Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Monday, August 10, 2009

2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Sale Figures

Sales of the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin jumped to their highest level in months. The increase comes as a result of three potential factors, the most significant being the increase of the household ordering limit.

For the past several months, the UHR Double Eagle has been selling fewer than 1,000 coins per week. The pace of sales had settled into this steady, but restrained pace after a frantic opening weekend in late January, when the US Mint had sold more than 40,000 coins.

For the most recent weekly reporting period, the UHR recorded sales of 3,799 coins. This was up more than 300% from the sales level of the prior week.

The table below displays the weekly sales stats since July as reported by Numismaster. The first column shows the cumulative sales total for each reporting period and the second column showing the incremental sales increase for each period.
2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Sales
Date Total Sales Increase
July 2 68,114 941
July 8 68,886 772
July 15 69,517 631
July 22 70,395 878
July 29 71,250 855
August 6 75,049 3,799

There were three factors driving the big jump in sales for the prior week. First, the United States Mint raised the ordering limit on the coin from only one per household to ten per household. This change likely unleashed some pent up demand from collectors who have been waiting to purchase additional coins beyond their one per household allocation.

Second, the price of gold has been moving higher. On Thursday of last week, the price touched a two month high when gold moved above $970 per ounce. Under the US Mint's pricing policy, the price of the UHR is increased if the average weekly London Fix gold price moves across certain levels. By my calculation, last week the coin just narrowly missed a price increase. Collectors may have accelerated purchases since a price increase seemed likely.

Third, the increased sales might be partially attributable to the US Mint's new internet advertising campaign for the coin. To the best of my knowledge this seems to be something that they started using recently, if not within the last week.

The US Mint has stated that the mintage of the UHR Double Eagle will be "unlimited for one year." Under the authorization received from the US Secretary of the Treasury, the coins may only be minted during 2009, however sales "may continue into 2010 if inventory exists." This means that if the US Mint's final production run in 2009 does not sell out by the end of the year, they do have authority to continue selling the coins into the following year until the coins sell out.

At this point, it seems likely that the UHR Double Eagle will have a final mintage above 100,000. Collectors have been looking at the potential final mintage of the coin as one of the several factors which will determine whether the coins have potential for price appreciation down the line. The last one ounce gold coin produced for collectors to sell more than 100,000 coins was the 2006 Proof Gold Buffalo Coin.

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At August 10, 2009 at 4:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When is the mint going to produce 2009 Proof Gold, Silver, & Platinum Eagles? Here we are with less than 21 weeks until the end of 2009 and yet absolutely no word on when these coins will be available for collectors. This is ridiculous and unprecedented in recent history. It's way past time for these coins to be added to the production schedule.

At August 10, 2009 at 9:34 PM , Blogger John said...


I think you are spot on with your reasons for the sudden sales increase, but there are more reasons why the sales have increased and since I purchased 9 more of these coins this week I can share my reasons for the purchase. Reasons 4-8

#4 I think it is a better place to invest in then other tradional venues at the moment.

#5 The Gold buffalo's are doing very well, especially the one year fractionals. I realize that this is just speculation but I believe that they will command premiums in the future just like the buffalo's do now and 3 years from now people will be kicking themselves that they did not buy them when the mint made them.

#6 It is a beautiful coin and only a one year of issue.

#7 There are few other mint products to choose from.

#8 Most Importantly, they are still commanding premiums from ebay and coin dealers.

At August 11, 2009 at 5:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

UHR's are not a smart investment. No gold coin with a mintage of 100,000 - 150,000 (like the UHR will have) will ever command more than a tiny premium... the way things are going, every single gold coin the Mint has made in 2009 will be rarer than the UHR, except for the bullion gold eagles!

Even though it is a 1 year only, and maybe once in a lifetime coin, they are for sale everywhere already... the premium was small before everybody could order 10... it will only shrink from here.

At August 11, 2009 at 6:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention that gold will most likely sink to the $400-$600 per ounce range once the economy straightens out, which will pretty much wipe out the current $100-$200 premium

At August 11, 2009 at 6:59 PM , Anonymous Linus said...

It's too bad, this could have been a nice scarce coin; now it, even though a one-year issue, will seemingly become as available (and about as valuable) as as common-date Saint.

At August 11, 2009 at 11:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with what one reader says above. Even though the UHR is a one year issue, it is has been produced in sufficient quantities, that demand will be minnimal. Demand, in part, drives up the cost of coins and with so many UHRs going around, it's unlikely that these will increase significantly in value. Plus too, thinking long term, as the recession abates, the price of gold will likely fall, further impacting the value of the UHR and other gold coins (which are priced so high primarily for their bullion content).

