Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Friday, March 28, 2008

2008 New Mexico State Quarter Rolls and Bags on Sale April 7

Bags and rolls of 2008 New Mexico State Quarters are scheduled to go on sale at the US Mint on April 7, 2008 at 12:00 Noon ET.

New Mexico will be the second State Quarter released for 2008 and the 47th coin in the overall program.

The Two-Roll Set will include one roll from the Philadelphia Mint and one roll from the Denver Mint in special US Mint wrappers. The Set is priced at $32.95.

Bags of Philadelphia and Denver Mint Quarters will be available in sizes of 100-Coins or 1,000-Coins. The 100 Coin Bags are priced at $32.95 and the 1,000 Coin Bags are priced at $309.95.

The Mint's product pages have been posted, but sales options will not be available until the official start of sales.
Two Roll Set
100-Coin Bag Philadelphia
100-Coin Bag Denver
1,000-Coin Bag Philadelphia
1,000-Coin Bag Denver

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

2008-W Burnished Gold Eagles On Sale April 1

The US Mint has announced that the 2008-W Burnished Gold Eagle Coins will go on sale April 1, 2008 at 12:00 Noon ET. These are the "collectible versions" of the popular gold bullion coins. The coins differ because they are struck on specially burnished blanks and carry the "W" mint mark.

Coins will be offered in one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce sizes. In addition, a four coin set will be available with one of each coin.

Initial pricing is as follows:

1 ounce $1,119.95
1/2 ounce $ 565.95
1/4 ounce $ 295.95
1/10 ounce $ 124.95
4 coin set $2,039.95

This pricing is slightly above the most recent repricing for the 2007-W Burnished Gold Eagles. Of the 2007 coins, only the one-quarter ounce and one-tenth ounce versions are still available for sale.

The Mint mentioned in their news release that the coins are priced at "the relative mid-point between the American Eagle Proof Coins and the American Eagle Bullion Coins."

When they had announced the pricing for the 2008-W Burnished Silver Eagles, I had mentioned that the premium above silver value was significantly less than in prior years, making the coins more competitive with their bullion counterparts. The pricing and statement included with the Burnished Gold Eagles shows that the Mint is aware of the competitive placement against the bullion versions. Pricing slightly above signals that they are not competing directly with the bullion versions, but providing a more collectible coin in return for the slight premium.

I've long held that these burnished eagles are well worth this slight premium since the final mintages are always much lower than the bullion version mintages.


Returning After an Important Event

As readers of Coin Update will know, my wife gave birth to our first child Jason last week on March 19th.

He had to spend a few days in the ICU and was only discharged yesterday afternoon. It was a rough week of going back and forth to the hospital, but now everyone is home together, happy and healthy. And I'm back to blogging.

I'll be catching up on some of the Mint and metals related stories that took place over the past week and then get back to normal.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

James Monroe Presidential Dollar Error Update

Just before the release of the James Monroe Presidential Dollars, Coin World reported that thousands of Monroe Dollars had been struck on State Quarter planchets. According to a statement subsequently released by the US Mint, all of the errors had been recovered and returned to the Mint. Despite the statement, there was still some discussion about whether it was possible for one or more of the errors to escape notice and reach circulation.

It has now been just over one month and no one has come forward with news of the discovery of a Monroe Dollar wrong planchet error. However, there has been another type of significant error has been discovered, first reported by Susan Headley on

The error was a so-called "Faceless" Monroe Dollar. This error is a coin blank that was never struck, but passed through the edge lettering machine. NGC certified the error as a Monroe Dollar since the edge lettering includes the date 2008 and no other Presidential Dollars had been released in 2008 at the time of submission. This article from NGC includes more information and photos of the error coins.

Notably, the Michigan collector who discovered the error had searched over 20,000 Monroe Dollars to find this one specimen.

Will any of the Monroe Dollars on Quarter planchets be discovered? I am still inclined to think that it's possible that a few might have escaped being recaptured by the Mint. The potential for a discovery certainly keeps things interesting.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

2007-W Burnished Gold Eagles Sold Out, 2007-W Dolley Madison Proof Suspended

Yesterday I mentioned the possibility for suspensions and re-repricings on some of the US Mint's gold products. Since then, sales of the 2007-W Proof Dolley Madison Coin have been suspended and several options for the 2007-W Uncirculated Gold Eagles have apparently sold out.

The 2007-W Proof Dolley Madison First Spouse Coins had been on sale for $529.95. The US Mint's product page now displays the bullion related suspension message. The proof version joins the uncirculated version of the coin which had been suspended on March 3. I am guessing that the coins will be re-priced at levels similar to the Elizabeth Monroe First Spouse Coins, which are currently $619.95 and $599.95 for proof and uncirculated versions, respectively.

As of March 13, 2008, Dolley Madison sales had been reported at 16,268 proof coins sold and 10,400 uncirculated coins according to Numismaster.

