Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Thursday, October 8, 2009

More Details on 2009 Gold and Silver Eagles

This continues the ongoing coverage of the US Mint's cancellation of the collectible 2009 Gold and Silver Eagles and simultaneous announcement regarding the 2009 Platinum Eagle and 2009 Gold Buffalo coins.

This post will provide more details on this year's 2009 Gold and Silver Eagle offerings and canceled products. Once again, I will stick mostly to the facts and details. Tomorrow's post will provide my overall thoughts and reactions to this week's announcement.

2009 American Silver Eagles

The genesis of the current situation traces back a few years. In late 2007, financial instability and uncertainty led many to rediscover precious metals investing. The United States Mint is responsible for producing the US government's only silver bullion coin, the American Silver Eagle.

The Mint was able to handle the additional demand for silver bullion coins until early 2008, when they were forced to temporarily suspend Silver Eagle bullion coin sales. Sales were resumed about a month later on a rationed basis. This did not seem to have immediate impact on the collector versions of the Silver Eagle.

The impact became apparent a few months later. Statements from the US Mint released in June 2008 indicated that they were not using incoming supplies of silver blanks to produce collector coins (proof and uncirculated), but instead directing all inventory to the production of bullion coins. In August 2008, ordering options for the 2008 Proof Silver Eagle disappeared and were replaced by the message "Product is not available." The coins never went back on sale.

The situation continued into 2009, when the US Mint officially announced that production of the collector versions of the Silver Eagle were suspended until "sufficient inventories of silver blanks could be acquired to meet market demand for all three American Silver Eagle Coin products."

Rationing of the bullion Silver Eagles ended in June 2009, providing some hope that a respite in demand for bullion coins would allow the US Mint to build their inventory of blanks to produce collector coins. After several months of apprehension, hopes were dashed with this week's announcement. The 2009 Proof Silver Eagle and 2009-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle were canceled.

The Proof Silver Eagle has been minted and offered to collectors every year since 1986. Sales for the regular proof coin have ranged from a low of 372,168 in 1994 to a high of more than one million coins in 2006, when the coins were sold individually and as part of a special 20th Anniversary Set. Collectors have expressed the most disappointment in the cancellation of the Proof Silver Eagle.

The Uncirculated Silver Eagle has been minted from 2006 to 2008, when the US Mint's line of collectible uncirculated American Eagle coins was introduced. These coins are struck on specially burnished blanks and carry the "W" mint mark. Sales have ranged from a low of approximately 470,000 coins in 2006 (across all ordering options) to a high of 653,878 coins in 2007. The 2008-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle is still available for sale at the US Mint as part of the 2008 Annual Uncricluated Dollar Coin Set.

As it stands, the only 2009 Silver Eagle offered will be the bullion version of the coin. The US Mint has sold 20,824,500 of the one ounce silver bullion coins to date. This amount already exceeds the previous record sales number recorded last year.

2009 American Gold Eagles

While collectors seem to have been most disappointed by the cancellation of the collectible Silver Eagle products, the collectible 2009 Gold Eagles will be missed as well.

The situation for the American Gold Eagle is similar to that described for the Silver Eagle. Gold Eagle bullion coins were first suspended in August 2008 and then resumed two weeks later on a rationed basis. Later that year, the US Mint announced that they would be restricting bullion production to one ounce coins only.

In early 2009, the US Mint officially announced the suspension of collectible proof and uncirculated Gold Eagles until sufficient inventories of gold blanks could be acquired. The rationing of bullion coins was lifted in June 2009.

This week, the US Mint announced that all 2009 Proof Gold Eagles were canceled. This includes 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz coins, and a 4 Coin Set. The previously planned collectible one ounce 2008-W Uncircualted Gold Eagle was also canceled. Fractional collectible uncirculated coins had previously been announced as discontinued in the prior year.

As part of this week's announcement, the US Mint did indicate that they would finally offer fractional weight Gold Eagle bullion coins. This comes after more than a year of producing only one ounce bullion. The fractional coins will be available starting on December 3. Since these are bullion coins, they will not be sold directly by the US Mint, but distributed through their network of authorized bullion dealers.

The 2009 Gold Eagle one ounce bullion coin, which has been on sale throughout the year, has sold 982,000 coins to date. This is still less than half of the record sales of 2,055,000 ounces of gold bullion sold by the US Mint in 1999.

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22 Comments:

At October 8, 2009 at 2:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot Michael! Please keep the info coming. This situation may be deeper than we think.

 
At October 8, 2009 at 3:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

2008 W Silver Eagle still avaiable on US mint website:

http://catalog.usmint.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&productId=14562&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=10111

 
At October 8, 2009 at 3:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

2008 1 oz proof gold buffalos are selling for over $2000 on ebay. It makes you wonder what the 2009 proof buffalos will be going for after they sell out? It could the the biggest winner in years. With all the cancellations, this might me the one true gift from the mint this year. What do you think?

 
At October 8, 2009 at 3:49 PM , Anonymous Grumpy said...

Well I don't get it, the Mint is forced by law to allow these millionaire types to buy Silver at a pittance of the price they could get for the Unc or proof collector coin? It is ridiculous, who is getting the kick-back? This could be the biggest SCAM in Mint history. I think MOY is stuffing his pockets.

