2016 U.S. Mint Gold Sales Best Since 2010
Sales of American Gold Eagle and American Gold Buffalo Coins Top 1.2 Million Ounces in 2016
Gold sales at the U.S. Mint were 1,204,500 ounces in 2016. This was the most gold sold at the U.S. Mint since 2010 when 1,429,500 ounces were sold. Gold sales in 2016 at the U.S. Mint were up 15% from 2015 when 1,022,000 ounces were sold.
The U.S. Mint sells gold in the form of 22K American Gold Eagle (AGE) coins in one tenth, one quarter, one half and one ounces sizes and 24k one ounce American Gold Buffalo coins.
Sales of American Gold Eagles soared in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008-2009, but had fallen off in recent years as the U.S. Mint began to selling record amounts of American Silver Eagles the past three years. The trend of declining American Gold Eagle sales reversed in the second half of 2015, while sales of one ounce American Silver Eagle coins set a sales record in 2015 of 47,000,000. Sales of American Gold Eagle coins accelerated in 2016, while American Silver Eagle sales fell 20% year over year to 37,701,500.
Increased Interest In Gold in 2016
An increased interest in gold in 2016 made gold one of the best performing financial assets through June 2016. In the fall of 2016, however, gold prices fell. The lower prices set off a buying frenzy at the U.S. Mint from September to early December when the mint shut down production for the year.
While U.S. Mint gold sales increased significantly in 2016, they were still below the manic sales of 1998-1999 and 2009 when between 1.6 and 2 million one ounces of gold were sold in each of those years. U.S. gold investment has increasingly taken the form of gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) or other non-physical gold products, like futures contracts. In eastern countries like China, India. Kazakhstan and Russia, increased gold demand has been in the form of physical gold bullion.
Gold is generally viewed as a safe haven. U.S. Mint gold sales benefited from the uncertainty created by Brexit, the U.S. Presidential election in 2016 between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Italian constitutional referendum and the refugee crisis and terrorist attacks in Europe.
American Gold Eagle Sales
One Ounce American Gold Eagle Sales by Month in 2016
Sales of one ounce American Gold Eagle Coins 1986-2016
In 2016, the U.S. Mint sold 925,000 one tenth ounce AGEs,152,000 one quarter ounce AGEs, and 37,000 one half ounce AGEs. Together with the 817,500 one ounce American Gold Eagles sold in 2016, the U.S. Mint sold a total of 1,968,500 American Gold Eagle coins in various denominations representing 985,000 ounces of gold. In 2015, the U.S. Mint sold a total of 980,000 AGEs representing 801,500 ounces of gold.
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.
American Gold Buffalo Sales
The U.S Mint also sells gold in the form of 24K one ounce American Gold Buffalo coins. Sales of American Gold Buffalo coins in 2016 of 219,500 were consistent with last year’s sales of 220,500.
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. 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.
In 2006, their first year of mintage, 323,000 American Gold Buffalo coins were sold.
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.