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U.S. Mint suspends gold coin sales

Thursday, August 21, 2008, 1:02 PM

The Eagle Has Been Grounded

The U.S. Mint has stopped selling American eagle
gold-bullion coins. "Due to the unprecedented demand...our inventories
have been depleted," the Mint -- part of the U.S. Treasury Department
-- told its dealers Friday. "We are therefore temporarily suspending
all sales of these coins."

The move shocked sellers and
collectors of the coins, which are the most widely traded in the U.S.
Suppliers became angry as they turned away customers. Theories about
the decision's underlying cause ran rampant -- from investors in gold
futures to Russia's invasion of Georgia. The American Precious Metals
Exchange, an online gold dealer, posted an alert about the Mint's move,
generating confused and angry responses. Many customers said they were
mystified because the silver-coin rationing followed a price surge,
while the gold suspension followed a drop.

"The situation is strange and doesn't fit the 'normal' supply & demand economic model," the firm wrote to customers.

Well, isn’t this strange.

As gold took its
tumble in the paper markets, demand for physical gold climbed sharply
by those seeking to take advantage of the lower prices. In response to
that demand, the U.S. Mint suspended sales. What an odd thing for a
manufacturer to do.

If this is what passes
for government efficiency and logic, we need to wish the FDIC good luck
in their new roles as mortgage servicer and landlord to tens of
thousands of properties.

Seriously, though, if
you have not gotten your physical gold and silver stashed away, you
will find a day when it is simply not possible to do so. Sure, there
will be spot prices quoted that seem affordable, but you will not be
able to buy any. That is where we are headed.

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