(Updating throughout with detail and comment)
NEW YORK, July 7 The U.S. Mint said on Tuesday
it temporarily sold out of its popular 2015 American Eagle
silver bullion coins due to a "significant" increase in demand,
the latest sign plunging prices have spurred a resurgence of
In a statement sent to its biggest U.S. wholesalers, the
Mint said its facility in West Point, New York, continues to
produce coins and expects to resume sales in about two weeks.
This is the second time the mint has sold out of silver
coins in the past nine months - it ran out of 2014-dated
American Eagles in November last year.
In 2013, the historic drop in precious metals prices
unleashed a surge in global demand for coins, forcing the mint
to ration silver coin sales for 18 months.
Dealers attributed the recent rush to purchase silver coins
and bars to its low price relative to gold.
The gold-silver ratio was "way out of whack", said Jon
Edelman, owner of Edelman's Coins in Jenkintown, PA.
"That was a sign that silver was too low and people started
buying. People view it as an opportunity in the long run."
On Tuesday, one ounce of gold would buy as much as 78 ounces
of silver, which is historically a very wide spread.
It's not clear if Tuesday's rout had spurred a fresh round
of spot buying, but demand has been healthy in recent months.
Sharp breaks in gold and silver prices typically boost
buying among collectors and other retail investors, whose buying
habits are sensitive to price moves.
Due to its greater affordability, silver sales tend to
outstrip gold in volume terms and attract a lot more retail
Last month, coin sales surged to 4.84 million ounces, the
highest since January and more than double the 2 million ounces
sold a month earlier.
On Tuesday, spot silver prices sank almost 7 percent
to $14.65 per ounce, the lowest for the year as the dollar
climbed and amid a broader exodus of cash from commodities.
(Reporting by Josephine Mason; additional reporting by Marcy
Nicholson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Christian Plumb)