By Jerry Jordan, Editor
The United States Mint has closed its production facility in West Point, NY, “out of an abundance of caution” over concerns of the continued spread of COVID-19 cases in the region.
According to a press release sent to SETINVESTIGATES.COM, “Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Orange County, New York, and out of an abundance of caution, the United States Mint (Mint) has temporarily suspended production at the Mint facility at West Point. This action is being taken to further reduce the risk of Mint employee exposure to COVID-19. The Mint will resume production once it is deemed prudent to do so.”
The location serves as the primary minting facility for U.S. American Eagle silver and gold bullion coins. So far, in 2020, the U.S. Mint has produced 10.01 million ounces of silver coins and 140,500 ounces of gold coins with a majority of those coming from the West Point facility.
“My commitment to the health and safety of the Mint workforce is unwavering and continues to be my highest priority”, said U.S. Mint Director, David J. Ryder. “These are challenging and unprecedented times, and decisions on Mint operations are made with the best interests of Mint employees first and foremost.”
According to the release, crews will begin sanitizing the facility “in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and will reopen when it is believed to be safe for workers to return.
News of the shutdown spread quickly through the precious metals industry and premiums on gold and silver bullion items increased almost immediately.
“We are working to get products out to our clients and sourcing bullion and collectible coins as quickly as we can,” said Dr. Mike Fuljenz, president of Universal Coin & Bullion, in Beaumont, Tx. “We have spoken with multiple private mints in North America to obtain silver and gold bullion products and are placing multiple bids on numismatic items that our customers are seeking.
“I have already seen where some dealers are marking up their prices higher than usual in the time that this information began to spread but we are currently able to keep lower margins as we look for additional supplies.”