US Mint Bullion Silver Coins Near Record, Silver Rises in October

November 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Silver was poised for a very boisterous October pick-up until the last trading day wiped out more than a buck in gains. Still, it finished higher for the month, and its trend pleased enough investors that sales of US Mint bullion silver coins moved quicker than September with Silver Eagles stepping near a new annual record.

American Eagle gold and silver coins

American Eagle silver bullion coins should achieve a new all-time sales record in early November

Silver futures netted a modest 16¢, or 0.7%, in October. The settlement price for the December contract ended October at $21.87 an ounce, suffering a sinking $1.12 loss on the final trading day of the month. That turned what could have been a spectacular October into a modest one for silver.

In positive territory months this year, October joins January, July and August. Those months had improvements of 3.7%, 0.8% and 19.8%, respectively. The four months of gains are countered with six months of declines, including 0.4% in March, 7.7% in September, 8% in May, 9.3% in February, 12.5% in June and 14.6% in April.

An obviously tough year so far, silver has hemorrhaged $8.36, or 27.7%, from the last trading day of 2012 when it closed at $30.23 an ounce.

Other New York precious metals futures were split in October with gold dipping and palladium and platinum rising. The loss and gains for the month include:

  • Gold for December delivery at $1,323.70 an ounce, dropping in October by $3.30, or 0.3%.
  • January platinum settled to $1,448.40 an ounce, marking a monthly gain of $36, or 2.6%.
  • Palladium for December delivery at $736.80 an ounce, bumping higher in October by $9.65, or 1.3%.

Year-to-date finds gold down 21%, platinum off 6.1% and palladium up 4.8%.

London Fix Silver Prices

The London Fix for silver also fell at month’s end, although not as hard as futures on the Comex in New York.

Despite a last day decline of 54¢, London silver prices at $22.20 an ounce managed an October increase of 52¢, or 2.4%. For the year, however, the London silver Fix has dived $7.75, or 25.9%.

Other London precious metal fixings registered the following results:

  • Gold at $1,324 an ounce dropped $2.50 in October for a percentage decline of 0.2% and a year-to-date loss of 20.4%.
  • Platinum at $1,450 an ounce gained $39 for the month, equating to 2.8%, and a 2013 drop so far of 4.8%
  • Palladium at $742 an ounce rose $16, 2.2%, in October for a year-to-date gain of 6.2%.

United States Mint Bullion Silver Coins

Demand remains unprecedented for silver coins from the United States Mint. Bullion American Silver Eagles in October climbed over September’s total by 74,000, or 2.5%.

For the month, the US Mint recorded sales of 3,087,000 coins. This was enough to mark October as the 25th best month for the 99.9% pure silver coins. It was also enough to make it the third best October, behind 2012 and 2010 which have respective Silver Eagle totals of 3,153,000 and 3,150,000.

Year-to-date finds the silver coins still holding the number two spot for annual sales, but climbing fast. Only 693,500 coins are standing between this year and the current record holder, 2011. That record is likely to be smashed in the next few days, taking 2013 to the number one spot with almost two full months left in the year. Although, it is important to point out, the US Mint could run out of its 2013-dated inventory before the end of the year since it generally begins striking bullion coins with new dates after Thanksgiving. Those new coins would not be offered until January. Here is a table with the five top Silver Eagle sales years:

Top 5 Annual Sales Years for American Silver Eagles

Rank Year Annual Sales
1 2011 39,868,500
2 2013 39,175,000*
3 2010 34,662,500
4 2012 33,742,500
5 2009 28,766,500


*Sales are only for January through October 2013

Sales of America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins

2013 America the Beautiful 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins realized total gains in October of 6,600. This increase was spread across three different designs:

  • 2013 Perry’s Victory 5 Ounce Silver Coins increased 1,200 to 26,200.
  • 2013 Great Basin 5 Ounce Silver Coins added 2,200 to 27,200.
  • 2013 Fort McHenry 5 Ounce Silver Coins gained 3,200 to 28,200.

So far this year, the US Mint has recorded sales of 116,600 of the 2013-dated America the Beautiful silver coins, including 35,000 of the 2013 White Mountain design which sold out on Sept. 11. Adding in the 63,100 from the 2012-dated coins sold earlier in the year gives the combined year-to-date total of 179,700 coins, or 898,500 ounces.

Of note, the 2013 Mount Rushmore 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coin has not been released. This silver coin should be available to US Mint distributors on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013.

Melt Values of US Silver Coins

Melt values of silver coins also rose along with the precious metal during the month of October. Gains were slight and not near enough to offset the year-to-date losses still in play.

The chart below offers the melt values of silver coins issued for circulation in years past. These coins are often sought by both collectors and investors for their intrinsic value. Values are calculated based on the amount of silver each coin has.

US Silver Coins Silver Coin Melt Values (12/31/2012) Silver Coin Melt Values (10/31/2013) Net Change in October Net Change YTD
1942-1945 Jefferson Nickels $1.68 $1.25 $0.03 -$0.44
1892-1916 Barber Dimes $2.17 $1.61 $0.04 -$0.56
1916-1945 Mercury Dimes $2.17 $1.61 $0.04 -$0.56
1946-1964 Roosevelt Dimes $2.17 $1.61 $0.04 -$0.56
1892-1916 Barber Quarters $5.42 $4.01 $0.09 -$1.40
1916-1930 Standing Liberty 25c $5.42 $4.01 $0.09 -$1.40
1932-1964 Washington Quarters $5.42 $4.01 $0.09 -$1.40
1892-1915 Barber Half Dollars $10.83 $8.03 $0.19 -$2.80
1916-1947 Walking Liberty 50c $10.83 $8.03 $0.19 -$2.80
1948-1963 Franklin 50c $10.83 $8.03 $0.19 -$2.80
1964 Kennedy Half Dollars $10.83 $8.03 $0.19 -$2.80
1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollars $4.43 $3.28 $0.08 -$1.15
1878-1921 Morgan Dollars $23.16 $17.17 $0.40 -$5.99
1921-1935 Peace Dollars $23.16 $17.17 $0.40 -$5.99
1971-1976 Silver Eisenhower $1s $9.47 $7.02 $0.16 -$2.45
1986-2013 American Eagles $29.95 $22.20 $0.52 -$7.75
2010-2013 ATB Silver Coins $149.75 $111.00 $2.60 -$38.75


Melt values are based on the London silver fix prices at the end of 2012 and the end of October 2013.

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