U.S. MINT SILVER EAGLE SALES: Clear Winner In 2014

As 2014 comes to an end, precious metal investors overwhelming chose Silver Eagles as the clear winner.  Not only did the sales of Silver Eagles hit a new record in 2014, the ratio to Gold Eagle sales were off the charts.  In just five years, sales of Silver Eagles compared to Gold Eagles, quadrupled.

One year after the collapse of the U.S. Investment Banking and Housing Market, Silver Eagle sales shot up nearly 50% from 19.5 million in 2008, to 28.7 million in 2009.  Gold Eagle sales also reached a new record at 1.4 million oz in 2009.  That was the year, the Silver-Gold Eagle ratio was 20/1.  Investors purchased 20 Silver Eagles for every Gold Eagle in 2009.

Then over the following years as the Fed and Central Banks started to prop up the global financial and economic system with massive liquidity, demand for Gold Eagles started to decline.  Even though the price of gold hit a new high of $1,900 in 2011, investors only purchased one million oz of Gold Eagles that year.

However, Silver Eagle sales continued into record territory even as the price of silver skyrocketed towards $50.  The U.S. Mint sold 39.8 million Silver Eagles in 2011, doubling the Silver-Gold Eagle ratio to 40/1.

U.S. Gold & Silver Eagle Sales 2008-2014

As we can see from the chart above, both Gold and Silver Eagle sales dropped in 2012 as investors became unsure of the future price trend of the precious metals.  Then in 2013, Gold and Silver Eagle sales picked up significantly (especially Silver Eagles) as investors were taking advantage of bargain-basement prices… courtesy of the Federal Reserve trading desk.

In 2013, Gold Eagle sales increased to 856,500 oz, while Silver Eagles topped 42 million.  Sales of Silver Eagles were so strong, the Silver-Gold Eagle ratio swelled to 50/1.

Investors hoping for a turn-around in the prices of the precious metals in 2014, were disappointed as gold and silver fell to new lows.  While the lower price of gold negatively impacted Gold Eagle demand, it did the opposite for Silver Eagle sales.  As of December 23, total Silver Eagle sales for the year hit a new record of 43,950,500, while Gold Eagle sales fell to 524,500 oz.  If the U.S. Mint still has a few Silver Eagles to sell before closing shop this year, that should easily push sales over 44 million for 2014.

Amazingly, retail investors purchased 84 Silver Eagles in 2014 for every ounce of Gold Eagles.  It will be interesting to see how 2015 unfolds.  With all the geopolitical, financial and economic uncertainty… next year just may be GANG BUSTERS for the U.S. Mint.

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29 Comments on "U.S. MINT SILVER EAGLE SALES: Clear Winner In 2014"

  1. Herman the German | December 24, 2014 at 4:15 am |

    Merry Christmas from Germany!
    Thanks for all your great articles Steve!

  2. Steve

    Something in all these numbers just does not add up. Silver is scraping the bottom in terms of price, but availability of supply seems to be endless. And nowhere do you hear of trouble in the mining sector other than their reported losses each quarter. It’s a race to see who can sell the most silver while losing the most money!!

    This trend feels like it will run for quite sometime. Without a hint of supply challenges anywhere on earth, the available stockpiles have to be huge relative to demand. To underscore this point just look at platinum. A 6 month strike taking a million ounces off the market has actually driven price DOWN. Can only mean one thing, stockpiles of all kinds of metal, relative to demand are off the charts.


    • I agree with what you say about silver.

      In your example of platinum however you say:

      “To underscore this point just look at platinum. A 6 month strike taking a million ounces off the market has actually driven price DOWN. Can only mean one thing, stockpiles of all kinds of metal, relative to demand are off the charts.”

      It may mean there is some supply not commonly known about, but I would be reluctant to call it a stockpile.

      Don’t forget the role of commodities futures manipulation.

    • I’ve read many an article addressing the draw down of metals supply in vaults, Shanghai and London are two examples.

