Nov 06

In other news:

- “Global Scramble” For Silver – Coins “Hard To Get,” “Premiums Likely To Jump” (Goldcore, Nov 5, 2014)

From the article:

“And since everything else in the New Normal is now flipped on its head, it only makes sense that the continued price collapse for precious metals is, as it turns out, driven by ever greater demand!


Silver-American-Eagle

- US Mint Sells Out Of Silver Eagles Following “Tremendous” Demand (Zerohedge, Nov 5, 2014):

When it comes to buyers of physical assets as opposed to traders of paper representations of such assets, there is one key difference: the latter, more than anything, enjoy looking at “heatmaps”, chasing trends and jumping on momentum, the result being the most recent massive selloff in such “paper” representations of precious metals as the GLD and SLV ETFs, and various gold futures.

On the other hand, those who prefer to hold the metal in their hands, as well as others such as China whose ravenous apetite for gold over the past 4 years has been extensively covered here in the past, take every advantage of selloffs, and – inconceivably – demonstrate how Econ 101, namely supply and demand, really works, leading to ever greater demand the lower the price. Demand so high, in fact, that the underlying commodity that is being sold through paper conduits, sells out. Continue reading »

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Nov 06

Silver-American-Eagle

- U.S. Mint Temporarily Sold Out of Silver Eagles on “Tremendous Demand” (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Nov 5, 2014):

WAR IS PEACE 
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY 
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
TREMENDOUS DEMAND = PRICE COLLAPSE 

Should be good for another $2 down.

From CNBC:

The U.S. Mint said on Wednesday it has temporarily sold out of its American Eagle silver bullion coins following “tremendous” demand in the past several weeks. Continue reading »

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Apr 29

silver-coins

- Silver – The World’s Most Undervalued Asset (ZeroHedge, April 29, 2014):

Silver dipped to $19.10/oz overnight and remains under pressure this morning . With the gold silver ratio at just over 66 ($1,290/$19.38/oz), silver remains a compelling buy at these levels.

The stealth phenomenon that is silver stackers or long term store of value buyers of silver coins and bars continues and is seen in the record levels of demand for silver eagles from the U.S. Mint.

Continue reading »

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Jan 04

- Physical Gold Demand Soared As Gold Price Tumbled In 2013 (ZeroHedge, Jan 3, 2014):

Sales of gold coins are booming even as the precious metal’s price is falling (and it’s not just central banks). Despite gold futures 28% drop in 2013 (its worst since 1981), the WSJ reports that demand for gold coins shot up 63% to 241.6 metric tons in the first three quarters of 2013.

Because these investors intend to hold onto their gold for years or decades, many see the recent drop as an opportunity to buy more at a cheaper price, notes on strategist, “they’re not under any pressure to get a yield or a return in a year.”

Still, the importance of gold coins has been eclipsed in recent years by the rapid growth of exchange-traded funds, some analysts say, “hedge funds tend to overpower the impact of physical gold purchases… relatively little money gets them an awful lot of market power.” Unlike hedge funds, who may leave when prices fall, it is clear that coin buyers are in for the long haul.

gold-coin-sales

Via WSJ,

Sales of gold coins are booming even as the metal’s price is falling, a testament to gold’s continued appeal for small investors and collectors despite its first bear market in more than a decade.

The heightened appetite for physical gold is a rare bright spot in a market that saw hedge funds and other large investors head for the exits last year. Gold futures prices tumbled 28% in 2013, their worst performance since 1981.

But at mints and coin shops around the world, gold continued flying off the shelves.

Sales of Gold Maple Leaf coins by the Royal Canadian Mint surged 82.5% to 876,000 ounces in the first three quarters of 2013 from the same period of 2012. The Perth Mint, Australia’s national coin and bar producer, saw sales rise 41% to 754,635 ounces last year, while the U.S. Mint sold 14% more American Eagle gold coins than it did in 2012, along with a record amount of silver coins.

Because these investors intend to hold onto their gold for years or decades, many see the recent drop as an opportunity to buy more at a cheaper price, he added. “They’re not under any pressure to get a yield or a return in a year,” Mr. Melek said.

Some think the continued strength of physical gold buying will prevent prices from falling much further, as it becomes clear that a core group of investors is sticking with the market,

It’s obvious to me that at some point our dollar will see a downturn in its value,” said Mr. McClintock, who runs a contract post office. “Gold is just a good comfort, it’s a commodity that anybody in the world knows and you don’t need to be an expert to understand.”

