Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Thursday, December 10, 2009

UHR Double Eagle Sales Ending December 31, 2009

Today, the US Mint announced that orders for the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin will only be accepted until December 31, 2009 at 3:00 PM ET. This leaves collectors with 21 days left to order the coins directly from the Mint.

As of December 6, 2009, the US Mint had sold a total of 108,207 Ultra High Relief Double Eagles, including the sales of 1,131 in the most recent week. Assuming the pace of sales doesn't pick up too much in the coming weeks, the final mintage for the coin should fall below 120,000. For a one year issue of a hugely popular coin, this mintage is relatively low. When the 2006 Proof Gold Buffalo was released, the US Mint had sold nearly than 250,000 coins.

Since the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin has been one of the biggest stories this year, I wanted to provide a recap on the history of the coin from the initial announcement through the projected end of sales.

March 13, 2008
US Mint Director Edmund Moy announced plans to recreate Augustus Saint Gaudens' Ultra High Relief $20 Gold Coin. The announcement came at a meeting of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Director Moy remarked, "Recreating thousands of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' ultra-high relief Double Eagles will be a defining moment in American coinage."

July 30, 2008
The United States Mint unveiled the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin at the ANA World's Fair of Money in Baltimore, Maryland. A four phase exhibit at the US Mint booth showcased the development of the coin from gold bars, to plaster casts, to feasibility and test strikes, to the finished one ounce 24 karat gold coin. A similar online exhibit is now available on the US Mint's website.

November 24, 2008
The first production strike of the UHR Double Eagle took pace at the West Point Mint. The first coin produced was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. The second coin was retained for the United States Mint's heritage assets. Director Moy remarked, "One hundred years from now, I believe the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin will be remembered as the birth of the greatest American century in coin-making history."

January 22, 2009
Sales of the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle began at 12:00 Noon ET. The initial offering price for the coin was $1,189 with an ordering limit of one per household. The product page contained a disclaimer that delivery could potentially take six to nine months based on gold blank availability. In the first day of sales, the US Mint sold 28,173 coins. Within five days, more than 40,000 coins had been sold.

February 9, 2009
The first 2009 UHR Double Eagle was received by a collector. The delivery and images of the coin were posted on Coin Network. The few collectors who received their coins early turned out to be the lucky ones.

February 25, 2009
After a few of the coins had shipped, the remainder were delayed for several weeks due to problems with the Companion Book. The US Mint sent emails to customers who ordered the coins to announce that shipping would resume, and some companion books would be shipped shipped separately. The delays and initial lack of information from the Mint upset some collectors. When more coins started to ship, there were also indications that coins were not shipping in First In-First Out order as the US Mint claimed.

March 2009
After a strong opening, the pace of sales for the UHR Double Eagle experienced a steep decline. By March, the US Mint had reached sales of 50,000 coins, but the pace of sales had declined to about 1,000 coins per week. Weekly sales would range from about 500 to 1,000 coins per week until later in the summer.

July 27, 2009
The United States Mint finally raised the ordering limit for the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle to ten coins per household. By this time, year to date sales had reached nearly 70,000. The coins had also undergone a few price increases which brought the price to $1,289.

August 5-9, 2009
The United States Mint booth was a big attraction at the World's Fair of Money in Baltimore, Maryland. Attendees were allowed to purchase the UHR Double Eagles under the increased order limit. Many dealers used the opportunity to build an inventory of the coins by offering bounties for anyone who purchased coins at the US Mint's booth and immediately resold them. Coin Update News had an interview with one of the dealers. The increased activity helped push sales above 80,000.

August 31, 2009
The United States Mint raised the order limit to 25 coins per household.

September 21, 2009
The US Mint removed the ordering limit completely. By this time, the sales total had reached 92,346 and the coins were priced at $1,339 each.

October 18, 2009
Sales of the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle exceeded 100,000 coins.

November 25, 2009
The rising price of gold pushed US Mint prices higher for all gold coin products. The price of the UHR Double Eagle was increased to $1,539. This represented the highest price to date and was $350 above the initial offering price.

December 31, 2009
The final day of sales for the UHR Double Eagle at the US Mint. Orders may be placed through 3:00 PM ET on this date.



At December 10, 2009 at 12:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice job, thanks for all the info!
KG from CA

At December 10, 2009 at 12:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without Moy, the UHR would probably not have been released. All the negative comments that posters here have made about him were unfair. Couldn't help but think that some/all of the criticism was due to the fact that he was Asian. Look at all the comments stating that the 2009 Platinum Proof Eagle is ugly because there wasn't a white man depicted on the reverse.