    • TAS: Your insight is right on. I can buy Silver from any supplier and receive it within a few weeks. Lead times on orders have not extended to 60 or 90 days which would reflect mining production shortages of demand exceeding supply. The treasury has no silver, yet they printed
      45,000,000 ounces+ of coins. Mines are losing $3 to $6 per ounce at today’s spot price, yet they keep mining. They seem to be the only businesses on this earth that can lose money
      every quarter and just keep chugging along. What is missing is a real assessment of the
      above ground inventory. When the manipulators of the paper price are shorting silver rather than accumulating it, should be a red flag that we have been conned these past 3 years
      by all these doomsayers and fear mongers regarding our useless FIAT currency,which today is stronger that ever. Article after article showing fundamentally things are wrong, yet the silver
      price keeps dropping. Our economy is lousy according to the real data but the rest of the world is worse. India importing hundreds of thousands of ounces with no delay. They just order it
      and they get it. Same goes with China. One day they are almost out of silver , then you see they
      are building up their inventory. in Shanghai. China mines about 155,000,000 ounces and uses more than twice that. No effect on silver spot price. Some say India bought silver from the UK. Where did the UK get it so quickly? Silver may not be a Ponzi scheme but it surely is a con game.

    • The reason for the phenomenon you describe vis a vis silver has to do with the discrepancy between production costs and “all in sustaining costs”. It’s relatively cheap to just pull silver out of a mine that already exists and is producing, particularly if you produce the “low hanging fruit” pushing forward production from mines with the highest ore grades. It’s relatively expensive to go out and find new mines. The current situation will continue until it breaks and once it does, you’re likely to see a severe shortage that lasts a long time.

  3. I get the whole concept that the dollar is not real money any more. I get that it is more of a credit system. Say I have 10 dollars, I think of it as I have “10 points of white paper”. I can either choose to spend them on red debt items. Toys, cars, food, ect (anything that doesnt produce income or hold value). Or I can turn my white paper into “green paper”(something that holds value or produces income). Real Estate, silver, gold ect. These things are real and are yours. This is real money that you control. The dollar “white paper” is subject to what ever the fed decides, they have full control over it, inversly controlling everyone who relys solely on the dollar. So the question I’m asking is. If the fed wants to control the wealth of the people, and all the people have silver…. Wouldnt you think they will do everything in their power(which is just about anything) to supress the price of silver so they dont give power to the people?

    Look at the case study of the Hunts. They are one of the wealthiest familys in Texas. When they took the dollar off the gold standard the hunts having millions and not able to purchase gold in mass amounts,decided to hedge with silver. They bought so much they pretty much cornered the silver market. The fed was pissed and through a series of events, greatly effected the wealth of their family and the Arab investors they partnered with. The story is on google. Just search the hunt family and the silver market.

    If purchasing silver becomes part of the herd mentality, investing in silver is no longer a “contranarian” belief. There for we loose our edge. In the forex market that I trade. Evey quarter a report of total winning account and loosing accounts is reported. It is usually around 30%-35% winners to 60%-65% loosers. Those 60 percent are what we call retail traders. The only difference between the winners and loosers, is there belief on how to trade. I’ve been on both side and wasnt a winner until my belief changed. Now if all 60 percent of us loosers changed our beliefs, then the contranarian 30 percent would no longer have the edge and have to change their investment strategy again to keep the edge.

    If feel that with silver the 60 percent of loosers are making the switch. So how are we going to stay one step ahead?

  4. Thank you Steve for all the articles throughout the year.

    Have a safe and Merry Christmas. All the best to you and yours for 2015.

