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Silver sales steady, gold sales weak

The late Yogi Berra said a baseball game ain’t over ’til it’s over.

The same applies to monthly bullion coin sales at the U.S. Mint.

When all was said and done, silver American Eagle October sales totaled 3,788,000 pieces, an amount that is hardly distinguishable from the September total of 3,804,500.

On the other hand, the number of gold one-ounce coins that were sold stayed very low, though up from the figure I mentioned on Thursday.

The complete October monthly figure now stands at 26,000 one-ounce gold Eagles.

If you add in 2,000 half-ounce gold coins, 1,000 quarter-ounce coins and 5,000 tenth- ounce coins that were also sold in October you reach a figure of 34,000 ounces of gold sold, which is down 73 percent from September’s 125,500 ounces.

A combined ounce total is more precise than simply counting one-ounce gold coins, but I am a fan of looking at the one-ounce coins independently of everything else because this is where the serious investment focus is.

The other gold sizes can be bought by investors, but also by the jewelry trade and TV and newspaper advertisers who love to use small sizes to entice novice buyers into buying something they probably are not familiar with.

The one-ounce gold Buffalo October sales figure was 10,500, which is down 52 percent from the September figure of 22,000.

Silver Eagle sales so far this year stand at 39,842,500 and another 1,187,000 will be available this week to the Mint’s Authorized Purchasers if they want them.

If they sell, or perhaps I should write when they sell, this will push the 2015 annual sales tally of silver Eagles beyond 41 million, not all that far from last year’s record total of 44,006,000.

November has begun.

What will bullion buyers be thinking and doing?

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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