Still, the importance of gold coins has been eclipsed in recent years by the rapid growth of exchange-traded funds, some analysts say.

“Folks like hedge funds tend to overpower the impact of physical gold purchases,” Mr. Melek said. “Relatively little money gets them an awful lot of market power.”

Unlike hedge funds, who may leave when prices fall, many coin buyers are in for the long haul.

Most people who buy physical gold aren’t doing it for the same reason you’d purchase a stock,” said Mike Getlin, vice president with Merit Financial, a bullion and coin dealership in Santa Monica, Calif. “They tend to have a much longer investment horizon. They tend to hold onto them forever and pride of ownership is a huge factor in that.”

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Jun 05

- US Mint Head: Bullion Demand Still “Unprecedented” (ZeroHedge, June 5, 2013):

As every down-tick in the paper price of Gold is viewed as another death knell for the ‘global safety’ trade; a drop in stock prices is somehow seen as an ‘opportunity’ to the world’s media and status quo maintainers. However, as Reuters reports, Richard Peterson – acting director of the US Mint – explains, demand for US gold and silver bullion remains at “unprecedented” high levels almost two months after the historical sell-off. So that is what the pent-up-demand, ‘money on the sidelines’ has been waiting for? Notably, Peterson also added that, due to demand, the Mint may resume making platinum bullion coins (after stopping in 2008).

Via Reuters:

“Demand right now is unprecedented. We are buying all the coin (blanks) they can make,” Richard Peterson, acting director of the U.S. Mint, said in an interview referring to the Mint’s suppliers.

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May 28

- US Mint Resumes Selling One-Tenth Ounce Gold Coins… At A 40% Premium To Spot (ZeroHedge, May 28, 2013):

When news broke a month ago that the US Mint had suspended selling one-tenth ounce gold coins, perhaps the most surprising news was that there were thousands of consumers willing to pay the exorbitant retail premium demanded by the US mint, with the resulting order deluge promptly sapping the mint’s stretched inventories. Well: we have good news – as of moments ago the US mint has once again restocked on the popular denomination (with a 20,000 production limit), and without a limit per household. The even better news: the coin will set you back just $195. This means a “tiny” 40% premium to spot. Is there indeed a massive disconnect between spot and physical as the Mint is telegraphing? Nah: must be all those shipping and wrapping costs for the fancy box the coin is put in. Oh wait, the gift box is another $5.95 per order. And no, it isn’t the shipping and handling either: that is another $4.95. In other words: the full delivery of one coin to your front door step would cost $200 per one tenth of an ounce. Oh well: we are fresh out of ideas then.

 

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Apr 26

- JPMorgan Accounts For 99.3% Of The COMEX Gold Sales In The Last Three Months (ZeroHedge, April 26, 2013):

When just one firm accounts for 99.3% of the physical gold sales at the COMEX in the last three months it’s not what most of us on this side of the rainbow would consider “broad-based” selling.  Of course discovering this kind of relevant information requires an internet connection, 2nd grade math and reading skills, and the desire to do a teeny-weeny bit of reporting.  Sadly they’ve wandered so far down the rabbit hole that the concept of “physical demand” (i.e. people actually wanting to take possession of the stuff) is puzzling to them because the vast majority of the world’s so-called “gold-trading” takes place in the realm of make believe (which is their natural habitat).  It’s all fun and games until somebody loses their metal and “somebody” has lost one hell of a lot of metal in the last 90 days… J P Morgan has fumbled ownership of 1,966,000 Troy ounces of gold since February 1. That’s 74% more gold than the US mint delivered through the US mint’s American Eagle program in all of 2012.  I mention this because there’s little doubt in my mind that the US government is one of JPM’s gold “customers.”  So (if I am correct) the same US government who just let the Morgue dump its gold on the COMEX floor will once again be suspending gold sales to peasants.

