What You Need to Know about Gold and Silver - Week 14

Friday, October 25, 2013 12:13:08 PM America/Toronto

This week is about junk bags of pre- 1964 US silver coins.

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Comments | Posted By Jamie Cohen

How to choose your Canadian bullion dealer

Friday, August 9, 2013 9:36:20 AM America/Toronto

There are several bullion dealers out there where you can buy silver and gold coins from, the questions is who.  These are some of the most important questions you should be asking.

-          Do does the dealer have a variety of gold and silver coins and bars?

-          Confirm they only sell what they have in stock?

-          Did you do a google search on the bullion dealer?

-          How quick is the shipping?

-          Do they have a physical office you can visit?

-          Do they have a variety of ways you can pay for your bullion?


Comments | Posted By Jamie Cohen

What You Need to Know about Gold and Silver - Week 1

Friday, July 26, 2013 11:04:21 AM America/Toronto

This week we will be starting a 15 week series of commentary on the pros and cons of having exposure to gold and silver in different ways. The 1st week will focus on hold silver coins and gold coins:

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Comments | Posted By Jamie Cohen

2013 American Eagle Bullion Coins Log Strong February Sales

Monday, March 4, 2013 10:56:57 AM America/Toronto

CoinNews.net | by MIKE UNSER  

February sales of American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins slowed from January but were sharply higher from a year ago.

No one logically expected United States Mint bullion sales in February to surpass those from January. The start of a year tends to be a superb time for American Eagles since that is when newly dated coins debut. It is the year-over-year totals that impress, especially for silver bullion, as shown in the following table.

American Eagle Year-Over-Year February Sales


Gold Eagle (oz)

Silver Eagles (oz)

Feb 2013



Feb 2012



Feb 2011



Feb 2010



Feb 2009



Feb 2008



Feb 2007



Feb 2006



Feb 2005



Feb 2004



2013 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins
U.S. Mint American Eagle silver coins notched strong sales even as buyers were limited in how many they could order. With initial Silver Eagle supplies sold out for a time in January, the U.S. Mint continues to ration dealer buying while it rebuilds inventory.

February sales of bullion Silver Eagles hit 3,358,500 coins, which was down more than half from January’s all-time monthly sales record of 7,498,000. Yet, the level is more than double the sales of 1,490,000 from February of last year. The series of 99.9% pure silver coins launched in 1986. Last month was the strongest February on the books.

2013 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins
February sales of American Eagle gold coins totaled 80,500 ounces. That was well off from the 150,000 ounces sold in January, the highest monthly total since July 2010, but blasted past the 21,000 ounces moved in February 2012. Since October, monthly sales of the 22-karat gold coins have surpassed all prior year-over-year monthly totals.

American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins
February sales of American Buffalo gold coins reached 11,500 ounces compared to 72,500 ounces from the previous month when sales were the strongest since October 2009. The year-ago total was 7,000 ounces.

America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
Finally, February sales of America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins totaled 14,340 coins, down from the previous month’s 28,960 coins but stomping the 300 coin amount from the same period last year.

The U.S. Mint continues to offer distributors a discount on older 2011-dated coins, making them sell faster than the 2012-dated issues. The 2013-dated coins have not been released.

ATB five ounce bullion coins have February and all-time sales where:

  • 2011 Olympic Silver Coins were unchanged at 104,900
  • 2011 Vicksburg Silver Coins advanced 4,200 in February for a total of 47,700
  • 2011 Chickasaw Silver Coins climbed 4,240 for the month for a total of 39,900
  • 2012 El Yunque Silver Coins added 2,100 for a total of 24,000
  • 2012 Chaco Culture Silver Coins gained 3,800 in February for a total of 23,800
  • 2012 Acadia Silver Coins were unchanged at 25,400
  • 2012 Hawai’i Silver Coins were unchanged at 20,000
  • 2012 Denali Silver Coins were unchanged at 20,000

Below is a breakdown of the latest U.S. Mint bullion coin sales by product type. For comparative purposes, added are monthly sales totals from a year ago and for January.

February Sales US Mint Bullion Coins (# of coins)


Last Year February


January 2013

February 2013

YTD Sales

American Eagle Gold (1 oz)





American Eagle Gold (1/2 oz)





American Eagle Gold (1/4 oz)





American Eagle Gold (1/10 oz)





American Buffalo Gold (1 oz)





ATB Silver Coins (5 oz)





American Silver Eagle





All sales above are in number of bullion coins sold, not in the amount of ounces.


