US Silver Eagle Sales Best First Half Year Ever

June isn’t over yet. Though, looking at this year’s US Silver Eagle Sales by the US Mint, 2013 stands out as the best first half year ever. The table shows the sales figures for both gold and silver coins since 2008. For every year, the figures include 6 full months (one exception: 2013 represents only 5 and a half months).

gold silver eagles half year 2013 physical market

While comparing the Silver Eagle figures of the last 5 years with the first 5.5 month figures of this year, we see the following picture:

  • First 6 months of 2013 equal 119% of total 2008 US Mint sales of Silver Eagles
  • First 6 months of 2013 equal 81% of total 2009 US Mint sales of Silver Eagles
  • First 6 months of 2013 equal 67% of total 2010 US Mint sales of Silver Eagles
  • First 6 months of 2013 equal 57% of total 2011 US Mint sales of Silver Eagles
  • First 6 months of 2013 equal 73% of total 2012 US Mint sales of Silver Eagles

The point is very simple: US Silver Eagles are in very high demand, whether looking at yearly of half yearly sales figures, or comparing it with the Gold Eagle sales.

Moreover, the ratio for the first half year stands at roughly 40, which means that 40 times more ounces of silver coins have been bought by the US Mint than gold coins. When calculating the dollar value of this (with an average price of 1550 for gold and 28 for silver), it appears that the silver value accounts for 71% of the total gold value. Those are revealing figures, for sure because this takes place in the midst of a severe price decline and extremely pessimistic public sentiment vis-à-vis the grey metal (see chart below, courtesy Sentimentrader.com).

The most plausible explanation for this trend is that people (in this case retail investors) realize the dangers and severity of the ongoing crisis, and seek some form of “safety” (whatever that means in a centrally managed economy). Silver being “poor man’s gold” is more affordable to the retail public. The ironic fact is that prices have been declining, and that they could still go lower. At the same time, the monetary protection from the metal(s) has never been more required. We should start accepting that such a disconnect is part of “the new normal” we are living in.

public opinion silver 2008 2013 physical market

 One remark: we have explained in the past that a higher demand does not necessarily translate into higher prices, at least not directly or in the short run. Readers should think of all the gold and silver in the world as one big pool, where the metal is simply changing hands.


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  • Riverway

    Regarding silver, this is simply not true. Silver is used and destroyed in many industrial applications and unlike gold, it does not simply go from one hand to another in a giant pool of metals.

  • http://www.goldsilverworlds.com/ Gold Silver Worlds

    You are right, Riverway. A lot of the above the ground silver has disappeared over the decades and centuries. I still wanted to make the point in order to set the expectations right for (most) readers. You see, most people interpret this news as bullish for precious metals prices. That’s also how many sites are bringing it. We saw recently that the physical market has the potential to provide support in terms of prices, but it is not the driver of prices. The main point in this article is that physical metals are providing monetary protection, which is the reason (as far as I understand) why a lot of people are c
    hosing for owning the metal(s), “regardless” of price.

    Thx for your comment. I appreciate your correction.

  • Riverway

    I found the article extremely interesting and very useful. I personally believe that there will be a huge day of recogning for paper gold vs physical gold and your article only reinforces this strongly held belief. Paper gold like paper money can be shorted and manipulated, but physical gold is real money as it is available in limited quantities and in a truly free market it I very difficult to manipulate. In any event, thank you for your insights which I highly recommend to your readers…

  • http://www.goldsilverworlds.com/ Gold Silver Worlds

    Thx Riverway. I agree, and just want to add one thing to your thoughts. Today, we see an extreme divergence in sentiment towards the metals >> retail investors in the East are in a historic rush (to a less extent in the West as well), the same goes for central banks in non-Western countries. They all appreciate the monetary value of the metals, in particular gold. They are worried about money depreciation and currency wars. On the other hand, “the market” (i.e. speculative and investing institutions) don’t see the same value in precious metals. The most likely explanation is that they have enough ways to make their investments grow through equities. Besides, they are relaxed because there is potentially unlimited QE. So why should they be concerned about monetary protection?? This divergence can grow to an extent that most of us wouldn’t believe … but we should take into account we are stepping into an era of unintended consequences because of an unprecedented monetary experiment … courtesy the central bankers of this world.