Canadian Mint limits sales of silver Maple Leafs, U.S. Mint suspends sales

It seems investors are getting their hands on a lot of silver, which surpassed the $30 mark last week. The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) is limiting sales of 2013 Silver Maple Leaf (SML) bullion coins, while the United States Mint has suspended sales until inventories return to normal levels.

Royal Canadian Mint

Alex Reeves, RCM Senior Manager of Communications, issued a statement last week that noted a strong demand for Silver Maple Leafs (SMLs) was the primary reason for the Mint’s rationing. The purpose of the limitations was to ensure that its distributors are served. It will still continue to take orders, however.

Collectors and investors in SML are looking forward to the first quarter sales numbers for 2013 to see why the Mint had to impose rationing measures on its coins. The sales could be quite high as its quarterly and annual statement suggested an increase in sales in each quarter last year (fourth quarter sales have not yet been released):

–          Q1 (2012): 3.9 million

–          Q2 (2012): 4.0 million

–          Q3 (2012): 4.8 million

Although 2012 did not match the 2011 record of 23.1 million sales of SMLs, the sales figures still remain strong.

“Coming off strong sales volumes in December 2012, demand to date remains very strong for our Silver Maple Leaf and Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins. Specific (sales) numbers will be made available at our regular reporting intervals,” stated Reeves.

United States Mint

“Authorized Purchasers, The United States Mint has temporarily sold out of 2013 American Eagle Silver Bullion coins. As a result, sales are suspended until we can build up an inventory of these coins. Sales will resume on or about the week of January 28, 2013, via the allocation process,” wrote Jack A. Szczerban, Branch Chief of Precious Metals Group, in an email to customers.

In less than two weeks, U.S. Mint authorized dealers ordered more than six million 2013 American Eagle Silver bullion coins, which exhausted its inventories. This has led the Mint to institute a sales suspension until its inventories rebuild. The target date should be on or of the week of Jan. 28, 2013.

The 2013 American Eagle coins were launched on Jan. 7, 2013 and opening sales were recorded to be 3.93 million in one day. If it wasn’t for the sales limitations, Jan. 2013 was on track to break the all-time monthly record of 6.422 million set in Jan. 2011. However, this month still ranks the third-highest for a month.

At the time of this writing, silver is down $0.22 to $30.98.

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