Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Most 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagles Grading MS70?

Although there have been some reports of damaged or flawed 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coins, the vast majority seem to be arriving in excellent condition. It also seems that the majority of coins sent to PCGS or NGC for grading are coming back MS70.

I just reviewed the PCGS and NGC graded 2009 UHR's listed on eBay and was surprised by the high proportion of MS70 graded coins. While this might not be indicative of the overall population of graded and ungraded coins, it seems to suggest that most of the UHR Double Eagles being received are beautiful high grade coins-- or "perfect" MS70 coins in the eyes of the major grading companies.

At the time of writing this post, there were 13 PCGS graded 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagles listed on eBay. A total of 11 out of 13 coins were graded PCGS MS70. Searching completed auctions finds another 11 coins. From this batch 11 out of 11 were graded PCGS MS70. These coins all carry the (sometimes controversial) "First Strike" designation. This designation is available for coins submitted to PCGS within the first 30 days of release.

The UHR Double Eagles graded PCGS MS70 have sold for prices from $2,650 to $3,500. The first UHR graded by PCGS, which was mentioned in several print publications seems to have sold for a best offer of $10,000. View the current eBay auctions for UHR's graded PCGS MS70.

On the other side of the field, there were 15 UHR's graded by NGC listed on eBay. A total of 12 out of 15 were graded NGC MS 70. Each coin carried the "Early Releases" designation. Completed auctions find another 8 NGC graded UHR's with 7 out of 8 graded NGC MS 70.

The UHR Double Eagles graded NGC MS 70 have sold for prices from $2,400 to $3,000. View the current eBay auctions for UHR's graded NGC MS70.

From all of the above data, there were 41 out of 47 coins received the highest grade of MS70. As mentioned, this is a very high proportion of MS70's.

It is possible that people who had their graded and received MS70's were tempted to sell the coins immediately since they saw the high prices being paid. People who had their coins graded and received MS69's may have been less tempted and kept the coins. This would distort the ratio of MS70 graded coins on the market.

It's also possible that the US Mint took extra care producing and handling the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coins, creating a high percentage of "perfect" coins. As suggested by a comment on a previous post, I have put together a survey to try to gauge the condition of coins being received by readers.

The poll is closed. Someone thought it was clever to vote unacceptable 94 times in a row.

The responses for the above survey are intentionally worded as general descriptions, so everyone can provide a response. If you want to provide more details on your coin, feel free to leave your comments below or on Coin Network.



At March 10, 2009 at 5:30 PM , Anonymous neal said...

I think the upside to this is that prices seem to be coming down. Some of the first MS70 coins that were listed were being priced from $8000 to $23K! Fortunately, some sellers started listing their coins with no reserve bringing the overall prices down to a more manageable level.

At March 10, 2009 at 6:17 PM , Anonymous Carlos said...

Has anyone used ICG to grade this coin yet? ...and if so, what was the grading?

...or do you prefer using one of the other grading companies?

At March 11, 2009 at 7:40 AM , Anonymous Brian said...

Carlos, PCGS carries the highest market premium as the toughest grader, NGC is second.

My personal opinion is if you think it is perfect, send it to PCGS, if you think PCGS will knock it to a 69 and NGC might give it a 70 consider NGC.

If I missed the cut off for 1st Strike, I wouldn't have slabbed mine since I want to keep it and I didn't want it handled.

Since it was perfect at 30x (they will inspect at 5x I believe), I walked into PCGS on the 6th, paid $78.75 (including $8 submission fee and $26.75 S/H) and submitted it. It might be over $100 for those that have to mail it in insured (overpriced but not as bad if you have multiple UHRAE you submit on one order form).

I recommend you take good close up pictures of the coin (front/back/sides) before submitting it...but I'm cautious by nature.

At March 11, 2009 at 1:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My coin, ordered the first day, still has not shipped.

Today I spoke to PCGS and they said that today (March 11) is the postmark date cutoff for first strike designation.

So, due to the continuing and colossal incompetence of the U.S. Mint, I have lost the opportunity to add additional value to my coin through a first strike designation, even though I ordered on the first day.

The failure to follow their own promised FIFO procedure renders this more than just an inconvenience, and possibly an actionable breach.

Perhaps a class action suit on behalf of 40,000+ purchasers who reasonably relied to their detriment on a promised procedure would wake those stupid, slumbering, non-caring bureaucrats up.

At March 11, 2009 at 2:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole thing about professionally grading brand new coins from the mint really bugs me. I can see the usefulness of professionally grading very valuable old coins, which have the possibility of being either counterfeited, or subject to very costly mis-grading, but this whole thing about professionally grading modern mint coins just seems wrong to me. I prefer the original mint packaging, rather than these ugly professionally graded coin holders, and the subsequent mark up in value just seems like a big rip-off, or just an excuse to mark up the price beyond what it should be worth. I really could care less about the difference between an MS69 and MS70, and this whole "first strike" nonsense especially bothers me. I will never buy any modern mint coin that is professionally graded. Give me the original mint packaging and holders and nothing else. Anything else is subject to abuse by flippers and short term profit seekers at the expense of long term overall investment value.

