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Dealers eye up 2015 silver Eagle launch

Buyers grabbed a record number of American Eagle silver bullion coins in 2014, and a big reason was the low price of silver.

“It hit a price point where a lot of buyers were interested,” said Michael Fuljenz, president of Universal Coin & Bullion, Beaumont, Texas. “It gave people a reason to buy.”

In fact, the silver Eagle is Universal’s most popular coin that it advertises, he said.

"It is our best coin." - Michael Fuljenz, Universal Coin & Bullion

"It is our best coin." - Michael Fuljenz, Universal Coin & Bullion

“They draw attention, more than any other coin. More customers, more than any market, buy silver Eagles. This coin is the preference of U.S. buyers,” Fuljenz said.

“It is our best coin.”

The silver Eagle is the coin people also give away as gifts,” he said.

“It’s become more affordable as a coin gift because of the lower silver prices,” Fuljenz said.

But the Mint’s announcement that it would ration orders of the silver Eagle did affect dealers and customers in late 2014, he said.

“It slowed down some of our advertising and we had to extend shipping on silver Eagles,” Fuljenz said. “We couldn’t take credit cards then either, because the silver Eagles would have to ship out the next day if paid with a credit card.”

Silver Eagle sales were steady throughout the year, with intermittent bursts of activity, said Daniel Kedem, director of product development at Gainesville Coins, Lutz, Fla.

“It coincided with the rise or drop in prices of the precious metals market,” Kedem said. “We’ve sold tens of thousands of ounces over the past month.

“There are enough supplies of 2014s at Gainesville Coins through to the beginning of 2015.”

Two recent events, the Swiss gold referendum and the Mint selling out of silver Eagles, boosted interest in the coin toward the year’s end, he said.

“Consumers still flock to the silver Eagle,” Kedem said. “There’s a lot of confidence with the silver Eagle. Trust is a major thing in this market.”

Julian Jarvis, owner of Julian Jarvis Coins, Greencastle, Ind., said that he has customers who will pay more for silver Eagles over other generic silver.

“I have no problem selling them when I get them,” he said. “I have customers that will buy a sealed box each month of the new Eagles. They’ll buy the older ones, but they tend to go after the new year’s coins.”

Most of his sales are just a few hundred or so to smaller dealers, he said.

“They’ll want them in stock when the people come looking for them,” Jarvis said.

Fuljenz said buyers can expect to see a surge in demand when the silver Eagles release on Jan. 12.

The Standard Catalog of World Coins 1601-1700 is the most complete volume on coins of the 17th century available on the market today.

The Standard Catalog of World Coins 1601-1700 is the most complete volume on coins of the 17th century available on the market today.

“It’s the excitement of buying the new coin when they release,” he said. “The premiums are a little high in the first month.

“You just have to make sure that the customer understands that they may not receive them until later January.”

It’s key to let customers know when the new 2015 silver Eagles will be released, Fuljenz said.

“We plan to send out ads for 5 million people in January,” he said. “This is the coin we advertise.”

Kedem said that the silver Eagle release was also notable in that it was taking place after the 2015 Florida United Numismatists (FUN) show this year.

“The release seems to be after the FUN show, which is a big thing,” he said. “Dealers there are used to being able to receie and sell the new silver Eagles at the show. In past years, we’ve rolled out 20,000 silver Eagles onto the bourse floor.”

“In 2015, the coins won’t be available until right after the show ends.”

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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