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U.S. Mint says silver shortage is only for 'blanks,' as if all forms of silver aren't fungible

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

The U.S. Mint today issued to its customers what it called a "clarification" regarding its May 28 statement --

-- citing a "global silver shortage" as the cause of the mint's suspending orders for new silver coins.

But today's statement was more like an obfuscation than a clarification.

In its statement today the mint said the shortage it cited May 28 "pertains only to the supply of silver blanks among suppliers to the U.S. Mint."

This is ridiculous since silver is as fungible as other forms of money and, with a little melting, pouring, and recasting, one form of silver can be turned into another form.

That is, silver for blanks can be obtained even today if the mint wants to go into the market, bid high enough for silver in any form, and have it recast into the forms required by the mint's new coins. After all, thousands of silver bugs have plenty of metal and are egaer to sell it -- at much higher prices.

Of course such an effort by the mint to obtain the silver it needs to stay in business might drive up the worldwide price of the metal, which already seems to be in tight supply, and driving up the price of silver seems to be something that the mint, a division of the U.S. Treaury Department, doesn't want to do. 

Indeed, it looks like the mint caught some flak from the people upstairs at the Treasury for acknowledging that silver may not grow on trees or inside the computer terminals installed at bullion banks.

The mint's statement is appended.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

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Clarification Regarding Silver Supply

From the U.S. Mint, Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, June 2, 2021

In a message released Friday, May 28, we made reference to a global shortage of silver. In more precise terms, the silver shortage being experienced by the United States Mint pertains only to the supply of silver blanks among suppliers to the U.S. Mint.

Please see the updated message below reflecting this clarification.

The United States Mint is committed to providing the best possible online experience to its customers. The Mint is being impacted by silver blank shortages among its suppliers. The demand for many of our bullion and numismatic products is at record heights and increasingly outpacing the supply of silver blanks available through our suppliers. This level of demand is felt most acutely by the Mint during the initial product release of numismatic items. Most recently in the pre-order window for 2021 Morgan Silver Dollars with Carson City privy mark (21XC) and New Orleans privy mark (21XD), the extraordinary volume of web traffic caused significant numbers of Mint customers to experience website anomalies that resulted in their inability to complete transactions.

In the interest of properly rectifying the situation, the Mint is postponing the pre-order windows for the remaining 2021 Morgan and Peace silver dollars that were originally scheduled for June 1 (Morgan Dollars struck at Denver (21XG) and San Francisco (21XF)) and June 7 (Morgan Dollar struck at Philadelphia (21XE) and the Peace Dollar (21XH)).

While inconvenient to many, this deliberate delay will give the Mint the time necessary to obtain web traffic management tools to enhance the user experience. As demand remains greater than supply, the reality is such that not everyone will be able to purchase a coin. However, we are confident that during the postponement, we will be able to greatly improve on our ability to deliver the utmost positive U.S. Mint experience that our customers deserve. We will announce revised pre-order launch dates as soon as possible.

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