  5. ASE sales just cracked the 44 million mark today — 44,006,000…. and counting.

  6. Some of the bullion dealers are pre-selling the 2015 ASE’s. APMEX, which shows their inventory levels on line, has already pre-sold 75,473 ASE’s plus another 900 that are to be slabbed by PCGS/NGC at MS-70/69. In my opinion grading a bullion coin is kind of stupid in that all of the coins produced now days are virtually perfect and do not “circulate”. APMEX is charging $67+ for an MS-70 and $29+ for the (reject) MS-69’s. Unlike the coins of yore, a high mint state graded ASE means nothing when it comes to rarity. Looking at PCGS’s population report of 2014 graded ASE’s, 79.65% of the 68,542 coins submitted were graded MS-70 (15 came back MS-68 – must have been dropped on the floor). So, with 44 million 2014 coins outstanding your overly expensive MS-70 is one of about 35 million others that would grade the same. One would be much better off owning 3 ASEs that are just as pretty and shiny as the one in the plastic case. Of course if you are just a die-hard collector and don’t care about the money aspect, then go for it. Stackers – just say no.

  7. If silver and gold were abundant then the coins of the world would still be made from silver and gold. Silver is a needed industrial metal and demand will be greater than supply since silver is a rare metal and is finite especially in easy accessible areas with high concentrations. Concentrations are reducing which requires more mining to produce the same quantity as before. Demand does not diminish so the future will be good for PM’s for those with patience.

  8. Merry Christmas Steve and thanks for all you do.
    I appreciate your efforts, and in hopes that such will become even more appreciated by others as well, I hope you will consider making just a tiny bit extra effort to fully nail the stats since they are in the public domain at the same place where you found the other 90% posted in this missive.

    As of 24 Dec 2014, in terms of Bullion, the U.S. Mint has now shipped out:
    ASE’s 2,459,000 and YTD 44,006,000

    AGE’s 18,000 oz.s and YTD 524,500

    and yet these figures do NOT accurately represent the Total Gold & Silver Bullion being purchased from the U.S. Mint, as many also choose to purchase not only the Gold American Buffalo, but as well, the 5oz Silver ATBs. Those figures being reported as of close of 24 Dec 2004 are:

    American Buffalo 4,500 and YTD 177,500
    5oz Silver ATBs (all Five varieties comb.) 135,300 Coins X 5oz = 676,500 oz.s

    So when we add these additional ounces of Gold & Silver Bullion sold to date, we get
    Gold = 802,000 oz.s Sold
    Silver = 44,682,500

    Thus more accurately representing the true Silver/Gold Bullion Purchase Ratio to Date as being:

    55.7138 / 1

    Cheers & Merry Christmas,
    S. Rex

    p.s. try to drop by TFMetalsReport if only to say Hello to your Readers over there once in awhile.

    • Spartacus,

      524,500 AGEs and 177,500 ABs = 702,000 ounces of gold, not 802,000 oz, Oops! Hey, mistakes happen, just ask the accountants at the Canadian Mint when they “lost” $15 million in gold back in 2009. There’s lots of other gold at add in to that 702K – proof/unc coins, Baseball commemorative coins, First Spouse coins, etc.

