Silver Eagle bullion coin buyers might want to look to alternatives to avoid delivery delays and higher premiums as the United States Mint finishes 2015 silver Eagle production.
Minting of 2015-dated silver Eagles was scheduled to go through the week of Dec. 7. Authorized Purchasers were to place their final orders by Dec. 14.
The 2016 silver Eagle is then scheduled to go on sale Jan. 11, 2016.
There’s almost a month delay between the last of the 2015 supply selling out and the new 2016 silver Eagles releasing.
Julian Jarvis, owner of Julian Jarvis Rare Coins, Greencastle, Ind. and a wholesale dealer of silver Eagles, said he’s seen delays and higher premiums for silver Eagles during the switch over from one year to the next.
“It has happened in the past,” he said. “I do know the supply of 2015 silver Eagles is already tight and the premiums for them are up $1 to $2 now.”
This means buyers either have to pay the higher premiums for delivery now or wait until January to restock, he said.
“There are already distributors accepting silver Eagle orders for delivery in mid-January, wanting payment in full before they ship,” he said. “I had a supply of silver Eagles that I just sold. I have more people calling about them, but I’ll need to pay higher premiums to get more in.”
He said silver Eagle demand in December is not just investing based, but also due to gift giving.
“A lot of people like to give silver Eagles away as gifts during the holidays,” Jarvis said. “I’ve had customers come in looking to buy a small amount just to give away.”
Instead, he said, buyers should look to silver Eagle alternatives to avoid premiums and delays.
“I’ve got a bunch of other silver coins that are cheaper,” he said. “I just got in a box of Canadian Maple Leafs and already have a buyer interested.
“You can sell anything silver right now. The price of silver is very reasonable.”
The price of silver was $13.98 on Dec. 2, the lowest price seen since 2009.
He said the silver price will influence buyer demand for the 2016 silver Eagle when they release.
“Dealers will always want the newest release,” Jarvis said. “If the Mint doesn’t produce enough to meet the demand, the price will move higher.”
For now, buyers can pay up for the remaining 2015 silver Eagles, wait until 2016 or look for cheaper alternative like Canadian Maple Leafs for both investing and gift giving needs.