American Eagle Gold coin sales are up a phenomenal 416% in the first two months of 2021 vs. the same two months in 2020, while American Eagle Silver coin sales are up a respectable 77% in the same two months. In addition, the American Buffalo Gold bullion coins were up by a robust 252% so far in 2021.
February was by far a more powerful month for U.S. Mint sales than January, which is traditionally the more popular month for buying newly-dated coins for the new year. This shows a new wave of investment demand beginning in February, unlike February of last year, when demand was very low.
This is true in our business, too. We are getting calls from people we haven't heard from in a long time. We are not calling them.
Silver Mine Production Declined 5% Last Year (and -6% in 2 Years)
The Silver Institute just released its annual report ("World Silver Survey 2020") covering silver supply and demand through 2020. Their statistics on supply revealed a shocking fact that – despite rising demand and rising prices – silver mine production declined 5% last year and 6% over the last two years. Recycling made up for part of the drop in mining production, but overall silver supply was still down 4.4% in 2020 to 978.1 million Troy ounces in 2020, vs. 1,023.1 million ounces in 2019.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, industrial demand was down 7%, but physical investment demand rose 16%, from 186.1 million ounces in 2019 to 215.8 million ounces in 2020. As a result, investment demand grew from 18.2% of total demand in 2019 to 22.1% in 2020. When the global economy picks up in 2021, industrial demand will likely soar, while investment demand could also increase, pushing silver prices up further.
Beware! The New Rush to Buy Silver Has Created Many New Silver Scams
The new 2021 Morgan Silver dollar being issued by the U.S. Mint this summer is increasing collector and investor interest in this popular series. This in turn is being noticed by counterfeiters. As a result, the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation warns of a surge in online fake "silver" coin offers.
The recent panic buying of silver bullion has sparked a significant increase in fraudulent or misleading online advertising to lure unsuspecting retail buyers to purchase counterfeit United States silver dollars, according to officials of the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation.
"The Chinese are blowing up the web selling fake silver dollars. We've seen suspicious ads posted on many platforms, including Amazon and Facebook," cautioned ACEF.
"During the past couple of weeks, we received an increase in reports of counterfeits due to silver's volatility and especially the ongoing interest in the Morgan silver dollars market. The Chinese are heavily marketing fake silver dollars via Facebook," advised ACEF.
Remember, if you don't know precious metals, you'd better know a reputable rare coin and bullion dealer, such as the experts affiliated with the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation. *
"Supplies of genuine, century-old Morgan silver dollars are extremely tight, but one suspicious seller on Facebook is offering to sell 28 'genuine' Morgan dollars for only $199. If they actually were genuine coins, the price would be closer to $900. Even the certification holders housing their fakes appear to be counterfeits," said ACEF.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation is alerting the Secret Service about the fakes as part of the foundation's ongoing assistance to federal, state and local law enforcement as well as prosecutors to fight counterfeiting and the sales of counterfeit coins.
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation is the official authentication service for the foundation and its Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force.
*I am a member of the ACEF – Mike.
Mike Fuljenz taught classes on grading and counterfeit coin detection for over 20 years. He has also assisted the Texas Attorney General with drafting consumer alerts on coins and on counterfeits. He has lectured and conducted training for law enforcement with the Numismatic Crime Information Center. He has been a member of the National Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force, as well as assisting the Federal Trade Commission with their consumer alerts on coins.
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