Silver American Eagle sales log 10th-best month ever

Sales of silver American Eagle bullion coins enjoyed another strong month, and coming off a 2013 that saw record investment demand, the current price below $19 is a bargain for long-term investors.

The U.S. Mint reports that 3,988,500 silver Eagles were sold, up almost 12% from April and more than 15% higher than a year ago. “Last month ranks as the 10th best in the Silver Eagle’s 29-year history,” Coin News noted. “The year-to-date tally is already higher than annual sales of all but five years since 1986.”

Last year, of course, saw the all-time record for silver Eagle sales set, with more than 42.6 million sold.

But it’s not necessarily investment demand that has Coeur Mining CEO Mitchell Krebs bullish on the white metal.

Silver used in electronics, which represents about half of industrial demand, will rise as much as 5% this year, he told Bloomberg. If you’re bullish on manufacturing demand in the months and years ahead, invest in silver. It’s not only used in electronics, but also solar energy and medical technologies.

“The big X factor is the investment demand -- overall investment demand has been stickier than gold, and that’s why prices have come off,” he said. “A global economic pickup gives a more bullish scenario for silver.”

Total physical demand for silver rose 13% in 2013 to a record on retail investment in silver bars and coins, the Silver Institute said in a study it published May 14.