Gold Hoarders Cause Mint Stoppage
The U.S. Mint has temporarily halted sales of its American Buffalo 24-carat gold one-ounce bullion coins because "inventories have been depleted," the Mint said.
The coin sold for $800 on the Mint site.
The Mint can't keep up with demand from panicky investors looking for something -- anything -- that seems safe during the current crisis.
The price of gold has risen in recent weeks, topping $920 per ounce briefly today as concerns rose over the passage of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout and subsequent fears about a further stock market drop.
As of Wednesday, the Mint had sold 164,000 24-carat gold coins this year, which is nearly 30,000 more than during all of 2007.
The Mint had to suspend sales of its American Eagle one-once gold coins on Aug. 15, restarting sales later in the month under an allocation program. The Mint will soon do the same for its buffalo coins.
We would say the buffalo coin has gone the way of the buffalo, except there's plenty of buffaloes around these days. Eagles, too.
Wait a minute -- we've got a genius business idea! Yesterday, Jessup-based bedmaker Classic Sleep Products offered to deliver 535 free mattresses to Congress so lawmakers could sleep on the Hill and work 'round-the-clock to hammer out a bill.
The rush on gold coins has made clear that investors are looking for a safe place to put their money. We suggest Classic Sleep rebrand their mattresses as "savings devices," which no doubt would jump-start the entire bedding sector.
-- Frank Ahrens
September 26, 2008; 3:35 PM ET
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