Sales of the American Eagle one-ounce silver bullion coins hit an annual record on Tuesday, according to the United States Mint.
Authorized purchasers of the coins ordered their full weekly allocation of 500,000 coins, bringing the total sales to date this year to a record 40.175 million ounces, the Mint said.
That sales figure topped the previous annual record of 39.869 million ounces seen in 2011.
“Retail demand for physical silver, in the form of AE coins, remains strong as a result of lower but now stable silver prices,” said Jeffrey Wright, managing director at H.C. Wainwright LLC.
Prices settled Tuesday at their lowest level since early August. December silver closed at $20.78 an ounce, down 50 cents, or 2.4%. Futures prices for silver SIZ3 -1.24% have lost more than 30% year to date.
“For the most part, record coin sales demonstrate strength on the retail side rather than institutions, who would rather not take physical delivery” but gain exposure to precious metals with exchange-traded funds, said Wright.