Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin Ordering Limits to Rise


More than six months after the initial launch, the US Mint will finally raise the ordering limits for the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin. Starting on July 27, the ordering limit will be increased from one coin per household to ten coins per household.

The one per household ordering limit has been in place since the coins first went on sale with the continual message that the limit would be "re-evaluated on a weekly basis."

The UHR Double Eagle had gone on sale on January 22, 2009 with much fanfare. The coins were priced at $1,189.00 with an ordering limit of one coin per household. In the first few days of sales, more than 40,000 coins were sold.

In the ensuing months, the pace of sales slowed considerably. As of July 15, 2009, the US Mint has sold 69,517 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coins. For the past several months, the US Mint has typically sold fewer than 1,000 coins per week.

During the six months of sales, the price of the coin has fluctuated. Under the US Mint's pricing policy for numismatic gold coins, prices can be adjusted weekly if the average price of gold moves across cerain threshholds. The price of the UHR Double Eagle has ranged from the initial offering price of $1,189 to a high of $1,339.

The secondary market has continued to support premium prices for UHR Double Eagles available in hand. These premiums are at least partially attributable to the low ordering limit and the potential for shipping delays. Recently completed eBay auctions still show uncertified coins selling for $1,400 to $1,500 each ($100 to $200 above the current US Mint price) with graded examples selling for even more. View current eBay auctions.

Lifting the ordering limit will no doubt have some interesting impacts. Prices on the secondary market may finally decline, particularly for uncertified coins. Collectors will be able to purchase coins directly from the US Mint in larger quantities. This will satisfy some of the demand for coins and also create a more accessible source for resellers.

Weekly sales will likely see a boost, although the effect might be tapered by the current price of gold. The coins are currently priced at $1,289, which is at the high end of the price range for the coins during the six month offering period.

One final thing worth mentioning- raising the household limit is another sign that the US Mint is finally getting a handle on their precious metals blank supply. Long awaited collector coins and some of the hold out bullion coins will hopefully be appearing soon.

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16 Comments:

At July 20, 2009 at 2:08 PM , Blogger Lasloo said...

Just saw the UHR story in CoinWorld. I haven't bought one of 'em yet... but I hope to do so by the end of the year.

Also, CoinWorld had a small story which suggested that the West Point mint has started to gather the raw material to create:
Proof 2009-W American Eagle gold
Uncirculated 2009-W American Eagle gold
Fractional 2009 American Eagle gold bullion coins
Proof 2009-W American Buffalo 1-ounce $50 coins
2009 American Buffalo $50 bullion coin

And they also suggested that the West Point mint does plan to make American Eagle silver collector coins, but is still waiting for more silver planchets to come in before officially announcing it.

 
At July 21, 2009 at 12:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US Mint has said fractional GOLD American Eagle coins are done.

This sounds so wrong-

"Also, CoinWorld had a small story which suggested that the West Point mint has started to gather the raw material to create:
Fractional 2009 American Eagle gold bullion coins"

 
At July 21, 2009 at 5:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think he meant fractional gold PROOF coins. The Mint still plans to make those, right?

 
At July 21, 2009 at 7:25 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised how long the premium has held up in the secondary market. Mintage on these are very high.

I still haven't sold my PCGS MS70 FS though, but that wasn't my intention when I bought it.

Regular W GAEs of all years have a tough time holding their premiums (even proofs) and mintage numbers for those (especially the burnished W's) are a fraction of the already 69.5K sold of these.

Granted these are unique (99.9% gold like the Buffalos and First Lady coins), one year only, not issued in multiple versions (proof, burnished Uncirculated and Business Strike), beautiful but useless and massive display case, etc. but my guess is they'll eventually trade $100 to $200 above strike (the high end being for the MS70s).

 
At July 21, 2009 at 7:48 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

I'm only reporting what I read, and I just now looked back, and yep... they said they would be creating fractional bullion coins. And yes, the proof will also come in fractional sizes (1 ounce, half-ounce, quarter-ounce, tenth-ounce).

I remember reading somewhere (I wish I could remember where) that they initially were done with the fractional versions and the Buffalo coins... but that somewhere along the way, they realized that they were legally bound and therefore mandated to create these products. Can anybody verify that?

