Sales of the 1 oz American Silver Eagle bullion coin at the U.S. Mint for the first quarter of 2013 broke all sales records! The 14,223,000 coins sold through March 31 included more than two weeks in January where the entire stock at the U.S. Mint was sold out.
Q1 Sales of American Silver Eagles 2003 - 2013
To put this into perspective, the over 14 million coins sold was more than the entire annual sales for Silver Eagles for every year from the series' inception in 1986 through 2007. Q1 2013 ASE sales are 15% above Q1 2011, which was the best year ever (39,868,500 coins total). If that 15% improvement holds through the year, 2013 will see over 45 million ASEs sold.
Despite what some ill-informed fluff articles on generalist business sites may infer, physical precious metal coin purchases are doing quite well, despite speculators selling their paper positions.