WEST POINT, N.Y., Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Mint said it is temporarily out of stock on silver coins after selling a record 6.7 million ounces in eight days, but will resume sales soon.
The 2013 American Eagle silver bullion coins were sold Jan. 7-15, breaking the previous sales record of 6.42 million ounces sold in January 2011.
"We mint to demand," said Michael White, a spokesman for the mint.
Precious metal dealers said customers were buying for the value of the silver, not the value of the coin.
"When people are buying bullion they're not collecting the coins, they just want to have reliable silver," ABC News quoted Peter Schiff, economist and president of Euro Pacific Precious Metals, as saying.
"With the Federal Reserve clearly stating that unlimited money creation and dollar debasement are its intended policy goals, it's becoming painfully obvious to more and more investors that precious metals are a better savings alternative than zero-interest bank deposits," he said.
Schiff suggested buying silver bullion coins as a way to break into the market. He said buying Canadian Maple Leaf silver bullion coins was "just as good," as buying U.S. coins.
Hard times have pushed the market, said Terry Hanlon, president of Dillon Gage Metals in Dallas.
"We are very, very busy and we have been for the last several months. That would certainly reflect that people are worried that the financial situation in the U.S. isn't going to get any better -- so they're buying precious metals," he said.