  9. Since you started the total 2014 US Mint silver sales, and I have the time today to total it up. Here you go:

    44,006,000 oz — 2014 Bullion ASEs
    740,746 oz — 2014-W Silver Proof ASEs
    224,717 oz — 2014-W Silver Unc ASEs
    23,553 oz — 2014 Unc Dollar coin set – contains one 2014-W Unc ASE
    6,862 oz — Congratualtions Set – contains one 2014-W Silver Proof ASE
    47,063 oz — Civil Rights Commemorative Proof 90% Silver Dollar, 60,852 coins
    19,005 oz — Civil Rights Commemorative Unc 90% Silver Dollar, 24,574 coins
    198,323 oz — Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Proof 90% Silver Dollar, 265,430 coins
    101,318 oz — Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Unc 90% Silver Dollar, 131,004 coins
    272,219 oz — 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Silver coin collection, 188,147 sets each containing four 90% silver halfs
    15,145 oz — Theodore Roosevelt Coin and Chronicals set – contains a 1-oz silver FDR medal
    98,482 oz — 2014 ATB Quarter Silver Proof set – 108,907 sets each containing five 90% silver quarters
    727,118 oz — 2014 14-Coin Silver Proof set – 393,037 sets each containing five 90% silver quarters, one 90% silver half, and one 90% silver dime
    165,000 oz — 2014 Great Smoky Mountain 5oz Silver ATB bullion coin – 33,000 coins
    122,000 oz — 2014 Shenandoah National Park 5oz Silver ATB bullion coin – 24,400 coins
    110,000 oz — 2014 Arches National Park 5oz Silver ATB bullion coin – 22,000 coins
    109,500 oz — 2014 Great Sand Dunes National Park 5oz Silver ATB bullion coin – 21,900 coins
    170,000 oz — 2014 Everglades National Park 5oz Silver ATB bullion coin – 34,000 coins
    124,405 oz — 2014-P Great Smoky Mountain 5oz Silver ATB Unc coin – 24,881 coins
    141,685 oz — 2014-P Shenandoah National Park 5oz Silver ATB Unc coin – 28,337 coins
    142,030 oz — 2014-P Arches National Park 5oz Silver ATB Unc coin – 28,406 coins
    110,065 oz — 2014-P Great Sand Dunes National Park 5oz Silver ATB Unc coin – 22,013 coins
    95,250 oz — 2014-P Everglades National Park 5oz Silver ATB Unc coin – 19,050 coins
    19,920 oz — 2014 American Gold Eagles – contains 3% sliver by weight – 574,030 Proof, Unc, Bullion coins
    47,790,406 total ounces of silver sold by the US Mint in 2014

    This is just the 2014 products as they have also been selling some of the left over 2013 numismatic products throughout the year.

  10. Record sales = multi-year lows in the silver price. Go figure. I gave up a long time ago thinking that numbers like this were a bullish indicator for future silver prices. The cartel clearly has a stranglehold on the price and I fear they won’t be letting go anytime soon. They must keep this fiat based ponzi-scheme going as long as possible and letting silver and gold rise works against those plans. The fundamentals cannot be more bullish yet sentiment is at or near all-time lows and the price continues to trend sideways to lower. Yeah I’d say the criminals are doing a great job.

    I remain a stacker and I welcome these lower prices as they are allowing me to get closer to my target allocation at a much lower cost basis. This would have been impossible if silver were allowed to trade freely on the open market. How long this will continue is anybody’s guess but I’m getting very close to my goal so if anything the cartel has done me a huge favor over these past few years.

  11. Tas: If you want more reality: Let’s say you wanted to own 1,000 ounces: If you listened to
    these article writers, newsletters and such:
    You would average $45.00 in 2011
    $34.00 in 2012
    $29.50 in 2013
    $18.50 in 2014
    And those are spot prices. After adding “dealer” profit, freight and insurance the costs are up another
    $2 or $3 an ounce. This alone should show that what is accomplished through all these articles is “the selling” of silver. Each newsletter writer is a seller at the same time telling you to buy. And the key is they do it if silver is $10 or $100. To secure your purchase they add years i.e. your silver will be worth a bunch in 2020, or 2025 . And really a big bunch in 2030 when the earth’s crust runs out of the ability to mine silver under hundreds of dollars. I can show a dozen geological surveys/ charts/
    newsletters showing when the earth runs out of silver. The con game goes on and on. Butler has been saying, ” buy silver ” for 30 years. Look at all the sellers like Monex. They are sellers telling you
    to buy before we run out of production. Joe

  12. Silver runs out?

    The same Storys we heared in the 70 about Oil.In 50 years oil is no more available.
    And today?

  13. Maybe you had to listen to articles from Joe Lindell.That helps to safe Money.
    All this writers want your best.(your Money)

  14. SilverDevilMan | December 27, 2014 at 11:16 am |

    Just want to thank Steve for running a great website that is easy to navigate and provides great information on what is happening around us. I also have a question. Are you “The” Steve Rocco who founded World Industries? I skated through the 90’s and that was my go to brand. I wish I would have started buying the mighty Ag in the 90’s haha.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

  15. Fred you rock dude! Great job and thanks for taking the time to put the list together. Would be really surprising IMO to see all the private mint/theme coin/bar volumes too! Have to imagine that number would really impress. What would you guess it would add to the total volume? 15% 30% 50% 75, 100%

    My guess at least 50% that would take the GSR ratio well above 100!