At August 12, 2009 at 4:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love some of these comments on this blog, particularly from those people with the requisite blinders necessary to say that gold will drop to 400-600 as soon as "economy recovers." When economy rebounded after 2002, thanks to another Fed-induced credit bubble, did gold and silver go down in value? I don't think so. I remember telling acquaintances to buy a little precious metals all the way up from just under $300. Every time another hundred dollar barrier fell, people would tell me let it pull back a hundred dollars or so and they might buy; they didn't. When the credit bubble broke in earnest last year and paper assets lost about $30 trillion worldwide, did the premium shrink on gold, as there was wholesale dumping of paper gold? Nope. Coin premiums actually went up, as a disconnect developed between paper prices and physical. In fact, gold held up better than real estate and stocks. Now, I know gold can still correct from here. . .maybe 50, maybe 100, maybe 200. The question is whether you have the foresight to buy the dips, if premiums stay the same or even contract? Most likely, the "recovery addicts" will not. I guess Barnum was right about suckers; and I guess people exist who spend time on this site who don't see the contradiction in the phrase "jobless recovery," especially an economy whose GDP is 70% consumption and which measures wealth by asset price increases, not savings and investment. The only way this economy is going to recover is if the government successfully inflates its way out of this credit debacle, such that taxpayers' money, which is currently being hoarded by banks, unsure of the real value of their assets and loans on their books, somehow makes it way into the economy again faster than their debts implode (it's still going on recovery addicts). That scenario is hardly bearish for gold, much to the chagrin of the paper shorts in gold. $600 gold? Yeah, it's possible. But I think $1200 or $1500 gold is equally possible; actually, I think we will see the latter figures more so than the former. If we do, I expect to hear the same chorus of people proclaim, even on web sites like this one, "I'll buy if it pulls back to a thousand." BTW, living in a global finance system, where nearly every country is on some fiat scheme, increasing supplies of paper monies will be exchanged for precious metals. Gresham's Law is still operative; bad money forces good money out of circulation. The Internet makes possible transactions between people in the USA and those in other countries, anxious to own gold in coin form. Think that bearish? So if you are worried about gold's immediate future and have, say a legitimate gold Indian coin you want to sell at BV or maybe even a 5% premium, let me know. I am very charitable.--Don

At August 12, 2009 at 5:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I misreading the article or do you know something I don't? People in these posts keep saying this coin will only be produced for one year, but as I read the statement "unlimited for one year" it would seem to indicate that the coin will be produced in the future, but production MAY BE LIMITED in those years.

At August 12, 2009 at 6:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The economy is rebounding?? Somebody is drinking the obama kool-aid.

I don't consider myself a gold bug, but gold is here to stay. Perhaps it may go down to $700-800 range, but it has been around historically and will continue to be so. Even if the "ecomomy rebounds" which is questionable since the government is taking over the private sector, I see serious inflation in the works. The fed is printing money like drunken sailors! Script is worth nothing anymore.

The UHRs will be in demand if for no other reason that they are made out of something other than paper. JMHO.

At August 12, 2009 at 6:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant to say..."made out of US Government Paper". It is backed with nothing except warm fuzzy liberal feelings.

At August 12, 2009 at 11:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we keep this about coins and not slam the Democrats on this blog? Lord knows the Republicans did MORE than their share to bring the economy where it is today.

At August 12, 2009 at 11:36 AM , Blogger Michael said...

In response:

"People in these posts keep saying this coin will only be produced for one year, but as I read the statement "unlimited for one year" it would seem to indicate that the coin will be produced in the future, but production MAY BE LIMITED in those years."

Although the US Mint's authorization for the coins does use the statement "unlimited for one year" it also specifically states "only 2009-dated coins will be minted".

Putting these statements together: the US Mint can produced as many coins as they want- but only during 2009.

At August 12, 2009 at 1:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dang! I didn't mean to start a political war. All I was saying was the economy will straighten out. I didn't say when or how. Personally, I am just to the right of Limbaugh, and think that the economy won't recover because of the current administration, but in spite of it.
Anyway, I have been collecting for several decades, and remember vividly, the gold boom of the late 70's/early 80's, Cabage Patch Kids and Beanie Babies. No matter what the fad might be, somebody will eventually get burned (how many Beanie Babies are in your closet?). Sure, there was upward movement in the gold market before the bottom fell out of the rest of the markets, but you have to wonder if it wasn't because the wise people were already shifting their resources in that direction.
Michael's Coin Update site had a link to an excellent article written by about the 70s/80s gold boom. Check it out. History will no doubt repeat itself.
There are only two things that are certain when dealing in commodities...when the market goes up, someone will win...and when the market goes down, someone will lose.
If you are going to be a part of the herd, it might be a good idea to stick your head up once in a while just to see where the herd is going.

At August 13, 2009 at 2:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is coin collecting and investing in gold. If you are investing in gold I would recommend gold bullion coins, if you are investing in coins I would recommend the UHR. There is a difference.

At August 26, 2009 at 4:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any ideas about what this means???? From the Mint Site:

Effective August 31, 2009 at 12:00 noon (ET): The United States Mint will adjust the household order limit on the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin from a limit of ten (10) coins per household to twenty-five (25) coins per household. The household order limit will be re-evaluated on a regular basis and the United States Mint will either extend, adjust or remove the limit as needed.


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