The 2007-W Burnished Gold Eagles Coins appear to be sold out for the one ounce, one-half ounce, and 4 coin set options. The US Mint's product pages state "Product Not Available" for these options although the one-quarter ounce and one-tenth ounce coins are still for sale.

I have long mentioned these 2007-W Burnished Gold Eagles as having particularly low sales figures, as a result of the numerous product suspensions over the course of last year. These low sales may contribute to extremely low final mintages.

As of March 13, 2008, sales figures for the sold out 2007-W Burnished Gold Eagles are shown below. These figures are also according to Numismaster.

1 ounce 13,941
1/2 ounce 4,596
4 coin set 7,333

These figures will likely get bumped up from this week's sales, but that puts them at extremely low levels for such a popular series.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

New High for Gold, Product Suspensions Soon?

On Friday gold broke through the much anticipated $1,000 level. This morning gold is extending its gains on the heels of a so-called "global market panic." Putting aside other financial implications, the continued gains in gold are likely to cause a new round of product suspensions and re-pricings for some US Mint products.

There are a number of 2007 dated gold products, which had initially been priced while gold was at much lower levels.

The 2007-W Uncirculated American Gold Eagles were last repriced on February 4, 2008. On that date, gold had closed at $902 per ounce.

The following table lists the denominations and prices still for sale at the US Mint's website:

1 oz. $1,045.95
1/2 oz. $ 529.95
1/4 oz. $ 279.95
1/10 oz. $ 119.95
4 coin set $1,939.95

The 2007-W Dolley Madison First Spouse Gold Coins, which contain one half ounce of gold, were initially priced on November 15, 2007. On that date, the price of gold was $786 per ounce.

The proof version of the coin is still available for sale here for $529.95. Oddly, sales of the uncirculated version of the coin were suspended on March 3, 2008, even though sales of the proof version have continued.

The Mint recently performed a quiet repricing of the 2008 Buffalo Celebration Coin, raising the price by $100. If today's early move in the price of gold is sustained, repricing or suspension of the 2007 dated products mentioned is sure to follow.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Saint Gaudens Ultra High Relief Recreation Announced

Today, US Mint Director Edmund Moy announced the Mint's intention to recreate what many consider to be America's most beautiful coin. Augustus Saint Gaudens' original ultra high relief $20 Gold Double Eagle will be recreated on a 24 karat gold collectible coin expected to be available in 2009.

Director Moy said the following:
We want to spur the highest level of artistic excellence in American coin design. Recreating thousands of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' ultra-high relief Double Eagles will be a defining moment in American coinage.
Here is some additional information on the 1097 Saint Gaudens Ultra High Relief Double Eagle from

2009 is shaping up to be an exciting year for collectors. It will mark the 100th Anniversary of the Lincoln Cent and bring back one of America's classics.


Price Raised on 2008 Buffalo Celebration Coin

The US Mint has just adjusted the price for the 2008 American Buffalo Celebration Coin.

This "Lucky Buffalo" coin is a specially packaged one ounce American Buffalo Gold Bullion coin. It is part of the United States Mint Celebration Series, which attempts to reach out to non-traditional coin collectors.

When the coins were initially released on February 5, 2008, they were priced at $1,018.88. The increased price is one hundred dollars more at $1,118.88.

Notably, the price increase came quickly and without the suspension period which has preceded price increases on Gold and Platinum Eagle Coins. For these offerings, once precious metals prices reached a certain level, sales were suspended "due to the increasing market value of gold/platinum." The suspension would last two weeks or more while prices were adjusted to higher levels.

Will the Mint take this swift, overnight approach to metals related price increases for their 2008 products? This would certainly be a welcome change as the 2007 Gold and Platinum Eagle coins remained under suspension for a significant portion of last year due to the constant rise in precious metals prices.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

2008-W Burnished Silver Eagle Release Date and Pricing Announced

The US Mint has announced the release date and pricing for the 2008-W Burnished Silver Eagles. The coins will go on sale Monday, March 17, 2008 at 12:00 Noon ET offered at $25.95 each.

These coins are the Mint's "collectible version" of the popular bullion coin. The coins differ from the regular version since they are struck on specially burnished blanks. They also carry the "W" mint mark, to denote their production at the West Point Mint.

Each coin comes in a protective capsule and presentation case along with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the US Mint Director Edmund Moy.

The pricing for this release is worth examining. Last year's coin was priced at $21.95 when it was released on June 13, 2007. On that date the price of silver was $13.05 per ounce, making the "coin premium" a steep $8.90. As of the writing of this post, the price of silver is $20.18 per ounce, making the "coin premium" for the 2008-W Silver Eagle a relatively reasonable $5.77.

