By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ....
Nine weeks into the production of the 2016 30th Anniversary issue of the American Silver Eagle, the United States Mint is staying the course and allocating another million ounces of the one-ounce silver bullion coins for sale this week to authorized dealers. This according to an email from Adam Stump, deputy director of the office of corporate communications.
So far this month, 263,500 Silver Eagles have been sold out of last week's allotment of one million ounces (coins), and year-to-date sales total 11 million.
Allocated ounces for the month of January totaled six million. The 2016 Silver Eagle bullion coins was released on January 11, with an initial allotment of four million ounces. One million ounces were allotted for the week of January 19, and another one million were allocated the following week, on January 25.
February 1 saw the allocation of 1,045,500 ounces of the silver coin, but the rest of the month saw a drop back down to one million ounces per week.
The steady mintage is not only due to a generally high demand for the .999 fine American Silver Eagle bullion coin series but also to the fact that 2016 is the 30th anniversary of the popular program, which was started under President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Proof and Uncirculated versions have special commemorative edge lettering; the bullion version retains its reeded edge.
Mint officials may be looking at another record year for retail sales of the series. 5,954,500 ounces were sold in January (according to U.S. Mint sales figures), and 4,782,000 were sold in February. Compare these numbers to 5,530,000 sold in January and 3,022,000 sold in February last year.
47 million ounces (coins) were sold over the course of 2015, while 44,006,000 were sold in 2014 and 42,675,000 were sold in 2013.
The Mint's weekly allocations of silver eagle bullion coins are distributed to the consumer and investor via a network of authorized dealers. This network consists of sellers (coin dealers, precious metals traders, financial companies, et al.) approved by the U.S. Mint to distribute bullion product.
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