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Apr 23

- US Mint Halts Sales, Depletes Inventory Of One-Tenth Ounce Gold Coins (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2013):

We have been reporting extensively on the terminal disconnect between the paper gold market, which tumbled ten days ago for a variety of reasons, and the physical gold market which one can safely say, has seen a record surge in demand by those who wish to take advantage of the tumbling prices, depleting inventories of gold and silver in virtually all jurisdictions, and leading to the a record purchase of gold in the US mint a week ago as also reported here.Today, we learn that, as expected, none other than the US Mint has officially run out of small denomination gold coins, in this case One-Tenth ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins. We are confident this incontrovertible proof of soaring retail demand for physical will somehow result in JPM or another bullion bank dumping a few extra thousands ounces of paper/electronic gold or silver to further disconnect the paper price from what is actually going on with physical demand. As for the US Mint, first it’s fractions of an ounce: look forward to the mint running out of all bullion denominations in the coming days and week, first in gold, then in silver as well.

From Reuters:

The U.S. Mint has temporarily suspended sales of its one-tenth ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins because of inventory depletion due to strong demand, but continues to offer the one-ounce, one-half ounce and one-quarter ounce coins.

In a memo to its authorized purchases late Monday, the Mint said that gold coins sales in total ounces has been up more than 100 percent year to date over the same period last year.

We, for one, can only hope that the idiotic smashdown of spot paper gold continue and the price is sent to $0 or negative, while the last remaining physical ounce in inventory disappears at any price.

At that point the exchanges will have quite a few anxious people to answer to, the second someone demands even one bar in delivery.

Also, learn the words: “forced cash settlement.”

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Apr 21

- 10 Signs The Paper Gold Crash Unleashed An Unprecedented Demand For Physical Gold And Silver (Economic Collapse, April 19, 2013):

The crash of the price of paper gold on Monday has unleashed an unprecedented global frenzy to buy physical gold and silver.  All over the planet, people are recognizing that this is a unique opportunity to be able to acquire large amounts of gold and silver at a bargain price.  So precious metals dealers now find themselves being overwhelmed with orders in the United States, in Canada, in Europe and over in Asia.  Will this massive run on physical gold and silver soon lead to widespread shortages of those metals?  Instead of frightening people away from gold and silver, the takedown of paper gold seems to have had just the opposite effect.  People just can’t seem to get enough physical gold and silver right now.  Those that wish that they had gotten into gold when it was less than $1400 an ounce are able to do so now, and it is absolutely insane that silver is sitting at about $23 an ounce.  If the big banks continue to play games with the price of gold, we are going to see existing supplies of physical gold and silver dry up very quickly.  And once reports of physical shortages of gold and silver become widespread, it is going to absolutely rock the financial world.  But this is what happens when you manipulate free markets – it often has unintended consequences far beyond anything that you ever imagined.

The following are 10 signs that the takedown of paper gold has unleashed an unprecedented global run on physical gold and silver… Continue reading »

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Apr 18

- US Mint Sells Record 63,500 Ounces Of Gold In One Day (ZeroHedge, April 17, 2013):

One of the more curious revelations of the New Normal is the fundamental dichotomy when investing between paper “investors”, or those who chase returns based on intangible, fiat-based and central bank-backed promises, such as capital appreciation or cash flow streams, and those who would rather convert their paper money into hard assets, even if said assets can not be, in the immortal words of Warren Buffett, fondled, or otherwise generate a cash-based return. Such as gold.Today provides perhaps the perfect example of how the former increasingly trade on nothing but momentum and speculative mania (such as the previously reported record inflow of foreign capital into the Japanese stock market well after the bulk of the easy upside has already been made and at this point there is mostly downside) and where buying begets only more buying, while rampant selling only leads to liquidations, while those who invest in hard assets (and thus have little to no leverage) have become the true value investors, purchasing more as the price of the underlying asset drops. Yes, a novel concept to most High Frequency Trading vacuum tubes, and the momentum-chasing, equity trading “expert” du jour, but nothing new to Indians, Australians, Chinese or the Japanese.

And apparently to at least some Americans.

According to today’s data from the US Mint, a record 63,500 ounces, or a whopping 2 tons, of gold were reported sold on April 17th alone, bringing the total sales for the month to a whopping 147,000 ounces or more than the previous two months combined with just half of the month gone. Continue reading »

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Mar 27

- Santelli On The End Of Paper Gold’s Reign (ZeroHedge, March 27, 2013):

Central Banks remain aggressive accumulators of the precious metal as we noted last night, as their actions outweigh their words; but as CNBC’s Rick Santelli notes today, there is a big difference between the physical bullion they are buying and the ‘gold bug’ trading currently going on in our markets:

I don’t even look at gold as gold anymore since they securitized it. If things [went] badly in the world that I used to observe (as a gold bug); the gold would end up in the hands of the gold bugs. If things go badly now, they’re going to end up with checks from ETFs! Sorry, it’s not the same. The reign of [paper] gold as the Ayn Rand endgame, to me, that’s over. Game, Set, Match.

