Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin- Six to Nine Months For Delivery?

The start of sales for the US Mint's 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin is fast approaching, but that doesn't necessarily mean you will receive your coin any time soon.

While poking around the US Mint's website, I managed to find the unreleased product page for the Ultra High Relief, which includes this statement:
The United States Mint will accept orders beginning on January 22, 2009 at 12:00 noon (ET). Orders will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis, and could potentially take up to six to nine months to complete based on gold blank availability.
When I previewed the Ultra High Relief back in mid-December, I had mentioned the possibility that the US Mint might be having trouble obtaining gold blanks, which could lead to a delayed launch and/or household ordering limit. It appears that rather than delaying the launch, the US Mint will simply delay shipping some orders for six to nine months. I think many would have preferred a delayed launch.

In addition to the delayed shipping, the US Mint will be implementing a household ordering limit of one per customer.

You can view the US Mint's product page here, which also includes a price for the coin of $1,189.00. Under the new pricing policy this is based on the $800.00 to $849.99 gold price tier.

The delayed shipping combined with the household limit will complicate the launch and may leave many frustrated. Waiting six to nine months for an order to arrive might be more than some customers are willing to endure.

Coin dealers may also face a complicated situation. Some dealers have offered to purchase coins from individuals for a small premium in order to side-step the household ordering limit and fulfill pre-orders. The potential for a multi-month shipping delay for coins adds a new layer of complication to their purchasing and pre-order fulfillment process.

I hope that the US Mint is simply including this statement to be conservative, but the US Mint's recent track record doesn't leave me too optimistic. Time will tell...



At January 21, 2009 at 5:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will buy the coin on the first day. Then for the next SIX to NINE months, I will watch the price of the UHR, if it falls, I will cancel and re-order.

I assume everyone will do this. Thus the mint will sell the UHR at the coin's lowest price to 99% of those ordering.

This cannot be good for the mint.

At January 21, 2009 at 5:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if they will charge my credit card right away and make me wait 6 to 9 months, or does the charge normally appear once the item is ready to ship?

I have the same question about stuff that is backordered as well.

At January 21, 2009 at 5:46 AM , Blogger Michael said...

Anonymous 1

I was thinking the same thing. If orders are delayed for six to nine months, everyone essentially gets a free option on the price of gold. If gold goes up, your price is locked in. If gold goes down, cancel your order and try again.

Anonymous 2

The charge should go through when the item ships.

At January 21, 2009 at 11:14 AM , Blogger John said...

However lets say they can only produce 10,000 of these and you cancel your 1st day order and try to save $50.00 only to find out your new place in line is # 10,001 and now your order will be canceled and you will not get one at all.
Just throwing that out there so you may want to weigh the risk to reward.
They have never charged my card until they ship the item on anything I have ever purchased from the Mint.

At January 21, 2009 at 11:25 AM , Blogger Michael said...

John, that's a good point. Also, there's no telling whether the US Mint might count your canceled order towards your household limit or handle in some other strange way.

At January 21, 2009 at 12:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you read the house bill on the
Congressional act for this coin it looks like they are going to mint 25,000 if I read it correctly. My guess is they are going to sell out within hours tomorrow, so there is no chance of re-ordering. On the upside I think the wait will be well worth it, my speculation is the coin doubles in value by the end of next month. With dealers already willing to pay people a premium because of the household limit. You take a whack at it.

At January 21, 2009 at 12:39 PM , Blogger Michael said...

This coin was not authorized by the House bill, it was authorized directly by the US Treasury Secretary. He authorized the coin with an unlimited mintage.

"The new coin is authorized under 31 U.S.C. ยง 5112(i)(4)(C), which allows the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe program procedures and specifications for minting and issuing new gold coins."

At January 21, 2009 at 2:36 PM , Blogger sure said...

my experience with the mint this year was that it was *authorized* at time of sale and billed at time of shipment. that turned out to cause these situations:
debit card, immediately hit for amount of sale, but dropped off three days later and then hit again for final sale at time of shipment.
credit card, immediately hit at time of sale as *authorization* which my CC company deducted from credit line and remained this way until final sale when it was posted as sale.

so depending on how your debit/CC cards work it might be a better option with going with a debit card unless you do not mind sitting on a 1,200 reduction in CC line for the order fullfillment process to conclude.

Good Luck everybody, the day is almost here.

At January 21, 2009 at 6:04 PM , Anonymous Keith said...

Once everyone places their orders tomorrow, if the order page still shows a six to nine month estimated shipping date, I recommend that everyone write the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committee. Ask them to open an inquiry into the Mint's practices and why they are taking orders for a product they don't have and won't have for an extremely long time.

And good luck placing an order. My money says the website crashes.

At January 22, 2009 at 11:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the limit on buying is a great idea if you are the average collector, wanting a fair crack at buying. So we will not have to pay dealer premiums - just look today (the sale started today) on eBay and see what I mean.

Besides, those who want to buy more than one can buy through another family household or friend. And if a dealer wants to rape someone else, then they will first have to pay the average Joe to sell his inventory.

BTW, when I ordered today. It was hard to get through to them by phone or on line! The Mint explained they are not charging credit cards until the order ships.

And if prices go up then I am locked in at today's rate. If they go down, then so what - cancel.

Get off it crybabies!

At January 22, 2009 at 12:38 PM , Blogger sure said...

The coin I purchased and got email confirmation stated "backordered" yet also with a ship date of 1/28/09.
I'm glad I did get a order in but my past experience tells me it could be a while before I see it. I did manage to place the confirmed order (so far, anyway) within 30 minutes. If that feat actually means anything as far as *first in-first-out* get in line please remains to be seen. I'm happy, right now, because I *supposedly own one that may be delivered in the near term.

At January 26, 2009 at 3:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made a purchase offer at 12:09 and it gave a tentative ship date of 1/28/2009. However, all subsequent phone inquiries indicated that no coins would ship until after 2/6/2009.
They are treating this one like a CIA secret. I am anxious for the coin, but I will wait since no other choice exists.
It is very interesting to watch the "sellers" jerk the civilians around on EBay!($1,500+)

At January 30, 2009 at 1:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what limits the ability of the Mint to obtain blanks for mintage of this coin? They can't be short of money, as I am sure they qualify for a bailout. Since they include a 15% profit margin above cost of production, they should never run out.

At January 30, 2009 at 1:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the "official release day" of the UHR coin is, for first strike purposes. As of Jan 30, have any shipped? Anybody receive one?


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