Congressman Criticizes U.S. Mint’s Handling of Silver American Eagle Program, Demands Answers
Treasury secretary in apparent breach of requirement to mint silver eagles in quantities ‘sufficient to meet public demand’
WASHINGTON, DC/ACCESSWIRE/August 26, 2022/ Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) calls out U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and U.S. Mint Director Ventris Gibson for the “long-running production slowdown” in the Silver American Eagle bullion coin program that has caused “significantly higher market prices and shortages”. for this iconic silver coin compared to its peers worldwide.”
Many Americans have sought to hedge against high rates of inflation by acquiring durable assets, including gold and silver. Overall market demand for bullion coins, bars and rounds has reached higher levels than seen in recent years, if ever.
Most forms of gold and silver bullion do not carry much mark-up (also called a “premium”) over the actual market value of the metal itself, thus allowing investors to acquire more precious metal for every dollar they invest.
However, that has not been the case with the Silver American Eagle since 2020, making it known in some circles as “the most overrated silver coin in the world”.
In a letter dated Aug. 25, Mooney cited 31 U.S. Code § 5112(e) which states, “The [Treasury] The Secretary shall mint and issue, in such qualities and quantities as he determines sufficient to meet public demand, coins which – (1) measure 40.6 millimeters in diameter and weigh 31.103 grams; (2) contain .999 fine silver; (3) have a design- (A) symbolic of freedom on the obverse side; and (B) an eagle on the reverse.”
But, as Mooney pointed out, the U.S. Mint has only made 11.6 million ounces of silver bullion coins available to the public through July 2022 — barely half of what has been supplied in the first seven months of previous years, when demand was equally strong. .
“This shortage of U.S. Mint production apparently led to extremely high premiums on Silver Eagles (up to 70% above the value of the silver melt) – even though comparable items produced by d ‘Other sovereign and private currencies were not plagued by such shortages or historically high premiums,’ Mooney wrote.
“The high costs resulting from the US Mint’s production shortage directly harm American citizens who wish to avail themselves of a means that is legal tender in the United States to protect their financial security from the effects of inflation.”
Representative Mooney asks Yellen and Gibson to answer the following questions:
1. Does the Secretary believe that the Silver American Eagle coin is produced in “qualities and quantities which…are sufficient to meet public demand”?
2. Why is only one vendor currently authorized (or willing to) supply the United States Mint with silver blanks for its Silver Eagle program?
3. Given its legal mandate to amply supply these coins to the public, why does it not have the policy of the United States Mint to stockpile silver blanks during periods of slower demand in order to create a buffer for periods of higher demand?
4. Has the United States Mint examined the practices of other Sovereign Mints – such as the British Royal Mint, Australian Mint in Perth, Austrian Mint or Royal Canadian Mint – to learn from their relative success to meet the strong public demand for their own silver coins? If so, what were the resulting conclusions or recommendations?
5. What actions are currently being taken to resolve the Mint’s production issues (which would extend beyond the Silver American Eagle coin program) and when will the U.S. Mint be able to fulfill its mandate again? to meet public demand?
“We are grateful that Rep. Mooney is seeking accountability for the chronic mismanagement plaguing the operations of the U.S. Mint – and the resulting costs and frustrations for new silver investors as well as the metals industry. overall,” said Stefan Gleason, president of the Sound Money Defense League as well as Money Metals Exchange, a major U.S.-based precious metals trader, named “Best Overall” by Investopedia.
A copy of Rep. Mooney’s letter can be accessed here.
About Money Metals Exchange
Money Metals Exchange is a national precious metals investment and information service with over 600,000 readers and 500,000 customers. It also operates Money Metals Depository for storage of gold and silver and Money Metals Capital Group, a collateral lending institution.
About Sound Money Defense League
The Sound Money Defense League, a national, nonpartisan public policy group working to restore sound money at the state and federal levels and publisher of the Sound Money Index.
THE SOURCE: Metals and Silver Exchange
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