An uncirculated silver Eagle retails for $43.95 which is unchanged from July, August, September, and October.

A quick survey of 3 internet coin dealers currently shows premiums of about $4.00 for silver Eagles.  Unlike last month the coin dealers are now quoting prices that are very close to each other.  The premium for gold Eagles is about $60, which is slightly less than last month.  These price premiums are based on purchasing one coin.  All dealers offer volume discounts for larger purchases.  Spot gold and silver market prices are currently $1,233 and $19.70, respectively.

Coin dealers are currently offering to pay about $20.00 and $1.90 over spot to purchase gold and silver Eagles, respectively.  This seems reasonable because the US Mint charges dealers 3% for gold and $2.00 per coin for silver.  Dealer purchase premiums are not hinting at supply constraints as they were in April and May.

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