American Eagle bullion coins went on sale yesterday.
Would you believe the Mint can sell in one day more than half of all Eagles sold in 2018?
Platinum Eagles’ first-day sales totaled 18,000 pieces.
Only 30,000 were sold all of last year.
This information seems less dramatic when put into context.
Last year, no platinum Eagles were sold until February. Then 20,000 were sold.
Only 10,000 more were sold during the rest of 2018. All of these occurred in the month of May.
Naturally, we don’t look to platinum American Eagles for a sign of market strength or weakness.
We look to gold and silver.
First-day gold one-ounce Eagle sales totaled 29,500 yesterday.
Only two months in 2018 had a higher total. And this is a one-day number.
January 2018 saw sales of 36,000 one-ounce gold Eagles.
For July 2018, the total was 31,500.
While you are thinking about whether this portends a strong 2019, let’s look at the silver American Eagle numbers.
Yesterday saw buyers grab 2,521,000.
That equals 16 percent of all silver Eagles sold in 2018.
Like gold, only two months of 2018 had higher monthly sales totals.
January 2018 registered 3,235,000 silver Eagle sales.
September 2018 came in at 2,897,500.
It seems like a slam dunk certainty that January 2019 gold and silver Eagle sales will greatly exceed what was sold in January 2018.
The one note of caution is our strange way of making purchases these days.
Everybody seems to want to make a purchase in the first five minutes something is available.
For coin collectors, this impulse was been evident even before the existence of the Internet.
The Mint made something available. We bought. End of story.
With electronic purchases, this tendency has been magnified and activity reduced to minutes rather than days or weeks.
Conceptually, under these conditions, you can envision a set of circumstances where not another gold or silver Eagle bullion coin will be sold for the rest of the month.
Everybody who wants the new 2019-dated coins presumably sent their orders in yesterday.
However, everybody in this case is just the Mint’s Authorized Purchasers.
The public has hardly begun to weigh in yet.
However, you might recall that I wrote a couple of blogs about APMEX selling 2019-dated coins ahead of time late last year.
Certainly, however, many advance orders there were are included in yesterday’s figures.
So back to the most important question on the minds of all bullion buyers.
Are yesterday’s results indicative of a strong 2019 overall?
I am foolish enough to answer this question.
Put me down as a firm yes. Sales are strong. They indicate a good 2019 ahead of us.
For those who follow the American Buffalo one-ounce gold coin, Jan. 7 sales totaled 16,500.
This is an amount equal to 13.6 percent of the 121,500 sold in all of 2018.
Do these numbers change my outlook?
Not at all. The year ahead will be a good one.
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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