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American Eagle Shortage Ending?
May 22, 2009

Gold buyers for most of the past year have interpreted the shortage of American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins as an indication that the prices of precious metals should rise, even when the exchanges, which trade "paper gold," were declining.

Now there are indications that the American Eagle shortage is ending.

In the prior two weeks, the 14 purchasers authorized to buy the American Eagle coins from the U.S. Mint have not taken the maximum number of coins that are available, leaving the Mint with an extra 39,000 one-ounce gold American Eagles and 185,000 extra silver American Eagles.

These numbers are not large, but the trend is confirmed by Coin Market editor Harry Miller. He reported in his weekly column on the Coin Market at a Glance pages in Numismatic News yesterday that premiums on these coins have returned to the normal levels that prevailed before the shortages began. Indiana dealer Julian Jarvis three weeks ago was the first to point in this direction in an interview for Coin Chat Radio and Numismatic News.

If this is indeed the end of the shortage, will gold buyers interpret this as an indication that gold bullion prices should stay where they are or fall?

I think you know the answer to that question.

Interestingly, "paper gold" has been rising in price in recent days, now over $950 a troy ounce.

Perhaps gold buyers will find in this market a new best friend and market indicator.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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