Cash flow is the name of the game in business.
Numismatics is a huge business.
One very large niche is the bullion business.
Are potential bullion buyers short of money?
You have to wonder looking at the sales of the usually popular American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins.
Here we are a day shy of being halfway through the month and the Mint has shipped just 75,000 silver Eagles.
Considering that the lowest sales month so far in 2017 is April, when 835,000 were sold, we have to begin to wonder what is going on.
The underlying price of silver is more than $1 higher than it was a month ago.
That can’t have hurt sales.
If anything, the higher price of an ounce of silver should inspire new buyers.
Even Wall Street is saying kind words about bullion.
We are at the opening of the fall collector season.
That would normally underpin coin sales of all kinds, including bullion.
The September sales number in 2016 was 1,675,000.
That makes this year’s figure look even weaker.
Admittedly, the last half of September can see a pick up in silver Eagle sales, but it will take some oomph to turn the present 93 percent monthly sales decline into a gain.
Gold sales are weak also, but not to the same degree.
So far, 19,000 ounces of gold have been sold.
However, most of this figure is due to 15,000 ounces turned into tenth-ounce Eagles.
That is not necessarily investment demand, but jewelry.
In any case, the number of ounces sold so far is down 25 percent from the 25,500 sold in August.
That is a walk in the park to make up for the gold market.
It is hard to see how it will not do so.
So where are silver’s usual buyers this month?
If their regular source of funds has dried up, wanting to buy Eagles will not be a wish fulfilled.
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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