American Gold Eagle Premiums Rise as U.S. Mint Halts Production

American Gold Eagle Premiums.

American Gold Eagle Premiums Rise as U.S. Mint Abrupty Halts Production.

Sales of 22K American Gold Eagle and 24K American Gold Buffalo coins surge in second half of year and November.

Is there a Gold Shortage?

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The big story at the U.S. Mint in 2015 was the surge in sales of American Silver Eagle coins causing the Mint to institute purchase allocations for their Authorized Purchasers that have lasted all year. The Great Silver Shortage of 2015 became evident in late May and early June when the U.S. Mint suspended order limits at the end of May.

The lifting of the suspension kicked of a fury of American Silver Eagle buying by Authorized Purchasers. Soon, however, the U.S. Mint had to reverse their decision to allow unlimited buying of American Silver Eagles and to reinstitute purchase allocations. Despite these allocations, and a production halt of twenty days in July, sales of American Silver Eagles set monthly records in June, July, August and November.

Gold Sales Pick up Too

Sales of American Gold Eagle coins had been weak through the spring of 2015. Then in June, sales of all sizes of American Gold Eagle coins, like their American Silver Eagle counterparts, began to surge.

2015 – A so so year for sales of one ounce American Gold Eagle Coins…

The overall sales totals for one ounce American Gold Eagle coins were mediocre.

American Gold Eagle sales 1986 - 2015

Sales of one ounce American Gold Eagle coins picked up in the second half of 2015, but over all sales were below most prior recent year totals.

But U.S. Mint gold sales started to take off in June 2015…

Seventy eight percent of 2015 sales of one ounce American Gold Eagle coins took place from June to November as sales increased 207 percent from the period of January to May 2015.

American Gold Eagle and gold buffalo sales in 2015

After languishing in early 2015, sales of American Gold Eagle coins took off in June of 2015.

and were accelerating in November…

U.S. Mint November gold sales were about twice as high in 2015 as they were in 2013 and 2014.

November sales of American Gold Buffalo and Gold Eagle coins 2013 -2015

Sales of American Gold Eagle and American Gold Buffalo coins rose sharply higher in November 2015 from prior recent years.

As gold sales began to rise…

On November 24, 2015, the U.S. Mint announced that had sold out of one ounce American Gold Eagle coins and would produce no more for the year.

The U.S. Mint has also stopped producing the one tenth ounce and one quarter ounce American Gold Eagle coins, but is still taking orders for one half ounce American Gold Eagle and one ounce American Gold Buffalo coins.

The U.S. Mint will begin selling the 2016 dated American Gold Eagle coins on January 11, 2016.

Why the sudden production halt?

In reaction to the American Gold Eagle production halt, premiums on American Gold Eagle coins began to rise after remaining relatively constant all year. Earlier in the year premiums on American Silver Eagle coins doubled in reaction to the U.S. Mint’s production halts and tight allocation of sales to its Authorized Purchasers.

gold eagle premiums dec 3 2015

American Gold Eagle coin premiums have begun to rise in response to the halting of production of 2015 dated coins.

Click here to see premiums on American Gold and Silver Eagle coins as well as premiums on coins from the Canadian and Austrian Mints.

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American Gold Buffalo Coin Sales Triple In November

The U.S. Mint introduced the 24K American Gold Buffalo coin in 2006. It has undersold its 22K counterpart, the American Gold Eagle coin, every year since it was introduced.

American Buffalo gold coin sales also began picking up steam in the second half of 2015, peaking so far at 38,000 in November, more than three times the 10,500 sold in October and the 12,500 sold in November 2014.

Sales of American Buffalo gold coins are up 27% in 2015 through November from last year’s sales through the same period. Sixty six percent of American Gold Buffalo coins sold in 2015 were sold in the five months from June to November.

American Gold Buffalo sales 2006-2015

2015 sales of American Gold Buffalo coins are the third highest in the coin’s history.

Compare Pricing and Shipping on American Gold Buffalo Coins
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November American Gold Buffalo Sales

November sales of American Gold Buffalo coins were the highest in the coin’s history, other than the 67,500 sold in November 2009, when the entire year’s production of 200,000 coins was minted during the months of October through December.

November sales of American Gold Buffalo coins 2006-2015

November sales of American Gold Buffalo coins are at their second highest level.

Is There a Gold Shortage?

We have often noted the movement of gold from west to east.

Demand for gold in Russia, China and India remains strong. This demand is satified in part from exports of gold from western nations, including the United States.

Russian and Chinese Gold Demand

Russia and China have been furiously adding to their gold reserves the past few years:

Chinese and Russian gold reserves August- October2015

Officialy, Russia has been adding even more gold to its reserves than China. In the three month period from August to October the two countries added 128 tons of gold to their reserves.

Indian Gold Demand

Indian Gold import chart

Indian gold demand through September 2015 remains elevated.

Click to see the monthly Chinese gold reserve archives
CLick to see the monthly Russian gold reserve archives
Click to see Indian Gold Import charts
Click to see the weekly Shanghai Gold Exchange withdrawals

In Gold and Silver Price Manipulation, we noted the possibility that part of the eastern demand for gold was being met through the raiding of the Gold ETFs.

Gold ETF Drainage

gold etf holdings from 2009 - 2015

Gold ETFs have lost more than half of their gold since early 2013. Where did all that gold go?

COMEX Paper Gold Trading Farce

To illustrate how little gold the west appears to have, take a look at the just 120,000 ounces of gold that are available for delivery on COMEX to settle trades. Despite this small amount of gold which serves as the basis for hundreds of potential claims, Comex has not defaulted, nor will it, as western gold traders are content to trade paper contracts rather than physical gold.

Comex eligible gold December 3, 2015

As of December 3, 2015, there were just 120,000 ounces of gold eligible for delivery on COMEX to settle trades.

Did the U.S. Mint halt production of 2015 American Gold Eagle coins on November 24, 2015 because they were running out of gold, or were they just being lazy?

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Further Reading:

Gold Supply and Demand

Gold and Silver Manipulation – Suspected

Silver and Gold Manipulation – Actual

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