Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Sunday, December 30, 2007

2008 Proof American Silver Eagle on Sale January 3, 2008

Get ready for the new year! Last week the US Mint announced he starting date for sales of the 2008 Proof American Silver Eagle coins. Sales will begin on January 3, 2008.

This is the proof version of the popular bullion silver eagle coins. The proof coin has been offered by the Mint since 1986 and has always proved popular with collectors. The one-ounce silver coin will bear the "W" mint mark denoting West Point mintage. Coins contain 99.9 percent silver and will come in a velvet presentation case with Certificate of Authenticity from the Mint. There will be no production limit for the coins and they will be minted according to demand.

The Mint's issue price is $31.95 per coin. This is a $2 per coin increase from last year's price.
100 oz. Silver Bars


Monday, December 24, 2007

Burnished Gold and Silver Eagles- The US Mint Keeps Collectors Guessing

Last year, the US Mint started offering collectible versions of the Uncirculated Gold and Silver Eagles. These collectible versions carry the "W" mint mark and are struck on burnished blanks. These burnished versions seem to present a good opportunity for collectors since they usually end up with mintages significantly lower than for the regular bullion version. This year's sales of the Burnished Gold and Silver Eagles have particularly confusing and continue to keep collectors guessing.

Burnished Gold Eagle sales have been impacted this year by the rising price of gold. Since the Mint sells the coins at fixed prices, if the price of gold rises too much, sales are suspended until they can reset prices at more appropriate levels. This year, the Mint has suspended sales twice. First in October and most recently on November 5th.

As of today, Burnished Gold Eagle sales are still suspended at the Mint. While the spot price of gold has fluctuated during the 7 week suspension, today's spot price is very close to the price when the suspension first began in November.

The Mint website lists the following message for the Burnished Gold Eagle:
Due to the increasing market value of gold, the American Eagle Gold Uncirculated Coins are temporarily unavailable while pricing for this option can be adjusted; therefore, no orders can be taken at this time.
Will the 2007-W Burnished Gold Eagles ever go back on sale? If not, the coins will end up with some incredibly low mintages, which may drive higher prices in the secondary market. The suspensions have reduced the amount of time the coins have actually been on sale and the most recent suspension has dragged on much longer than expected.

Burnished Silver Eagle sales were impacted by an unexpected product offering and packaging issues. The coins had been selling briskly throughout the year, and then on November 22, they appeared to be sold out at the Mint.

On December 3, the Mint released a batch of new Presidential Dollar products. One of the products was the 2007 Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set, which apparently includes a 2007-W Burnished Silver Eagle. This unexpected product meant that collectors could still obtain the Burnished Silver Eagle by purchasing this set.

On December 21, the Mint put the individual option of the Burnished Silver Eagle back on sale. According to Buzz with Dave Harper, apparently the Mint had run out of packaging, but resolved the issue. They will continue sales until the rest of their inventory is depleted.

This constant guessing game with the Burnished Silver Eagles has probably frustrated many collectors. With sales in two different options continuing to drive mintages and distribution, this year's coin probably will not experience the significant secondary market price increase seen for last year's coin.

While the guessing game with the Mint has potentially created opportunities via the Burnished Gold Eagles, it has also created a roller coaster ride for the Burnished Silver Eagles. When both are finally, really sold out and no longer for sale, it will be interesting to see where mintages and secondary market prices end up.

Will Burnished Gold Eagles Ever Go Back on Sale?
2007-W Burnished Silver Eagle Back on Sale?
Burnished Gold Eagles For Sale

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Sales Figures on 10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set

Dave Harper at Numismaster has some sales figures on the newly released Mint products including the 10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set. Many collectors have eagerly been awaiting some data on how well these sets have been selling to gauge whether a sell out is possible. From early data, the sets are selling briskly making a sell out a possibility.

Out of a total maximum authorized mintage of 30,000, the 10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Sets have already sold 14,682 sets. Nearly reaching the half way mark in about a week shows strong interest in the sets. Another thing to keep in mind is that the sets still have a limit of only one per household. If this limit is increased or removed, I am sure the sets would sell out within a few days.

Update: According to this Buzz, the Mint intends to remove the ordering limit after 7 days of sales. Soon enough, we will see if a sell out is in the cards.

In other notable updates:

The Dolley Madison First Spouse Gold Coin sales have not increased significantly since last week. Sales of the uncirculated version are 8,199 and sales of the proof version are 12,095. The maximum authorized mintage for each version is 20,000. The Mint has recently increased the ordering limit to ten coins of each option per household. This may help sales regain some momentum.

