Sales of U.S. Mint Silver Eagles started off strong this year with 3.6 million sold in the first two reporting days of 2015. The U.S. Mint starting selling Gold Eagles last week with 51,500 ounces reported on the first day of sales. The U.S. Mint released the official first day of Silver Eagle sales on January 12th.
As we can see from the chart below, the U.S. Mint sold 2,958,000 Silver Eagles on January 12th, then another 656,000 on Tuesday, January 13th. So far this year, the U.S. Mint sold 3,614,000 Silver Eagles compared to 56,500 oz of Gold Eagles:
Silver Eagle sales are quite strong as 3.6 million have already been sold compared to 4.7 million for the entire month of January last year. There are still two more weeks remaining in the month and it will be interesting to see what the demand will be like for the rest of January.
A Few Words On The Allegation That JP Morgan Is The Big Silver Eagle Buyer
As many of you know, Ted Butler wrote an article titled The Perfect Crime, where he believes JP Morgan bought half off all Silver Eagles since April 2011. I wrote a rebuttal to Butler’s article MARKET DATA PROVES: Overwhelming Public Demand Public Demand For Silver Eagles… Not JP Morgan stating:
Sales of Silver Canadian Maples and Austrian Philharmonics increased steadily from 2008 to 2011, declined in 2012 and then shot back up in 2013. So, if JP Morgan allegedly bought half of all Silver Eagles since 2011, who was propping up sales of Silver Maples and Silver Philharmonics?
Furthermore, Canadian Silver Maple Leaf sales in the first three-quarters of 2014 hit a new record of 20.8 million compared to 20.7 million during the same period last year. However, Silver Eagle sales declined from 36.1 million Q1-Q3 2013 to 32.2 million Q1-Q3 2014.
If JP Morgan was buying half of the 32.2 million Silver Eagles from Jan-Sept of 2014, then who was buying the record 20.8 million Canadian Maples?? While Silver Eagle sales were weaker than Maples in the first nine months of the year, they have picked up significantly in the fourth quarter reaching a new annual record of 44 million.
What I tried to prove in this article was… if JP Morgan was indeed the big buyer of Silver Eagles, then they must have been also the big buyers of Canadian Maples and Philharmonics as their sales increased in the same fashion as did Silver Eagles.
My assumption is quite simple… JP Morgan must be buying up half of the ENTIRE OFFICIAL SILVER COIN MARKET if Ted Butler’s allegations are correct. I just believe that not to be true.
Regardless, I tried to contact APMEX once again to see if they would corroborate the same information that JM Bullion, Gainesville Coins and SilverDoctors have indeed seen a higher trend in Silver Eagle sales since 2011. However, AMPEX is playing MUMS the WORD and will not reveal their Silver Eagle sales trends.
I find this quite interesting as I was able to speak to the VP of sales of APMEX back in January last year on the tardiness of the U.S. Mint releasing its new 2014 Silver Eagles. Also, the VP of sales answered my question on the subject of Hedge Funds buying Silver Eagles. He said, that they tried to access the Hedge Fund market a few years ago and found out that they would rather buy 1,000 bars than Silver Eagles with a high premium.
Basically, APMEX told me that most of their Official Coin Sales were to mom and pop buyers… the little guys. Also, APMEX is now selling to 55 countries.
I tried one more time with APMEX by contacting the President, Scott Thomas. I sent him an email and hope that he might consider replying. Again, as I mentioned before, Ted Butler puts the credit of the increased buying of Silver Eagles by a large bank, JP Morgan and takes it away from the public.
Lastly, if JP Morgan is indeed the BIG BUYER of Silver Eagles, then they also must be the big buyer of Canadian Maples and Austrian Philharmonics.
NOTE: If anyone in the Retail-Wholesale Precious Metals Business has any insight or information on whether or not JP Morgan is the big buyer of Silver Eagles, please contact me throw my contact page. It would be greatly appreciated.
UPDATE: Reply from James Anderson at JM Bullion:
James Anderson from JM Bullion left a response in the comment section as to the subject of JP Morgan being the big Silver Eagle Buyer. I wanted to include his response in the body of the article as some readers don’t look at the comments.
Hello Steve & SRS Readers:
I played golf last weekend with the head of trading of the largest Authorized Purchaser of Silver Eagles in the world. I’ve personally known this gentleman since 2008.
Although I was slightly embarrassed to bring this theory to his attention, I knew I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask his thoughts on it.
Upon bringing this “theory” up, he hit hit his golf shot and then dismissed it with a smile. He made the same point about high premiums on sovereign coins saying if JPM wanted to make a play on physical it would be direct to a refiner/miner for the lowest possible entry prices.
Ted needs to take it easy and celebrate the fact that he spearheaded the success of investor awareness. The 2008 – 2015 sovereign silver coins sales have been public driven. Sure there has been some hedge fund buying and selling, but +90% has been driven by online / brick and mortar retail coin shops.
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