Bullion coin sales have begun at the U.S. Mint.
Are sales hot, cold or tepid?
You be the judge.
For the gold American Eagles, the one-ounce coin shows 20,500 coins sold.
Last year, the figure for the entire month was 86,500.
Will the one-ounce gold match the 2017 number by the time the month ends in 2018? That is the question.
Then there is the half ounce. The Mint has sold 5,000 ounces, or 10,000 coins thus far.
In January 2017, during the entire month, 9,500 ounces were sold, or 19,000 half-ounce coins. We are a bit more than halfway to the 2017 totals.
For the quarter-ounce gold, 5,000 ounces have been sold, or 20,000 coins.
In January 2017, the figure was 9,000 ounces for the entire month, or 36,000 quarter-ounce coins.
The 2018 quarter-ounce numbers are also more than halfway to the 2017 amounts.
The 2018 tenth-ounce gold has a quantity of 5,000 ounces, or 50,000 coins.
In 2017, the January figures were 12,500 ounces, or 125,000 coins.
The 2018 numbers are less than halfway home.
Silver Eagles are the ones that excite collectors the most.
The Mint has posted a sales number of 2,495,000 pieces for 2018 thus far.
The January 2017 figure for the entire month was 5,127,500.
Therefore, the 2018 silver Eagle is another Eagle coin that is more than halfway to equaling last year’s sales figure.
So what do you make of these numbers?
Only the gold one-ounce gold piece looks like it could seriously underperform the 2017 results. But there are still three weeks left in the month. It is much too soon to start writing a sales obituary.
The other coins could easily jump higher than last year’s numbers before Jan. 31 rolls around.
That depends on how you and others feel about these bullion coins this year.
Are you distracted by Bitcoin?
Are you dreaming about your 401(k) account stock performance?
Are politics making you happy or sad?
My hope is collectors will collect and ignore the distractions.
A new date is available for all of these Eagle coins, so it is an exciting time of the year.
I checked the APMEX website, and the price difference between the new 2018 silver Eagle date and coins from prior years is just a dime.
That price differential does not indicate any kind of “buy the new date at any price" thinking.
Whatever the sales results turn out to be in January 2018, bullion Eagle buyers seem to be level-headed this year.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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