Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2008-W Uncirculated and Proof Gold Eagle Sales

As we come closer to the end of the year, it's a good time to review sales figures for some of the US Mint's product offerings. Unpopular or neglected products with low sales have the potential to become potential high value key dates once sales officially end.

Today's post will take a look at the most recent sales figures for 2008-W Uncirculated and Proof Gold Eagles. The sales figures are for the collectible versions of the coins offered direclty by the US Mint and not the bullion versions.

The figures below are based on September 24 Mint Stats from Numismaster. The product column refers to sales of each ordering option. The combined column refers to the total sales for each coin by adding individual sales to the set sales.

2008 Proof Gold Eagle Sales

Product Combined
1 ounce 10,338 17,781
1/2 ounce 2,343 9,786
1/4 ounce 3,780 11,223
1/10 ounce 7,328 14,771
4 coin set 7,443 n/a

2008-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle Sales

Product Combined
1 ounce 2,294 3,607
1/2 ounce 900 2,213
1/4 ounce 1,187 2,500
1/10 ounce 4,718 6,031
4 coin set 1,313 n/a

Both Proof and Uncirculated Gold Eagles are showing incredible declines compared to last year's estimated final mintages. This is likely due to two factors. First, the coins have been been on sale this year at extremely high premiums above precious metals value. This is because the coins were priced when the market price of gold was high, and not repriced after gold fell. Second, this year the Mint began offering Uncirculated and Proof Fractional Buffalo Gold Coins. Some collectors may be choosing to buy Buffaloes instead of Eagles.

The coin with the lowest sales total is the 1/2 ounce 2008-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle with combined sales of only 2,213. This is far below last year's estimated mintage of 13,358. Besides the Platinum Eagles mentioned previously, this is the coin with the lowest sales figures of 2008 US Mint product offerings.

Is this coin a good investment as a potential future key date? Maybe.

At this point, there are still too many factors in play and too much time for the coins to remain on sale. If the price of gold regains its old high, this would likely spur additional sales bringing the total mintage higher. On the other hand, if the price of gold declines and the US Mint finally relents and lowers prices, this could also spur additional sales. The price of gold has been extremely volatile lately, making either scenario a possibility.

There is also plenty of time left for additional sales. The US Mint usually keeps these coins available for sale until next year's coins are released. We may have as much as six more months until the end of sales.

For now, I am keeping the 1/2 ounce 2008-W Gold Eagle, all 2008-W Platinum Eagles, and a few others (that I will reveal soon) on my radar.

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