The U.S. Mint’s authorized purchasers bought nearly $85 million of gold and silver bullion coins in the week that ended May 16 as market participants reacted to the $1 trillion bailout of Europe’s risky debtor countries in the euro zone.
The euro itself was sliding toward a four-year low of approximately $1.23.
Taken by buyers were 31,000 American Eagle one-ounce gold coins and 23,500 one-ounce American Buffalo coins.
The silver American Eagle was the hands-down winner in terms of numbers, with 1,005,500 coins sold in the week, though in terms of dollars, the total silver value of approximately $19 million is a figure handily beaten by the value of the gold coins sold.
Only authorized purchasers can buy bullion coins directly from the Mint. They meet strict financial screening criteria to win this designation. They in turn sell the coins they buy into the secondary market.
There are a total of eight gold authorized purchasers, 12 for silver and six for platinum. Three firms are outside the United States.
• A-Mark Precious Metals of Santa Monica, Calif. It is authorized to purchase gold, silver and platinum.
• American Precious Metals Exchange, Inc., of Oklahoma City, Okla. Silver Eagles only.
• Coins ‘N’ Things, Inc., of Bridgewater, Mass. Gold, silver and platinum.
• Dillon Gage Inc. of Dallas, Texas. Silver only.
• Fidelitrade, Inc. of Wilmington, Del. Silver only.
• Jack Hunt Coin Broker, Inc., of Kenmore, N.Y. Silver only.
• MTB of New York. Gold, silver and platinum.
• Prudential Securities, Inc., of New York. Gold, silver and platinum.
• Scotia Mocatta of New York. Gold silver and platinum.
• The Gold Center of Springfield, Ill., Silver only.
There are two authorized gold and silver purchasers in Europe, Commerzbank International in Luxembourg and Deutsche Bank, A.G., in Germany.
The Far East has one authorized purchaser, Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. in Japan, which can buy gold and platinum.