By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
The week of Monday, March 14 sees another one million ounces of the 2016 American Silver Eagle silver bullion coin allocated for purchase by authorized dealers. This brings the March month-to-date allotment, starting with the February 29 allocation, to three million ounces.
Out of that three million, the United States Mint has sold 1,972,500 coins (ounces) so far this month.
To compare, February saw a sales total of 4,782,000 coins and January 2016 saw the sale of 5,954,500 silver eagle bullion coins. But we’re only approximately halfway through March, so a final monthly sales figure of at least four million ounces is not out of the question–especially if the March 21 allotment is yet another million.
The Mint has been fairly predictable this year, with relatively high allocations every week since the bullion version was released on January 11. This makes sense; high demand for the series from both foreign and domestic consumers is anticipated since 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the American Eagle silver bullion coin program. President Ronald Reagan initiated the program in 1986.
Much of that collector interest has been generated by the special commemorative edge lettering found on the Proof and Uncirculated versions. Customers should note, however, that the 2016 bullion issue retains the usual reeded edge.
It should also come as no surprise that Mint officials are anticipating another record year for sales of the series. Even if the Mint maintained a rate of one million ounces allotted per week, sales would top 2015’s record-breaking 47 million ounces (coins). 44,006,000 ounces of the .999 fine silver bullion coin were sold in 2014, and 42,675,000 were sold in 2013.
The Mint’s weekly allocations of silver eagle bullion coins are distributed to the consumer and investor via a network of authorized dealers. This network consists of sellers (coin dealers, precious metals traders, financial companies, et al.) approved by the U.S. Mint to distribute bullion product.
American Silver Eagles Currently Available on eBay