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Demand for gold down in 2011

American bullion coin buyer preferences are shifting away from gold and toward silver.

This conclusion can be made by comparing the U.S. Mint sales data for the first six months of 2011 as compared to the same period in 2009 and 2010.

So far in 2011, buyers have taken 507,500 of the gold American Eagle coins.

2012 U.S. Coin Digest: Gold Coins

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In 2009 during the year’s first half, buyers snapped up 670,500 gold one-ounce coins during the first six months. In 2010, they purchased 618,500 during the same period, a decline of 52,000 pieces, or 7.8 percent.

The 2011 total is 111,000 pieces lower than the 2010 total, for a decline of 17.9 percent.

This shows an accelerating downtrend in demand.

Part of the decline might have simply been a shift in demand to fractional gold Eagle sizes, but this adds up to only 68,500 ounces’ worth of coins. The difference represents a still fairly sizable decline of 42,500 ounces.

There is no question that since 2009 silver has been getting more and more positive attention from the hard money advisory crowd, but gold has not exactly been ignored as a topic by them, either.

Sales figures for the one-ounce silver American Eagle show increasing interest by buyers.

In the first half of 2009, buyers grabbed 13,824,500 coins. In the first half of 2010, they bought 18,168,500. This is an increase of 4,344,000 coins, or 31.4 percent.

In 2011, buyers took 22,303,500 silver American Eagles, up a very similar 4,135,000 coins, but because it is compared to a higher base, this works out to an increase of 22.8 percent.

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