(Repeats Jan. 2 item for additional readers with no changes to
headline or text)
* Sales of U.S. gold coins total 37,500 ounces on Thursday
* Outdated coins in secondary market could dent 2014 sales
* U.S. Mint to mix 2014 coins with 2013-dated ones
By Frank Tang
NEW YORK, Jan 2 Sales of the U.S. Mint's new
2014-dated American Eagle gold coins were brisk on the first
business day of the year, extending last year's strength boosted
by gold prices' biggest annual decline in 32 years.
However, plenty of 2013-dated and other outdated gold coins
at lower premiums in the secondary market could dent sales of
U.S. gold coins this year, coin dealers said.
The U.S. Mint sold a total of 37,500 ounces of American
Eagle gold bullion coins on Thursday, the first day the Mint
began accepting orders of the 2014 model from its authorized
dealers, U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White said.
Thursday's sales represent a quarter of the total in the
entire month of January 2013.
U.S. coin sales tend to be highly seasonal, with the
strongest performance at the start of the year as investors seek
the most-recent mintage, and the fourth quarter usually being
the quietest of the year.
In 2013, American Eagle gold coins sales totaled 856,500
ounces, a 14 percent increase year-over-year from 2012, while
silver coin sales hit an all-time high of 42.675 million ounces.
However, gold's 28 percent drop last year that ended its
12-year bull run also suggests the availability of coins sold by
investors back into the secondary market, which is expected to
weigh down the Mint's 2014 coin sales.
"Buyers are looking for deals" as they seek lower-premium
outdated coins, said Roy Friedman, executive vice president at
Dillon Gage, a major U.S. coin wholesaler in Dallas which
distributes to dealers and institutional investors.
Also pressuring 2014-dated coin sales is the fact that the
Mint, beginning Jan. 21, will mix the 2014 coins with 2013-dated
coins on a one-for-one basis when it sells to dealers until the
2013-dated inventories are depleted.
Michael Kramer, president of Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, a
major U.S. coin wholesaler in New York, said he will most likely
sell the older 2013-dated coins at a discount to the
"Some people don't care about which year, but most of them
do," Kramer said.
The U.S. Mint will accept orders of the American Eagle
silver bullion coins beginning Jan. 13.
(Reporting by Frank Tang; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)