With the U.S. facing yet another battle between Congress and the White House over increasing the national debt, the U.S. Mint has sold out of its current supply of silver coins.
The Mint says it will resume sales of American Eagle silver coins on January 28 after it receives new supplies. Buyers have purchased 6.01 million ounces of silver coins from the mint this month, approaching the 6.11 million ounces sold in the same period last year, Bloomberg notes.
Investors are clamoring for silver as a hedge against inflation as governments around the world try to stimulate sluggish economies. Silver exchange-traded products have swelled to a record $20.1 billion in value. Silver prices are forecast to increase as much as 27% in 2013.
Used both as currency and as an industrial commodity, 53% of silver ends up in electronics devices and batteries. Last year, the London spot price of silver gained 9%, and has risen another 5% so far this month.