"I just spoke with Eric Sprott, who bid to buy [the IMF's remaining gold on the block] and they refuse to sell it." As Kitco points out, "the IMF might be holding out for a bigger buyer or a central bank or for higher prices. But Holmes argues the IMF's rejection of Sprott's bid means markets are being manipulated." Back to Holmes: "I think there is a lot of manipulation done by governments around the world in the currency markets which affect the bond markets so to me it's just normal course."
The gold market is impossible to pin down with certainty, as you have conspiracy kooks on one side and shady banks, opaque exchanges, and dirty central banks on the other. But the preponderance of evidence certainly seems to indicate that there is not enough physical gold to go around. If the Sprott story is true, it aligns with the physical shortage we've written about before. The U.S. Mint still won't produce proof or uncirculated American Eagles, claiming that they have directed all production to bullion (cheaper versions of the same coins that have been touched by grubby hands). If that's true, where are are the 2009 and 2010 bullion American Eagles? Good luck getting your hands on them.
If I didn't just buy an overpriced Zimbabwe Ben house, I'd be buying all the physical gold I could find at these prices. If you've been to a dealer lately, I'd love to hear what coins are available and what the premium over spot is.
UPDATE: Local San Diego channel checks show good availability of bullion coins at $50 - $65 over spot.