(Kitco News) - Demand for silver coins is extremely strong, according to figures released by the U.S. Mint.

November silver sales figures showed sales at 4.260 million ounces sold; December silver coin sales have already hit 1.747 million ounces. Cumulative silver sales totals for the year end of 2010 were calculated at 34.637 million ounces for silver coins.

By comparison, gold coin sales for the same time period lagged behind, yearly totals for gold coin sales accounted for 1.212 million ounces sold.

Barclays Capital described U.S. Mint silver coin sales as “exceptionally strong” for December; gold coin sales were seen as “robust”. In their view, Barclays maintain that “barring profit-taking in the near term, investment demand for gold and silver is set to remain healthy in 2011.”

In 2010, the U.S. Mint began to issue their latest silver coins entitled “America the Beautiful" 5 oz silver coin. The program release will feature designs that portray various national parks and national sites. The U.S. Mint will make public five new national site designs for a total of 56 quarter-dollar coins, the series will run from 2010 to 2021 with releases dates each year.

For more information on their latest 5 oz. silver coins program, please visit the official U.S. Mint http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/atb/

By Cecylia Tulikowski-Denison of Kitco News; ctulikowski@kitco.com

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