As I mention in my article, "Record Breaking Sales Of Bullion Coins Continues," in recent years, sales of silver (SLV) American Eagle (AE) coins from the U.S. Mint have been setting record after record. And, given the sales numbers in January, this might be another record breaking year.
In January, the U.S. Mint sold 6,107,000 ounces of silver (PSLV) American Eagle bullion, the second highest total ever for sales in the first month of the year. Last year, the U.S. Mint sold 6,422,000 ounces of silver AE coins in January, en route to the single year record of 39,868,500 ounces.
Below is a chart of the year-to-date silver (SIVR) AE bullion coin sales from the U.S. Mint through January 31 for all years the program has been in existence:
Gold (GLD) was also off to a strong start in 2012 both in terms of price performance and American Eagle coin sales from the U.S. Mint. In January, the U.S. Mint sold 127,000 ounces of gold American Eagle bullion, two-thirds of which came in the form of one ounce coins. While this January did not come close to 1999's all-time January high of 281,000 ounces, it did come in as the fourth highest. Only 1987, 1999, and 2011 had higher January sales totals than 2012.
With that said, even January 1999's impressive 281,000 ounces of gold (IAU) sold by the U.S. Mint doesn't come close to the top three all-time months of gold AE coin sales. October 1986, the first month of the AE coin program, comes in at number one with 692,000 ounces sold, followed by December 1986 at 626,250 ounces, and November 1986 at 469,500 ounces. Needless to say, there was some pent up demand for American minted gold coins (besides commemorative coins) in late 1986 when the Mint began selling American Eagle bullion coins.
Below is a chart of the year-to-date gold AE bullion coin sales from the U.S. Mint through January 31 for all years the program has been in existence:
Additional disclosure: I am long gold and silver.