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What’s your theory for Eagle sales drop?

Word on the bourse floor while I was in China was that Panda bullion coin sales were down.

The drop in sales is on par with what has been happening with American Eagles in the United States.

In the United States, silver Eagle numbers just get grimmer and grimmer with less time to catch up.

Sales are usually cut off fairly early in December.

So far in November, the Mint has vended 265,000 silver Eagles.

This puts the month in competition to have the lowest result of 2017.

September currently holds that title with sales of 320,000.

Can the Mint find buyers for another 55,000 Eagles before Dec. 1 rolls around?

You would think so.

However, a narrow escape from being the worst sales month of the year is putting very little lipstick on this pig.

November is not a seasonally slow sales month.

Last year, the Mint sold over 3 million silver Eagles.

In 2015, it sold very nearly 5 million.

Going from 5 million to 3 million to 265,000 is quite a toboggan slide lower.

The mystery remains, why this year?

Bullion prices have not been weak.

Pet theories about the election of President Trump and the resulting increase in economic confidence seem plausible.

But how does this apply to China?

One interesting observation made in China is that many gold and silver coin buyers are elderly.

They have dramatically slowed their purchases.

There is no explanation there, either, as to why.

I don’t think they are thinking about American President Trump.

Looking at this from the U.S. Mint’s perspective, they see calendar year 2017 sales down by roughly 20 million pieces. That is huge.

Private firms hold sales when faced with bad results.

The Mint cannot do this with bullion. It just has to lump it.

If you are one of those who have cut back your silver Eagle purchases this year, would you tell me why?

Send me an email at david.harper@fwmedia.com, or post a comment below.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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New writing style on latest paper money

“Make your mark here” is what illiterates were told when they had to sign an agreement in the olden days.

How many old TV shows or movies about the Old West had such a scene where a plucky prospector had to sign for his claim?

Our Treasury secretary, Steven T. Mnuchin, has made his mark on the new Series 2017 Federal Reserve Notes that have gone on the presses at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

While it is not an “X” like the old prospector might have made, it is not a signature, either.

Mnuchin printed his name rather than use cursive.

This is the first time in history a nonsignature like this has appeared on the paper money of the United States.

It probably won’t be the last.

Will that make these notes the first of a new collectible set?

More and more school districts have abandoned the teaching of handwriting.

Certainly Mnuchin has had an enormously successful career.

If that is the way he signs his name, he clearly has not suffered for it.

I suppose when ballpoint pens came into use after World War II, some lamented the loss of the fountain pen.

However, what will future generations think of Mnuchin’s printed name alongside the powerful signature of John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence?

Will future generations even be able to read a signature? They might not be able to.

However, there will be collectors in future generations to answer the questions I pose this morning.

Treasurer of the United States Jovita Carranza signed her name on the $ 1 bills with a traditional signature.

Both the treasurer and the Treasury secretary were at the BEP in Washington, D.C., yesterday for the ceremonial inspection of the new notes.

One online British story in the Daily Mail I saw focused more on Mnuchin’s wife, but then she is a Scottish actress.

But it also pointed out the state of Mnuchin’s “signature” as well, saying it was more readable than Jack Lew’s, which nobody can deny.

Be sure to look at all the photos.

Carranza made it into just one. Such is the less glamorous job of U.S. Treasurer.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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