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Silver treat in your Christmas stocking?

Will Christmas demand for silver American Eagles help end 2017 on a strong note?

So far, the evidence is skimpy.

The Mint reports that initial December demand was 120,000 coins.

For the entire month of November, 385,000 pieces were sold to the Mint’s Authorized Distributors.

November was the second slowest month in 2017. Only September’s 320,000 coin result was lower.

For all of 2017, 17,443,500 silver American Eagles have been sold.

Silver bullion itself is still up in price for the year, but barely.

Kitco’s $16.14 quotation this morning is just 20.4 cents higher than the close at the end of 2016.

In percentage terms, the gain is 1.3 percent.

Gold, on the other hand, is still nicely higher.

At $1,267.70, the 2017 price gain is $117.70. This works out to 10.23 percent.

Most years, this would fuel enthusiasm – but not this year.

The stock market beats it.

Bitcoin, up by a factor of 12, really trounces it.

If market fluctuations are a show for the entertainment of an audience, then Bitcoin wins the ratings.

However, when they opened King Tut’s tomb in 1922, the objects found were not made of Bitcoin.

Gold’s staying power, if anything, is being severely underrated at the moment.

I bring up gold this morning because there are no initial December sales of one-ounce gold American Eagles to report yet.

Only 10,000 tenth-ounce pieces have been sold.

That could easily be Christmas demand.

However, it is not strong enough to help pull silver Eagle demand higher.

Silver Eagle sales presently stand 20,258,000 coins below 2016’s sales total of 37,701,500.

The record year of silver Eagle sales was 2015, when the Mint sold 47,000,000.

Who will take advantage of buying silver Eagles at what is basically last year’s price?

Those who find these beautiful coins in their Christmas stocking might be very well pleased both now and in future years.

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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