 
At July 21, 2009 at 9:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think the Mint was ever legally obligated to make the "W" Mint Marked UNCIRCULATED Buffalo Gold coins in ANY size. All of them, including the one ounce coin, were cut from the lineup last year. Also, the Mint was NEVER legally obligated to make any PROOF coins for collectors of any design, but did so simply as a courtesy because supplies were not tight. Things have changed quite a bit in the past couple of years, though.

The Mint IS legally obligated to manufacture the uncirculated one ounce American Buffalo BULLION Gold coins (without the "W" Mint Mark), and has plans to do so (later this year, of course.)

I doubt very seriously that we will EVER see the fractional Buffalo coins return. It almost didn't happen in 2008, then after a very small production run they were pulled. The sets that originally cost in the neighborhood of $1,900-$2,200 from the Mint now regularly fetch around $4,500-$4,800 on the secondary market. There are a lot more collectors of Gold Buffaloes than there are supplies of the 2008 collector coins, that's for sure!

 
At July 21, 2009 at 9:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make sure to get your 2008 American Buffalo Gold Uncirculated one ounce collector coin with the "W" Mint Mark, if you don't have one already. The total mintage on that one is very low (under 10,000 as I recall), and it is destined to become the KING of the one ounce Gold Buffaloes.

 
At July 21, 2009 at 9:33 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

You're probably right, its probably just the bullion Buffalo that they are required to make. I can't see Congress mandating numismatic versions of these coins.

Where would I go to get a 2008 Uncirculated W-mint Gold Buffalo? If there are only 10,000 or so, out there... then, there's probably not too many places to go to get one. Has previous recent versions of this coin gone up greatly in price. I don't follow the gold coins as closely.

 
At July 21, 2009 at 2:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Numismaster, there were 9,427 2008-W Uncirculated Gold Buffalo one-ounce coins sold. The breakdown is 3,124 coins sold individually and 6,303 included in the 4-coin sets.

Due to the breakup of sets and submissions for professional grading, the current availability of raw coins in their original state is unknown. However you slice it, the one-ounce coin is most likely a tough find locally. Your best bet to get one is eBay, but they are not cheap.

If you have the money, buying a raw 4-coin set is a good bet. You will then own all four sizes, and the 1.85 ounces of pure gold you will get just may end up being worth the price you would pay now all by itself later, allowing you to claim the future premium for yourself.

 
At July 22, 2009 at 6:54 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

Maybe the better plan is to buy the 2009 version when it comes out (assuming that the CoinWorld article is accurate that they will do a collector version).
However, how rare will the 2009 one be? Is it a set mintage, or will they keep making it as long as there is demand and they have gold?

 
At July 22, 2009 at 8:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new to this hobby and I am having trouble seeing anything very small. What is the best magnifying equipment to buy?
Thanks

 
At July 22, 2009 at 10:24 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

To Anonymous July 22, 2009 8:04 AM:

I have a 20x loupe with a LED light. Very nice. Though I don't remember the brand.

However, I also need more experience taking better photographs of my coins. Especially very CLOSE up photographs, so that I can focus on die marks and the like. Can anybody give aid in taking better photographs and getting REALLY REALLY close up?
It would be nice if there was some kind of microscope-type set up that pushed the close up image to a sizable digital LED screen which could save then save those images on the screen to a memory card or USB stick.
I also know that lighting is crucial, but I'm having a hard time grasping what I need and how I can get it to work properly.

 
At July 24, 2009 at 7:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

2008 W buffalo gold coins are winners so far. Watch ebay selling price you will notice the price is increasing weekly, if not daily. Though they are pretty expensive now, I do belive there is still room for them to go upward. Buy some if you don't have any.

 
At July 24, 2009 at 8:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There goes the rarity of the UHR with the ten coin per household limit.

I think the mint should do a limited coinage of a two coin set of the UHR in Proof and Reverse Proof.

 
At July 27, 2009 at 6:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

AS of monday july 22, noon EST.
you may now order up to 10 ultra-high relief gold coins per address.
the current mint price is $1289 per coin plus shipping

 
At July 27, 2009 at 6:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My bad---the date is july 27th,
sorry!!

 

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