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Silver Eagles sell as supply gets rationed

Restarting sales of one-ounce gold and silver American Eagle coins after a Nov. 25 suspension was expected in the month of December, but by press time, only the silver one-ounce American Eagle had actually been offered.

On Dec. 7, the U.S. Mint allocated 1,114,000 of the silver coins. Allocation is a procedure the Mint uses to ration supply to its authorized purchasers when demand exceeds the supply on hand.

So far in 2009, the Mint has sold 27,106,500 silver American Eagle coins.

The one-ounce gold American Eagles had not become available again by press time, but additional limited supplies were expected by the middle of the month to be allocated on a weekly basis through the end of the year, according to U.S. Mint Director of Public Affairs Tom Jurkowsky.

The shortage of American Eagle is likely to persist into 2010 because the Mint has delayed the commencement of production of next year’s coins. Combine that with the usual bulge in demand as collectors and others clamor to get coins with a new date and the likely outcome is a continuing shortage.

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