The Royal Canadian Mint announced that it will be closing its doors or the next two weeks as a means of stopping the spread of coronavirus. The mint will stop producing gold and silver maple leafs.
“While the supply of bullion coins is currently limited, we are fulfilling all the orders we can. We are also continuing to fully secure our facilities, operate the refinery and allow for the receipt and withdrawal of available products,” said Alex Reeves, senior manager, public affairs at the Canadian mint in an email to Kitco News. “We are still providing liquidity to refinery and pool customers in the way of large cast bar products.”
After two weeks, RCM will resume with modified production by dividing its workforce in terms of shifts. “This will allow us to reduce the risk to our staff and maintain critical services,” the mint said.
The Royal Canadian Mint’s Gold Maple Leaf and Silver Maple Leaf are among the most trusted investment coins in the world. .
Demand for silver has increased as prices have fallen to decade lows and investor’s divest away from stocks into cash. While demand initially increased for precious metals due to the falling prices, institutional capital will begin re-allocating.
The U.S. Mint announced last week it had sold out of American Silver Eagle coins, reporting demand for silver coins had increased 300% compared to sales in February.
Inventories of 1-ounce, .999 fine American Silver Eagles (ASE) sold out on March 12. Sales of ASEs increased by 1.57 million pieces, boosting their 12-day March total to 2,320,000 pieces. That markets the highest amount sold of March since 2016. 650,000 pieces had sold in February.
“Our rate of sale in just the first part of March exceeds 300% of what was sold last month,” the U.S. Mint told its bullion distributors Thursday.
“West Point is working diligently to produce additional inventory and once additional inventory is produced, we will again begin allocations.”
At present 6,816,000 silver coins were sold last year. Last year’s first three-month total for the silver coins reached 6,925,000 pieces, including March sales of 850,000.