The 2007 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set has come in at 31,778 after about two weeks on sale. This set contains the 2007-W American Silver Eagle, which sold out individually and surprised many when it went back on sale with this set.

Update #2: In another unexpected move, the single version of the Uncirculated 2007-W American Silver Eagle is now once again back on sale at the Mint.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Platinum Update- 10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set

The 10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set went on sale last week. Early indications seem to suggest that the sets are selling briskly, but I have not seen any official sales numbers released yet. Due to the set's relatively high authorized mintage of 30,000 sets, an immediate sell out was not expected. I will continue to look for any sales information and post when available.

A possible catalyst for increased sales of the set is the price of platinum. Platinum is now trading at an all time high of $1,512 per ounce. This is already up $38 from the day the 10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Sets were first offered. As the price of platinum continues to rise, the sets will become a better relative value since they contain 1 ounce of the metal.

Also, if the price of platinum really spikes, the Mint could possibly suspend sales of the set, as they have done for other bullion related products.

Separately, PCGS has recently released guidance on submitting the 10th Anniversary Platinum Set coins for grading. The guidance is similar to NGC's rules, where the sets must be submitted in original, sealed, unopened Mint packaging in order to receive the designation.

10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set Announcement
10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set on Sale Tomorrow
NGC Submission Guidelines for 10th Anniversary Platinum Set Coins


Monday, December 17, 2007

2007 State Quarter First Day Covers- Sleeper Hit?

CoinWorld recently had an interesting article on the First Day Cover offerings from the US Mint. While these products have been little publicized, several of the issues have sold out from the Mint and are commanding premiums on the secondary market. Could the 2007 State Quarter First Day Covers be the sleeper hit of 2007?

When the State Quarter First Day covers were first issued in 1999, the maximum authorized mintages were set at 100,000 per state. Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey all managed to sell out at this level, but sales started dropping for the subsequent states. As a result, the Mint reduced the maximum mintage for the 2000 states to 75,000. As sales continued to wane, the Mint reduced maximum mintages for 2005 states to 50,000.

The 2007 states have the lowest ever maximum authorized mintage of 35,000 per state. The sales figures for a few states are now coming very close to sell out levels. Here are the sales figures from Numismaster:

Montana: 27,723 / 35,000
Washington: 31,664 / 35,000
Idaho: 24,156 / 35,000
Wyoming: 22,822 / 35,000
Utah: 20,440 / 35,000

Like State First Day Covers for previous years, the 2007 States will likely stay on sale until there is a sell out. When this eventually happens, these states will join the few states that have sold out and are no longer available at the Mint. They will also be amongst the State First Day Covers with the lowest sales figures. This makes a good case for some secondary market appreciation.

Note that on ebay, the First Day covers command the highest prices when they are still in the unopened Mint mailers. So if you are considering buying for later resale, leave them in the sealed mailers.

All 2007 State Quarter First Day Covers are still available from the US Mint for $14.95.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Commemorative Update

This week's issue of CoinWorld announced that the 2008 Bald Eagle Commemoratives will be available for sale starting on January 15, 2008. At this time, pricing has still not been announced.

See the previous post about the new 2008 Bald Eagle Recovery Commemoratives.

Also, as previous announced, the final day for sales of the 2007 Commemorative offerings will be tomorrow December 14, 2007. This also includes the 2007 American Legacy Collection, which includes 2007 Commemorative Coins.

See the previous post about the sales end date and current sales figures.

2008 Bald Eagle Recovery Commemorative Program


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set on Sale Tomorrow, NGC Announces Special Pedigree

The highly anticipated 10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set will go on sale tomorrow, December 13, 2007 at 12:00 PM ET. This set will contain a special reverse proof platinum eagle.

For more details on the set, please see my previous posts:
10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set Release Date
10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set Announcement

NGC has announced that they will be offering a special pedigree for coins from the sets. Eligible coins will have a special NGC commemorative label with the pedigree EAGLE 10TH ANNIVERSARY. The pedigree will also be applicable for the regular proof platinum eagle included in the set.

Since the proof one half ounce platinum eagle is also available individually, NGC has special instructions for ensuring that your coins will receive the pedigree. Check out their full announcement for further details.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2007 Commemorative Sales End December 14

This will be the last week that collectors are able to purchase coins from the 2007 Commemorative Coin Programs directly from the Mint.

Sales for the Jamestown 400th Anniversary Commemoratives and Little Rock Central High School Desegregation Commemoratives will end December 14th at 5:00 PM EST.

