Bullion Prices Soar in Second Week of August 2011, Gold Coin Suspensions

by Bullion Prices Staff on August 13, 2011

U.S. bullion prices surged during the second week of August 2011, although gold futures slipped during the final two sessions of the week. December gold prices on Friday lost $8.90, or 0.5%, to close at $1,742.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"We’ve come a long way with gold, and we are seeing some profit-taking in the market," Frank Lesh, a broker and futures analyst with FuturePath Trading in Chicago, was cited on MarketWatch. "We braced for the demise of an European bank, and we didn’t have that … we are unwinding that fear trade."

Gold prices soared 5.5% for the week, marking six consecutive weekly gains.

September silver prices rallied 44.5 cents, or 1.2%, to $39.11 an ounce, pushing its weekly gain to 2.4%.

In PGM futures prices, September palladium added $14.40, or 2.0%, to $748.20 an ounce while October platinum added $4.30, or 0.2%, to $1,796.70 an ounce. Palladium and platinum also climbed for the week with gains of 0.9% and 4.5%, respectively.

U.S. Mint Bullion Coins

Bullion coins were silent Friday, according to the U.S. Mint’s website of published sales figures. But they had a whopping week. Bullion gold coins, in particular, stood out. The American Gold Buffalo and American Gold Eagles put forth some of their highest weekly figures of the year. The Buffalo rose 8,000 versus 2,500 last week. The gain pushed it over the 100,000 milestone for the year. The 1 oz. Gold Eagle busted forth with a weekly score of 41,000 against the previous 9,000. The smallest 1/10 oz. size jumped 25,000 versus 10,000.

In related news, surging gold prices resulted in two separate suspensions of U.S. Mint gold coins. The first suspension on Tuesday affected its collector gold coins and the second one on Friday affected four commemorative gold coins. The collector gold coins returned to availability on Wednesday at higher prices. The commemorative gold coins (proof and uncirculated Medal of Honor $5′s and proof and uncirculated U.S. Army $5′s) are still unavailable. The U.S. Mint website denotes that they are "unavailable for product re-pricing." For more information on each of the suspensions, read the two articles:

On the silver front, American Silver Eagle bullion coins came out of their two-week sales slump — at least when those figures are compared to how they had been doing most of the year. This week U.S. Mint buyers ordered 891,000 Silver Eagles as compared to the two previous weekly gains of 428,000 and 399,000. The .9999 fine silver coins should easily top 27 million in sales this year by mid next week.

The latest U.S. bullion figures are provided below in the daily, August 2011 and YTD 2011 columns.

United States Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales
1 oz American Gold Buffalo 0 2,500 8,000 10,500 102,000
1 oz American Gold Eagle 0 9,000 41,000 50,000 619,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle 0 2,000 0 2,000 60,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle 0 2,000 2,000 4,000 68,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle 0 10,000 25,000 35,000 300,000
5 oz America the Beautiful Silver - - - 8,500 378,600
1 oz American Silver Eagle 0 428,000 891,000 1,319,000 26,590,500


Notes. Figures above are in coins, not ounces sold. The United States Mint last updated the 5 oz. America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin sales on Monday, August 8, 2011. All other figures have an "as of date" of Friday, August 12, 2011.

London Bullion Prices

Bullion prices in London split directions Friday and during the week. PM fixing prices included the following daily changes:

  • Gold fell $24, or 1.4%, at $1,736 an ounce
  • Silver fell 89 cents, or 2.3%, at $38.29 an ounce
  • Palladium added $15, or 2%, at $747 an ounce
  • Platinum added $20, or 1.1%, at $1,800 an ounce

On a weekly basis, London bullion prices rose for all but silver. It dipped 2.4%. Gold ended up 4.7% higher. In PGM metals, palladium was the weakest with its 0.7% rise while platinum boasted the best weekly increase of all precious metals with its pick-up of 5.3%.

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