By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek....
According to an announcement sent out earlier today, the United States Mint has allocated one million American Eagle silver bullion coins for the week of January 19, the second week of the 2016 issue's release.
The 2016 American Silver Eagle bullion coin went on sale January 11, with a first-week allocation of four million pieces distributed via the Mint's network of authorized dealers. This network consists of a select group of vendors (including coin dealers, precious metals traders, financial companies and various other sellers) that have all been authorized by the U.S. Mint to distribute bullion product, and as such the Mint's weekly allocations do not represent actual sales of Silver Eagles to the public at large. Instead, as far as the average collector or investor is concerned, the numbers merely represent available mintages.
Still, each allocation to an authorized dealer is considered a sale by the Mint for the purposes of record-keeping, and so far January sales of the 2016 issue are almost twice as much as the 2,333,500 units of the 2015 silver bullion coin sold in December. The Mint stopped production of the 2015 Silver Eagle bullion coin on December 11 in order to begin preparations for the 2016 run.
But despite the early shut-off, a record-high 47 million Silver Eagle bullion coins were sold in 2015.
Many in the industry expect demand for the 2016 to be even higher, since 2016 is the 30th anniversary of the inaugural year of the Silver Eagle program, and recent legislation has been passed that mandates special 30th anniversary edge lettering.
CoinWeek will continue to follow the allocation numbers and report on the American Silver Eagle coin's 30th anniversary.
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