American Eagle coins hit five-year low in 2012

Despite theĀ best sales since 1998 in December 2012, American Eagle gold coin sales were weak for the year as a whole.

The U.S. Mint reports it sold 753,000 ounces of the gold coins in 2012, which was down from the 1 million ounces in 2011, and the lowest sales in five years.

Terry Hanlon, president of Dillon Gage Metals, one of the largest U.S. bullion dealers, told Reuters investors had turned in December to the safe-haven of gold due to political and economic uncertainties in the country.

"The U.S. election played a big role. And then we had the 'fiscal cliff' and everybody jumped on the bandwagon," he said, although adding sales were brisk at the start of the new year.