US Mint Silver Coins Strengthen in March, Silver Prices Plunge

March 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Silver traded sharply lower in March yet still managed an overall gain for the quarter thanks to an extremely strong preceding month.

bullion Silver Eagle

Just four other months in the series of American Eagle silver coins scored stronger sales than March 2014

On a related note, sales of United States Mint bullion silver coins continued at high levels, marking already the second time this year that a month has attained an all-time top five monthly showing.

Trading for March ended on Monday with silver futures shedding another 3.8 cents. The decline was not surprising, however, as the precious metal has been tallying negative numbers for much of the month.

Silver prices dropped down to $19.75 an ounce on the May contract, hemorrhaging $1.49, or 7%, from the prior month closing of $21.24 an ounce.

Despite the fall, the first quarter of the year remained in positive territory for the white metal. Floated by February’s 11.1% gain, the quarter for silver finished up 2% with an improvement of 38 cents per ounce. Silver prices fell 1.3% in January.

Other precious metals futures on the last day of the month and their percentage changes for March and the quarter include:

  • Gold at $1,283.80 an ounce fell 2.9% for the month but gained 6.8% for the quarter.
  • Palladium at $777.10 an ounce managed a 4.4% gain in March and an 8.2% increase for the quarter.
  • Platinum at $1,420.80 an ounce declined 1.8% for the month but added 3.4% for the quarter.

London Fix Silver Prices

The London silver fix posted a 26-cent gain on the final day of March to end at $19.97 an ounce. Despite that last-minute increase, London figures still have the precious metal down for the month by $1.30 an ounce, or 6.1%.

First quarter figures for London fixings place the precious metal up 47 cents. This is a gain of 2.4% from the December 31 silver fix of $19.50 an ounce.

Rounding out London precious metals fixings for the month and the first quarter and year to date:

  • Gold at $1,291.75 an ounce fell 2.6% in March and gained 7.5% for the quarter.
  • Palladium at $778.00 an ounce rose 4.3% for the month and 9.4% for the quarter.
  • Platinum at $1,418 an ounce declined 2.5% in March but added 4.4% for the quarter.

United States Mint Sales of Bullion Silver Coins

Bullion American Silver Eagles remained hot in March despite a rationing program still in place from the United States Mint. The Silver Eagles recorded sales of 4,476,000 for the month, ratcheting it up to the number five spot for best ever monthly sales, as shown in the chart below:

Top 5 Monthly Sales of American Silver Eagles

Rank Month Sales
1 January 2013 7,498,000
2 January 2011 6,422,000
3 January 2012 6,107,000
4 January 2014 4,775,000
5 March 2014 4,476,000


The monthly total surpasses February sales of 3.75 million coins and year ago same time sales of nearly 3.36 million coins.

With two months of the year already in record territory, 2014 is shaping up to be a formidable period with year to date bullion American Silver Eagle sales at 13,001,000. Going back to the start of the silver coins in 1986, the quarter only falls behind 2013 with its first quarter total of more than 14.2 million coins.

Sales of America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins

2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin sales reached 12,200 for March. These mark the debut sales of the year for the five ounce program as the coin honoring Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee launched on March 17. Four more 2014-daed bullion five ounce silver coins are set to launch this year.

Melt Values of US Silver Coins

The chart below offers the melt values at the end of March for commonly available silver coins and a comparison of those values from last month and for the quarter. These silver coins are often sought by collectors and investors for their intrinsic values. These values are calculated based on the amount of silver they contain (See melt calculator.)

US Silver Coins Silver Coin Melt Values (3/31/2013) Net Change for Month Net Change for Quarter (Q1)
1942-1945 Jefferson Silver Nickels $1.11 -$0.09 $0.01
1892-1916 Barber Silver Dimes $1.43 -$0.11 $0.02
1916-1945 Mercury Silver Dimes $1.43 -$0.11 $0.02
1946-1964 Roosevelt Silver Dimes $1.43 -$0.11 $0.02
1892-1916 Barber Silver Quarters $3.58 -$0.27 $0.05
1916-1930 Standing Silver Liberty 25c $3.58 -$0.27 $0.05
1932-1964 Washington Silver Quarters $3.58 -$0.27 $0.05
1892-1915 Barber Silver Halves $7.15 -$0.54 $0.10
1916-1947 Walking Liberty 50c $7.15 -$0.54 $0.10
1948-1963 Franklin 50c $7.15 -$0.54 $0.10
1964 Kennedy Half Dollars $7.15 -$0.54 $0.10
1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollars $2.92 -$0.23 $0.04
1878-1921 Morgan Silver Dollars $15.29 -$1.16 $0.21
1921-1935 Peace Silver Dollars $15.29 -$1.16 $0.21
1971-1976 Silver Eisenhower $1s $6.25 -$0.47 $0.09
1986-2013 American Eagles $19.77 -$1.50 $0.27
2010-2014 ATB Silver Coins $98.85 -$7.50 $1.35


Melt values are based on the London silver fix prices at the end of December 2013 and the end of March 2014.

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