Demand for gold has again cleaned out the US Mint, even with the physical metal at record nominal price levels over $1,200 an ounce.
In May, the Mint managed to ship out 190,000 one-ounce gold American Eagles. The sales number breaks a record for any single month going back 11 years to 1999.
According to Reuters:
“In January 1999, the U.S. mint sold 208,500 gold 1-ounce coins, with only five other months exceeding May’s gold coin sales since the program was launched in 1986, the Mint’s spokesman told Reuters.
“While in 2010 the U.S. Mint has sold only 1-ounce gold coins, in past years it has sold other coin sizes as well. Comparing only American Eagle gold 1-ounce coins, the biggest monthly sale occurred in October 1986 with 609,500 coins sold, the Mint said.
“Many investors, both retail and institutional, have sought gold as a safe-haven asset in times of economic uncertainty. Sales of the American Eagle coins increased by 214 percent in the month over April during a time when concerns about sovereign debt in the euro zone raised fears of a larger macro-economic effect.”
Still, if you decide to visit the US Mint’s online store today for a little dollar-hedge shopping you’ll be sorely disappointed. Currently, there’s one of these all too frequently occurring notes:
“Production of United States Mint American Eagle Gold Proof and Uncirculated Coins has been temporarily suspended because of unprecedented demand for American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins.”
The note also suggests that sales will resume “once sufficient inventories of gold bullion blanks can be acquired.” We’ll see how long that takes.
You can read more details in Reuters coverage of how the US Mint’s gold coin sales have reached its highest level since 1999.