At the same date and time, sales of the 2007 United States Mint American Legacy Collection will also end.

Below are the approximate sales figures to date from Numismaster.

Jamestown Proof $1 228,086
Jamestown Unc $1 80,198
Jamestown Proof $5 46,365
Jamestown Unc $5 18,348
Little Rock Proof $1 96,493
Little Rock Unc $1 40,500
Little Rock Coin & Medal 25,115
American Legacy Set 24,389

2007-P Jamestown Gold Commemoratives for sale

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Dolley Madison First Spouse Gold Sales Figures

Dolley Madison First Spouse Gold Coins went on sale November 19, 2007. This coin has the distinction of being the only coin from the First Spouse Gold Coin Series that did not immediately sell out on the first day of offering. I had explored some of the possible reasons in a previous post.

Last week, Dave Harper unveiled some sales figures. Sales as of December 2, 2007 were 11,631 proofs and 8,017 uncirculated coins. This brings the sales total roughly half way to the 40,000 overall limit.

As of today, the Mint is still imposing a limit of one coin per option per household. In my opinion, a sell out will not occur until the Mint removes this limit. A sell out would lend some much needed support to the future potential of the series, which is slated to run until at least 2016. When is the Mint going to lift the ordering limit?

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2008 American Bald Eagle Recovery and National Emblem Commemorative Coin Designs

Last week, the Mint revealed the coin designs for the 2008 American Bald Eagle Recovery and National Emblem Commemorative Coin Program.

The program will include proof and uncirculated versions of a $5 gold coin, $1 silver dollar, and 50c clad half dollar.

Mintages will be limited to 100,000 for the $5 gold coins, 500,000 for the $1 silver dollars, and 750,000 for the clad half dollars.

I believe that this series will prove popular due to its subject matter. The bald eagle is a classic emblem of America that should strike a cord with collectors. I think a sell out for the silver dollar will definitely be possible. Something to keep an eye out for in early 2008!

$5 Gold Coin

$1 Silver Dollar

50c Clad Half Dollar

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Coin Collecting Page on Mahalo

A while back, I had requested a new Mahalo page for Coin Collecting. Mahalo is a people powered search engine that provides a human curated list of links and information for popular search terms. The page is now completed.

Take a look: Mahalo Coin Collecting

I think the page came out pretty good. It touches most of the major coin collecting related websites and pages and provides a broad, useful starting point with How To's, News, Price Guides, Images, Forums, and more.

I did recommend a link to The Coin Page which is a great site for coin images. It could also have better representation for coin news from some coin specific news sites like CoinWorld or Numismatic News.

What does everyone else think?

Monday, December 3, 2007

2007-W American Silver Eagle Back on Sale?

In late November, the 2007-W American Silver Eagle Sold Out at the US Mint. This is the "collectible version," which is struck on burnished blanks and carries the "W" mint mark. Today, the coin is apparently back on sale in another form.

The coin is included as part of a batch of new Presidential Dollar related offerings that went on sale today. The 2007 United States Mint Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set includes "an American Eagle Silver Dollar produced at the United States Mint at West Point." This seems to be the same 2007-W Burnished Silver Eagle that previously sold out.

This product was very much unexpected. All of the new Presidential Dollar related products remix coins already included in regular Mint Sets or Proof Sets, but I don't think anyone knew the Silver Eagle would be making a come back.
2007-W American Silver Eagle Sold Out
New Presidential Dollar Products Announced


Will Burnished Gold Eagles Ever Go Back on Sale?

As of today, 2007-W Burnished Gold Eagles are still not available for sale at the US Mint. These are the "collectible versions" of the Gold Eagles sold directly by the Mint. The coins are struck on burnished blanks and carry the "W" mint mark.

Sales of the Burnished Gold Eagles were most recently suspended on November 5, 2007 due to the "increasing market value of gold." At the time of suspension, the spot price of gold was $809.70 per ounce. The spot price of gold today is ironically lower at $787.40.

During the suspension period, the price of gold has been as high as $840 and as low as $780.

There have been numerous bullion price related suspensions for US Mint products this year, but they usually have only lasted a few weeks. Very shortly, the Burnished Gold Eagle suspension will exceed one month. Will they go back on sale soon, or not at all?

As mentioned in previous posts, this will surely contribute to a diminished final mintage for the 2007-W Gold Eagles, which may drive up prices once the Mint officially ends sales.
Burnished Gold Eagle Sales Suspended Again
Burnished Gold Eagles For Sale