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Drop in Gold Price to Boost Mint Sales?

As the gold price drops to a fresh one-month low in markets, sales figures for November were released by the U.S. Mint, showing a very strong month for gold and silver coins.

Early trade on Tuesday brought gold futures decidedly lower, hitting a four-week low at $1,698.50 per troy ounce for the February contract. The spot price of gold lost $13.50 to $1,703.00 per troy ounce. Silver futures for March delivery traded down $0.554 to $33.205 per troy ounce.

Meanwhile, November sales of American Eagle Gold and Silver Coins surged over the levels for the previous month and for the same period last year, according to the finalized sales figures from the United States Mint.

November sales for American Eagle Gold Coins reached 136,500 ounces, a full 131.4 percent higher than levels for October and 232.9 percent over last year’s sales for the same period. American Eagle Gold Coins recorded the strongest November since 1998 and the best month for sales since July 2010, putting November sales at a multi-year high.

Sales for the year, however, remain at 677,000 ounces, which is the weakest level for the time period since the safe-haven demand for bullion coins really kicked off in 2008 following the financial crisis. By comparison, January to November sales periods reached 684,500 ounces in 2008 and 1,193,500 ounces in 2009 before leveling down to 934,500 ounces in 2011.

November sales of American Eagle Silver Coins reached 3,159,500 ounces for a 0.2 percent gain over sales levels from the previous month and a 128.3 percent increase over last year’s November sales. In the current year, there were only two stronger months for sales of silver coins. Sales by the U.S. Mint in September reached 3,255,000 ounces and in January reached 6,107,000 ounces with January sales recorded as the second highest monthly total since the Silver Eagles debuted in 1986.

The current dip in gold prices below the psychologically and technically important $1,700 per troy ounce level begs the question as to whether the Mint’s sales to distributors will increase in December as bargain buying and the current market demand combine.

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