The new year marks a renewed silver rush as buyers are anxious to get their hands on 2016 silver American Eagles.
The United States Mint began taking orders from Authorized Purchasers for gold and silver Eagle bullion coins on Jan. 11.
Ron Drzewucki, owner of Modern Coin Wholesale, Lakewood Ranch, Fla., said pre-orders alone for 2016 silver Eagles are fantastic.
“Sales this year are better than last year,” he said. “We’ve received many calls from customers looking for 2016 bullion coins. Silver Eagle demand is going to be hotter this year than last year.”
Julian Jarvis, owner of Julian Jarvis Rare Coins, agrees, saying his silver Eagle sales are up.
“Silver Eagle orders are better than last year by a few thousand ounces,” he said of his business, Julian Jarvis Rare Coins, Greencastle, Ind. “I have my first shipment coming in soon. I ordered 5,000 silver Eagles and every one I bought is already sold.
“I’m getting calls everyday asking for 2016 bullion coins. I was getting calls back in November for them.”
However, the strong demand for the new coins could create higher than average premiums, he said.
“I think some distributors are taking advantage of the situation and are charging at least 50 cents per coin more than normal,” Jarvis said. “The question is whether the premium increase will disappear if the silver Eagles do not sell out.
“It also will depend on whether the United States Mint can produce enough silver Eagles to fulfill demand.”
Drzewucki said he thinks prices for 2016 silver Eagles are average compared to previous years’ new releases.
“Premiums are back down to normal levels,” he said. “In 2015, premiums for silver Eagles were fine at the start of the year. It was only towards the end of the year that premiums went up due to rationing.”
In July of 2015, the Mint sold its entire inventory of silver Eagles. In response, sales were suspended and only resumed on a rationed basis. Premiums over the spot price for silver Eagles at the time jumped as demand went far past the available supply.
Jarvis said the strong demand for the popular bullion coin in 2015 is continuing well into 2016.
“I’ve been selling a lot of silver Eagles over the past two weeks,” he said. “I’m getting new people who have never before purchased a silver Eagle, coming in, wanting to buy. It’s normally in small quantities.
“Some of my buyers are coin dealers, others are just long-time customers who have been buying for years, some purchasing silver Eagles from me since the first release in 1986.”
Silver Eagle collectors may be interested to know that 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the coin’s launch.
Drzewucki said this could influence sales for previous year’s dates.
“I don’t think its going to affect the demand for 2016 silver Eagles, but rather on the 1986 silver Eagles,” he said. “Collectors will want to start from the beginning and work their way up, buying the previous dates.”
He said the demand for silver Eagles, both new and old, is pointing to a great year for coin collecting.
“This is going to be a good year,” Drzewucki said. “It’s good for collectors and its good for dealers. We’ve already seen that the FUN show was great with a lot of coins being sold and a lot of activity on the bourse floor. I’m looking forward to 2016.”
An increase in collector and investor orders for silver Eagles, along with strong dealer and coin show sales, is good way to ring in the new year for the hobby.