US Mint Halts Sales, Depletes Inventory Of One-Tenth Ounce Gold Coins

Tyler Durden's picture

We have been reporting extensively on the terminal disconnect between the paper gold market, which tumbled ten days ago for a variety of reasons, and the physical gold market which one can safely say, has seen a record surge in demand by those who wish to take advantage of the tumbling prices, depleting inventories of gold and silver in virtually all jurisdictions, and leading to the a record purchase of gold in the US mint a week ago as also reported here.

Today, we learn that, as expected, none other than the US Mint has officially run out of small denomination gold coins, in this case One-Tenth ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins. We are confident this incontrovertible proof of soaring retail demand for physical will somehow result in JPM or another bullion bank dumping a few extra thousands ounces of paper/electronic gold or silver to further disconnect the paper price from what is actually going on with physical demand. As for the US Mint, first it's fractions of an ounce: look forward to the mint running out of all bullion denominations in the coming days and week, first in gold, then in silver as well.

From Reuters:

The U.S. Mint said it has suspended sales of its one-tenth ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins as surging demand after bullion's plunge to two-year lows depleted the government's inventory.


This marks the first time it has stopped selling gold product since November 2009, dealers said. A spokesman for the Mint did not return calls seeking confirmation of that milestone.


The U.S. Mint, one of the world's leading gold and silver coin producers, halts coin sales from time to time as it runs out of coin blanks to meet increases in demand.


So far in April, the U.S. Mint has sold 175,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins, putting it on track to challenge a high of 231,500 ounces set in December 2009.

* * *

While the one-ounce American Eagle gold coins remain the most popular size, year-to-date demand for the one-tenth ounce coins has been up over 118 percent compared to the same period in 2012, the Mint said.

We, for one, can only hope that the idiotic smashdown of spot paper gold continue and the price is sent to $0 or negative, while the last remaining physical ounce in inventory disappears at any price.

At that point the exchanges will have quite a few anxious people to answer to, the second someone demands even one bar in delivery.

Also, learn the words: "forced cash settlement."

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fightthepower's picture

Fuck you Bernanke!

Temporis's picture


Next stop, Hyperinflation express!

Temporis's picture

Kitco has silver eagles $6 over spot and maples $7 over spot...

APMEX is out of damn near everything except collectable silver.

Pinto Currency's picture


When selling 30+ tonnes per day between London and Shanghai, this is a non-event.

The retail market is a small factor in the gold market.

Pladizow's picture

JPM PLEASE crash gold again, PLEASE!

boogerbently's picture

Kitco website "unavailable."

"Currently down for maintenance".

BEFORE the close of market ????

whotookmyalias's picture

My local shop isn't taking orders for silver anymore becasue they can't get it. Walked away with a few silver maple leaves and felt fortunate. 

Pinto Currency's picture


There will be retail coin and small bar shortages.

There are 50x that volume moving on the major physical exchanges.

1/10 oz. gold coin being out of production is not a market mover.

Gringo Viejo's picture

@ pinto

Heard ya the first time. But, if you're getting paid per post, it's perfectly understandable. Carry on.

Pinto Currency's picture


Not paid per post.  Sometimes a bit more information helps.

What do you know about gold?  If you know something about this topic, post some helpful information to move the discussion forward.

fonzannoon's picture

Speaking of a bit more information helps see Kito's post below

whotookmyalias's picture

Gold is shiny and yellowish.  Also when I buy gold, I get a physical piece of metal that I can keep, bury, or be really careful with when out kayaking in the ocean.  When massive amounts of gold are changing hands, who knows what really happens. They might have bars of gold being moved around, they might not, they might be just trading paper and the "hope" of gold.  My gold was real until I dropped it in La Jolla cove on Sunday.  Darn kayaks and their tendency to tip.

Oh, I also paid a lot less than $6 over spot for the silver maple leaves.

DosZap's picture

must read ---->

If Clive is correct, there will not be any PM's available for sale at any price in the markets.