Which likely explains the incessant demand for precious metals from the US Mint over the past few months – as the other great rotation (from paper to physical) proceeds.

Starting 0:25 in this clip:

Perhaps these two charts will help explain the ‘difference’… Demand continues to surge while ‘prices’ drop…

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Jan 30

- Silver Eagle Sales Surge To All-Time Record In January (ZeroHedge, Jan 29, 2013):

A massive 7.4 million Silver Eagles were purchased from the U.S. Mint in January, considerably higher than the previous record from early 2011. After halting Silver coin production/sales for over a week, the Mint re-opened yesterday and demand once again surged. Having almost doubled from the first week in January, there remains two more days before the book is closed on January’s sales. At 140,000 ounces, the Mint has also sold the most ounces of gold in January in almost three years, suggesting the rising ‘currency wars’ are stoking people’s ongoing rotation from paper-to-physical assets as their ‘wealth’ slowing loses its value.

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Jan 17

- US Mint Out Of Silver Coins – Suspends Sales (ZeroHedge, Jan 17, 2013):

As we noted earlier this month, the demand for both gold and silver ‘physical’ coins has been record-breaking as 2013 began. So much so, that now after selling over 6 million silver coins in 2013 so far, the US Mint has run out of silver eagles and has suspended sales. Furthermore, the Mint is saying that it will not restart sales until January 28th! With all asunder proclaiming victory and crisis averted based on the nominal price of stocks at five-year highs, Swiss interest rates no longer negative, and Spanish bond yields at 5%, it seems there are still a few that demand the wealth-preserving safe-haven of hard assets as the escalation of the currency wars shows no sign of abating.

Authorized Purchasers,

The United States Mint has temporarily sold out of 2013 American Eagle Silver Bullion coins.  As a result, sales are suspended until we can build up an inventory of these coins.  Sales will resume on or about the week of January 28, 2013, via the allocation process.

Please feel free to call us if you have any questions.

Regards,

Jack A. Szczerban

Branch Chief, Precious Metals Group

Department of the Treasury

United States Mint

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Dec 25

- Why are (Smart) Investors Buying 50 Times More Physical Silver than Gold? (Sprott Global Resource Investments):

By: Eric Sprott

As long-time students of precious metals investing, there are certain things we understand. One is that, historically, the availability ratio of silver to gold has had a direct influence on the price of the metals. The current availability ratio of physical silver to gold for investment purposes is approximately 3:1. So, why is it that investors are allocating their dollars to silver at a much higher ratio? What is it that these “smart” investors understand? Let’s have a look at the numbers and see if it’s time for investors to do as a wise man once said and “follow the money.”

Average annual gold mine production is approximately 80 million ounces, which together with an estimated average 50 million ounces of annual recycled gold, totals around 130 million ounces available per year. In comparison, annual mined silver production has averaged around 750 million ounces, while recycled silver is estimated at 250 million ounces per year, which adds up to approximately 1 billion ounces. Using this data, there is roughly 8 times more silver available to buy than there is gold. However, not all gold and silver is available for investment purposes, due to their use in industrial applications. It is estimated that for investment purposes (jewelry, bars and coins), the annual availability of gold is roughly 120 million ounces, and of silver it is 350 million ounces. Therefore, the ratio of physical silver availability to gold availability is 350/120, or ~3:1.1

Now, let’s examine how investors are allocating their investments between gold and silver. The data below is from the US Mint showing gold and silver sales in ounces: Continue reading »

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Apr 04

- Gold Coins (US Mint) In Q1 2012 Show “No Hysteria And No Bubble” (ZeroHedge, April 3, 2012)

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Dec 14

- No More Dead Presidents As Mint Stops Coin Production (ZeroHedge, Dec. 13, 2011):

In continuing efforts to save governmental money (and waste) the Washington Post is reporting that the United States Mint will cease production of Dollar coins (with each carrying a deceased President’s likenesses). More than 40% of the coins have been returned to the Fed because no one wants them. Who needs real money when 1s and 0s are all that counts nowadays?

