Gold Coin Prices Will Not Be Reduced This Week
Yesterday, prices for the US Mint's available First Spouse Gold Coins should have been reduced in accordance with the pricing policy for numismatic gold and platinum coins. Prices were not adjusted lower and no adjustment will take place this week.
The full story is available on Coin Update News: US Mint Fails to Reduce Numismatic Gold Coin Prices in Opposition to Published Policy
The First Spouse Gold Coins, which are the only gold numismatic products currently available, are priced for an average price of gold in the $1,200 to $1,249.99 range. Since the calculated average for the period came in at $1,190.39, prices should have been reduced by $25 each.
For more than a year, the US Mint has diligently followed their pricing policy and repriced products higher or lower whenever necessary. On one occasion they even made a pricing adjustment when the average price landed exactly on one of the price thresholds.
On other occasions, prices have been adjusted higher or lower even though the price of gold at the time of adjustment had already moved into a different range than the calculated average.
The policy had a single calculation and precise ranges, leaving nothing to interpretation. This created a fair and nonarbitrary system for precious metals prices to guide product prices. It also allowed collectors to make purchasing decisions in anticipation of price changes. This seemed to match the purpose of establishing the new policy. As stated in the press release announcing the policy: "Transparency, agility, and customer service are the catalysts for our new pricing method."
By not following policy, particularly for a price decrease, the US Mint is setting a bad precedent and opening up a range of questions about their motivations.
On a separate matter (maybe), the US Mint has confirmed that both the Letitia Tyler and Julia Tyler coins will go off-sale to coincide with the start of sales for the Jane Pierce coin, still scheduled for June 3, 2010. The end of sales for Julia Tyler has the potential to create the first gold coin of the modern era with a mintage of less than 3,000.
As of the latest US Mint weekly sales report, the Julia Tyler First Spouse Gold Coin had sales of 4,812 proof coins and 2,807 uncirculated coins.
Update: The US Mint has issued a statement explaining additional criteria from an internal policy used for numismatic gold and platinum coin pricing.
Labels: US Mint