Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Thursday, May 15, 2008

2007 & 2008 First Spouse Gold Mintage Figures

This is the last in a series posts dedicated to reviewing the latest available sales figures for the Mint's 2007 and 2008 precious metals related products.

Today, we take a look at the First Spouse Gold Coin Series. This series began in 2007 with much excitement. The first two coins released in the series honored Martha Washington and Abigail Adams. They sold out their maximum authorized mintages of 40,000 coins within the first day of offering.

The next coin offered was the Thomas Jefferson's Liberty coin. Due to the quick sell outs of the first two issues, the Mint instated a strict limit of one coin per household. Despite the limit, coins still sold out within the first day of sales.

The final coin of 2007 honored Dolley Madison and unfortunately did not fare as well as the previous coins. The coin did not sell out and remains available sale at the Mint. The first release of 2008 honors Elizabeth Monroe. Sales for this coin have been even slower.

There are several reasons behind the decline in popularity that I have discussed in other posts. Summarized briefly:
  • The Mint raised the price of the Madison and Monroe coins by nearly $100 and $200 each in response to the rising price of gold. This may have put the coin out of reach for some collectors.
  • Two coins of the series are available for sale at the Mint, but at prices $90 apart. This surely acts as a disincentive to purchase the more expensive coin.
  • The prices for the prior sold out coins in the series started to decline on the secondary market. Premiums declined so much that one company decided to melt their First Spouse Coins.
  • The natural tendency for a series to lose the interest of collectors over time.
The table below shows the last updated sales figures for the 2007 and 2008 First Spouse Gold Coins.

2007 & 2008 First Spouse Gold Sales Figures

Unc Proof
2007 Martha Washington 20,000 20,000
2007 Abigail Adams 20,000 20,000
2007 Thomas Jefferson 20,000 20,000
2007 Dolley Madison 11,139 17,471
2008 Elizabeth Monroe 3,884 6,623

There are some interesting observations to come out of these figures.

First, the figures for the first three sold out coins may not reflect the actual availability of the coins. We know that at least 5,000 - 7,000 of the coins were melted based on an article from Coin World. In the long term, this may eventually start to have an impact on availability and prices.

Second, if the trend for lower and lower mintages continues, a situation may eventually occur where the mintage is so low that the coins increase significantly in value once they are no longer available from the Mint. The most well known occurrence of this is the 1997-W Jackie Robinson Coin. The uncirculated version of the coin had a mintage of only 5,174 and now sells for over $4,000 due to its incredible scarcity. Definitely something to keep in mind now that the series has stepped out of the limelight.

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