Bullion Prices Plunge in February; US Gold, Silver Coins Steady

by Bullion Prices Staff on March 1, 2013

Bullion prices plummeted in February 2013 with gold notably down for its fifth consecutive monthly decline and silver nearly hitting a double digit percentage loss. Yet, despite gold and silver falling, United States Mint bullion coins registered a strong month.

First, back to bullion prices. Losses in February were 5% for gold, 9.3% for silver, 5.5% for platinum and 1.5% for palladium.

One day later, on Friday, the week settled with all but silver falling. The white metal gained 0.1% on the week. Gold was nearly unchanged, down less than 0.1% or 50 cents. Platinum and palladium, however, fell harshly with weekly losses of 2.1% and 2%.

In closing Friday, gold for April delivery dipped $5.80, or 0.4%, to $1,572.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. That is the weakest settlement price since July 18. Its direction next week is as clouded as ever.

"A volatile gold market is leaving market participants wary on gold’s direction next week after sharp rallies and breaks were seen in this week’s action," writes Debbie Carlson of Kitco News.

"The uncertainty of the market’s price direction was seen in the weekly Kitco News Gold Survey. Out of 33 participants, 29 responded this week. Of those 29 participants, 13 see prices up, while eight see prices down, and eight see prices moving sideways or are neutral."

As other bullion prices Friday:

  • May silver prices inched up 5.8 cents, or 0.2%, to $28.49 an ounce
  • June palladium fell $14.15, or 1.9%, to $720.40
  • April platinum declined $10, or 0.6%, to $1,573.50 an ounce

New York bullion prices on the day and their weekly changes follow.

New York Futures – Bullion Prices
  Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri Weekly Change
($/%)
Silver Prices $28.99 $29.32 $28.99 $28.43 $28.49 $0.03
0.1%
Gold Prices $1,586.60 $1,615.50 $1,595.70 $1,578.10 $1,572.30 -$0.50
-0.03%
Platinum Prices $1,620.70 $1,616.50 $1,600.10 $1,583.50 $1,573.50 -$33.90
-2.1%
Palladium Prices $749.05 $741.90 $745.65 $734.55 $720.40 -$14.90
-2.0%

 

United States Mint Bullion Coin Sales

United States Mint bullion coin sales were solid in February 2013, despite precious metals losses. Sales were, as expected, lower than January when the 2013-dated coins first launched. They were sharply higher than a year ago. In summary breakdowns:

  • American Eagle silver bullion coin sales for February accumulated to 3.3685 million, down from the all-time monthly record of 7.498 million set in January. Sales were more than double the 1.49 million reached in February of last year. This, despite the fact that Silver Eagles were rationed.
  • American Eagle gold bullion coin sales amounted to 80,500 ounces versus the 150,000 ounces from the previous month. They were nearly four times higher than a year ago when sales totaled 21,000 ounces.
  • American Buffalo gold bullion coin sales for February 2013 hit 11,500 against 72,500 from the previous month and 7,000 from February 2012.
  • ATB 5 oz. silver bullion coin sales for the month totaled 14,340 coins against January’s 28,960 coins. The year ago level was 300 coins.

Two bullion product types logged gains Friday, the first day of March. Their totals are shown below.

Sales of United States Mint 2012 Bullion Coins
  Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri 2013 Sales
1 oz American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 13,500 2,500 0 4,000 196,500
1/2 oz American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 1,000 0 0 0 22,000
1/4 oz American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 2,000 0 0 0 36,000
1/10 oz American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 5,000 0 0 0 180,000
1 oz American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins 0 2,500 0 0 0 84,000
5 oz America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins 0 2,500 0 2,000 19,800 63,100
1 oz American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins 485,000 337,000 0 0 0 10,866,500

 

In numismatic news this week, the United States Mint released the Girl Scouts silver dollars. These commemorative coins are available in two qualities with a maximum production of 350,000 possible. They celebrate the centennial of the Girl Scouts USA.

Also, on Tuesday the collectible Denali silver coin sold out. It is the third sellout of the 2012-dated five ounce issues. The U.S. Mint has not yet released any coins with this year’s date.

Finally, check this article on coin melt values for February.

Bullion Prices in London

London bullion prices were lower Friday. Gold fell least at 0.4%. Silver dropped 3.2% with palladium close behind with its 3.1% loss. Platinum declined 0.4%. As for the week, gold was the only metal higher, barely. Daily prices and the weekly percent and net changes are below.

London Bullion Prices
  Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri Weekly Change
($/%)
Silver Prices $29.17 $28.75 $29.07 $28.95 $28.01 -$0.78
-2.7%
Gold Prices $1,586.25 $1,590.50 $1,604.25 $1,588.50 $1,582.25 $5.75
0.36%
Platinum Prices $1,620.00 $1,605.00 $1,609.00 $1,598.00 $1,579.00 -$32.00
-2.0%
Palladium Prices $748.00 $740.00 $741.00 $744.00 $721.00 -$11.00
-1.5%

 

London precious metal split in February. Palladium advanced 0.7%, the only precious metal higher. The losers were gold by 4.6%, silver by 9.6% and platinum by 4.4%.

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