Sales of American Silver Eagle Coins Fell Again in August.
American Gold Eagle Sales Rise Sharply
After selling an average of more than four million one ounce American Silver Eagle coins (ASEs) during the first six months of the year, the U.S. Mint sales of ASEs fell to 1,370,000 in July. American Silver Eagle sales fell further in August to 1,280,000. Sales of American Gold Eagles, however, rose smartly, reflecting a significant shift in the ratio of silver to gold sales at the United States Mint in favor of gold.
August sales of ASE’s were the lowest since December 2013. The sales decline doesn’t necessary reflect a decline in retail sales, but rather a decline in purchases by the U.S. Mint’s Authorized Purchasers who built up massive inventories earlier in the year when they were scooping up the U.S. Mint’s one million a week ASE allocation.
As of August 31, 2016, the U.S. Mint had sold 28,900,500 ASEs which is about 10% less than the mint sold through August 2015. Last year, the U.S. Mint set a record by selling 47 million American Silver Eagle coins.
Sales of American Silver Eagle Coins in July 1987 – 2016
American Silver Eagle 2016 Sales Projection
American Silver Eagle Sales Still On Pace for Another Solid Year in 2016
Sales of American Silver Eagles have hit records in each of the past three years. Last year the U.S. Mint sold 47,000,000 ASEs up from the prior record of 44,006,000 sold in 2014 which was up from a record 42,675,000 sold in 2013.
If sales of one ounce American Silver Eagle sales continue at the pace set through the first eight months of 2016, on average of 3,612,562 per month, sales will exceed 43,000,000 in 2016. Sales may be curbed, however, if purchases by Authorized Purchasers do not pick up in the coming months from July and August’s low levels.
A Record First Half For American Silver Eagle Sales in 2016
Sales of American Silver Eagles in the first quarter of 2016 were 23% higher than first quarter 2015 sales. The U.S. Mint sold 14,842,500 ASE’s from January through March 2016. In 2015 during the comparable period the U.S. Mint sold 12,071,000 ASEs. Record first quarter sales of ASEs were followed by record first half sales of ASEs in 2016 of 26,250,500. July’s and August’s lower sales are a sharp departure from the elevated sales of earlier in the year. It remains to be seen if/when the Authorized Purchasers sell off their current inventory whether buying will resume at the robust pace earlier in the year.
First Quarter 2016 sales of American Silver Eagles Were Higher than Entire Year Mintages of Each of 1986-2007
U.S. Mint Sold 25.61 Times More American Silver Eagles Than One Ounce American Gold Eagles in August 2016
A Shift to Gold?
While American Silver Eagle sales were on record pace in 2016, sales of American Gold Eagle (AGEs) coins which have been lackluster the past few years, have sprung to life this year. Due to surging ASE sales and tepid gold eagle sales, the silver to gold sales ratio in 2014 climbed to 106 to one and in 2015 it was 110 to one. Through the first quarter of 2016 the ratio was about 80 to one. That ratio dropped to just 43 to one in April, as the U.S. Mint also sold 93,000 American Gold Eagles during the month.
In May, the silver to gold sales ratio was 69.74 to 1 as the U.S. Mint sold 4,498,500 American Silver Eagles and 64,500 one ounce American Gold Eagles. In June, the silver to gold sales ratio was 45.4 to 1 as the U.S. Mint sold 2,837,500 American Silver Eagles and 62,500 one ounce American Gold Eagles. In July, the silver to gold sales ratio was 45.66 to 1 as the U.S. Mint sold 1,370,000 American Silver Eagles and 30,000 one ounce American Gold Eagles.
In August, due to lower ASE sales and surging American Gold Eagle sales the silver to gold sales ratio fell to 25.61 to one.
About the American Silver Eagle coin
American Silver Eagle coins are .999 pure silver (ASE’s contain .0007 copper), rather than .9999 silver. The obverse of an American Silver Eagle coin boasts the same design as the obverse of the “Liberty Walking” U.S. $.50 piece that was minted from 1916-1947 of 90% silver and 10% copper. The front of a Liberty Walking Half Dollar and an American Silver Eagle coin features a walking lady liberty depiction designed by Adolph A. Weinman who also worked with Augustus Saint Gaudens, whose design appears on the U.S. gold Double Eagle coin (1907 – 1933) and the contemporary American Gold Eagle coin (1986 – present)
American Silver Eagle sales data from USMINT.GOV
This article by BGASC is not, and should not be regarded as, investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular course of action.