Bullion Prices Surge in July 2011, Gold and Silver Eagle Coins Strong

by Bullion Prices Staff on July 30, 2011

U.S. bullion prices were mixed on the final trading day of the month, mixed on the week, but surged as a group in July. Shining for the day, week and month were gold prices. December gold futures rose $15, or 0.9%, to a record settlement of $1,631.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was a new record high close for the yellow metal. Gold prices also hit a record intraday high on Friday at $1,637.50 an ounce.

Friday’s closing price also capped a 1.9% gain for the week and a 8.5% increase in July. Gold prices have risen 14.8% in 2011. Where gold is headed in the future is up to debate, as typical. Kitco Metals Inc’s weekly gold survey reports:

"Participants in the weekly Kitco News Gold Survey are almost equally torn about the direction of next week’s gold trade as the talks about raising the U.S. debt ceiling are dragging on longer than what most people expected.

That said, the bears slightly outweigh the bulls, but there are a fair number of participants who said they are on the sidelines until a decision has been made in Washington.

In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 34 participants, 24 responded this week. Of those 24 participants, eight see prices up, while 10 see prices down, five are neutral and one sees prices sideways or unchanged. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders and technical chart analysts."

Silver performed the best of the precious metals for July with a gain of 15.1%, but it had more of a roller-coaster week as prices turned out little changed with a 2 cent lost. September silver futures prices on Friday rose 31.2, or 0.8%, to $40.11 an ounce. Silver has surged 29.6% in 2011.

In PGM futures, palladium outperformed platinum.

September palladium prices declined 40 cents on Friday to settle at $827.70 an ounce, modestly cutting into its weekly gain which ended at 2.6%. Palladium went up 8.8% in July and has risen 3% in 2011.

October platinum retreated $7.10, or 0.4%, to $1,785.30 an ounce on Friday. It was the only precious metal to drop for the week with a slight loss of 0.7%. Platinum gained 3.4% in July which brought prices into the black for the year with a modest increase of 0.4%.

United States Mint Bullion Coins

When there is a slowing in sales for United States Mint bullion coins, typically it occurs in a summer(s) month. But July has held strong, supported by gains in precious metals prices. American Gold Eagles actually outperformed sales from the previous month. But, based on available data, it does appear that the demand for the American Silver Eagle has slowed this month, although their pace is still screaming.

Sales of the Silver Eagle took off on Friday, as published in a late update by the U.S. Mint. Advancing 340,000 for the day greatly increased its weekly and monthly standings. While the former is still lower than most typical weeks of this year, the gains pushed July away from the bottom of the monthly rankings in 2011. The United States Mint has not called July sales final, but should it do so the Silver Eagle will end up at just below 3 million, lifting the month to the fifth position for the year. More importantly, this week the Silver Eagle passed 25 million in sales for 2011. Another 9.391 million and it will match the annual all-time high record set in 2010. With five months still remaining, the final 2011 Silver Eagle total should shatter the record.

One-ounce American Gold Eagle bullion coins improved over the previous month. The biggest 22-karat gold pieces are at 61,500 for July versus the 56,000 in June. And while sales of the fractional Gold Eagles have been slower this month and overall coin totals will therefore be lower in July, more ounces have moved thanks to the gains in the one-ouncers. In troy ounces of American Gold Eagles, July stands at 64,500 as compared to 61,500 ounces the United States Mint sold during the previous month.

The latest U.S. bullion coin figures are shown in the daily, July 2011 and YTD 2011 columns below.

United States Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales
Daily
Gains
Prior
Weekly
Weekly
Gains
July
2011
2011
Totals
1 oz American Gold Buffalo 0 6,500 1,500 12,000 91,500
1 oz American Gold Eagle 2,500 15,500 24,500 61,500 569,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle 0 2,000 0 3,000 58,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle 0 0 0 0 64,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle 0 10,000 0 15,000 265,000
5 oz America the Beautiful Silver 0 8,600 4,900 11,400 369,400
1 oz American Silver Eagle 340,000 856,000 651,000 2.968M 25.2715M

 

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 Wednesday, July 27. All other bullion coin sales figures listed in the table above are as of Friday, July 29.

In terms of the individual sales totals for the three 5 oz. bullion coins the U.S. Mint is still selling through its distributors, the :

  • Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coin is at 80,700
  • Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coin is at 24,500
  • Chickasaw National Recreation Area 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coin is at 10,800

The United States Mint has indicated that it has allocated an initial quantity of 126,700 coins per design.

Related U.S. Mint News

For an analysis on weekly U.S. Mint numismatic coin sales, read US Mint Sales: 2011 Proof Silver Eagles, 9/11 Medals Top Sales.

For what was perhaps the most popular U.S. Mint related news of the week, read US Mint Explains Varieties in 5 Oz Silver Coins.

Finally, for the latest coin released by the U.S. Mint, read 2010-P Mount Hood 5 Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin Available.

London Bullion Prices

London bullion prices were split on Friday and for the week, but surged as a group for the month of July. PM fixing prices included the following daily, weekly and monthly changes:

  • Gold prices gained $15, or 0.9% at $1,628.50 an ounce. Gold added 1.7% for the week and 8.2% in July.
  • Silver lost 56 cents, or 1.4%, at $39.63 an ounce. It declined 0.1% this week but gained 13.2% this month.
  • Palladium stepped back $5, or 0.6%, at $824 an ounce. Palladium gained 2.1% for the week and 8.3% in July.
  • Platinum lost $11, or 0.6%, at $1,779 an ounce. Platinum declined 0.8% this week but gained 3.3% this month.

For a look back on how precious metals performed in New York and London in June and in the second quarter of this year, read the BullionPricesToday.com article Bullion Prices Mixed in Second Quarter 2011.

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