Gold sales head back up after a period of declining sales.
Sales of gold at the U.S. Mint peaked in 1999 when 2,055,500 ounces of 22K American Gold Eagle coins of various sizes (1/10, 1/4, 1/2 and 1 ounces denominations) were sold. Record gold sales in 1999 were attributed to “Y2K” fears. Computers made in the 20th century were not equipped to handle a calendar change from 1999 to a new century and there were widespread fears that many computer systems, including those used in the financial and banking systems would fail.
After 1999, gold sales at the U.S. Mint declined as Y2K came and went without incident. Gold sales spiked again in 2008-2011 during and in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Gold prices peaked in 2011 and fell from 2012-2015. Sales of gold at the US Mint also fell during that time period.
Concerns of global economic stability and lack of growth, despite the Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan, European Central Bank and other central bank stimulus programs, drove renewed interest in gold in 2016. In mid-2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, adding political instability to economic woes that drove further interest in gold.
2016 is shaping up to be the best year for gold sales at the U.S. Mint since 2013, and possibly 2011. Through mid- September, the U.S. Mint has nearly 800,000 ounces of gold. The U.S. Mint sells gold in the form of American Gold Eagle coins in various denominations and one ounce American Gold Buffalo coins.
About the American Gold Eagle coin:
The obverse of an American Gold Eagle coin boasts the same design as the obverse of the “Saint Gaudens” U.S. $20 gold piece, or “double eagle” that was minted from 1907 – 1933. The front of a Saint Gaudens and American Gold Eagle coin features a walking lady liberty depiction designed by famed sculptor Augustus Saint- Gaudens.
About the American Gold Buffalo Coin
American Gold Buffalo coins are 24K gold while American Gold Eagle coins are 22K. One ounce American Gold Buffalo coins are slightly smaller and lighter than their one ounce American Gold Eagle counterparts that contain 3% silver and 5% copper mixed in the alloy, bringing the total weight of a one ounce American Gold Eagle coin to nearly 1.10 ounces.
The American Gold Buffalo is the U.S. Mint’s answer to 24K gold coins issued by the Canadian and Austrian Mints and was introduced in 2006. American Gold Buffalo coins are only minted in one ounce sizes, unlike their American Gold Eagle counterparts which are minted in one ounce, one half ounce, one quarter ounce and one tenth ounce sizes. In 2008, however, the U.S. Mint produced American Gold Buffaloes in one, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10 ounce sizes. The coins were sold individually and in complete sets.
American Gold Eagle and American Gold Buffalo 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.