Folks will snatch it up like crazy.( that's when the Parabolic move will happen.)

Back to $1k, or below?, back up the trucks. What Clive has not entered into his  charts and theories is WHERE are we now comared to '08,1000x's worse off.

The Fed will have to go hyperdrive on QE to even have a snowballs chance to stop the rates.

QE to EndFinity just like Sinclair said.

dogbreath's picture

Yes.  Availability and price are two different things.   Clive has the unfourtunate habit of being right and an awfully good technician.



James_Cole's picture

Clive's analysis is pretty common sense, flies in the face of the claims on here though. 

dogbreath's picture

Him and us aren't really comprable.   He is a technical analyst and we for the most part are stackers.  A few come around and try to shame us because the shamers see things from an investment point of view whereas stackers are preservationists and have more in common with a guy who makes dill pickles from his garden than someone who trades or buys stocks

James_Cole's picture

He's using technical analysis to get to his (extremely bearish) outlook, but a lot of what he's saying seems to boil down to common sense. Most of the advice I get from his post centres around be careful and let the smoke clear before making decisions in the gold market right now. 

Him and us aren't really comprable.  He is a technical analyst and we for the most part are stackers. 

Why sell yourself short? What he's coming up with isn't rocket science. 

AllThatGlitters's picture

He is a technical analyst, but is stating that there won't be any gold or silver for retail to buy.

That doesn't sound like a pure technical assessment of the situation.

I'm wondering myself if Eagles, etc. will disappear for good at some point. 

You can still get 1/10 ounce eagles here:

Once those are gone, maybe then they pull production on the 1/4 ounce coins?

What if Eagles just dry up altogether, never to be available again. It is possible, the law notwithstanding. They'll change that in a heartbeat.

I like Turd's analysis of the situation today.  Those dots he's connecting are pretty clear and perhaps Clive is starting to see past his charts too.

AllThatGlitters's picture

OK, I was wrong, or the 1/10 Ounce gold eagles on that page all got bought up fast!

Watch the 1/4 ounce eagles start to disappear next.

whotookmyalias's picture

I don't think traditional TA applies to this situation. We don't have just physical and futures, we have ETFs that are being manipulated.  Yes futures are subject to manipulation, but they result in delivery at some point or it all falls apart. No one who owns gld or slv has any reasonable expectation of delivery. It is all just make believe.

Pinto Currency's picture



So, of 1/10 oz coins, there are 30,000 oz. (1 tonne) of production out of 476,000 total gold ounces of Mint production so far in 2013.

The suspension of production after 30,000 oz. of these coins in 2013 doesn't seem to be market moving compared to 1,000,000 oz. of physical gold each trading day and 70,000,000 oz. of physical gold offtake during the first three months of 2013 from the LBMA and Shanghai exchanges (alone). 

zhandax's picture

TA still (somewhat) applies, but this is akin to looking at an AAPL chart to predict the next move in Foxconn.  He is charting paper gold futures.  You know, the kind where if they can't deliver any gold they just give you cash and tell you to fuck off.  Where most of our interest lies in the the physical metal market.  They can run the paper price down to $1000 every Tuesday, it doesn't mean any metal is for sale there.  That is what the mint data screams.  There was similar decoupling between paper and metal during the gold dump in 2008, and it signaled the approaching breakdown in trust in paper markets.  I wouldn't be surprised if this is what is being signaled in 2013.

AllThatGlitters's picture

I don't know, seems he has gone beyond TA.

James_Cole's picture

The basic points from my read were:

Many are now protesting “How could gold collapse when its fundamentals are so strong?, overlooking the fact that that is precisely when bearmarkets start, because all of the good news is known to the market and priced in.

There is no serious support until it gets down to the $1000 area, which is where it looks like it is headed.

While going on price alone it looks like this line could hold and generate a reversal to the upside, the massive down day last Monday and enormous volume on the plunge strongly suggests that this trendline will fail and that gold will drop steeply to the $1000 support level at least.

