Sales of American Gold Eagles and Perth Mint Gold Fall as Gold Price Hits Six Year Highs.
In a surprising development, gold sales at the U.S. Mint and Perth Mint fell during the first seven months of 2019. Through July, sales of gold at the United States and Perth Mints are at their lowest levels since 2007 – just before the financial crisis of 2008.
In late 2008, gold began a multi-year bull run and gold sales at the U.S. and Perth Mint rose dramatically from their 2007 lows.
The U.S. Mint sold 191,000 one ounce American Gold Eagles in 2018. This was the lower number sold at the U.S. Mint since 2007 when 147,000 were sold. Gold sales in 2018 at the U.S. Mint were down 9% from 2017 when 402,000 ounces were sold. Through 2019, the U.S. Mint has sold 81,000 one ounce American Gold Eagle coins, a pace that would lead to about 139,000 sold this year.
American Gold Eagle Sales 1986 -2018
In contrast, according to the World Gold Council, central bank gold buying hit a fifty year high in 2018 and gold sales to central banks in 2019 are running at a faster pace than last year.
Gold Price in 2018-2019
The gold price has risen to six year highs during 2019, topping $1500 an ounce during the first week of August. Market observers note the increase in negative yielding bonds globally, Chinese trade war tensions and the Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate cut after years of tightening, as some of the main drivers for soaring gold prices.
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.
American Gold Eagle Sales
In 2018, the U.S. Mint sold 230,000 one tenth ounce AGEs, 62,000 one quarter ounce AGEs, and 32,000 one half ounce AGEs. Together with the 190,000 one ounce American Gold Eagles sold in 2018, the U.S. Mint sold a total of 514,000 American Gold Eagle coins in various denominations representing 366,000,000 ounces of gold.
Through July of 2019, the US Mint has sold 163,500 ounces of gold. (115,000 ounces of American Gold Eagles and 48,500 of 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.
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 2018 were 121,500 up from 99,000 sold in 2017. Through July 2019, sales of American Gold Buffalo coins are at a lower pace than both 2017 and 2018 with just 48,500 sold through the first seven months of 2019.
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.
Total Sales of American Gold Eagle and American Gold Buffalo Coins 1986 – 2018
American Gold Eagle and American Gold Buffalo sales data from USMINT.GOV
U.S. Mint vs Perth Mint Gold Sales
Perth Mint sales have also been lighter during the first half of 2019 vs the first half of 2018.
About the Perth Mint:
The Perth Mint, located in Western Australia, is historically known for its gold sales. Australia ranks third in global gold production and has about ten percent of the world’s known gold reserves. Many of Australia’s gold mines are located in Western Australia where the Perth Mint was founded in 1899.
As a full service government mint, the Perth Mint produces legal tender gold and silver coins that are not intended, however, for general circulation. Australia’s general circulation coins are produced by the Royal Australian Mint. The Perth Mint focuses on minting precious metal bullion and collector coins and bars.
The Perth Mint has been refining about 300 and 400 tons of gold and silver each year and also supplies gold and silver blanks to other government mints. As a major producer of silver blanks, the Perth Mint has not experienced any production halts during the past year.
Perth Mint gold sales data: The Perth Mint Blog
This article by BGASC is not, and should not be regarded as, investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular course of action.