By pricing the coins much closer to the value of the silver content, the Mint seems to be positioning the product more directly in competition with the bullion coins. Collectors who may have purchased the bullion version may opt to purchase the collectible version for just a few dollars more. Historically, the collectible version of the coin has ended up with a significantly lower mintage than the bullion version, adding to the allure.
2008-W Silver Eagles with Reverse of 2007


Monday, March 10, 2008

James Monroe First Day Coin Cover on Sale March 14

The 2008 James Monroe First Day Coin Cover is scheduled to go on sale at the US Mint this Friday, March 14, 2008 at 12:00 Noon ET.

The cover will include two James Monroe Presidential Dollars, one each from the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, on a display card with a 41 cent American Flag postage stamp. The postmark will be February 14, 2008, the first day James Monroe coins were issued.

Overall production is limited to 50,000. The Mint has placed a limit of 10 units per household. The price for each cover is $14.95.

The Mint's product page is available here, although ordering options won't be available until the coins officially go on sale.

The Mint's First Day Cover products for the Presidential Dollars coins have proven popular with collectors. The first three presidents sold out their entire 50,000 production runs. The fourth release for James Madison has sold approximately 40,000 of the maximum 50,000 production since its release on December 11, 2007.

The James Madison First Day Coin Cover is still available for sale here.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Rising Silver Makes 2007 Silver Proof Set a Bargain

Recently silver has been taking the lead in the ongoing precious metals run. At the start of the year, the price of silver was $14.83 per ounce. As of the writing of this post, the value has risen to $20.68 per ounce. This represents a rise of nearly 40% in two short months.

So far, silver's rise has not caused the US Mint to suspend or re-price any of their products, but it is creating some incredible relative bargains.

The best example is the 2007 Silver Proof Set. This set contains 90% silver versions of the Roosevelt Dime, Kennedy Half, and 5 State Quarters. The sets were first offered on August 23, 2007, priced at $44.95 per set. On that date, the price of silver was only $11.69 per ounce.

With silver now at $20.68 per ounce, the silver coins in the set carry a significant value based on the metal content alone. Based on figures from Coinflation, the value of the silver content of the set is $27.67. In addition, the set also includes four proof Presidential Dollars, a proof Sacagawea Dollar, proof Jefferson Nickel, and proof Lincoln Cent.

With the silver content alone now carrying such a large value, this set is a bargain at its original offering price of $44.95. The Mint still has the 2007 Silver Proof Set available for sale here.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bald Eagle Commemorative Sales Figures, 3 Coin Set Sold Out

The Bald Eagle Commemorative Coins have now been on sale for seven weeks. One of the ordering options has now sold out. This was the 3 Coin Proof Set, which includes proof versions of the $5 Gold, $1 Silver, and 50c Clad Coins. Sales of the other options continue to increase, although none are close to sell out levels yet.

The following tables shows sales figures as of February 28, 2008

Proof Unc Both
$5 Gold 23,982 11,206 35,188
$1 Silver 132,724 54,336 187,060
50c Half 93,195 54,280 147,475
3 Coin Set 25,684 n/a 25,684
Young Collector's Set n/a 15,950 15,950
Coin & Medal Set n/a 20,203 20,203

Adding together sales from the various ordering options places the totals for each coin at the following levels:
  • Combined 60,872 $5 Gold Coins out of a total maximum authorized mintage of 100,000. This puts the current sales at 60.9% of the maximum.
  • Combined 232,947 $1 Silver Coins out of a maximum authorized mintage of 500,000. This puts the current sales at 46.6% of the maximum.
  • Combined 163,425 50c Clad Coins out of a maximum authorized mintage of 750,000. This puts the current sales at 21.8% of the maximum.
Bald Eagle Three Coin Proof Set Sold Out

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Precious Metals Keep Rising- Sales of Dolley Madison Uncirculated Coins Halted

Precious metals prices continue their steep ascent. This morning silver, gold, and platinum are all trading higher. Silver just broke through the closely watched $20 per ounce level. Gold seems poised to cross the $1,000 mark. Platinum hovers beneath $2,200.

The U.S. Mint has been routinely suspending sales of coins with precious metals content as the bullion prices approach their product prices. Last year this lead to numerous suspensions and product repricings for Gold and Platinum Eagle products as well as a price increase for the fourth coin of the First Spouse Gold series. It looks like this year the Mint will not have it any easier.

Last night, sales of the uncirculated version of the Dolley Madison First Spouse Gold Coin were halted. The product page currently carries the Mint's standard metals-related suspension message:
Due to the increasing market value of gold, the Dolley Madison Gold Uncirculated Coins are temporarily unavailable while pricing for this option can be adjusted; therefore, no orders can be taken at this time.
It is somewhat curious that they have only suspended the Uncirculated version of the coin. The Proof version is still available for sale here at $529.95. However, with gold trading higher again this morning, I think the proof version may be suspended soon as well.

The Dolley Madison prices will likely be brought into line with the recently released Elizabeth Monroe coins. This will adjust the curious price difference discussed in this prior post.