At March 11, 2009 at 4:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the previous post about grading brand new coins from the mint. Too many novice collectors will get burned by crooks that sell these hyped-up coins and this will ultimately be bad for our hobby. Independent grading does make sense for older rare coins with values that often jump astronomically from one grade to the next.

At March 12, 2009 at 8:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the grading services posing how many coins they have graded so far?

At March 12, 2009 at 8:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also agree with the two previous posts. This grading process should be for older coins. Grading of new coins appears to be "gimmicky."
As for me I decline to have any new coins graded and urge others to do the same. Lets add some respectability back to coin collecting.
Now having said this I also believe we still have a free country for the time being and if someone wants to grade their new coins that is their business.

At March 12, 2009 at 8:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

One factor in slabbing coins is the appearance/prevalence of "spotting" after the coin is encased. I have come across many a proof ASE which develops unsightly spots after the coin is slabbed. Though I must admit in favor of grading, that having a "perfect" coin is holding a gem. It would be nice if there was a grading system which maintained the original mint packaging but still assigned a grade. Alas this would be too prone to tampering. A good compromise is to keep the OGP/COA with the graded coin for future sale.

At March 12, 2009 at 10:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is unfair that the orders were not shipped in the correct order. I did not order mine until Jan. 28th online, and I was notified by email that it had shipped yesterday (March 11th). The mint is so disorganized right now that I do not know what else to say.

At March 12, 2009 at 3:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ordered my coin on 1/27; received today. Gorgeous case, but overkill relative to coin size (others have noted this fact). I see no spots; and, in fact, I think this is one of the best packaged coins I have ever received from the Mint. If this coin isn't a "70", what is? I almost forgot how small a pure 1 ounce gold coin was; but then again, that's what is so neat about gold. . .easily concealed, easily transportable.

At March 13, 2009 at 5:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the March 12, 2009 3:07 PM poster.

The coin packaging is extremely nice but much too large.

How does the mint expect us to store the coin plus packaging? No home safe or safety deposit box is that big.

As usual, I took the coin out of the packaging and put it in my safety deposit box at the bank. The empty box gets pushed to the back of my closet.

At March 14, 2009 at 9:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ordered mine on Jaunuary 28. It was shipped March 11, & I received it the morning of March 12. I also agree that while beautiful, the box size is overkill. I have to laugh at e-bay ads saying mint sealed. A UPS sticker and a strip of clear tape. The bottom is not "sealed", and could easily be opened with a razor blade & reglued, with no trace. The mints own web site claims that "early release" or "first strike" designations are totally meaningless, as dies on proofs are changed frequently, & everyone has an equal chance as to the quality or grade.In my opinion, those paying a premium for these graded ones now, will be burned when they try to sell them later. The only slab coins I ever bought were a few Indian Head pennies that I removed from the holders & put in my collection book. I agree with others that grading new coins is a rip off & a waste of money. I buy my coins because I like them for their looks, & if they grade high when I sell at a later date, so be it. Investment value is secondary to me.

At March 17, 2009 at 2:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My UHR arrived yesterday and it was a huge disappointment. There are fine radial scratches in the rays & field between the date & olive branch. They aren't visible without a 10X glass, but very obvious with magnification. The capitol and oak leaf details are also lousy. I think the mint has some serious quality issues they need to address and this was the real reason UHR shipping was delayed. A 2008 proof AGE I have also has some frost missing on a couple of the rays.

At March 22, 2009 at 10:38 PM , Anonymous spiff said...

I recieved my UHR on the 18th (ordered on 2/10/9).. Looks flawless. I don't think having modern coins graded is either a rip off or scam. old coins will very very rarely ever get a perfect grade obviously. We should take advantage of being able to own a flawless coin that will stay perfectly sealed and protected in there new slabbed cases forever. That being said the mint should know better by now that most coin collctors who enjoy having there coins graded and sealed should start designing there packaging and wooden cases to hold slabbed coins so that the cases they shipped us dont wind up as fancy junk clutering up the closet and give people the option on the type of packaging..

At March 25, 2009 at 9:48 AM , Anonymous Markus said...

I ordered my UHR on opening day, about 4 hours in. I just received it on March 16 and too late for 1st Strike. Mine was solidly secure it the presentation box. The surfaces look flawless under 10X but the raised edge has some imperfections. I thought of sending it back, but what assurance do I have that I will get something better? I might even get someone else's return!. At least I fell under the 30 day return policy, so I have a little time to research.

At March 27, 2009 at 2:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ordered my coin on approximately 2-20-09. Had a friend of mine order one for me last Thurs. Both were delivered today. I did not receive the booklet. A note inside said they would be mailing them out as soon as they become available. As others have stated, the box is overkill. However, the wooden box is well crafted. Overall, I guess I'm satisfied. I think I like my older St Gaudens $20 gold coin because it is larger in diameter. I'm not grading or selling. I think its funny that people put them on Ebay when you can purchase them directly from the mint.

