Rip-roaring gold demand made October the best sales month for one-ounce gold American Eagles since July 2015.
A total of 100,500 of these investment bullion coins were sold by the United States Mint, according to its website.
The running sales total for these coins for the first 10 months of calendar year 2016 is 665,500.
This has beaten the full-year total for 2015 of 626,500 and leaves the 2014 full-year total of 415,500 in the dust.
Unless the Mint runs out of coins, the 2016 results have a strong chance of surpassing the 743,500 coins sold in 2013.
Clearly buyers are attracted to gold either by its fairly low price of $1,286.80 an ounce, or pushed into it by concern for the future.
This is a good time to review the sales waves that rippled through the gold bullion market in recent years.
Remember Y2K when the world’s computers were going to stop working?
Gold buyers stocked up with 1,511,000 one-ounce Eagles in 1999 in anticipation.
When the problem did not materialize, sales collapsed to just 94,000 for the entire year 2000.
If you compare these numbers to mintage figures for the one-ounce coin, you will discover a variance.
The Mint often has sold leftover coins from one year to the next, leaving us with different sales numbers and mintage numbers.
Long-time investors know that things changed for the better for gold again in 2001.
Its two-decade downtrend finally hit bottom and began to reverse at the $256 mark.
The 2001 sales total was 245,000, then 239,500 in 2002 and 239,500 again in 2003.
Sales popped to 437,000 in 2004, 351,500 in 2005 and 206,500 in 2006.
In 2007 the economy seemed invincible. One-ounce gold Eagles sales were down to 147,500.
In 2008 the wheels fell off the economy.
Lehman Brothers failed.
We were in a full-blown financial crisis.
One-ounce gold Eagle sales were 794,000 in 2008.
In 2009 the number was 1,325,500.
That was the year that economists tell us the economy bottomed.
The number also stands as the highest gold one-ounce Eagle sales total since 1999.
In 2010, sales receded but still remained over one million at 1,143,000.
In 2011 when bullion traded at its record high of just over $1,900 an ounce, sales of the one-ounce coin were 910,000.
In 2012, sales totaled 667,000.
With gold one-ounce Eagles back in that neighborhood with two full months of sales to go, the only question is how high will the current surge take us.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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