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Bullion bargains appeal to buyers

Bargain bullion is the message buyers of silver and gold American Eagle coins seem to have been sending in the past week.

Since I did last week’s “Numismatic News” Mint Statistics pages, the Mint’s Authorized Purchaser network has taken a huge 1,420,000 silver Eagles.

They wouldn’t take them if they couldn’t sell the coins to retail buyers.

In a week, the Mint has sold more coins than it did in the entire month of July or August when sales totaled 1,370,000 and 1,280,000, respectively.

Talk about waking up from a summertime snooze.

With silver trading around $17.50 a troy ounce, down roughly $2.40 in three weeks, the price of a silver Eagle bullion coin is now roughly an even $20.

Bullion buyers apparently are attracted.

Total October silver Eagle sales now stand at 1,950,000.

The bargain-hunting boost is also apparent this week in gold Eagle sales figures. The precious metal is down by about $80 in the last three weeks to $1,254.

But gold bullion buyers were a bit more single-minded in the acquisition of gold Eagles during the summer.

While gold Eagles sales did fall in sympathy with the silver Eagle decline, it was not as severe and the recovery set in much sooner.

In the past week buyers became rocket-powered and have taken 39,000 one-ounce gold Eagles, which is significantly more than the 30,000 sold in the whole month of July.

Another two weeks like that would make the October sales number the biggest by far of the year.

In roughly the first two week’s of October, sales of 47,500 nearly equal August’s sales figure of 50,000.

In calendar year 2016, the top one-ounce gold Eagle sales month is 93,500 coins sold in April.

Will we see a 100,000 one-ounce coin month in October?

Let’s stay alert and see.

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