Category Archives: gold coins

23/5/17: U.S. Mint Gold Coins Sales 1Q 2017

Updating, with a lag, my data for U.S. Mint sales of gold coins, here is 1Q 2017 in its full glory.

Total sales of U.S. Mint gold coins stood at 221,500 oz in 1Q 2017, down from 363,000 oz in 4Q 2016 and down on 305,500 oz in 1Q 2016. However, 1Q 2017 sales were better than 1Q sales in both 2014 and 2015.

Total number of coins sold by the U.S. Mint stood at 438,000 in 1Q 2017, down on 647,500 in 1Q 2016. In terms of number of coins sold, 1Q 2017 was the slowest of all 1Q periods since 1Q 2012.

Average weight per coin sold was 0.5057 oz/coin, stronger than in 1Q 2016 (0.4718 oz/coin) and stronger than 1Q average coin weight for 2014 and 2015.

Monthly data, plotted alongside historical and period averages shows that more recent months (especially April) posted weak sales performance.

Meanwhile, a look at quarterly aggregates indicates that while 1Q was weaker than 4Q 2016, it is still in line with the generally upward trend that has been present (with some serious volatility) since the end of 2013.

Both, the monthly series and the quarterly aggregates indicate relatively stable and strong negative correlations between the price of gold and the demand for U.S. Mint coinage over the last 6 months within the range of -0.62 and -0.84.

7/11/15: U.S. Mint Sales of Gold Coins: October

Total sales of U.S. Mint gold coins came in at 44,500 oz per 94,500 coins sold (including both Eagles and Buffalos). This marked a significant decline in sales y/y, with volume by weight down 49.7% y/y and the number of units sold down 33.7%. Average weight of coin sold was down 24.2% y/y to 0.4709 oz per coin.

As chart above indicates, October fall-off in demand came after the end of 3Q that saw total volume of coding gold sold by the U.S. Mint rising incredible 234% y/y (compared to 3Q 2014) by weight and 305% y/y in terms of number of units sold. 

At a total of 471,000 oz sold over 934,500 units in 3Q 2015, last quarter was the best one since 2Q 2010 in terms of volume by weight sales and the best in history of the series (from 1Q 2006) in terms of number of coins sold.

Not surprisingly, scale fall off in demand in October can be explained by the moderation in demand back to cyclical normal. As shown in the chart above, overall October sales figures came in below the period average for May 2013 through present. However, stripping out three main outlier peaks in demand, the average comes to 49,978 oz - closer to the October reading of 44,500 oz. In historical comparatives, demand for gold coins in October was 38th lowest by total weight and 56th lowest by coins counts for any month from January 2006 though present.

Another point worth making is seasonality. Over 2006-present horizon, October saw significant decline sin demand for gold coins in seven out of 10 years, with insignificant changes m/m recorded in one month. In other words, October tends to be a more bearish month of U.S. Mint coins sales.

Final point worth making is that correlation between demand for U.S. Mint coins (by total oz weight) continued to show negative 12 months correlation with gold price. In October, this correlation stood at -0.58, slightly less in absolute value than in September (-0.59) and below -0.72 correlation in October 2014. Overall, negative correlation remained in every month from April 2014 on, suggesting stable demand interest from investors on foot of gold price declines.