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Gold rout spurs buying spree of US Mint coins

Gold rout spurs buying spree of US Mint coinsNEW YORK: The gold rout this week has spurred a buying spree of bullion coins in the United States, dealers said, as government data showed sales for this month have hit their highest in more than two years.

With more than a week still to go until the end of the month, sales of US Mint American Eagle gold coins have vaulted above 110,000 ounces so far this month, the highest monthly tally since April 2013, when the historic selloff in bullion unleashed a surge in pent-up demand, ending a decade-long run-up in prices. The total is also well above the 76,000 ounces sold in June and more than five times the 21,500 ounces sold in May, government data showed.

Monday’s dramatic 4-percent drop to five-year lows around $ 1,080 per ounce kindled memories of the spring of 2013 when shoppers around the world rushed to buy coins and jewelry at what they considered bargain prices.

The voracious buying helped bullion recover from its lows. This time though, interest has been fractured.

In India, one of the world’s biggest consumers, investors have not scrambled to scoop up physical gold this week. For some US collectors and retail investors, though, the price plunge, which saw prices drop nearly $ 50 in just a minute early this week, was a trigger to buy. David Cooper, president of Upstate Coins in Fayetteville, New York, is the busiest he has been selling bars and coins since the spring of 2013. “Private investors had a price point. Five-year lows, that’s a good entry point,” he said.

His gold sales have been on the rise since June, but he saw a notable jump this week. “We’re seeing back-orders on both gold and silver products, delays for our customers,” he said. “Gold bars from private refineries can’t keep up with production demand.” Jon Edelman, owner of Edelman’s Coins in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, said he had an influx of customers on Tuesday.

“I saw somebody in yesterday who I hadn’t seen in years,” Edelman said. “He came in and bought some on the dip.”

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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