Who Are The U.S. Mint’s Authorized Purchasers of American Gold and Silver Eagle Coins?

U.S. Mint’s Authorized Purchasers

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U.S. Mint Authorized Purchasers Buy American Gold and Silver Eagles Directly From the U.S. Mint.

Which Entities are the United States Mint’s Authorized Purchasers?

A list of U.S. Mint Authorized Purchasers is unavailable to the general public.

HSBC is a U.S. Mint Authorized Purchaser of American Gold Eagle Coins

Is J.P. Morgan a U.S. Mint Authorized Purchaser of American Silver Eagle Coins?

While preparing a post on the factors influencing American Silver Eagle coin premiums, I was drafting a section explaining the way the United States Mint uses “Authorized Purchasers” to distribute these coins to the general public. Authorized Purchasers buy their silver and gold eagle coins from the U.S. Mint directly and then resell them to secondary dealers.

I thought it would be useful information to include a current list of the U.S. Mint’s Authorized Purchasers.

I did some reasearch and found some websites that contained lists of Authorized Purchasers that were no more recent than 2010*. The most recent news I found regarding U.S. Mint Authorized Purchasers was a 2014 APMEX announcement that they had become an Authorized Purchaser of American Gold Eagles.*

Compare American Silver Eagles for sale at:

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Unable to find a current list of the U.S. Mint’s Authorized Purchasers (truly favored parties!), I wrote to the U.S. Mint on a Saturday afternoon and received this immediate response:

Thank you for your recent inquiry to the United States Mint concerning bullion dealers.

Please accept our apologies, but we do not maintain a list of authorized dealers for bullion products. (my emphasis added) We do have a webpage which will assist you with finding a dealer in your area at http://catalog.usmint.gov/bullion-dealer-locator. Please note that, per that page, “The companies that appear on this list are neither affiliated with, nor are they official dealers of the United States Mint.”

My response:

“Thanks for your response regarding my request for a list of authorized purchasers of American Silver and Gold Eagle coins. The response I received doesn’t make sense:

Thank you for your recent inquiry to the United States Mint concerning bullion dealers.

Please accept our apologies, but we do not maintain a list of authorized dealers for bullion products

If the US Mint doesn’t keep a list of authorized purchasers, how does it notify them of their allocation and ship product to them?

Certainly the US Mint maintains a list of authorized purchasers.

Am I to understand that it is the Mint’s policy not to disclose the list?

The U.S. Mint response:

Thank you for your recent inquiry to the United States Mint concerning bullion dealers.

Please accept our apologies, but any metals dealer may set up an account with The United States Mint as a bulk dealer and be able to request coins be shipped to them (my emphasis added). Please note that bulk dealers do not have any automatic order functions and must request coins from The United States Mint using minimum order guidelines. These dealers, even though they have accounts which allow them to purchase product from The United States Mint, are not affiliated with, nor are they official dealers of The United States Mint. Because there is no affiliation with The United States Mint, there is no list to be referenced (my emphasis added).

My response:

“So the concept of “authorized purchasers” no longer exists?

That any dealer can order coins seems to contradict the concept of applying to become an authorized purchaser as set forth here: http://www.usmint.gov/consumer/SilverAPRequirements.pdf”

The U.S. Mint’s response:

This letter is in response to your recent correspondence to the United States Mint.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide information regarding authorized purchasers.(my emphasis added) We are only able to offer the locations for bullion dealers in your area. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

The Federal Reserve uses a similar concept in auctioning U.S. Treasury Bonds, as the U.S. Mint, in that it does not sell Treasury Bonds directly but uses primary dealers to conduct that function. A list of the Fed’s primary dealers is available on the New York Federal Reserve’s web site.

It seems incongruous that we have ready access to a list of the Fed’s primary Treasury Bond dealers, but we do not have similar access to a list of U.S. Mint Authorized Purchasers of American Gold and Silver Eagle coins.

This lack of transparency gives new life to Ted Butler’s theory that J.P. Morgan has been buying hundreds of millions of American Silver Eagles. (rejected here)

After all, if we don’t know who the U.S. Mint’s Authorized Purchasers are, we cant rule out that J.P. Morgan is one of them.

*J.P. Morgan was not included in any of the 2010 lists of Authorized Purchasers linked to above.

In Apmex’s press release they note they join Deutsche Bank of Germany, Commerzbank International of Luxembourg, Prudential Securities, HSBC (custodian of the gold ETF, GLD) and a few other select companies as US Mint Authorized Purchasers.

The U.S. Mint has a link that provides instructions for any person to use the Freedom of Information Act to exercise their “right to request access to records maintained by the United States Mint.”

You can compare pricing and shipping charges on American Gold Eagles coins of all sizes at these web sites:

SD Bullion
Golden Eagle Coins
Money Metals Exchange
The Lowest Cost. Period.

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Further Reading:

Why Are American Silver Eagle Coin Premiums So High?

U.S. Mint Silver Eagle Authorized Purchaser Requirements

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