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Gold and silver coin buyers plow ahead

Since the results of the Presidential election became known in the early hours of Nov. 9, the U.S. stock market has gone straight up.

Gold and silver prices have gone straight down.

But bullion coin buyers have been peculiarly nonplussed.

What is in their minds?

Sometimes when bullion swings lower, there is a mad rush to buy bullion coins at potentially bargain prices.

At other times, a wave of caution is the reaction and sales numbers fall.

So far in November, sales numbers paint a very neutral picture.

We are midway through the month.

With sales of 56,000 one-ounce gold Eagles, the November figure is roughly midway to the October sales figure of 100,500.

For silver, the mid-November number is 1,895,000 Eagle coins while for all of October, the number was 3,825,000.

Does this mean bullion coin buyers are neither snapping up bargains nor fearfully steering clear of bullion coins?

Perhaps to make a correct interpretation, we need to take a longer view.

There was a sales slump for silver bullion coins in June, July, August and September.

For gold coins, the sales slump was half as long. It began later and ended earlier, affecting only the months of July and August.

Since both gold and silver are trading at prices that are lower than they were when the sales slump began, we can congratulate buyers on avoiding losing money.

The stronger October sales numbers followed price declines for the two metals early in the month.

With that in mind, October sales can be viewed as snapping up bargains.

Since November sales are maintaining the October pace, the snapping up bargain mentality might simply be continuing.

In that case, the headline-generating presidential election might be proving to be a non-event in the long-term outlooks of bullion coin buyers.

On an unrelated topic, a sharp-eyed reader of my Monday blog pointed out to me that the Secret Service is now part of the Department of Homeland Security rather than the Department of the Treasury. Thanks for pointing out the goof. I am sorry that I made it.

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