Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gold and Silver Eagle Bullion Allocation Programs End

Yesterday, the US Mint announced the end of the long standing allocation programs for Gold and Silver American Eagle bullion coins. This should have implications for coin collectors who have been eagerly awaiting the collectible proof and uncirculated versions of the coins.

The news comes via a brief memorandum sent to authorized purchasers of US Mint bullion coins, which stated, "Effective immediately, the United States is lifting the allocation process. You may place your orders under the standard ordering procedures."

Gold and Silver Eagle Bullion Coin Shortage and Rationing

The US Mint sells gold and silver bullion coins through a network of authorized purchasers. Last year, heavy demand and a tight supply of precious metals blanks had forced the US Mint to temporarily suspend sales of bullion coins and eventually instate allocation programs. These programs limited the number of gold and silver bullion coins that authorized purchasers could order.

The US Mint would divide weekly bullion coin production into two pools. The first pool would be divided equally amongst authorized purchasers, and the second would be divided based on past sales performance. The silver allocation program had been in place since April 2008, and the gold allocation program had been in place since August 2008.

In recent months there had been signs that the heavy demand and tight supply, which necessitated the allocation programs, were easing. After reaching extreme levels during the shortage, premiums for bullion coins charged by precious metals dealers were finally dropping. At the height of the Silver Eagle shortage, bullion coins carried premiums as high as $4.50 per coin. Since last month, these premiums have declined back to their historical norms around $2.00 per coin.

Another sign had been a recent decline in monthly sales levels for the US Mint's gold and silver bullion coins. For 2009, sales had recorded month to month increases before peaking and finally declining. Sales of Silver Eagle bullion coins had risen to a peak of 3,132,000 ounces in March, before receding in April, and falling further in May to 1,904,500 ounces. Sales of Gold Eagle bullion coins had reached a peak of 147,500 ounces in April, before dropping to 65,000 in May. Notably, even the reduced sales figures from last month remain far above year over year and historical sales comparisons.

Gold and Silver Eagle Collector Coins on the Horizon?

The end of the allocation program should be welcome news for coin collectors. Because of the high demand for gold and silver bullion coins, the US Mint had suspended production of the collector versions of the coins. By law, the US Mint is required to provide bullion coins "in quantities sufficient to meet public demand." Because they were unable to meet full demand, they had been diverting their entire supply of blanks to the production of bullion coins in lieu of producing any collector coins.

At the time of this post, there still has not been any indication of when production of collector coins will begin, and when the coins will eventually go on sale for collectors. However, recent developments suggest that a window of opportunity has opened for the US Mint to produce the collector coins. The end of the allocation program can be interpreted to mean that the US Mint is reasonably confident that their supply of incoming precious metals blanks is sufficient to satisfy full bullion coin demand with a reasonable cushion. Presumably, some of these extra blanks can now be used to produce collector coins.

The collector versions of American Gold and Silver Eagles expected to be produced this year are the following:

2009 American Gold Eagle One Ounce Proof
2009 American Gold Eagle One-Half Ounce Proof
2009 American Gold Eagle One-Quarter Ounce Proof
2009 American Gold Eagle One-Tenth Ounce Proof
2009 American Gold Eagle Proof Four Coin Set
2009 American Gold Eagle One Ounce Uncirculated
2009 American Silver Eagle One Ounce Proof
2009 American Silver Eagle One Ounce Uncirculated

Note that this product line up is slightly reduced from last year. The fractional versions of the 2009-W Uncirculated Gold Eagles were previously announced as discontinued.

Even though the collector versions of Gold and Silver Eagles are now closer to becoming reality, there still has not been any additional news on the American Platinum Eagle coins and American Buffalo Gold Coins. For 2009 to date, the US Mint has not produced or sold any bullion or collector coins from these two programs.

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14 Comments:

At June 16, 2009 at 7:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its about time. I have been waiting to see this headline.
Thanks for the info

 
At June 16, 2009 at 8:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No platinum eagle sales in over 6 months, yet the RCM is striking platinum maple leaf coins for the first time in ten years. What the heck is going on with that? Obviously the raw metal is available. The U.S. mint needs to do a better job of communicating their product schedule with collectors.

