According to today's data from the US Mint, a record 63,500 ounces, or a whopping 2 tons, of gold were reported sold on April 17th alone, bringing the total sales for the month to a whopping 147,000 ounces or more than the previous two months combined with just half of the month gone.
Punchline number one, is that the more the price of gold fell, the more aggressive the purchases of physical gold through the Mint became, rising to 96,500 oz in the last two days alone. Buying more of something you want when the price drops: what a stunning concept - explain that to the algos who nearly crashed the German stock market overnight.
Punchline number two, of course, is that the US mint charges a hefty premium for purchases: much more so than traditional vendors like Apmex or Gainesville Coins, and is usually the last resort for when nobody else has any physical at a lower premium to spot (or any metal in inventory).
So how long until the US mint "runs out" of American Eagles and Buffaloes in inventory, along with the depletion of all other precious metal vendors? And what happens if the price of paper gold hits zero (or goes negative) courtesy of bank and financial institution liquidation selling of paper derivative contracts nebulously referencing some yellow metal somewhere, even as suddenly there is no physical to be delivered to anyone, anywhere?
With the financial experts claiming, some gleefully, that gold has "lost its safe haven status" in the aftermath of its biggest tumble in 30 years, many commentators thought (hoped?) that the dramatic price drop would steer people away from gold ownership. To my eyes, the past week has all the earmarks of a high-gloss propaganda campaign complete with well-placed anti-gold stories in the media and the careful use of language aimed at sowing doubt about gold's ability to be a store of wealth.
But for those who consider gold a store of value, the recent gold slam is a gift: an invitation to purchase more sound money with fewer units of paper currency. In other words, a sweet deal. Gold and silver on sale and the world is taking advantage.
I predicted this last Friday, when I wrote, "[k]nowing the lower prices will only exacerbate this West-to-East flow [of gold], I therefore thought that the bullion banks and central banks would not have dared push that dynamic any further."
Well, by all accounts, the flow of gold from West to East is now accelerating.