2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Household Limit
The 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coins have been on sale at the US Mint for nearly 12 weeks. Even though the pace of sales has slowed significantly, the one per household ordering limit remains in place.
Sales of the Ultra High Relief began on January 22, 2009. The initial pace of sales was blazing fast, with over 40,000 coins sold in the first four days. After the initial rush, the pace of sales began to slow, as I examined in this previous post. The trend has continued, with only 491 coins sold in the prior one week reporting period.
A contributing factor to the slowing pace of sales may be the the current household limit which has been in place since the start of sales. Currently, only one coin may be ordered per household. Although there are definitely some people who have gotten around the limit by enlisting the help of friends or family, it does place an ultimate barrier on demand. With the latest weekly sales down roughly 99% from the first week's sales, is it time to remove the household limit?
Greg Hernandez, Acting Director of Public Affairs at the United States Mint provided the following statements:
We are closely monitoring sales of the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin. At this time, the one per household limit is still in place, and we do not have a time frame for when the limit will be changed.The statements do not provide much in the way of new information, but the important thing is that removing or raising the household limit remains a possibility. In my opinion, the possibility becomes increasingly likely as the pace of sales continue to diminish. The household limit should be of interest to collectors, since it would likely squelch the booming secondary market that exists for the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin.
The purpose of the limit is to ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to United States Mint products.
A review of recently completed eBay auctions shows that uncertified examples of the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle are selling within a range of roughly $1,500 - $1,650. This compares to the current price at the US Mint price of $1,239. These coins carry no special distinction other than the fact that they are available for immediate purchase and delivery. (View recently completed eBay auctions.)
If the household ordering limit is raised or removed, I think the following scenario would take place: There would be an influx of orders from resellers or speculators who had previously sold the coins for a profit and believed that the premiums would continue. Once the US Mint started delivering these coins, there would be an influx of coins available on the secondary market. This influx would come at a time when buyers were finally able to purchase the coins directly from the US Mint in unrestricted quantities. This increase in supply and decrease in demand would cause secondary market prices to fall, bringing them down to the price level at the US Mint.
While it's possible that the household limit will remain in place for the rest of the year, I wouldn't count on it. If you are looking to purchase an additional Ultra High Relief Double Eagle, your best option might be to wait and see if there are any changes to the household limit before paying a premium on the secondary market.
Labels: Ultra High Relief