 
At June 16, 2009 at 8:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In past years, when did these particular coins usually become available? Was it pretty much the entire year?

 
At June 16, 2009 at 11:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ordered mine on 18th March 2008 so they came out around then.

 
At June 17, 2009 at 4:13 AM , Blogger Michael said...

"In past years, when did these particular coins usually become available? Was it pretty much the entire year?"

Last year, these coins went on sale on the following dates:

Jan 3 - Proof Silver Eagle
Mar 4 - Proof Gold Eagles
Mar 17 - Uncirculated Silver Eagle
Apr 1 - Uncirculated Gold Eagles

 
At June 17, 2009 at 6:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael, do we have any idea what the Silver American Eagle Proof would go for? If my memory serves me well it was around $32 for the proof last year (I think). I love that coin, it is so beautiful.

 
At June 17, 2009 at 11:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bunch of BS, they are selling more eagles then ever and all of a sudden the allocation is lifted. It is sad that us collectors and investors are getting screwed in the is process b/c the only dealer taht we have to buy from is a monopoly...

 
At June 17, 2009 at 12:58 PM , Blogger GoOgLyMoOgLy said...

THANK GOD! Maybe we can stop with the ridiculous prices of the AmBuffs. WE NEED MORE BUFF's!!!

 
At June 17, 2009 at 1:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not and never will pay the price dealers want for bullion. To pay dealers markup for uncirculated bullion is stupid when I can buy proofs or uncirculated bullion from the mint. I belive if no one ever bought anything from dealers and only purchased mint products from the mint this debacle would of never happend. The people of the UNITED STATES need to forced business to come to reality. They are in business because of us. Without the people the would be out of business. I could be wrong.

 
At June 18, 2009 at 7:08 AM , Blogger Michael said...

"Michael, do we have any idea what the Silver American Eagle Proof would go for?"

Last year it was priced at $31.95. When it went on sale January 3, 2008, silver was $15.27 per ounce.

With silver currently at $14.27, we can still hope for the same price this year.

 
At June 18, 2009 at 8:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I HAVE NEVER ORDERED ANY OF THE SILVER OR GOLD COINS BEFORE SO THIS ALL IS NEW, SO I HAVE A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS.
1.WHAT ARE BULLION COINS AND WHO ARE THE 'AUTHORIZED DEALERS'?
2. CAN PEONS LIKE ME BUY BULLION COINS FROM THE MINT OR DO I HAVE TO GO TO THE SECONDARY MARKET?
3.CAN I PRE-ORDER THE COLLECTOR COINS FROM THE MINT OR DO I HAVE TO KEEP CHECKING THIS WEBSITE IN ORDER TO KNOW WHEN THEY WOULD BE AVAILABLE?
THANK YOU SO MUCH AS I AM LEARNING MORE FROM THIS SITE THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE ABOUT COLLECTING COINS. I AM NOT INTERESTED IN TURNING A QUICK BUCK ON EBAY-ALTHOUGH I APPLAUD THOSE WHO CAN DO THAT-I JUST COLLECT FOR MY 15 NIECES AND NEPHEWS AND 7 KIDS. ANY APPRECIATION IN VALUE WILL COME LONG AFTER I AM DEAD BUT COIN COLLECTING IS STILL PRETTY COOL.

 
At June 18, 2009 at 12:31 PM , Blogger Eric said...

you can get subscriptions for the silver eagles and annual mint sets here

http://catalog.usmint.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&identifier=SUBS

bullion can be bought at most coin dealers/online coin dealers /ebay.

 
At June 21, 2009 at 6:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reply to annonymous who said that they'd like info on the eagles etc and they stated that they know very little of this hobby of ours, can i reccommend that they join one of the best online coin clubs and they will learn lots. This club gives away FREE coins in competitions to it's members for just adding a post or replying to exsisting posts, membership is completely FREE and is 100% family orientated. For more info please follow this link, you'll be glad you did... just say ANDI sent you...

USCOIN.NING.COM

 
At June 24, 2009 at 9:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a significant news story that could have been communicated much better to the public.

bullion-advisor

 

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