Comments | Posted By Jamie Cohen

Buying And Owning Silver Part 2: Specific Investments In Silver

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 11:59:50 AM America/Toronto

Ben Krammer-Miller | Seeking Alpha

This article continues Buying and Owning Silver Part 1: Arguments for Silver Ownership, in which I establish a bullish case for silver. In part 2 I present specific ways to buy silver. Each of these options will appeal to investors with varying appetites for risk.

Silver Itself

The option with the lowest risk would simply to buy silver itself. This in itself sounds simpler than it really is. There are various coins, bars, bullion vaults and ETFs available to investors. Each varies in terms of their relative availability to investors, their tax consequences, and their counter-party risks. Unfortunately none of these is risk free, and consequently diversification is the best option.

The easiest way to buy silver is probably to buy bullion coins (American Silver Eagles, Canadian Silver Maple Leaves … etc.) or bars/rounds (NWT Mint bars, Pan American Bars…etc.). Investors who are looking for a lower cost option should consider junk silver coins. Junk silver coins are dimes, quarters, dollar coins and half dollars made before 1965. These coins contain 90% silver and the premium one pays over the spot price is substantially lower for junk silver than for bullion coins, bars, and rounds. Investors should be prepared to store physical assets in a safe place such as an at home safe. The primary risks here are theft and government confiscation, although unlike with gold, silver has never been confiscated by the U. S. government.

If one wants to hold silver bullion coins or bars in a bullion vault, they should be stored in a bullion vault in an account that allows its clients to take delivery of their silver. Absence of such an option should be viewed with suspicion.


Comments | Posted By Jamie Cohen

Don’t Sell Your Gold and Silver Coins: Jim Rogers

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 2:26:00 PM America/Toronto

By Bernice Napach | Daily Ticker 

Gold and silver may be off their highs but that hasn’t hurt demand for gold and silver coins. Sales of silver eagle coins hit a new record last month and gold coin sales in January reached their highest level in almost 19 months.

“You can’t get [silver coins]. They sell out,” says legendary investor Jim Rogers. “Several mints have run out of coins…because everybody’s worried about the future of the world.”

Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings and author of the new book, “Street Smarts: Adventures on the Road and in the Markets,” tells The Daily Ticker that he “wouldn’t rush in right now” to buy more coins, but he’s not selling them either.

Rogers says he’ll buy more gold only if prices fall further (gold is currently trading 12% below its record high of $1,900).

“Gold has been up 12 years in a row which is extremely unusual for anything,” he notes.

Gold and silver, like most commodities, are priced in U.S. dollars. Rogers is not a fan of the greenback but is an owner because other currencies, such as the Japanese yen, are collapsing.

The yen has fallen to a 2-1/2 year low against the U.S. Dollar and has weakened against the euro as a result of the Bank of Japan’s aggressive easy money policy.


Comments | Posted By Jamie Cohen

Why Buying Silver Coins is One of the Hottest Trends of 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013 3:26:17 PM America/Toronto

Money Morning Staff

 So far in 2013, buying silver coins has been one of investors’ favorite ways to profit from a climb in the white metal’s price.

The demand for physical silver from small investors in the form of coins is really remarkable. A record 7.5 million ounces of silver coins were sold in January.

In mid-January, the U.S. Mint was forced to announce that it was forced to suspend sales of the 1-ounce American Eagle silver bullion coins because, after just two weeks, it was sold out of its entire inventory.

Silver bullion coin sales were strong going into the close of last year as investors became concerned over the state of the U.S. economy with Congress debating the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling.

UBS noted, “With the U.S. Mint reporting notable sales volumes last November – when the U.S. held elections – and again this month when U.S. fiscal issues are at the forefront, it is easy to infer that some element of the ‘fear trade’ may be at play.”

UBS was skeptical of the fear trade, but added “Nevertheless, it is important to keep an eye on U.S. coin sales in the coming months to see if volumes remain elevated as the debt ceiling showdown plays out.”

Famous investor Jim Rogers is also a fan of buying silver coins.

“You can’t get [silver coins]. They sell out,” Rogers, who owns a rare 2013 silver coin, said on Yahoo! Finance’s“The Daily Ticker” earlier this month. “Several mints have run out of coins because everybody’s worried about the future of the world.”