At December 10, 2009 at 1:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping us up to date, michael. The UHR is a very attractive coin, despite the small circumference that some have complained about - (I think this is exacerbated by a box that is way too big). I plan to keep at least one for a long time.

At December 10, 2009 at 1:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael, not to work you too hard today but it is also worth noting the the Platinum Proof is now on a waiting list status.

At December 10, 2009 at 2:35 PM , Blogger Bowtie said...

have 2 of these, i want another one but $1540 seems real expensive. when does the price change due to gold spot?

At December 10, 2009 at 2:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to own one of these coins, however due to the high mintages I cannot see them holding their premium. I fear if gold drops these coins will closely follow the price of gold. Any thoughts?

At December 10, 2009 at 3:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seeing how the UHR is a one time gold coin as compared to the eagle or buffalo, I would have to believe in time the value will be larger than some post here. I do like the eagles and buffalo's but they really are a continuing series. I buy those when Michael says he's buying. Nice job on those Native American dollars buddy, real sleepers....just kidding.

At December 10, 2009 at 3:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd pay 1500 for a 1oz HR if it looked like 1oz. It is exactly the same diameter as a first spouse 1/2 oz coin. Maybe we will see a bigger UHR in 2010?

At December 10, 2009 at 3:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael - Any word on the Palladium UHR or any other intereseting coins for 2010?

At December 10, 2009 at 4:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The platinum Eagle IS ugly, for ugly's sake. This is evident by the slow pace of sales. As many UHR's were sold in the first few hours as plats over a week. A classic case of beautiful over...well...not.

As far as the political aspect of the plat, well that has been covered...and covered...and covered. (and the liberals are still wrong)

At December 10, 2009 at 6:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The UHR can't be any bigger around due to it's thickness. If if WERE the usual diameter for a 1 oz coin, it would probably weigh 1.5 oz.

At December 10, 2009 at 6:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 6:00 PM:
You are wrong wrong wrong.
Mr. Moy wants you to think the UHR must be the exact same size as a 1/2 ounce coin IT DOES NOT!!!

It can be much larger visually than the bitty "1 oz" UHR is now. It may have to be a bit smaller than the Buf. but are you dumb enough to really believe it must be EXACTLY the same diameter as a 1/2 oz gold spouse???

The Plat may not be as "pretty", but for so musch money at least it looks like a 1 oz!

At December 10, 2009 at 6:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 6:00. I wish they could have diluted the metal in the UHR. At 90 or 95 per cent it could have been a big assed gold coin but then I understand they couldn't get the UHR effect as they needed soft metal. I guess we have to be happy the MINT at least got the UHR out the door. On the other hand a 1.5 oz. UHR would have been awesome but very expensive. Since the mint is doing big silver coins next year how 'bout a 2 oz. UHR in silver. We can only dream as we watch the mint churn out billions of scrap metal presidential dollars and give thanks to the mighty and powerful mint for their great wisdom and beneficience. Oh glory be and halelujah.

At December 10, 2009 at 6:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice summary Michael!

At December 10, 2009 at 7:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anything about the NGC graded "Error" UHR coins that have a portion of the obverse (Liberty's knee) protruding through the Eagle's feathers on the reverse? It's very faint. How common of an error is this? I saw an UHR NGC "Error" graded coin advertised on ebay back in April; but, have not seen anything since. I haver two UHR's, with one having said error. Also of note, it appears that my "Error" coin has better detail (assuming it must be from a stronger striking pressure).

At December 10, 2009 at 8:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Compared to other recent low mintage bullion coins the high relief is very high.

120,000 High relief gold
10,000 Reverse Proof gold
4,334 Van Buren Spouse gold
2,253 Platinum eagle 1/2 ounce

At December 11, 2009 at 7:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the mintages of the 3 spouse liberties as compared to the Robinson commemorative and thoughts about future valuations?

At December 11, 2009 at 7:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't compare UHR mintages to other Bullion Coins. The UHR is not a Bullion Coin!

At December 11, 2009 at 8:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just received my 09 fractional gold bullion eagles this morning. It's just like Christmas presents.

At December 11, 2009 at 8:58 AM , Blogger Mint News Blog said...

In response to some of the questions:

"when does the price change due to gold spot?"

Price adjustments take place around mid-morning on Wednesdays. I usually have a post the day before or morning of, regarding price changes.

"Any word on the Palladium UHR or any other interesting coins for 2010?"

Doesn't look like the palladium UHR is going to happen. The authorizing legislation wanted coins minted in 2009. The bill has not been voted on.

