Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

US Mint Price Increase and Anna Harrison First Spouse Coin Sales


Tomorrow around mid-morning, the prices for the US Mint's numismatic gold coins will likely be raised. Under the US Mint's pricing policy, the prices for numismatic gold and platinum coins may be adjusted once per week in response to changing precious metals prices.

The Mint calculates the average price of gold based on the London Fix prices from Thursday AM of the prior week to Wednesday AM of the current week. The relevant prices so far are indicated below:
Thurs Feb 18 AM 1,105.50
Thurs Feb 18 PM 1,118.00
Fri Feb 19 AM 1,107.00
Fri Feb 19 PM 1,112.75
Mon Feb 22 AM 1,119.75
Mon Feb 22 PM 1,115.25
Tue Feb 23 AM 1,112.00
Tue Feb 23 PM 1,107.00
Wed Feb 24 AM ?

As long as tomorrow's London AM Fix comes in above $1,002.75, then the average price will be within the $1,100 to $1,149.99 price range, prompting an increase. The coming price increase would take place after two price decreases on December 16, 2009 and January 27, 2010.

The price for the 2009 Gold Buffalo Proof Coin would be raised from $1,360 to $1,410. The price for the proof First Spouse Gold Coins would be raised from $704 to $729. The price for the uncirculated First Spouse Coins would be raised from $691 to $716.

For the past few weeks the spot price of gold has increased while the prices for US Mint numismatic gold coins has remained stable. This has led to elevated sales levels for the available gold products.

One particular coin that I wanted to point out is the uncirculated version of the Anna Harrison First Spouse Gold Coin. In the past three weeks, the US Mint has recorded sales 295 coins, bringing total sales from 3,153 to 3,448. In each reporting period, this particular coin had the highest sales out of all available First Spouse Gold Coins. Before the recent surge in demand, the Mint had been selling fewer than 15 coins per week.

The higher interest in this coin can be attributed to several factors. First, along with other gold coins, collectors are placing orders with the rising price of gold and ahead of the impending price increase. Second, sales of the coins are expected to end next month when sales of the next issue of the series begin (or sooner as happened on one occasion). Third, the coin will likely mark a new mintage low for the First Spouse Gold Coin series. The current low mintage (for coins no longer available directly from the US Mint) is held by the Louisa Adams uncirculated coin with last reported sales of 4,223.

I have been closely watching the First Spouse Gold Coin series for a while, since I believe that some of the low mintage coins and the Liberty subset will eventually gain more widespread appreciation. While I am not convinced that the Anna Harrison uncirculated coin will represent the exact low mintage point for the series, it will probably be among the lowest and worthy of some consideration ahead of the price increase.
Today on Coin Update News: Full US Mint Sales Report

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31 Comments:

At February 23, 2010 at 2:49 PM , Anonymous Brad said...

Regarding the First Spouse Series and the Anna Harrison coin, that was very well-put, Michael. I share your feelings on those coins.

It will be interesting after it's all said and done to see which coin in the entire series holds the lowest-mintage. I can see it being either Eliza Johnson or Alice Paul. It makes sense that the spouses from the 20th century will outperform those from the mid 19th century, so after that point is passed mintages should pick up. I definitely plan to stay tuned to this series to see "the exciting conclusion!"

I guess the decision I have to make now (despite buying another Unc Anna Harrison or two), is whether or not to go ahead and pick up my Margaret Taylors or gamble that the price of gold will decline some more this year and drive the prices lower again later on. After all, sales of the Taylor options will not be ending until early December most likely. What do you plan to do regarding those, if you don't mind my asking?

 
At February 23, 2010 at 5:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberty series subset will be highly collectible long term....
Overlooked during the buffalo and UHR mania.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 5:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've bought several harrison unc.'s for just such an eventuality. It may be the low point in the series

 
At February 24, 2010 at 6:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me which coins make up the "Liberty Series". Thanks.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 6:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Liberty Series:" Jefferson, Jackson, Van Buren, Buchanan

 
At February 24, 2010 at 6:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberty Subset is going to be a dud. Please sell them on ebay for cheap before prices fall fast.

Liberty Subset Buyer

 
At February 24, 2010 at 6:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, the London am fix shows gold at 1093.00 I guess I can wait-- right? Thank You.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 7:05 AM , Blogger Michael said...

No, there should be an increase coming in the next few hours. Any Fix above $1,002.75 would have resulted in an increase.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 7:08 AM , Blogger Michael said...

"Can someone tell me which coins make up the "Liberty Series"."

These are four coins issued for Presidents who served without a spouse. Each features a depiction of Liberty from circulating coins of the President's era as the obverse design.

