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.
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.
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 ~
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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