| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Jan 31 Sales of the U.S. Mint's
American Eagle gold coins fell 40 percent year-on-year in
January, typically the busiest month of the year, as uncertainty
over bullion prices continued to dampen interest from
collectors, data showed on Friday.
A move by the U.S. Mint to mix 2014-dated coins with 2013
coins to deplete last year's inventories also weighed on sales,
coin dealers said.
The U.S. Mint sold a total of 91,500 ounces of American
Eagle gold bullion coins in January, with almost half sold on
the first business day of the year, the Mint data showed.
The month's total compared to 150,000 ounces sold in January
The Mint sold 37,500 ounces of that total on Jan. 2 - the
first day authorities started accepting orders of the 2014 model
from its authorized dealers.
Gold prices rose 3 percent in January, their best monthly
performance since August 2013. But that is only a slight rebound
from the almost 30-percent drop seen in 2013 as the Federal
Reserve continues to taper its stimulus and overall economic
"Business in general has been very quiet. I don't think that
people know which way the market is going," said Michael Kramer,
president of Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, a major U.S. coin
wholesaler in New York.
Also pressuring 2014-dated coin sales is the fact that the
U.S. Mint is mixing this year's coins with 2013-dated coins on a
one-for-one basis when it sells to dealers until the 2013-dated
inventories are depleted.
Kramer said that most of his customers prefer to buy the new
2014 mintage over the older-dated coins.
For American Eagle silver bullion coins, the U.S. Mint sold
a total of 4.775 million ounces in January, well below the
record 7.5 million ounces sold in January 2013.
Since January 2013, the Mint has been selling silver coins
on an allocation, or rationing, basis to its dealers due to
limited coin blanks.
Kramer said he would have ordered more silver bullion coins
for his customers had more coins been made available for sale.