    Best to you Steve wonderful effort all year again..

    • The private mints produce way more silver than basically all of the “silver” internet commentators/media seem to give them credit for. Everything is focused on Silver Eagles and Maple sales. Maybe Steve could do some research on this and produce an article… hint, hint.

      There is an interesting video about the Sunshine Mint made back in the spring on 2013 before the big take-down in the sliver price and before the big buying demand that cleaned out all dealer supplies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G2gM4kI8G4 At that time the CEO said that they were fabricating 1.2 million ounces of silver per week (62.4 million ounces a year). They are one of the three mints that supply blanks to the US Mint, probably the major supplier, so a good chunk of that is allocated to the ASE production. When the silver retail supply crunch hit after this video was produced, an article I saw said that Sunshine had gone to 24 hour operations to try and satisfy the additional demand. As you all know demand only intensified. At the end of last year the CEO did an interview with the Silver Institute. https://www.silverinstitute.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SN_Dec2013.pdf Sunshine has subsequently opened a 20,000 sq ft facility in Las Vegas and are now (a year ago) producing/fabricating 2 – 2.5 million ounces of silver a week (110 to 130 million ounces a year). That’s a boat load of silver coming out of just one private mint. There are many more mints out there cranking out rounds and bars as fast as they can stamp them out. One wonders what the actual generic bar/round production actually is. Sunshine’s operations alone are absorbing about 15% of world mine production!!

      • More good stuff Fred, I bought several rounds of rounds of Sunshine including the Sunburst and Native American Buffalo. My own experience this year was Maples, Eagles, and Generic Sunshine, also a few Apmex all when they were dealing. I am going to email Sunshine and see if the may share any info on their generic round and bar biz…..Yeah never know.

      • Freddy,

        Yes, it’s true…. the Sunshine Mint is the largest supplier of SILVER BLANKS for the U.S. Mint. So, a large percentage of their production goes to supplying the U.S. Mint. When I spoke with the Vice President of sales at APMEX, he told me the majority of their silver sales were OFFICIAL COINS. While I do believe there is a good amount of SILVER ROUNDS (name given to private mint 1 oz bullion rounds) sold, the majority of silver sales are OFFICIAL COINS.

        We must remember, private silver coins are called ROUNDS, while Official Mint products are called COINS.


        • What do you think of this theory Steve ?


          Seems very low probability for me (if they had purchased 1000 ounces bar why not but 1 ounce coins ???).

          Happy new year to you and all gold/silver bugs all over the world !

        • Steve, most of what APMEX sells may be official coins, but they buy and resell a LOT of “recycled” official coins: i.e. ASEs/Maples/rounds/bars sold back to them plus 100% of 90% junk official coins which are obviously recycled. The US mint sales that everybody looks at doesn’t count the churning of what people liquidate and sell back. What I am looking at is what is being taken out of annual mine/scrap silver supply that gets fabricated into new investment products. Sunshine may provide, say, 60% of the ASE blanks to the Mint, but the vast majority of their sales are going to the generic round/bar customer. These generic sales from just Sunshine look to be close to double what the entire US Mint sells in new ASEs every year. Everyone (mainstream/blogosphere media) seems focused solely on the new ASEs entering the investment market, but the biggest segment of NEW investment silver is ignored. There are probably a dozen other private mints in the US whose sole business is fabricating and selling generic rounds/bars from silver that’s sourced from the current market mine/scrap supply. And then there is the rest of the world…

  16. SRex kudos for getting the nums too!

  17. When i read some Statements hear i know that a lot of silverbulls have not realized how the financial systems
    The dream increasing selled coins may lift up the Price will not happen in 2015 too.
    In a recezive world economy the central Banks have unlimited fire force.
    It’s time to realize that.

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