"A spokeswoman for the Austrian Mint said its silver coin sales had also dropped 27 percent to 2.293 million ounces. "After the silver price in February fell so extremely, demand sank," she said.
Silver American Eagle coin sales from the U.S. Mint also fell by 18 percent to 10.139 million ounces in the first quarter. Demand for silver coins and medals hit a record high at 118.2 million ounces last year, according to GFMS.
Spot silver has underperformed gold this year, currently down around 2 percent, compared to a 0.8 percent rise for gold. It posted a near 10-percent price drop in 2011 after hitting record highs near $50 an ounce in April, and is currently below $28 an ounce."