White House cutting production of presidential dollar coins; will save taxpayers $50 million

The presidential dollar coin is falling victim to Washington’s cost cutting efforts.

The Obama administration is stopping nearly all production of the coins, which carry the likeness of every deceased President. The effort will save taxpayers $50 million a year in production and storage costs.

In 2005, Congress mandated that the United States Mint issue the coins. But the White House says more than 40 percent of the coins are returned to the Federal Reserve because nobody wants to use them.

Instead of producing 70-80 million coins per deceased president, the Mint will now only produce as many as collectors want.

The announcement is part of the White House campaign to cut back on government waste.

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Mar 09

Wonder why the US mint has not sold a single ounce of silver so far in March? Here is a clue:

Press Releases
March 7, 2011

United States Mint Seeks Public Comment on Factors to be Considered in Research and Evaluation of Potential New Metallic Coinage Materials

WASHINGTON – The United States Mint today announced that it is requesting public comment from all interested persons on factors to be considered in conducting research for alternative metallic coinage materials for the production of all circulating coins.

These factors include, but are not limited to, the effect of new metallic coinage materials on the current suppliers of coinage materials; the acceptability of new metallic coinage materials, including physical, chemical, metallurgical and technical characteristics; metallic material, fabrication, minting, and distribution costs; metallic material availability and sources of raw metals; coinability; durability; sorting, handling, packaging and vending machines; appearance; risks to the environment and public safety; resistance to counterfeiting; commercial and public acceptance; and any other factors considered to be appropriate and in the public interest.

Continue reading »

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Nov 27

gold-american-eagle

US Mint suspended sales of its popular American Eagle 1oz bullion coins after demand from retail investors stripped its vaults bare.

Sales of the coins are expected to resume in early December.

Investors have been snapping up American Eagle coins, as well as Krugerrands from South Africa and Canada’s Maple Leaf coins as a hedge against inflation and the falling dollar.

Today 1oz American eagles were selling for $1,232.84 each, up $17.24. The coins have a face value of $50 but are sold by dealers at a premium to the price of gold.

Gold futures hit another record today of $1,188.60 per ounce for February delivery.

The US Mint said that it had depleted its current inventory of 1oz American Eagles after selling 124,000 ounces so far this month, up from 115,000 ounces sold in both September and October.

Continue reading »

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Feb 26

The rush by retail investors into bullion coins is creating shortages as mints across the world struggle to meet the surge in demand, dealers and mint officials say.

The scarcity is lifting coin premiums to as much as 5 per cent above the spot gold price, a level reached briefly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers last September, when coin shortages also surfaced.

Spot gold in London on Wednesday traded at $972 an ounce, below last week’s peak of $1,004.5.

“There is demand for double or triple what the US mint is able to produce,” said Michael Kramer, president of MTB in New York, one of the four US gold dealers authorised to purchase bullion coins directly from the government’s mint.

The US Mint has sold 193,500 ounces of its popular American Eagle gold coin in the first seven weeks of this year, the same amount it shipped during the whole of 2007 and about the same as in the first six months of last year.

Continue reading »

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Feb 09

Investors are buying record amounts of gold bars and coins, shunning risky assets for the relative safety of bullion amid renewed fears about the health of the global financial system.

The US Mint sold 92,000 ounces of its popular American Eagle coin last month, almost four times that which it sold a year ago and more than it shipped during the whole of the first half of 2007.

Other countries’ mints have also reported strong sales. “Large purchases of coins are perhaps the ultimate sign of safe-haven gold buying,” said John Reade, a precious metals strategist at UBS.

Inflows into gold-backed exchange traded funds surged in January, pushing their bullion holdings to an all-time high of 1,317 tonnes. Last month’s flows of 105 tonnes were above September’s previous record of 104 tonnes, and absorbed about half the world’s gold mine output for January, said Barclays Capital.

“We estimate that investment demand [into gold] could double in 2009 compared to 2007,” said Mr Reade. “Purchases of physical gold have jumped over the past six months as investors’ fears about the current financial crisis … have intensified.”

The move into gold is being driven by the very rich, with bankers saying that some clients are hoarding gold in their vaults. UBS and Goldman Sachs said last week that investor hoarding would drive prices back above $1,000 an ounce. On Monday gold was trading at $892 an ounce.

Continue reading »

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