Nothing else that I know of on the horizon besides the approved commemorative coins. See my post on Upcoming Commemorative Coins.

"Does anyone know the mintages of the 3 spouse liberties as compared to the Robinson commemorative and thoughts about future valuations?"

I had a recent post examining this. Check it out here.

At December 11, 2009 at 10:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moy is Asian? Who knew? I didn't even know that. So much for your comment 12:32 PM.

At December 12, 2009 at 6:53 AM , Blogger HBGuy said...

I bought the UHR but am neither impressed with its design or look. The proof Gold Buffalo is far more attractive and substantial.

It would be nice if the Mint could develop some new designs instead of recycling the same old, tired designs that have been used for over 100 years. Surely there are enough iconic images of America - Yosemite, Yellowstone, Denali - that we could get away from "Liberty Astride" and the St. Gaudens Eagle.

And while I'm on the subject, the Platinum Eagle (if you can call the 2009 design an "Eagle") series, and the 2009 design, in particular, is one of the most hideous coins ever created. Compared to the Platinum Maple Leaf, which is a beautiful coin, it's amazing that any Platinum Eagles sell at all!

At December 12, 2009 at 9:44 AM , Blogger Bowtie said...

look HB, at least they are using old American icons. If they change it we'll just get pictures of our dictators.

At December 12, 2009 at 12:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concur with 9:44. I'll take the old icons vs. dictatators on coins any day. The presidential "s"crap metal coins are hideous and what wizard came up with the pc platinums.

At December 12, 2009 at 8:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow I'm seeing a lot of anger in here.Could it be because so many people fell for the US Mints high prices on gold.Now that prices are dropping.Could it be that many people are realizing that waiting it out was the wisest decision.I sure am glad I waited.Because I'm buying gold very cheap right now.And it's not from the US Mint.Actually I'm enjoying these times of buying.Because I'm actually finding deals at melt value now on US gold coins.This dropping trend will go on until May of next year in my opinion.

So all who waited for this to happen.Congratulations for being smart.For all who fell for the high US Mint prices and increases and hedges that failed.I guess you should take your anger and turn it into a hard lesson learned.You will still see a day were you break even.But that isn't what investors like to do.

Although gold is a long term investment.It is always best to play it like a game of poker.If you are using gold for profit.You have to be wise to the sellers who bluff.If you simply collect for the beauty of the coin.Then this really doesn't matter.But I must say that I have met very few people who pay 300.00 0ver spot just for the beauty of a coin.

In fact they usually think the coin becomes ugly when they lose that much money out of the gates.Do yourself a huge favor and stop falling for the "MOY PLOY".think for yourself and your future.I'm sure Moy has no problems sleeping at night knowing he's a scum bag.I only hate to see so many people get taken by his total lack of leadership.

At December 27, 2009 at 5:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

HBguy Sorry bud but YOUR wrong. This is the first and only year for the UHR design. the coins minted with that similar design, as you say for the past 100 yrs Isn't the same design. They aren't UHR and neither is any other gold coin in this earth. These are the only ones and fortunetly for us lucky ones like me who got 2 to 3 coins early when the coins were only $1,289 and not $1,489 like they are now. I for one am glad I didn't wait.
Granted the gold buffalo is a great design but I hate to dispaoint those who missed the boat on these but nothing will compare to St Gaudens true UHR. He is also one of Americas greatsest sculptors.
Probably the best in the world and those of us who are alive today to be fortunate enough to be able to buy and own one of the true versions of the St Gaudens UHR design, should be thanking Mr Moy for doing all that he could to making it a reality for the rest of us.. Thank you Mr Moy!!


At January 3, 2010 at 8:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought one on the first day and I bought another on the last day. I see myself performing a civic duty by bringing the number of these in existence up by my two.

To hell with the pricing. With the coming inflation that is sure to follow the current government spending madness, does anyone really think prices will "tank" in the long run?

I feel these are certainly among if not "the" most beautiful coins America has produced... despite the hype. Compare the banal "family of eagles" on the run of the mill bullion eagles or the heraldic shield on the silver eagle for an esthetic jolt, all the more offensive because they displace the original excellent paired reverses to their respective obverse designs.

How lucky we are in this economy to see over 100,000 of these beautiful and symbolic reminders of our heritage ordered and produced for the modern generation. Kudos to Mr. Moy and every American who ordered from the Mint.

Lastly, If money was "left on the table" by these (mint purchase)transactions, it might be good to remember that the "profit" goes to all of us and the market message going to the mint is... "if you produce beauty and quality... we will come".



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