Silver Coin Sales Surge in 2013|
January 14, 2014
Perhaps gold was in the doldrums during 2013, but silver certainly kept its luster.
Recently minted silver coins, particularly those issued by the United States Mint, Perth Mint, and by the Royal Canadian Mint had no problem finding buyers during the past year.
India played a major roll in the successful sales volume of silver, just as India played a large part in the reduction in the sales of gold. ANZ/companies/anz/Research Commodity Strategist Victor Thianpiriya was quoted by Kitco News on Dec. 16 as saying, “The import restrictions in India were focused primarily on gold, so consumers ended up turning to silver.”
India may be a standout, but it wasn’t alone. Gold Standard Institute President and Monetary Metals Chief Executive Officer Keith Weiner pointed to the banking crisis in Cyprus as another reason people purchased large amounts of silver during 2013.
Speaking about the distrust of the global banking system Weiner said, “If you hold a silver coin you aren’t a creditor to the banking system. You are holding a real piece of money.”
The significantly lower spot price of silver as compared to the price of gold may also be a motivating factor. Both declined significantly in value during 2013, but gold remains expensive nonetheless.
The US Mint sold more silver coins during 2013 than any other world mint. The mint reported 42.4 million silver American Eagle one ounce coins sold as of early December. Sales averaged 3.5 million coins per month.
The Perth Mint in Western Australia held second place, having sold 7.799 million ounces of silver coins through the end of November 2013. Further revenue growth can be anticipated through a silver blank production facility now under construction that is expected to be functioning by 2015.
Despite this success Perth Mint Chief Executive Officer Edward Harbuz cautioned, “If indeed there is a resurgence of confidence in the world economy and an expectation of steady and increasing economic growth in the world, then worse lies ahead for precious metals.”
Harbuz continued, “Of course, the future is particularly uncertain at the moment. Perhaps the positive scenario described above is not to be. Perhaps the recovery in the United States will be less convincing than expected, perhaps the underlying problems in the euro zone, which have not really been addressed, will cause further crises in the future…”
Although the Kitco report placed the Royal Canadian Mint in third place the sales figures available at that time were incomplete. Final sales figures for the one ounce Silver Maple Leaf coin are expected to be released in the mint’s upcoming financial report.
A cautious official RCM statement regarding silver coin sales reads, “Silver Maple Leaf coin demand continues to be very strong in key markets such as Canada, the U.S. and Europe. The mint cannot predict the precious metals market, but performance of the bullion…business should remain robust.”
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