If gold did enter a bearmarket now, which is what the action last week appears to be signaling, it would of course have profound implications for just about everything. It may be the harbinger of an impending liquidity crunch and skyrocketing interest rates that would bring the world economy to a dead stop.

AllThatGlitters's picture

The thing is, I don't think that collapse is a harbinger of anything other than what those who engineered the bogus paper market collapse intended.

We just can't provide a traditional TA read on this. Nor do I believe that this can be interpreted with a traditioanl fundamental outlook, because that collapse was not the product of a functioning market, with multiple, rational market participants.  

It was a planned collapse by a few, for whatever purpose they may have had. Further, the response to that collapse may very well have been the opposite of what was intended.

cynicalskeptic's picture

When they're painting the charts - quite deliberately when you look at charts, you can't depend on tech analysis.  You've had deliberate efforts paint charts on critical numbers over the past few years - they've gotten good at it.  Charts seem to be DELIBERATELY painted to force the behavior that 'they' want from the masses in the market.  It's manipulation on a huge scale - far beyond the old schemes you used to see in markets.  

Bay of Pigs's picture

Bullshit. Maund has been wrong on many occassions, like the big move to $1900.  

oddjob's picture

with Gold @ $900, Clive goes on to say....

"traders can position themselves to profit from further heavy losses in the metals"

James_Cole's picture

with Gold @ $900, Clive goes on to say....

"traders can position themselves to profit from further heavy losses in the metals"

Link is March 31st 2008, don't get what your issue with that article is? He's mostly proved correct.

Market was on general downtrend until FOMC in the fall. 

oddjob's picture

Other than advising people to go short on an invesment that more than doubled, I dont see a problem either.

oddjob's picture

As like Gartman, Maund called a top too many times, but his analysis is worth what people pay for it.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

must read so you know who has no clue whatsoever how to read the gold markets, charts or fundamentals. That’s a source I will avoid in the future. I know Clive Maund has a big name in metals. I don’t give a flying fuck. What I just read was utter trash, lacking any proper explanation, filled with baseless assertions of support and resistance. Even to the bullish side upward on up-trends many are fools calling support & resistance where there is none – I dismiss them too.


What matters is the volume of delivery and the volume of failed delivery. What matters is the cost of gold / silver vs wages and the real (negative) interest rates combined with printing money. What matters is how price plunges of this effect do NOT happen absent massive short-selling by JUST ONE or a couple of agents ALL at once of ounces that flat out do not exist. That’s what matters.

McMolotov's picture

I admit I know nothing about the PM markets, but it seems obvious to me that the people who buy 1/10th oz. gold coins are likely the very same people who simply can't afford to spend thousands of dollars at one time for a few ounces. So if there are supply shortages at the "low end," it could be indicative of the little guy beginning to feel uneasy about holding wads of paper in his wallet or the bank. If an even greater shortage starts to occur in silver, the "poor man's gold," that would seem to be confirmation of that theory.

Again, it's all just speculation on my part, but if there actually is a trend among Average Joes to start buying small amounts of precious metals, it's nothing to shrug off as insignificant. The complete opposite, in fact.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

In many cases that would be true.

But, I buy 1/10ths as well as one oz AGEs...

Pinto Currency's picture


Sounds good.

Here are the production figures.

1/10 oz coins are 30,000 oz. out of 476,000 total gold ounces of Mint production in 2013.

Multiply that number of oz. by 10x and you can see how much machine time they would occupy.  If overall demand is increasing, it would make sense to stop 1/10 oz. production to give more capacity at the high end.  Again, I don't think it is market moving.


macholatte's picture


you can see how much machine time they would occupy.  If overall demand is increasing, it would make sense to stop 1/10 oz. production to give more capacity at the high end.


That would be the logical choice for a business. As I understand it, the US Mint is government. That means there might be a completely different "reason" why production was halted. How about these:

- having the room where the tenths are minted painted, so production had to stop.

- somebody forgot to order the blanks, so production had to stop.

- a birthday party was scheduled for that room, so production had to stop.

