Gold Buffalo Bullion Coins Sold Out, Gold Eagle Fractionals Limited
Yesterday, the US Mint released information related to the status of their gold and silver bullion coin offerings. These are the bullion coins sold via their network of authorized purchasers, and not the collectible coins offered for sale on their website.
The inventory for the 2009 American Gold Buffalo bullion coins has been depleted and no additional inventory will be available. These coins first went on sale October 15, and have sold 200,000 to date. This amount puts the annual total above the 172,000 coins sold in 2008 and the 167,500 coins sold in 2007. These higher sales come despite the fact that the 2009 dated coins were available for less than two months.
The inventory of fractional 2009 American Gold Eagle bullion coins, which were just released on December 3, has been depleted for 1/10 ounce coins and is limited for the 1/2 and 1/4 ounce coins. The remaining coins will be offered for sale under the US Mint's allocation process with additional inventory available by mid-December. The previously suspended one ounce coins are also expected to be available in mid-December by allocation.
Finally, sales of the 2009 American Silver Eagle bullion coins, which were suspended on November 25, will resume on December 7 subject to allocation.
Currently, all gold bullion coins offered by the US Mint have been either suspended, sold out, or very limited. The activity follows similar actions taken throughout last year, which eventually led the US Mint to restrict bullion coin sales to only one ounce Gold Eagles and one ounce Silver Eagles, which were subject to rationing.
Beyond the implications for precious metals investors, the continuing issues the US Mint is having fulfilling public demand will have an impact coin collectors, as we have already seen this year.
In October the US Mint announced the cancellation of a slew of collectible gold and silver products due to their inability to meet public demand for bullion coins. This came at a time when they actually seemed to be making progress at meeting full demand. The long standing rationing programs for Gold and Silver Eagles had been put to an end in June 2009, and the Mint finally began production of long delayed bullion products like the Gold Buffalo and fractional Gold Eagles.
When the US Mint announced that collectible proof and uncirculated Gold and Silver Eagles would not be produced for 2009, they indicated that they were "working diligently with current and potential blank suppliers to increase supply" so collectible offerings could be resumed in 2010. The recent round of suspensions, sold out coins, and limited availability make the prospects for next year less certain.
For the most part, collectors seem to have finally made with the fact that there will be no proof Gold and Silver Eagles this year. Are we prepared to accept the same fate for another year?
Labels: US Mint