 
At October 8, 2009 at 3:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks more like a sales pitch for the remaining 2008 uncirculated dollar sets to me.Why not just take them and make 2009 proofs out of them.

 
At October 8, 2009 at 4:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mint Director Ed Moy's email address provided by anonymous in a previous post is:

Ed.Moy@usmint.treas.gov

BTW, canceling the Proofs eagles is 1000 times worse than the UHR mess earlier this year.

 
At October 8, 2009 at 4:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The UHRs are headed for a serious down turn because of what the US Mint has done.What makes anyone believe anything the mint says anymore.You would be better off believing the opposite of what they say if you are a speculator.
HEY MOY????????
SPECULATE THIS!!!!!!!!
Turning around and showing Moy my butt.

 
At October 8, 2009 at 4:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

982,000 1 ounce gold eagles is the most since 1999, and is about 2/3 of that amount.

http://www.coincyclopedia.com/AmericanEagleGold.htm

 
At October 8, 2009 at 5:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a good email address:

Ed.Moy@usmint.treas.gov

I got a read receipt back on the email I sent.

 
At October 8, 2009 at 6:53 PM , Blogger Tyrone said...

In late 2007, financial instability and uncertainty led many to rediscover precious metals investing.

invest:
To commit (money or capital) in order to gain a financial return

I would word this differently...

In late 2007, financial instability and uncertainty led many to exchange fiat dollars for precious metals to preserve wealth given the currency collapse that was likely to occur.

How is that fiat thing working today?

 
At October 8, 2009 at 9:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the mint made a gazillion of these coins and will have more than enough for everyone.

 
At October 8, 2009 at 10:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before anyone rushes out to buy any of these silver eagles and make bad hasty decisions.They need to look at these figures and know that every coin on this list is still available today and will be in the future.the first figures are the bullion and the second figures are the proofs for each year.2006 to 2008 are the uncirculated and the third figure.

Proof Bullion
1986 5,393,005 1,446,778
1987 11,442,335 904,732
1988 5,004,646 557,370
1989 5,203,327 617,694
1990 5,840,210 695,510
1991 7,191,066 511,925
1992 5,540,068 498,654
1993 6,763,762 405,913
1994 4,227,319 372,168
1995 4,672,051 438,511
1995-W 30,125
1996 3,603,386 500,000
1997 4,295,004 435,368
1998 4,847,549 450,000
1999 7,408,640 549,796
2000 9,239,132 600,000
2001 9,001,711 746,398
2002 10,539,026 647,342
2003 8,495,008 747,831
2004 8,882,754 801,602
2005 8,891,025 816,663
2006 10,676,522 1,043,602 470,000*
2007 9,028,036 821,759 653,878*
2008 20,583,000 713,353 517,967*
2009 17,989,500* TBD TBD

 
At October 9, 2009 at 12:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This news sure does make those uncirculated 2006 Ws look a whole lot better in value now do to being the lowest in mintage.Watch those babies climb real soon.

 
At October 9, 2009 at 4:55 AM , Blogger Michael said...

"982,000 1 ounce gold eagles is the most since 1999, and is about 2/3 of that amount."

That is correct regarding one ounce coins only.

As measured in ounces (one ounce coins plus fractionals) there were over 2 million ounces sold in 1999.

 
At October 9, 2009 at 6:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Micheal,
If someone buys say 1000 of the 2009 bullion silver eagle coins.What kind of a discount do they get and what would be their cost per coin?

 
At October 9, 2009 at 7:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check APMEX for their discount bullion

 
At October 9, 2009 at 7:07 AM , Blogger Terry said...

I agree with many of the comments posted below, however, I like the idea of looking optimistically at this stunning event. I have been collecting both eagle silver and gold proofs since the late eighties, by eliminating sales of both these products, the US mint has placed a "natural" break on both types of proofs, by this I mean that collectors will now be able to complete a collection of gold or silver eagles - the collection will be a "Pre-2009" complete collection, and if they want they can start a "Post 2009" collection. With the price of gold so high, this may be a great time to exit the hobby with a complete "Pre-2009" gold or silver eagle collection. Just my thoughts.

 
At October 9, 2009 at 7:40 AM , Blogger Michael said...

This has helped me to decide whether or not to collect the America the Beautiful Quarters series. The mint no longer cares about the life long customers it has. This is gonna hurt my presidential collection as well. I liked the 2008 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set with the Eagle in the center, but I guess they have killed that now. Whats next, No silver proof sets?????


Disgusted in Alabama!

 
At October 9, 2009 at 9:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect silver clad on the horizon.If you look at the history of the cent.The same thing happened to that do to rising costs of copper.This way the US mint can put extremely high premiums on silver clad coins with 2% silver like the pennies.The question is what they will put in the middle.Probably aluminum.LOL

 
At October 9, 2009 at 9:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd have to wonder if collectors will exit en masse if we start getting silver clad coins from the mint. Me thinks that would be a big mistake on the part of the Mint.

 
At October 9, 2009 at 1:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to think that the Mint would just stop making the coins entirely before they would allow that (clad silver) to happen!

 
At October 10, 2009 at 8:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know how many recent gold coins have been resold for scrap?

I heard somewhere that many of the first four gold coins honoring the presidents wives bought when gold was less expensive may have been melted.

Makes one wonder if these totals have any real meaning.

 

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