Did introduction of the American Buffalo one-ounce gold bullion coin in 2006 harm sales of the American Eagle?
You can make that case looking at the final mintage figures for the coins just released by the U.S. Mint.
The Buffalo ounce saw a mintage of 337,012, a fairly strong total for a coin that was available for only half of the year.
Mintage of the one-ounce American Eagle fell by 36 percent from the 2005 total. In 2006, 237,510 of the one-ounce gold American Eagles were struck compared to 356,555 in the prior year.
Not only was the one-ounce gold Eagle affected. Mintages for the other three sizes fell also, but by not such large percentages.
In 2006, 66,005 of the half-ounce Eagles were struck, down 18 percent from the 2005 total of 80,023.
For the quarter-ounce Eagle, the 2006 mintage total was 60,004, down 17 percent from 2005?s 72,015.
The smallest drop was recorded by the tenth-ounce coin. It had a 2006 mintage of 285,006, down just 5 percent. In 2005, the total was 300,043.
Jumping strongly higher was the mintage for the silver American Eagle. In 2006 some 10,676,522 were struck, up 20 percent from the 8,891,025 total of 2005. This is the second highest total ever struck, exceeded only by the 11,442,335 coins struck in 1987.
Platinum bullion Eagles saw smaller shifts in coinage. The one-ounce platinum Eagle mintage was 6,000 in 2006, down 5 percent from 2005?s total of 6,310.
The half-ounce platinum Eagle had a 2006 mintage of 9,602, which was a gain of 7 percent over the 9,013 number from 2005.
For the quarter-ounce platinum Eagle, the mintage in 2006 of 12,001 was virtually identical to the 12,013 of 2005.
The greatest change in mintage came with the tenth-ounce coin, the 2006 mintage of 11,001 was 21 percent below the 14,013 of 2005.
These totals are for the gold, silver and platinum bullion American Eagles sold by the U.S. Mint through its distribution network. The figures do not include proof mintages or mintages of the newly introduced ?W? mintmarked Eagles that were sold directly to collectors.