Sales of silver coins by the U.S. Mint are on track for their best year since statistics began being kept, according to data on the mint’s website. Bloomberg reported in June that sales had already reached $24.03 million ounces. The mint set a one month record with sales of 7.5 ounces in January. Sales had to be suspended that month for over a week. Acting director Richard Petersen said that demand for gold and silver coins remains at an “unprecedented level.”
The brisk sales reflect both bargain prices and investor confidence in paper currencies. Silver has led the way in spot price declines over the past year. Silver futures are down 28 percent in 2013. Gold also remains well off its one year highs with spot prices in the 1300s, down from $1,790.30 in September 2012.
Gold and silver prices plummeted Monday as concerns resurfaced about Europe’s ability to resolve its financial problems. Two ratings agencies criticized a new pact that would establish more fiscal discipline in countries that use the euro.
Fitch Ratings said that the deal made little difference and predicted the region would face “a significant economic downturn” as it tries to bring the crisis under control over the next year or so. Moody’s Investors Service said it will review the credit ratings of every European Union nation in the first quarter of next year.
The comments helped trigger a broad sell-off in commodities as investors shifted money into the dollar and bonds. Gold fell 2.8 percent, silver fell 3.9 percent and copper dropped 2.6 percent. Oil, gasoline and some agricultural contracts also fell…
via Gold, silver plunge as concerns resurface about Europe’s ability to resolve financial crisis – The Washington Post.