US Mint AGAIN Suspends Gold Coin Sales - Is USA Really Out of Gold?

Monday, July 13, 2009

I may have missed one or the other suspension of gold coin sales by the US Mint. But here we go again: Checking the online store of the US Mint I came across notices of delays and suspensions with golden Eagles and Buffaloes with waiting times between weeks and further notice.
The US Mint press room has entirely omitted this confirmation about the tightness of the bullion market which enjoys upward momentum thanks to the thousands of big problems the world faces.
Checking on 24kt Buffalo gold coins the Mint saddened me with this statement:
Production of United States Mint 2009 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coins has been delayed because of the limited availability of 24-karat gold blanks. The 2009 American Buffalo One-ounce Gold Proof Coin is scheduled to go on sale in the second half of the 2009 calendar year after an acceptable inventory of 24-karat gold blanks can be acquired. The release date, once established, will be posted to the 2009 Scheduled Products Listing.
As a result of the numismatic product portfolio analysis conducted last fall, beginning in 2009, American Buffalo Gold Proof fractional coins and the four-coin set are no longer available. Additionally, the United States Mint will no longer offer American Buffalo Gold Uncirculated Coins.
The most economical way to buy gold coins, US gold eagles is blocked as well:
Production of United States Mint American Eagle Gold Proof and Uncirculated Coins has been temporarily suspended because of unprecedented demand for American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins. Currently, all available 22-karat gold blanks are being allocated to the American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin Program, as the United States Mint is required by Public Law 99-185 to produce these coins “in quantities sufficient to meet public demand . . . .
The United States Mint will resume the American Eagle Gold Proof and Uncirculated Coin Programs once sufficient inventories of gold bullion blanks can be acquired to meet market demand for all three American Eagle Gold Coin products. Additionally, as a result of the recent numismatic product portfolio analysis, fractional sizes of American Eagle Gold Uncirculated Coins will no longer be produced.
Not being able to suppress a smile I am left with a few questions:
  • If gold is soooo cheap why can't the US Mint risk buying those ounces on the free market?
  • Wasn't it the IMF who said it's gonna go and sell some of its yellow bars? Hey, this could become innovative: See the first ever gold deal done by dark pools in order to keep the public in the dark for some time longer.
  • If nobody wants gold and sees it as relic of history (like the history of price stability), what keeps the Mint from entering what it sees a buyers market?
  • Is this maybe blatant price manipulation because we don't know about the size of the Mint's backlog and order book?
Check ebay prices here to see what gold savers are willing to pay. I cannot see any lessening demand for the physical. Is the Mint maybe waiting for Goldman Sachs' summer attack on gold bullion prices, using as much short futures contracts as can be stored in their computers?
They may run in a problem with this strategy, though. Investors worldwide have long begun to snap every gold bar they can get their hand on. As always ahead of hyper inflation people will scratch everything together to get just that other ounce of security.


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