The Mint issued a memo Friday to its authorized bullion coin purchasers.
What it says is another manifestation of the unusual year we have been seeing in the bullion coin market.
The Mint says it will be selling 2009-dated bullion coins until the end of the calendar year.
Buyers who are looking for a supply will undoubtedly be pleased at the information, because in most years the memo tells buyers what part of early December the Mint expects to run out of the coins of the current year.
Also announced in the memo is the Mint’s intention to begin striking the 2010 coins in January 2010. This virtually guarantees continuing tight supplies.
In normal years, production begins before the change of the calendar year and orders for the next year’s coins are taken just prior to New Year’s and delivered just afterwards.
This procedure helped the Mint meet the seasonal bulge in bullion coin demand. During the first month a lot of buyers simply want to get the new date and it is more a coin collecting phenomenon than a bullion investment phenomenon.
The Mint will now face this higher seasonal demand and the continuing high investor demand with less of a running start than usual.
Short of a sudden large loss in precious metals prices, it would seem that with this new wrinkle buyers will again sense tightening supplies. This is like blood in the water for sharks. It further stokes the demand frenzy.