(Recasts to include milestones and silver in paragraph 1, adds background) NEW YORK, Aug 31 (Reuters) - U.S. Mint sales of American Eagle gold coins in August fell 42 percent from a year ago while silver coin sales dropped to the lowest since late-2013, as bullion prices came off the highest in more than two years, government data showed on Wednesday. The U.S. Mint sold 58,500 ounces of American Eagle gold coins in August, up 52 percent from July but down sharply from the 101,500 ounces sold in August 2015, U.S. Mint data showed. Sales fell year-over-year as spot gold prices dropped around 5 percent from the July 6 high of $1,374.91 an ounce, the highest price in more than two years. Investors of physical gold typically increase their purchases when prices appear on track to rise. Mint sales of American Eagle silver coins fell to 1.28 million ounces, down 74 percent from August 2015 and the lowest since December 2013, as spot prices fell 13 percent from the July high at $21.11 per ounce, a two-year peak. American Eagle silver coin sales have eased since hitting a record for the third straight year in 2015 at 47 million ounces, when a surprise surge in demand caused an unprecedented supply squeeze as prices slumped to six-year lows below $14 an ounce. This prompted small investors to scoop up coins that were seen to be at bargain levels. Silver prices are now around $18.60 an ounce. (Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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