US Mint runs out of smallest gold coins

Demand for 0.1-ounce American Eagle coins spiked after a downturn in prices, depleting supplies and closing the door on entry-level bullion investors.

By Jason Notte Apr 25, 2013 4:12PM

Front side of an American Eagle gold coin (copyright Jose Luis Pelaez/Photodisc/Getty Images)Hoping to turn that recent volatility in the gold market into some quick cash? Sorry, but the U.S. Mint is done cranking out your get-rich-quick dreams for now.


The Mint has halted sales of its 0.1-ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins after investors took advantage of gold prices that sank to two-year lows earlier this month. It's the first time the Mint has stopped selling gold since November 2009, and the 179,000-ounce run on gold so far this month already rivals the record-high 231,500 ounces the Mint sold in December 2009.


Those fortunate enough to buy on April 15, when gold prices dropped to $1,321 per ounce, saw a nearly 7% return on their investment through Wednesday. Gold miners, however, aren't so keen on gold's volatility, leading Barrick Gold (ABX) to scale back operations as bullion prices fluctuate.


It's been a slow but steady slide for gold prices since they hit a record high of $1,920 per ounce in September 2011, the peak of a multi-year buying blitz spurred by fears related to the 2008 economic crisis and the Federal Reserve's attempts to jumpstart the economy with loose money policies. Unlike that spree, however, the latest bit of volatility has little to do with the recent economic instability in Cyprus that boosted Bitcoin value or even the sluggishly improving U.S. economy.


Bottomed-out gold prices just made 0.1-ounce American Eagle coins an affordable, sub-$150 investment for mom-and-pop investors who want to squirrel it away amid lingering feelings of financial insecurity.


Those investors increased demand for 0.1-ounce coins 118% from the same period last year. They're also the only ones left out of the fun now that 0.1-ounce coin production has ceased. The Mint continues to offer quarter-, half- and full-ounce American Eagle coins at far steeper buy-in prices.


Those are just about the only investors who think gold is a great idea right now. Gold exchange-traded funds -- like SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), down more than 10% on the year -- are being liquidated as retail investors buy up more bullion and saturate the market, while institutional investors back out of precious metals entirely. Maybe doom just isn't as sound of an investment as it used to be.

More on moneyNOW:

Apr 25, 2013 8:44PM
the gold belongs to the federal reserve. And in case you are from the planet mars and just didn't know the Federal Reserve is NOT owned by the Federal government. Example: for brain dead people. My Name fEderal Reserve and your name is USA. You ask me to loan you a trillion bucks, I go into my basement and print up a trillion bucks and loan it to you with interest. Now pay me back sucker. I don't care if you only have a trillion bucks you still owe me the interest too. So since you don't have it give me your gold. The very concept of a central bank printing money from thin air ensures constant debt and bankrupsy. there will always be people left out. The Federal Reserve is the most evil institution the world has ever known. Stalin, Hitler, Mao and even the devil himself ain't got ₩¥€£ on the Federal Reserve.
How is this a shock? I have no doubt if there is any gold left in fort knox it belongs to another country.
Apr 25, 2013 7:41PM


Since ancient times virtually all societies have considered the possession of gold, in any form, to be a tangible sign of wealth and as a hedge against any weakness in their respective currencies or traded commodities. The fluctuations in gold values will continue to ebb and flow in lockstep with the public's perceptions of the strength of any given economy at any given time.


Peace to all ~

Apr 25, 2013 9:11PM
OOOOHHHH I get it, they stopped printing the coin that was worth actual money so they can force feed us more monopoly money when they unveil the new $100 dollar game piece later this month.
Apr 25, 2013 9:30PM
Apr 25, 2013 10:39PM
Gold or paper? You can't eat either,but you can wipe your behind on paper. China is wiping with American dollars.We give them our wealth,and they thumb their noses at us! We even have to borrow from the Commies to keep the presses running.I think you can see why some people buy gold,and some hold dollars for toilet paper in the future.Your choice,and mine is clear.Ammo may be more precious than gold someday.Have you tried to buy .22LR lately?
Apr 25, 2013 9:45PM
they dont run out they are holding back for prices to go up
Apr 25, 2013 6:51PM
Correction: As of April 25, the date of publication of this article, the U.S. Mint had sold 203,500 ounces of gold coins.

It looks like that sales of U.S. Mint coins are on track to challenge the the record-high 231,500 ounces of gold coins sold in a month.
Apr 25, 2013 8:34PM
Gold is a very good long term investment. As I predicted, gold would come back and I bought 5 one ounce American eagles at 1376 an ounce. Reasoning+++++++ gold has a major floor or support between 1250- 1300 which is at the cost it takes to get one ounce of gold out of the ground. If gold dips near or below this floor, miners would stop digging therefore increasing demand again.
Apr 25, 2013 9:16PM
every thing is screwed up in this country, why not the gold market to.
Apr 25, 2013 10:05PM
OMG...Are people really that fkin dense,that they think all our Gold Reserves are in Ft. Knox...?
Apr 25, 2013 8:22PM
The USA has 8 thousand tons and change of gold as of December 2012, followed by germany at 3 thousand tons and change, followed by various other countries at various tonnages down to 321 tons.
Apr 25, 2013 10:02PM
I finally understand why gold is important. I finally got it the light came on.
The funny part is it has nothing to do with value like money.
Apr 25, 2013 8:03PM

It's really shocking and shameful that MSN would allow this drivel to go out under their name.


PLEASE  MSN, if you're going to let dollar-per-word hacks play like they actually know what they are writing about, at least have someone like Mirhaydari critique their 'gold' copy before they embarrass both themselves and you with schlock like this.

Apr 25, 2013 9:05PM
So if precious metals were actually in a "bubble" as the lower intelligence class likes to toss out now and then, they would be the only asset class in the entire history of markets in which hardly anyone actually participated.   As an asset class precious metals comprise less than 1% of total global holdings.   Some mania.
Apr 25, 2013 8:09PM

The filthy politicians and democraps want us all to suffer so they can change America.

By eliminating gold or taking it back by force gives them even more control.  Sad!

Apr 25, 2013 8:36PM

Gold is still over priced anyways....its not as rare as it needs to be to worth what people trade for it...and its only up when people back out of the american dollar. Now that the dollar has risen in value ...people stop investing as much in gold thus it drops...but yeah people will buy up the gold....hoping it rises again. :) but doubt it will.


Apr 25, 2013 8:43PM
the second largest gold stockpile is $50 billion,  the us's stockpile is in excess of $250 billion.
Apr 26, 2013 1:58AM
No problem, silver's a much better deal!
Apr 26, 2013 1:53AM
Fine art is more fun. 

Rare books, unique objects (even decoratively designed firearms), paintings, sculpture, musical instruments, etc. can be enjoyed for what they are and appreciate as much or more than any metal.

A first edition of Moby Dick  or Huckleberry Finn or The Great Gatsby or The Grapes of Wrath will always be world-historically interesting as rarities as well as profound reads.

A gold coin, not so much.

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