The United States Mint has announced that it will be temporarily closing the West Point facility due to the continued spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The move means that the Mint will in the short term be producing no bullion products for investors and collectors.
The move is the latest in a series by the United States Mint to do its part to curtail the pandemic that has infected nearly 645,000 Americans, killing over 28,000. It follows the closure of Mint tours and store locations in San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. which were announced last month. It is unclear when the West Point facility will be reopened at this time.
During the shutdown, the facility will be thoroughly cleaned in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) guidelines.
Legally, the Mint is obligated to produce bullion products but that requirement has been waived due to the unprecedented situation with COVID-19. Circulation coin production continues at both the Denver and Philadelphia facilities but all indications are it is at a significantly reduced level.
The United States Mint, like other world mints, does not sell its bullion coins directly to the public. Instead, we distribute our coins through a network of official distributors called “authorized purchasers” who, in turn, create a two-way market buying and selling to precious metals wholesalers, private investors, and local bullion coin dealers.
This method provides effective and efficient distribution, which maximizes the availability of a two-way market of United States Mint Bullion Coins in retail markets and major investment markets.
United States Mint bullion coins are sold based on the prevailing market price of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium plus a small premium to cover minting, distribution, and marketing costs.United States Mint Bullion Site
The timing of the closure is difficult as demand for bullion products remains very high globally. Investors and collectors alike have been looking to bullion for security as stock and financial markets have been volatile during the pandemic.