Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Will First Spouse Coins Remain Popular?

The First Spouse Coin Series may be this year's most popular offering from the US Mint. The first three coins of the series sold out without hours, and collectors are already eagerly awaiting the fourth coin to be released this year for Dolly Madison.

The series is currently expected to run until at least 2016. Can the popularity last?

I recently submitted an article to CoinLink to explore whether or not the popularity for the series will endure. To read the full article follow the link below.

First Spouse Gold Coins - Will the Popularity Endure?


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Looking for Halloween Ideas?

What will you be giving out for Halloween tomorrow?

The US Mint had an interesting idea. Maybe your house can give out new Presidential Dollars. Many of the young visitors to your house may have never come across these in circulation so it might be a special treat that sparks a life long interest in coin collecting! You still have a few days to try to locate a roll at your local bank.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Surprise! 2007 American Legacy Set

The 2007 United States American Legacy Collection went on sale at the US Mint's website. This offering was somewhat of a surprise since it was not listed in the Holiday catalog or mentioned in the upcoming products section. This set includes the 14 proof coins included in the regular (clad) 2007 Proof Set plus proof versions of the Jamestown and Little Rock Silver Dollar Commemorative coins.

The mint has set a 50,000 maximum for the set and a limit of 10 per household. Price for the set is $135.00. These Legacy Sets have been offered by the Mint for the past few years and have usually sold out.


Updated Mintage Figures for 2007 Burnished Gold and Silver Eagles

Numismatic News has just published updated mintage figures for most of this year's mint product offerings including the 2007 Burnished Gold and Silver Eagles. These are the collectible versions of the bullion coins, which bear the "W" mint mark. These coins are offered directly by the US Mint rather than through bullion dealers.

I have updated the mintage figures from a previous post, which compares the 2006 mintages to the 2007 mintages. Once again, figures are for the total across all product types, including last year's 20th Anniversary Gold and Silver Eagle sets and the 4 coin Gold Eagle Sets.

2006-W 2007-W
1 oz gold 49,975 16,707
1/2 oz gold 18,850 8,434
1/4 oz gold 19,925 9,578
1/10 oz gold 25,650 18,951
1 oz silver 496,200 518,366

There are some interesting shifts in mintage. The most notable is the apparent decline in 1 oz Gold Eagles. This is mainly due to the large number included in the 2006 20th Anniversary Sets. The 1 oz Gold Eagle was included in a Gold and Silver Eagle set as well as the Gold Eagle Set. These contributed 30,000 coins to the total mintage.

Also notably, the 1 oz Silver Eagles appear to be only slightly above last year's total. This year all of the 1 oz Silver Eagles were sold individually. Last year, they were included in the 20th Anniversary Gold and Silver Eagle set and Silver Eagle Set, contributing 270,000 to the mintage. Since the distribution was different, the coins may not see the large price increases experienced last year.

Best potential for investment still appear to be the 1/2 oz and 1/4 Gold Eagles. Gold watchers will also note the recent increase in the price of gold, which reduces the mint's premium above the metal price.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

New Products Available from the US Mint

Today the US Mint released several new products as part of their 2007 Holiday Gift Catalog. New products included a First Spouse Bronze Medal set, 50 State Quarter products, and Collector's Boxes.

Probably the most interesting of the new products is the First Spouse Bronze Medal Set. This set contains all four First Spouse Bronze Medals for 2007. These medals feature the same images that are used on the popular First Spouse Gold Coins. Notably, the bronze set contains the medal for Dolly Madison although the gold coin has not yet been issued. Currently the Dolly Madison First Spouse gold coin is expected to be released on November 15. (**Update: The Mint has published the official release date as November 19)

Other new products include:
50 State Quarters Greetings from America Portfolio
50 State Quarters Greetings from America Card Set
Utah Official First Day Cover
50 State Quarters 2007 Coin and Die Sets
Collector's Box- Three Lens
Collector's Box- Quarter Rolls
Collector's Box- Dollar Coin Rolls


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

First Spouse Bronze Medals Selling Briskly

Coinworld recently reported some sales statistics for the First Spouse Bronze Medals offered by the US Mint. These bronze medals feature the same designs that are used on the popular First Spouse Gold Coins.

Mintage figures for the bronze medals are below:

Martha Washington 31,711
Abigail Adams 31,325
Thomas Jefferson's Liberty 21,038

The 24 karat gold version of the First Spouse Gold Coins were limited to a mintage of 40,000. Each gold coin released so far has sold out from the mint within hours. As such, the bronze medals can be a less expensive and practical way to enjoy the First Spouse series. The bronze medals are available for $3.50 from the US Mint.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set may be released in December

According to a recent article in CoinWorld, there is still a chance that the 10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle set may be released during 2007. This set would include a reverse proof Platinum Eagle coin. In a previous post, I had noticed that this potential set was not included in the Mint's 2007 Holiday catalog.

The Coin World article from this week included this statement from the Mint's Office of Public Affiars.
"The United States Mint is in the review and approval process for mintages and pricing of the product. Pricing is based on the market price of platinum at the time of purchase. Additionally, pricing will be monitored and adjusted, if necessary, based on fluctuations in the market."
Mint officials had previously released some details of the proposed set. It would contain two coins, a half ounce proof 2007-W Platinum Eagle and a half ounce reverse proof 2007-W Platinum Eagle. The set has been formatted differently from last year's 20th Anniversary Gold and Silver Eagle sets due to the high bullion price of platinum. Those sets had contained three coins each, a one ounce uncirculated, one ounce proof, and one ounce reverse proof.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Are this year's burnished Gold & Silver Eagles a good investment?

