US Mint Product Schedule Update
Over the weekend, the US Mint made a change to their product schedule. The Letitia Tyler First Spouse Gold Coin, previously scheduled for June 4, 2009 has been delayed until July 1, 2009.
On several occasions this year, the US Mint has delayed products just prior to their published release dates. At this time, the reason for the delay is unknown.
The schedule change brings to light a few issues. According to the US Mint, they are authorized to produced and sell First Spouse Gold Coins "for approximately one year from the date of issue or until sold out, whichever occurs first." In practice we have seen the US Mint end sales of the year-ago release to coincide with the release of the current issue. Most recently, sales of the Elizabeth Monroe coins ended as the Anna Harrison coin sales began.
The Louisa Adams First Spouse Gold Coin is next in line to have sales end. The coins originally went on sale May 29, 2009, so they are already over the one year mark. Will the US Mint continue to offer the coins for sale until the release date of the Letitia Tyler coin? This would results in a sales period of over 13 months. This may cause frustration for collectors who were awaiting the end of sales to lock in a low mintage figure for the Louisa Adams coins. Sales figures now stand at 3,958 and 6,620 for the uncirculated and proof versions respectively.
A second issue caused by the delay is the eventual pricing for the Letitia Tyler coin. Under the US Mint's current pricing policy, prices are determined based on the average London Fix price of gold for the preceding week. When the average price moves across price ranges set at $50 intervals, prices are adjusted. Gold has been moving up steadily for the past several weeks, resulting in a price increase two weeks ago and likely this week. If gold's momentum continues during June, the price of the Letitia Tyler coins may be the highest initial pricing for any coin in the series to date.
A final consideration, with the release date moved up until July, the US Mint's product release schedule will be completely empty for the remainder of the month. The eagerly awaited 2009 Proof Set will go on sale today June 1, 2009 at 12:00 Noon ET. After that, collectors will have to wait until July for the next product. Except for the year end period, I can't recall such a long dry spell for US Mint product in recent years.
Labels: US Mint