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Gold bullion sales drop sharply in November

End of the road for Marshall commem.

The gavel has come down on the John Marshall commemoratives. Court is now adjourned.

Falling well short of their maximum mintages, the $1 silver proof and uncirculated versions sold a combined 190,946 at last count. Add in the uncirculated silver dollar in the Marshall Coin & Chronicles Set and you get a total of 209,080. 

 At least the Marshall Coin & Chronicles Set came close to sellout, with 18,134 of the maximum 25,000 sold. Maybe the Mint will have better luck someday with Warren Berger.

The Mint?s ordering information and date of sales figure boxes compilation is at the bottom of this column, and that can mean only one thing: the final November bullion sales numbers are in.

The 725,000 silver one-ounce bullion figure is a big improvement over the October total of 400,000. It matches September?s total and surpasses the May-July malaise, when totals didn?t rise about 400,000, by a long shot.
Still, it is a far cry from the December 2004 and January 2005 totals of 2.6 million and 1.095 million, respectively.

Gold fared worse in November after enjoying healthy October sales. A total of 49,500 gold bullion coins were sold in November, compared to 82,500 in October. That?s a pretty steep drop.

Considering how the price of gold has shot up these days, it?s probably not surprising sales are down. After flirting with $500 an ounce for weeks, gold finally broke through recently. It was $494.60 per ounce on Nov. 30.

That old adage of buy low, sell high might be in play once again with regard to gold. Of course, it could be awhile before we see low gold prices again.

Sales of platinum bullion busted out, however, in November, even with the price at $980.40 an ounce. A total of 4,800 coins were purchased, doubling the amount sold in October. That?s the most sold since August?s total of 5,800, all of which pales in comparison to the 16,100 sold in January. No other month in 2005 came anywhere near that figure.

Lastly, I want to wish everyone a happy holidays. May you find a Saint-Gaudens? $20 gold piece in your stocking. If you have any questions, write to me at