Last year high demand for precious metals helped push US Mint bullion coins sales to new heights and had some unfortunate implications for coin collectors. With the year behind us, I wanted to take a brief look at the annual sales totals for the Mint’s bullion coins as well as recap the periods of availability.
During 2009, the US Mint sold 1,425,000 ounces of gold through the American Gold Eagle offerings. This consisted of 1,315,500 one ounce coins, 110,000 one-half ounce coins, 110,000 one-quarter ounce coins, and 270,000 one-tenth ounce coins. The one ounce coins were available throughout the year, interrupted by a suspension from November 25 to December 14. The Mint’s allocation program was in effect from January 1 to June 15, and then from December 15 to year end. The fractional weight coins were available in two batches on December 3 and 14.
The Mint sold 28,766,500 one ounce Silver Eagle bullion coins during 2009. This represents a new all time record for annual sales, surpassing last year’s record of 19,583,500 coins. The silver bullion coins were available throughout the year except for a suspension from November 24 to December 6. The coins were available under allocation from January 1 to June 15 and then from December 7 to year end.
For the remaining bullion coin offerings, the US Mint sold 200,000 of the 24 karat one ounce Gold Buffalo bullion coins. These were first on sale October 15, 2009 and sold out by December 4, 2009. The US Mint did not offer any Platinum Eagle bullion coins for 2009, although the proof version was produced for collectors.
To put this year’s numbers in perspective, the table below shows the total annual sales for each bullion coin offering in ounces. Note that these are annual sales figures, which differ from mintage figures, since the US Mint may sell coins carrying dates other than the year of sale.
|Year||Gold Eagle||Silver Eagle||Platinum Eagle||Gold Buffalo|