2020 was undoubtedly a year of economic uncertainty, and as investors globally turned to traditional safe havens in gold and silver, demand reportedly reached unprecedented levels for many of the world’s largest mints.
As the official mint of America, this pattern has also been repeated at the U.S. Mint, which saw demand for its popular Eagle coins soar to levels not seen in four years.
Silver Eagle sales as of December 9th, 2020 had doubled the numbers for 2019; with just over 30 million silver Eagle coins sold in 2020 vs 14,863,500 in 2019. With the silver price doubling in 2020 these figures would track. Many investors turned to silver as an alternative when gold hit new all-time highs in August.
The increase in demand has proved a challenge however, with production affected at the U.S. Mint throughout the year as Covid-19 hit America especially hard, and for a time saw the U.S. Mint charging higher premiums due to supply shortages.
Gold Eagles saw sales increase by an impressive 455%, far outperforming the silver variation. Having sold 152,000 ounce in 2019, gold Eagle sales clocked in at 884,000 ounce for last year. This brought sales up to levels last seen in 2016.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, March proved to be the busiest month for the Mint, when Covid-19 began to spread to the EU and US, prompting lockdowns in many countries, and beginning one of the most severe recessions in modern history. Following this, August was a close second, and coincided with gold hitting the new all-time high price of $2,075.76 per ounce.
Other notable products were the Platinum Eagle and the Buffalo series. The Buffalo $50 gold coin in particular saw its sales numbers jump from just 61,500 in 2019 to an impressive 237,000 ounces. Combing with the gold Eagle these two coins alone accounted for over one million ounces of gold coins sold by the Mint in 2020.
With gold and silver expected to make further gains this year the U.S. Mint will likely be hoping for another strong year of sales, and to limit any further impact from the pandemic on its supply chain despite growing numbers of cases across America.