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Are silver Eagle buyers right?

Are gold and silver buyers fad chasers or the smart money people?

I ask the question after looking at the sales data for the first half of 2011 for one-ounce gold and silver American Eagle coins and comparing it to results in 2009 and 2010.

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

In 2009 during the year’s first half, buyers snapped up 670,500 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.

There is no question that in that time, 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 over 2010.

Is silver the place to be?

Certainly a lot of American Eagle buyers are acting as if it is.

Now we just have to sit back and see if they are right.