- the employees went to political indoctrination at a 5 star hotel in the Catskills, so production had to stop.


You can't make this shit up.

Citxmech's picture

I think it's important to note that the premiums for smaller sized bullion gets progressively higher - so unless a buyer is really focusing on resale in single small denominations, 1/10th/ozs is probably the worst way to buy Au.

knukles's picture

So carrying on that same Dr. Paul (I used to be an advisor to Enron) Krugman's logic, if I stood for delivery of a 440,000,000 oz bar they might even pay me?

Come on ya little dwarf, where's your sense of humor?  Oh and PS, Paul, I figure that the reason for hiring handicapped such as yourself is they're fun to watch? 

Bagbalm's picture

Some buyers favor small coins anticipating when they will use them. If you are bartering with a farmer for corn, an ounce coin is way too much value in hand. People may end up cutting them - like 'pieces of eight'. And if you are say - trying to bribe a border guard - once he sees the ounce coin he is going to want the whole thing. See how that works?

Abi Normal's picture

Have to agree, bartertown you will not want big chunks to carry around...junk gold in a way!

Citxmech's picture

I completely understand the above and tend to agree mostly.  However, even at 1/10 oz sizes, it's still going to be too big for daily expenses (especially if fiat is at the "wheelbarrow" stage).

IMHO Au is for storing/transporting wealth - and maybe making heritage purchases like buying land.  Ag is for the smaller stuff.

Regarding the availability of kg bars, etc.  If I had the ability to mint bullion and physical product was tight - I'd be trying to sell in as small a denomination as possible to maximize the premium.  1/10 oz would be the last thing I'd stop selling.

Ranger4564's picture

Maybe the true motive is to prevent the poor from having access to real wealth.  If I was Soros and wanted 5 Tons of Gold, I bet it could be dug up. But for the rest of us, there's none left.

By the way, while I'm here, I have a few theories. Pure speculation but with some thought behind them.

1. Shortage: Barrick / Chile conflict could be a sham to reduce production.

2. Shortage: Kennecott mine Collapse recently may have been on purpose to halt production.

3. Stortage: Newmont mining has its own issues in Peru.

4. Shortage: The lack of product at retail outlets like Apmex may be due to a plot to limit how much gold / silver we can actually buy.

5. Disincentive: The limitations on gold / silver availability may drive prices higher, but if the fraudsters keep kicking it back down with paper gold, then maybe that entices more people to stick with the $ and put the money elsewhere.

6. Shortage: I sense what could be a concerted effort to restrict the availability of gold / silver at all levels... just read / heard some interviews at King World News with Jim Sinclair and Andrew McGuire. JS says Swiss Bank refused to distribute gold from an allocated account. AM says AMRO was the first, LBMA is defaulting and the smackdown in the paper market was to cover the cash cost for the buyout that is being forced on those trying to withdraw.


Road Hazard's picture

I vote # 6 as the truth behind the PM smackdown.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

no, I already spend more than this on a regular basis for needed things. Combine tools & food, soil & lumber and you’re good to go. Lawnmower? Good to go. Snowblower? Good to go. Tools for auto-mechanics ? Good to go. 1/10th x a few is fine, larger amounts for larger items IF that person’s willing to take them. Again as another commenter noted, being spotted with the giant-value sized coins means raising LOTS of suspicion about how much more you got. OF that size (1 oz +)

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Or barter. That’s my reason for having both silver ounces and 1/10th gold.

If you believe that barter will be needed because dollars will be money then 1/10th gold and silver 1 oz is the BEST choice along with junk silver, not giant bars of gold you can’t trade to anyone because everyone else is broke. For the same reason I wouldn’t carry ONLY $100 bills and when they were used, $1000 bills. Seen plenty of those but should I stack them? NO. Are they still legal currency? Yes BUT… in a trade-for-need situation that will do me NO good at all.

TwoShortPlanks's picture

@ McM

Or they believe they'll need to use them as money some day soon (small denominations).