Thomas Jefferson's Liberty- Draped Bust Half Cent design

Andrew Jackson's Liberty- Capped Bust Lettered Edge Half Dollar design

Martin Van Buren's Liberty- Liberty Seated Dime design

James Buchanan's Liberty- Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Quarter Eagle design

 
At February 24, 2010 at 7:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole subset is a nice thing to collect, but I really like the Andrew Jackson gold coin best...

Jackson, atop his horse, is really special.

Hi Ho Silver away.


Tonto

 
At February 24, 2010 at 9:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The entire gold spouse series will never amount to anything beyond bullion prices. You will lose the entire premium you pay to get them from the mint. Please don't waste your money.I want to be one of the few that has complete sets of these worthless coins. Seriously though, I see these things only going up in demand as the Liberty series is completed and the 20th century spouses come along.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 9:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been trying to collect a specimen of each proof spouse gold coin. However, I completely agree that the liberty subset coins are very nice and will be highly collectible in the future.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 9:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been trying to collect a specimen of each proof spouse gold coin. However, I completely agree that the liberty subset coins are very nice and will be highly collectible in the future.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 11:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have not been collecting coins too long but I have been hearing and seeing proof that the 08 buffalo's are moving much higher. Any other recommendations of coins that anyone suggests that has potential for the future growth?

 
At February 24, 2010 at 12:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, have we been duped again? The Mint just changed the release date for the Abigail Fillmore coins and medal from 3/4/2010 to the generic "March". That means that they will be selling Anna Harrison longer than they would have, and the mintage will be higher than it should have been! I just placed an order for two more of them this morning before the price increase, but now I find myself wondering...should I cancel the order?

I should have known they couldn't be trusted...

 
At February 24, 2010 at 1:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you good folks get it? The Mint is out of control. They are going downhill faster than Lindsey Vonn on the super G slope.

You cannot believe, count on, or plan very much based on what is being pushed out in their production schedules. There is no direction or intelligent leadership running that facility. One day it's go, another day it's stop, then it's maybe, then "we're sorry", "we did not meet expectations", and a host of baloney weak excuses. No one relishes thinking this way, we would rather be able to count on normal activities.

The fish is showing and smelling rotten, and it's straight from the head. Just look at the recent history of constant failures. And higher ups simply don't care. Pathetic.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 1:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was pretty sure the Anna Harrison Uncirculated coin was going to be the first sub-4,000 mintage coin in the series, but if the Mint sells that one up until the now uncertain release date for Abigail Fillmore, the mintage might reach 4,000 after all, thus spoiling the entire effect. We already HAVE a low-mintage coin under 4,500. We need one under 4,000 so we can see if THAT will make the collectors wake up. Now we might not get it yet.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 1:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mint will mint what they will mint...3000-5000-40,000 coins for Anna Harrison. Of course, what really matters is what an ounce of gold sells for...If gold moves to 1500 or 2000 dollars an ounce in a couple of years then a lot of those coins will disappear. That's what happened to Martha Washington, her coins were melted.

It is sort of pointless to speculate on a day to day routine.

George would never approve.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 2:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mint did the same thing with the Louisa Adams coins when they delayed the release of Letitia Tyler.

I realize that no one ever TOLD them that they need to cease sales of the oldest coin from the prior year on the exact date that sales of the newest coin from the current year begin, but that is the pattern they seem to have established. It all fell under their own guideline that the coins would be offered for "approximately one year" from the date of issue.

I don't know if the problem is that they minted way more Harrisons prior to December 31 2009 than they can hope to sell before March 4th, but if that is indeed the case then it's their own fault. They can see sales patterns in the months leading up to the end of sales, and even allow for the typical "last minute rush" by collectors to get the coins before they are pulled off-sale for good. If the Mint runs out prior to the start date of the next coin's sales, they can just end the sales early. After all, they did that with the Andrew Jackson's Liberty Proof coin.

It just seems dirty of them to extend the sales beyond one year just in an attempt to unload additional coins they over-produced in the first place. We as collectors need some consistency and dependability regarding this. After all, we're paying our hard-earned money for these collectibles, so we have a right to expect the proper treatment from the Mint.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 2:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow- all of this fighting over spouse coins, does this mean a divorce is in order?

 
At February 24, 2010 at 2:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: prices.

We know the price increases or decreases based on London fix averages. As someone who bought on Monday (not Tuesday, not this morning), I anticipated the price increase might be earlier than they state it will be. (It was orig. Thursdays, now it's supposedly Wednesdays. I'm not taking chances!)