Buying Silver Coins Not the Only White Metal Play

Since silver requires much less capital than other precious metals such as gold and platinum, it has become the preferred metals investment for smaller investors.

It is also a favorite of Money Morning’s Global Resources Specialist, Peter Krauth. He called silver “gold on steroids” and is forecasting the price to rise to $54 an ounce sometime in 2013.

If the early demand trends for silver this year continue throughout 2013, that forecast has a very good chance of being realized.

And buying silver coins isn’t the only way investors have shown their love for the white metal.

Investors were also busy purchasing silver-backed exchange traded funds.

Earlier this year, the biggest silver ETF – the iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) – saw its assets climb by the most in five years. According to data from iShares as reported by Bloomberg News, holdings jumped 572 metric tons, or 5.9%. This was the largest rise in assets since December 2007.

The leap in silver held, worth approximately $579 million, brought the total silver held by SLV to 10.735 metric tons. That is the highest level since May 2012.

Of course, there are other silver-backed exchange traded products in addition to SLV. Examples include the ETFS Silver Trust (NYSE: SIVR) and the Sprott Physical Silver Trust (NYSE: PSLV).

Worldwide investment into all such silver-backed products is at a record 19,114 metric tons, according to data compiled by Barclays and Bloomberg. That is the equivalent of about nine months of global mine output.

Mark O’Byrne, executive director of GoldCore Ltd., a Dublin brokerage that that sells and stores bullion coins and bars, told Bloomberg “[Investor] allocations to silver remain very small, which suggests that the holdings could go higher, resulting in higher silver prices again in 2013.”

Analyst data compiled by Bloomberg in December suggests that higher silver prices are indeed in the cards for 2013. The average among 49 analysts polled by Bloomberg forecast a price of $40.25 an ounce for silver, a 28% rise for the year.

With continued physical demand from investors searching for a safe haven, and the high number of investors buying silver coins, it looks like the journey higher for silver is far from over.


Comments | Posted By Jamie Cohen

American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin Sales Soar In January To Multi-Year High

Monday, February 4, 2013 12:08:18 PM America/Toronto

Gold and Silver Blog  

Sales of the American Eagle gold bullion coin soared during the first month of the year.  According to the US Mint, gold bullion coin sales totaled 150,000 ounces, up 97.4% from December 2012 when 76,000 ounces were sold.  Sales for the month were up 18.1% from comparable sales of 127,000 ounces a year ago during January 2012.

There has been a surge in demand for both gold and silver bullion coins during the first month of 2013.  Sales of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins hit an all time record high during January as public demand for physical silver soared.  The U.S. Mint has been forced to suspend sales of the silver bullion coins twice since last December since their entire stock was sold out.  In addition, opening day sales for the 2013 American Silver Eagle bullion coins were the largest on record with total sales of 3,937,000 coins. To put this huge sales figure into perspective, prior to 2008, total annual sales of the silver bullion coins was only about 9.5 million coins.

January sales of 150,000  ounces of American Eagle gold bullion coins was the sixth largest on record and represents a multi-year high in sales since July 2010 when 152,000 ounces were sold.  The previous record months were June 2010 with 151,500 ounces, December 2009 with 231,500 ounces, April 2009 with 157,500 ounces and December 2008 with 176,000 ounces.

The gold bullion coins are available in one ounce, one-half ounce, one quarter ounce and one-tenth ounce.  The total number of coins sold during January 2013 was 275,500 as shown below.




















The American Eagle gold bullion coins are not sold directly to the public but rather to the Mint’s network of authorized purchasers who buy the coins in bulk based upon the market value of gold and a Mint markup.  The authorized purchasers then resell the coins to the public, coin dealers and other bullion dealers.  The U.S. Mint utilizes this distribution channel in order to make the coins widely available to the public with reasonable transaction costs and premiums in line with other bullion programs.


Comments | Posted By Jamie Cohen

US Silver Coin Sales Hit An All-Time High In January

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 12:16:24 PM America/Toronto

Frank Tang | Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – American Eagle silver coin sales in January surged to an all-time monthly high as the U.S. Mint resumed sales after huge demand triggered a brief suspension, and gold coins also posted their best performance since July 2010.

As of January 29, silver Eagle sales for the month were 7.1 million ounces, data from the U.S. Mint’s website showed, surpassing its previous record of 6.1 million ounces set in January 2012. (Graphic: http://link.reuters.com/myb35t)

Not only do we have clients calling in, they are buying in huge quantities,” said David Beahm, vice president of Blanchard & Co, a New Orleans-based retail coin dealer.