A few of the big winners from last year's US Mint products were the "burnished" Gold and Silver Eagle coins. These coins were offered exclusively by the mint and bore the "W" mint mark. They were branded as a collectible version of the popular bullion coins.

These coins were perhaps overlooked by most collectors and as a result, had shockingly low mintages. On the secondary market, the Silver Eagles showed the greatest percentage price appreciation, selling for many multiples of the original $20 offering price.

The price increase was caused by the low mintage and high secondary market demand. I think that when the coins were offered, they were generally overlooked or misunderstood by collectors. Unless you looked at the fine print, the coins may have just seemed like regular bullion coins. Also, around the same time, the 20th Anniversary Eagle sets were on sale and taking up most of the attention.

After the US Mint stopped selling the coins, collectors realized that these were distinct from the bullion version, most notably because of the "W" mintmark. Also the final mintages for several of the coins were quite low considering the popularity of Gold and Silver Eagles series. So the story went- low supply, high demand, prices increased very quickly.

Back to the initial question- will the same thing happen this year? One would think that the answer would be an unfortunate "no." However, there is some evidence to the contrary.

On one hand, because the coins have an open ended mintage, production will keep going until collector's have had their fill. And after watching prices escalate last year, you can be sure that collectors have already ordered early and heavily. Putting these factors back into the equation- high supply, low secondary market demand, prices won't escalate dramatically.

On the other hand, some mintage figures for this year are still far below the figures from last year. Here is a comparison of the final mintage figures from last year compared to year to date figures for this year. Last year figures are from an article in Coin World. This year's figures are from Numismatic News. Note: 2007 gold figures include the impact of 4 coin sets. 2006 figures include the impact of 20th Anniversary Sets and 4 coins sets.

2006-W 2007-W
1 oz gold 49,975 11,614
1/2 oz gold 18,850 8,085
1/4 oz gold 19,925 9,151
1/10 oz gold 25,650 18,555
1 oz silver 496,200 504,927

So what is the verdict? We will have to wait until next year to find out, but right now I would tip my hat in favor of the 1/2 oz and 1/4 oz gold coins.

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

US Mint Holiday Catalog- No Reverse Proof Platinum?

Today the US Mint announced that the 2007 Holiday Catalog would be released on October 25.

The press release only mentions products that the US Mint is already offering with no surprises. There was no mention of the rumored 10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle coin set.

Throughout the year, there had been rumors of such a set, which would include a 2007 Reverse Proof Platinum Eagle. This would have followed the 20th Anniversary Silver and Gold Eagle coin sets issued last year, which included reverse proof versions of the eagles. After the immense popularity of these sets and the quick sell outs, why isn't the mint releasing a similar platinum set?

Could it be due to the recent spike in the price of platinum? Or is the set still in the works?

Update: The 10th Anniversary Platinum Set may be released in December.


Advertise on Mint News Blog

Limited advertising space is now available on Mint News Blog.

The site is visited by over 20,000 unique visitors per month who generate more than 80,000 page views. We have a highly engaged audience of collectors interested in US Mint products, US coins, and precious metals.

Contact to discuss advertising opportunities.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sales for gold related product resumes

Yesterday evening the US Mint resumed sales of gold related products. Specifically, sales of the American Eagle Uncirculated and Proof Coins, and the American Buffalo Gold Coins. Prices had previously been suspended due to the rising price of gold.

New prices are as follows:

American Buggalo Gold Proof Coins
One ounce - $899.95

American Eagle Gold Proof Coins
Half ounce - $459.95
Quarter ounce - $239.95
Tenth ounce - $116.95
4 coin set - $1,695.95

American Eagle Gold Uncirculated Coins
One ounce - $831.95
Half ounce - $424.95
Quarter ounce - $219.95
Tenth ounce - $99.95
4 coin set - $1.559.95

Platinum related products still remain unavailable.

Labels: ,

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sales for Gold and Platinum Related Products Halted

This is a new blog, and I am trying not to back track too much, but a big mint related story from last week was the continuing suspension of US mint sales of most gold and platinum related products.

Buzz reported on Friday that only Platinum proof eagles were the only gold/platinum coins still available for sale at the mint's website.

Suspended coins include:
  • American Eagle Gold Proof Coins
  • American Eagle Gold Uncirculated Coins
  • American Eagle Platinum Uncirculated Coins
  • American Buffalo Gold Proof Coins
He theorized a $100 tripwire, i.e. when the mint's coin premium goes below $100 above the spot bullion price, sales get suspended.

Labels: ,

2007 United States Mint Uncirculated Set

On October 9, the US Mint started offering the 2007 United States Mint Uncirculated Set. The set is available for $22.95 directly from the US Mint.

As usual, the set will include examples of all United States coins from the Philadelphia and Denver mints. Similar to recent years, these will be special strikes produced only for the mint sets. The coins will be struck on special presses using greater force than used for standard circulating coins. This results in a much sharper strike and a satin finish. Third party grading services have been designating these as "SMS."

This year's set has expanded from last year's set in terms of number of coins due to the new Presidential Dollar series. There are a total of 28 coins in the set. This year's set includes the following:
  • 8 Presidential Dollars
  • 2 Sacagawea Dollars
  • 2 Kennedy Half Dollars
  • 10 State Quarters
  • 2 Roosevelt Dimes
  • 2 Jefferson Nickels
  • 2 Lincoln Cents
This year's set provides a greater relative value as compared to last year's set. The 2006 Mint Set contained $5.82 in face value coins and sold for $16.95. This represents a mark up of 2.91 times face value.

The 2007 Mint Set contains $13.82 in face value coins and sells for $22.95. This represents a mark up of 1.66 times face value.