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Battle of the 20s

The mystery of declining demand for U.S. Mint silver American Eagle coins continues.

At near the midpoint of the month, July 13, Authorized Purchasers have taken 545,000 of these bullion coins from the U.S. Mint.

That seems astonishingly low for a bullion coin that averaged nearly 4.7 million coins sold each and every month of 2016 through the end of May.

Sales dropped significantly in June to 2,837,500. I wrote a blog about it.

If the July sales pace continues at this rate, the month will come in well under June results.

There is no way to know what buyers will do in the remaining days of July any more than we can pinpoint their motives for not buying.

I thought perhaps silver Eagle buyers were signaling some sort of price resistance. Either they had run out of investable funds available for such purchases or they are thinking that prices have gotten too high too fast and are pausing their purchases.

Silver has had quite a run this year, up almost 45 percent – and about 27 percent just since the beginning of June.

Because the price spurt since June 1 coincides with the withdrawal of Eagle buyers, the question has to be asked if there is a connection, cause and effect, rather than just being one of life’s coincidences.

Silver at just over $20 an ounce this morning on the Kitco website is trading at one of those nice round numbers that attracts attention good and bad.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is starting to attract financial investment writers who are forecasting 20,000, up from yesterday’s close of 18,372.

So the financial world is telling us that $20 silver is too high and the Dow Jones Industrials under 20,000 is too low?

Strange but true for at least today.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

• If you enjoy reading about what inspires coin designs, you’ll want to check out Fascinating Facts, Mysteries & Myths about U.S. Coins