The U.S. Mint sold 2,958,000 ounces of silver bullion coins and 51,500 ounces of gold bullion coins on the first day of sales in 2015.
For all of January 2014, sales were 4,775,000 ounces of silver and 91,500 ounces of gold bullion coins. It was an auspicious start to a year that ended up with a historic record for silver bullion sales of 44,006,000 ounces. Last year also had sales of 524,500 ounces of gold bullion, which was more than double pre-financial crisis sales but slightly more than a third of the peak of the financial crisis sales.
Sales for silver and gold bullion coins from the U.S. Mint are usually strong in January for two reasons.
First, production of the previous year’s coins generally stops early in December to allow for production of the new year’s coins to build up sufficient inventory for January sales. That means there is some pent-up demand because of the lag period. And because silver sales were strong right up until the last of 2014 coins were sold out, pent-up demand has definitely impacted 2015’s sales.
Second, financial investors and especially coin collectors like the new date as soon as it becomes available. There is something about a fresh new mintage: new coins are literally hot off the press and imply impeccable quality and a certain “gotta get me some of them before they run out.”
Not so coincidentally, the U.S. Mint did run out the American Eagle silver bullion coins on the first day of sales. Inventory from four weeks of maximum production of 2015 silver bullion coins were not enough to meet demand. As a result, the coins were sold on allocation. That means the orders could not be fulfilled as requested and each order was reduced in proportion to the size of the total orders that came in and then fulfilled at the lower amount.
These strong sales show that in spite of a modestly to moderately improving U.S. economy, investors and collectors alike see enough risk on the horizon to diversify a portion of their portfolios into physical silver and gold bullion.
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