SOURCE: Gold Shark

Gold Price

February 08, 2011 15:00 ET

Rise in Silver Price, Coin Premiums Not Stopping Investors as 71.8% Seek Silver Over Gold, States Gold Shark

MINSTER, OH--(Marketwire - February 8, 2011) -

  • Nearly 3/4 of bullion customers searching for silver, says
  • 1/3 of silver shoppers search for American Eagles 
  • United States Mint ships 838,000 American Silver Eagle coins the first week of February

The United States Mint shipped 838,000 American Silver Eagle coins the first week of February, putting it on track for a 50% increase over last year's February totals. This production continues the surge from January's record-shattering sales of 6.44 Million coins.

"Demand continues to rise for physical gold and silver bullion," said Trent Henkaline, CEO of, a price comparison website for gold and silver bullion dealers. "Over 70% of searches on our website are for silver bullion, and of those searches, 30% are people shopping for American Silver Eagles."

In September, the U.S. Mint quietly raised its coin premiums to authorized dealers on its signature coin -- the American Silver Eagle -- from $1.50 per troy ounce to $2.00. The 33% increase in premium was the largest in the coin's 25-year history, and many analysts speculated that the move would help curb demand.

If sales numbers are any indication, the increase has resulted in the opposite effect. January's sales eclipsed the previous monthly record set in November of 2010 by over 2 million coins.

"We've noticed a stark increase in the number of searches for privately minted silver products," notes Henkaline. "In fact, half of our customers are seeking out private mints now for the lower premiums."

Silver surpassed 30-year highs to over $30 per troy ounce late last year. Prices for the white metal grew an astonishing 78% in 2010, compared to 27% for gold, its more widely publicized counterpart.

At the present rate, the U.S. Mint may outstrip domestic supply for the first time ever in 2011. According to the Silver Institute, U.S. mining companies produced 39.8 million ounces of silver in 2009 (most recent figures), for an average of 3.32 million ounces per month.

As of today, all U.S. Mint authorized dealers are on allocation.

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