At March 28, 2009 at 5:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I too received my UHR damaged on the raised lettered edge, I have sent it in to be checked out. Naturally I hope the deformations and shearred off letters are cause for a rarer coin, but probably just a dirty die!
I wonder how many other folks have had this issue? Perhaps this would be a good topic of discussion? Is this the difference in grading designations?

At March 28, 2009 at 6:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot understand why a coin any less than perfect are being sent. It appears the mint is promoting it as a high end product by providing the mahogany case and booklet. Mint employees have told me that the coins are monitored through the process to ensure quality. Lets face it, the coin is not cheap. People are paying top dollar and nothing less should be provided. I noticed on my Certificate of Authenticity that is states the coin to be a "Business Strike". I read that means it is has been struck for circulation. I was under the impression I was buying a "Proof" quality coin. Can anyone clarify this for me? I'd like to think I made a wise purchase.

At March 29, 2009 at 9:14 AM , Anonymous Bob said...

I ordered my coin from the US mint on February 13, 2009 and I received the coin via UPS on March 17th, 2009. I even had it re-directed to my work address a day later since no one was at home to sign for it a day earlier. I shipped it off to NGC for grading on the 19th of March and right now it is on it's way back to me via registered mail and it has a final grade of MS-69. I read on the internet the final grade total's for NGC and PCGS as of March 26, 2009: NGC: MS-70-567 coins, MS-69-391 coins, MS-68-5 coins=Grand Total: 963 coins; PCGS: MS-70-398 coins, MS-69-190 coins, MS-68-2 coins=Grand Total= 590 coins graded by both firms in all grades= 1,553 coins.
I also read that even though MS-70 will always be worth more than 69's that quite possibly the MS-69 graded coins may be sleepers and may be worth a considerable amount in the very near future??
I guess time will tell??

At April 5, 2009 at 8:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the owner of several Double Eagles. They are flawless MS70's and they are the crown jewels in my collection. I've been collecting coins for 35 years and this is the best coin ever produced in the history of the United States to date. I urge you all to make the wisest investment you could possibly make in modern American history. This is the ONE.

At April 6, 2009 at 9:37 PM , Anonymous spiff said...

I agree with the previous statment. Although im very new to coin collecting, and have done it for about 6 yrs.
I only have one UHR (graded MS70 from pcgs) This is definetly my fave of all my coins and i plan on desperatly getting another before the year ends.

At April 15, 2009 at 12:43 PM , Blogger Jay said...

Received a UHR Double Eagle and have been searching to see if others have the die polishing marks on theirs that I have. Granted you need a good deal of magnification to see them, but how many are coming out like this now? It certainly can't grade 70 with this and I'm not certain it would even go 69. Has anyone sent one in with die polishing marks and what grade did it get? Cheers..

At April 15, 2009 at 11:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ordered my UHR coin the first day it was offered. My coin is absolutely gorgeous. It looks perfect to the untrained eye, but does have a very small blemish on the torch area on the obverse. Many graders will overlook such problems and grade these coins as MS70, however mine should only grade MS69. As for the previous comment, since die polish is actually part of the die, the grade of the coin will not be affected. An MS70 coin must be completely devoid of flaws with a 99% or better full strike, no toning, and must be completely in the same state as when it left the dies. Since die polish is part of the dies, it does not affect the grade.

At April 20, 2009 at 1:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ordered on 1/22 and received on 3/18. Unfortunately I sent back on 3/19 due to what I perceived to be flaws around the edge of the coin, perhaps flaws in the blank. It is now 4/20 and I have not received a replacement but the Mint has charged me again on my credit card. I can not get a smart enough bureaucrat to tell me why I have been charged twice. If I receive the replacement and it too is flawed it is going back and I will end my pursuit of this coin. Now I have to spend time documenting to my credit card company the double charge and get all this cleared up.

At April 20, 2009 at 3:56 PM , Blogger Michael said...

Anonymous above, in the past I have seen the US Mint's return process work like this:

When the returned product is received back, the Mint provides a credit for the price of the product. When they ship out your replacement, they apply a new charge for the same amount.

The credit and charge should net to zero, and you should receive your replacement product.

One time, when I returned a product for an exchange, the Mint did not provide me with the initial credit. They charged me when the replacement was shipped, resulting in a double charge.

I called the Mint, the reps I spoke to understood the problem, but had to transfer me around to several departments in order to provide and authorize the credit due.

This was pre-PBGS, not sure if the process has changed.

Hope this helps.

At June 26, 2009 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous spiff said...

Jay my first coin (I have two now) does happen to have a die polish mark on it but still graded a ms70 (by PCGS none the less)..Although even though I am not a "PCG" my other coin looks even nicer (more luster) but yet it graded an ms69 but i'm still very happy to have two now and considering they have only made barely over 60 thousand of these its looking like a very good investment..

At December 8, 2009 at 5:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

For your reference.

I sent 21 UHR coins to PCGS for grading and only 5 received MS70 gradings and the rest MS69.


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