The premium for U.S. silver coins over spot metal is at the highest in more than a year after the nation’s Mint suspended sales, said Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC.
For 2015 1-ounce coins, wholesalers this week are charging 22 percent above the price of silver for immediate delivery, compared with about 13 percent earlier this month, according to McGhee, who has been a precious-metals trader for more than 30 years.
The Mint said on July 7 that American Eagle coins sold out after a “significant increase in demand” depleted inventories. Sales of the coins in June more than doubled from a month earlier to 4.8 million ounces, as escalating financial turmoil in Europe fueled purchases of precious metals as haven assets.
“The market is tight,” McGhee said in a telephone interview from Chicago.
Dimes, quarters and half-dollars dated before 1965, which are 90 percent silver, traded at a premium of 20 percent, the highest since 2009, Richard Nachbar, a coin dealer based in Williamsville, New York, said Monday by telephone.
Silver for immediate delivery fell 1 percent to $15.3619 an ounce at 12:13 p.m. in New York. Prices are down 2.2 percent this year.