“They are buying the entire 500-ounce boxes that are sealed by the U.S. Mint, that’s what people want right now,” said Beahm, referring to the standard sealed silver Eagle “monster” box containing 500 one-ounce coins the Mint sells only to its handful of authorized wholesalers.

Earlier this week, the Mint resumed supplying silver Eagles after it halted sales on January 17 as soaring demand depleted its stock.

However, silver coin sales to dealers are still through the allocation process, or rationing, a U.S. Mint spokesman said on Tuesday.

With two more days remaining in January, gold coin sales were 140,000 ounces, compared with 127,000 ounces for all of January 2012. Sales appear set for the highest monthly tally since July 2010.

U.S. gold and silver coin sales have been exceptionally strong in January, building on a late 2012 rally as collectors scramble to snap up newly minted 2013 coins and investors seek refuge from U.S. economic uncertainty.

Some coin dealers, however, warn of a post-January drop in sales similar to last year’s pattern, as early interest tends to wane once the first mintage is over.


Comments | Posted By Jamie Cohen

Now Royal Canadian Mint rationing silver coin sales

Thursday, January 24, 2013 1:11:45 PM America/Toronto

Silver demand looks to be running at particularly high levels in January as the Royal Canadian Mint follows US example and begins rationing sales of its Silver Maple Leaf coins. 

 By Lawrence Williams

Is there a shortage of physical silver available, or have the official North American mints which sell silver coins just heavily under-estimated demand – or, as GATA suggests, is this another ploy to make sure demand for bullion is kept under control as a way of helping prevent a physical shortage developing on the commodity markets by putting a choke on demand and thus suppressing the metal price?  While we tend to discount the latter as GATA just finding another factor to support its gold, and now silver, price suppression position, either (or both) the former reasons would seem to fit the current halt or suppression of silver coin sales by two of the world’s largest official mints.

As Mineweb readers will be aware, the U.S. Mint announced that it had suspended sales of its Silver Eagle coins around a week ago following enormous early-year demand (see Over 6 million Silver Eagle bullion coins sold already this year) and would only be able to start supplying authorised dealers again, on an allocation (rationing) basis, from next week.  Now a report by precious metals analyst Jason Hamlin in goldstockbull.com notes that the Royal Canadian Mint announced yesterday that it too was having to ration its sales of its popular Silver Maple Leaf coins.

As the U.S. Mint article we published suggests, demand for silver bullion coins has been virtually unprecedented and, we assume, it had not sourced enough silver blanks to meet new demand for this extremely popular way for the individual investor to hold physical silver on its release of the 2013 coins.  It now looks as though the Royal Canadian Mint too is seeing tremendous demand – perhaps as a knock-on effect of the U.S. Mint’s sales suspension – with dealers in North America looking to source coin supplies from Mints in which its customers have full confidence.  This is not to say that there are not other mints around the world which are perfectly reliable sources of premium silver bullion coins, but the North American investor obviously prefers to stick with their local official coin suppliers and it the U.S. Mint can’t provide enough to meet demand then perhaps the Royal Canadian Mint coins will do as a substitute!

Although some U.S. Silver Eagles and Canadian Maple Leafs may remain available through dealers who had built up their own stocks ahead of the suspension and rationings, naturally the premiums charged on the coins will have been rising, particularly on Silver Eagles.  These should reduce again should the allocation quotas be removed if demand falters, but there are also other indications that silver demand in particular is currently running at very high levels indeed.  Reports suggest particularly strong demand from areas like India and China where precious metals ownership and giving is inbuilt into the psyche and where gold prices are perhaps running too high for many individuals to buy what they see as meaningful weights of metal.  Silver ETF inflows too are also seen to be at exceedingly high levels.

Even so there is, as analyst Ted Butler makes a particular point of reiterating in his commentaries, a huge short position overhang in silver on COMEX, which appears to make the market particularly vulnerable to manipulation by major financial entities with seemingly bottomless pockets.  Whether the burgeoning demand for physical silver can overwhelm the potential mega-losses of the short position holders with a significant price surge remains in doubt unless, and until, these mega short positions are unwound, which doesn’t look to be likely to happen any time soon.


Comments | Posted By Jamie Cohen