You have to learn that you cannot trust the Mint. You have to be two steps ahead of them.

Now that I think about it, maybe that's why any "First Strike" is worth more: it wasn't the coin that was struck first - it is the buyer who knew to get the coin before the Mint tries to strike back!

 
At February 24, 2010 at 3:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very disappointed that the prices went up. It makes it very hard to have the all series put together. I will probably end up picking up only some coins that I like the most.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 3:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today at 10:50 am ET I ordered Taylors coins for the prise of 704 and 691.1 PF and 1 UNC. 10 minutes later I checked order status and Mint cancel my order and when I called them at 11:00 am ET they told me that they are about to change the price.When I was adding those coins to the shopping cart price was 704 and 691 and I did place the order for that price.Before they changed prices Thursdays, than Wednesdays afternoons and now they cancel orders early Wednesday .In the future they going to skip last day Fix Am to be able to make few dollars extra.

 
At February 24, 2010 at 7:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly, I'm tired of the Mints PM model. The Mint buys the gold, tacks a (steep) premium on it then gives us the privilege to buy or not.

How difficult would it be to buy the gold, set the premium, and then sell. If gold rises in price, tuff, the metal is all ready bought and paid for. If it goes down below their huge profit margin, stop selling or buy and mint smaller quantities and sell out the stock.

The Mint is hell bent on maintaining it's profit margin. They want zero risk yet expect the customer to accept it all. Who works for whom here. They didn't have any issue selling us four coin gold proof sets for $999 when gold was less than $300 an oz.(nearly a 50% markup for 1.85 oz. of gold).

 
At February 25, 2010 at 5:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Mint is hell bent on maintaining it's profit margin. They want zero risk yet expect the customer to accept it all."

How about an example......ah, how about 2- .50 roll of pennies, wrapped in an ink soaked paper wrapper which will start the tarnishing action and make the pennies worthless in about 5 yrs., all for the bargain price of $7.95 PLUS exhorbitant postage costs?

Yes indeed, hook those rubes in every day, there's thousands of them out there.

 
At February 26, 2010 at 4:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

...do y'all want some cheese with that whine?

How 'bout some insightful comments about coins on these blogs, instead of delusional rants about how the mint is out to getcha? "Man, have we been duped again?...I should have known they couldn't be trusted", "The fish is showing and smelling rotten, and it's straight from the head." Blah, blah blah...
The mint is a business, folks, one that literally makes money. They also - gasp - turn a profit, one that reduces public debt (how many government programs can you say that about?). They are directed - and constrained - by law in many of their policies. Give 'em credit for what they do well, making massive quantities of product, and even more impressively, providing some incredibly artistic offerings to some even more incredibly fickle customers, i.e. collectors (the UHR comes to mind - that's gotta be one of the most beautiful coins ever, and all people seem to do is whine that the price changes, or they didn't get it fast enough, or whatever. That coin was not mandated by law - Moy pushed for it and I for one am grateful)
Coin collecting is a hobby, sure, but it's also an investment and like all investments it has risk. If you're waiting til Wednesday morning to buy your gold, you're betting that you'll beat the price raise, and sometimes you'll miss. That's the nature of the game, don't cry about it. If you don't like it, find somewhere else to park your money, I don't know, like a bank?...
Michael, you've done some great articles and thankfully there lots of insightful comments, but there're an awful lot that would make good fertilizer...

 
At February 26, 2010 at 7:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like yours, you mean?

 
At February 27, 2010 at 12:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all be happy ,if you have the money purchase the item first time avalible don't procrastinate/wondering about the economics.Make the time of coin collecting/investment fun....Don't worry about what the mint/people are doing ,build your own strategy.If you stick to a program you will make alot of money !!!!What ever you do in life make it fun when it's no longer fun move to something else! Injoy

 
At February 27, 2010 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back on subject on this coin. It is pure UGLY, they sure did a number on her and this odd bonnet.

 
At March 1, 2010 at 10:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there current sales figures for anna harrison coin as of march 1st?Does it go off sale march 4th?How do you find the most current sales figures?

 
At March 2, 2010 at 6:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It WOULD have gone off-sale on March 4th, had the Mint stuck to the original plan. Now, however, they just give a generic release date of "March" for the Abigail Fillmore coins. They will now be selling the Anna Harrison coins until whatever date the Fillmores DO go on sale, thus resulting in higher sales figures for Harrison than should have originally been the case.

The Mint did the same thing when they delayed the release of Letitia Tyler and ended up selling the Louisa Adams coins for about 13 months. That coin still had the lowest reported sales, but it should have been lower.

 

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