CHART OF THE DAY: SILVER COIN MANIA

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By now you know that the surge in silver prices has left gold in the dust.

One reason: it’s just cheaper to buy silver coins.

From Deutsche Bank:

According to a recent article in the Financial Times, record sales have been recorded at the world’s leading mints over the past several quarters; with sales being rationed in some instances. Silver dealers have indicated that smaller investors see silver as a more affordable alternative to gold as they look to alternative assets for wealth preservation, worried about the outlook for inflation and currency value. Figure 1 shows rolling 12-month demand for one-ounce American Eagle coins; indicating sales of over 38m oz over the past 12-month period. Annualising sales for the first two months of 2011 is indicative of over 54m oz in sales.

Buying silver because it’s “cheaper” doesn’t make a lot of logical sense (intuitively, it looks like buying a stock because it’s nominally cheaper), but the data is hard to argue with.

Here’s what the surge in coin purchases look like:

chart of the day, silver coins, march 2011

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