The United States Mint temporarily suspended production at the West Point Mint facility, in order to reduce employee risk of getting COVID-19.
“My commitment to the health and safety of the Mint workforce is unwavering and continues to be my highest priority,” said Mint Director David J. Ryder. “These are challenging and unprecedented times, and decisions on Mint operations are made with the best interests of Mint employees first and foremost.”
The temporary shutdown could result in a shortage of supply, particularly for gold coins, according to Commerzbank. “Silver coins appear to have been in even greater demand, and in some cases were even sold out,” Commerzbank said. “The figures show that just shy of 5.5 million ounces of silver coins were sold in March.”
The timing is awful, according to Everett Millman, a precious-metals specialist at Gainesville Coins in Florida. “It’s going to exacerbate the supply shortage.”
Michael White, a Mint spokesman, said some silver bullion production had been transported to its Philadelphia facility. During the suspension of operations at the West Point facility, Philadelphia will mint American Eagle and America the Beautiful silver bullion coins, while American Eagle and American Buffalo gold coins will not be available.
The West Point facility will be cleaned per Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) guidelines. The Mint facility at West Point produces investment grade gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion coins. The US Mint sells bullion coins to official distributors called “authorized purchasers.”