Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Prices Likely to Increase for First Spouse Coins

Prices for the United States Mint's First Spouse Gold Coins are likely to rise tomorrow, based on the latest available gold price data. Under the US Mint's current policy, gold coin prices may be adjusted weekly if the calculated weekly average price of gold moves across pricing threshholds set at $50 increments.

The average price of gold is calculated based on the London Fix gold prices from the prior Thursday AM to the current Wednesday AM. The prices for this period are shown below. Note that Monday was a UK bank holiday.
Thurs AM, Apr 29 1,170.00
Thurs PM, Apr 29 1,166.75
Fri AM, Apr 30 1,175.25
Fri PM, Apr 30 1,179.25
Mon AM, May 3 N/A
Mon PM, May 3 N/A
Tue AM, May 4 1,184.25
Tue PM, May 4 1,185.00
Wed AM, May 5 ?

The average of the above prices comes to $1,176.75. Although one more price remains, it is highly likely that the final average will remain above the $1,150 mark, which will result in higher prices.

The proof versions of the First Spouse Gold Coins would increase from $729 to $754 and the uncirculated versions would increase from $716 to $741. Price changes are usually made around mid-morning on Wednesday.

After the increase, prices will be back to their highest levels ever. Coins were previously priced at these levels from late November to mid-December and then for a one week period in mid-April.

Although the First Spouse Gold Coins are not as popular as some of the US Mint's traditional collector gold coins, the series has developed a following of collectors who are often focused on the extremely low mintages. Some collectors have also taken focus on the "Liberty subset" of the series. This consists of four coins issued for Presidents who served without a spouse, which feature classic coin designs from the era in which each President served. The last coin in the subset will be issued this year for James Buchanan.

The latest sales figures for the available First Spouse Gold Coins are shown below. A full US Mint sales report is available on Coin Update News.

Letitia Tyler Proof
Letitia Tyler Uncirculated 3,164
Julia Tyler Proof
Julia Tyler Uncirculated 2,779
Sarah Polk Proof
Sarah Polk Uncirculated
Margaret Taylor Proof 3,607
Margaret Taylor Uncirculated 2,168
Abigail Fillmore Proof
Abigail Fillmore Uncirculated 2,140

Sales activity from the latest week shows that buyers have been focused on the uncirculated Letitia Tyler coins, uncirculated Margaret Taylor coins, and both versions of the Abigail Fillmore coins.

The Letitia Tyler coins will be the next coins to go off-sale at the US Mint. Generally, the Mint has ended sales of the oldest coin once a newer coin is released. This year the procedure may have to be altered since there were five releases during 2009, rather than the typical four. The next coin in the series featuring Jane Pierce is expected to go on sale in June.

The Margaret Taylor coins may be attracting attention as a possible low mintage point for the series. As of last week, sales levels for the more recently released Abigail Fillmore coins exceeded total sales of the Margaret Taylor coins. A strong week for the Taylor coins has narrowed the gap and put the uncirculated version back ahead.

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At May 4, 2010 at 4:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mintage for the Uncirculated Letitia Tyler coin should come in under that of the Uncirculated Anna Harrison coin, but I'm thinking the Julia Tyler coin might be the one to watch. There is no guarantee that the Mint won't end the sales of BOTH Tyler coins when the Jane Pierce sales begin. This will be especially true if the Mint delays the release of the Pierce coins until July (a highly likely scenario based on what has happened in the past.) "Approximately one year" also encompasses 11 months as well as 13.

At May 4, 2010 at 5:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I am in the minority but I love the gold spouse coins, I hate the fact the prices keep rising because I know someday soon I will have to give up the thought of completing both the Unc and proof sets. When I lay them all out, all that gold and all the variety look pretty good to me. I am thrilled the mintages are so low, I like the idea of being one of a few that will have the whole set. The big question, do I give up on the uncs with their lower mintages, or the proofs,that I think look better?

At May 4, 2010 at 5:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel for you. I was building TWO complete sets of both the Proof and Unc First Spouse coins, but had to abandon the second proof set after 2008 due to rising costs.

Now, if I have to abandon a second of my original four sets, I have a similar scenario: Do I abandon my only remaining proof set to continue both Unc sets with their lower mintages, or do I abandon the second Unc set to have one of each? I originally wanted to have an extra set of each to sell, so I could reap those benefits without having to find myself then being without a set of either proofs or uncirculateds of my own.

I still have my extra set of 2007-2008 proofs that I have not sold off yet. It's been tempting, due to the large gain I could realize from just the Jackson and Van Buren Liberty coins alone, plus the increase in gold value over what I paid for the others. Even after paying my capital gains tax to the IRS, I will still have a nice chunk of profit left over!

At May 4, 2010 at 5:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would hold onto the Liberty series coins until the 4th is sold out... Set will be worth a mint and looks beautiful!

At May 4, 2010 at 6:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am collecting the NGC PF70 Spouse Proofs...with an occasional extra coin here and there to sell down the road. This collection is for one of my kids.

At May 4, 2010 at 6:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hold on to your gold coins if possible for at least another year especially if you like your collection. Keep a set of each unc and proof. The '08 buff uncs had a lower mintage but proofs are more in demand now and getting a little more. Personally I don't care for the spouse coins but they are gold and I believe gold will continue to increase in price because the FRN printing presses are running at full speed. Just my opinion. Everyone's circumstances are different so you have to use your own judgment. As always collect what you like and can afford.

At May 4, 2010 at 6:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to keep trying to complete both sets but that will probably mean selling off some other extras to do so. I really like the look of uncirculated gold, but the cameo effect of the proofs shows up better to my aging eyes. To those of us that are hanging in there I really think we will have the last laugh. I do think the number of people wanting to complete the Liberty series could make the last one a hot item.

At May 4, 2010 at 7:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is refreshing to read some positive commments about the spouse gold. It would be nice to hear from other collectors who also enjoy these coins... Also Michael, thank You for all You do, it is appreciated.

At May 4, 2010 at 7:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE The First Spouse coins! A complete set of the entire series all together at the end will look VERY impressive. I'm hoping the Mint still offers the complete set case that was to be a free gift to subscribers of the series before the subscriptions were cancelled. Was anybody else who reads these posts among the would-be subscribers who got cancelled?

Collecting the First Spouse coins is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take great patience and perseverance to make it to the end (not to mention some serious cold hard cash!)

At May 4, 2010 at 8:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm collecting the first stunning, bronze.

The complete gold set will be impressive, as has been said, But the cost to complete is a steep one.

Kind of reminds me of a conversation I had with my dad recently. He was recalling $35 an ounce gold. I said that I bet he wished he could have stocked up and he said, yeah but he didn't have $35 to spare on gold at the time.

At May 4, 2010 at 9:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's all relative. Old prices seem cheap to us today, but money was a lot more scarce back then, too!

My Grandma (dead over 10 years now) used to marvel at how spoiled we all are. She told me stories about what it was like to live during the Great Depression, and feared that if anything like that ever happened again, none of us would be able to handle it. Her talking like that scared me back then, but I was reasonably certain that nothing like that WOULD ever happen again. With the way things are going now though, I'm not so sure. The memory of Grandma's words is starting to come back to haunt me.

Gold, in any form, is looking better and better compared to the piles of intrinsically worthless paper money that continue to grow bigger each day.

At May 5, 2010 at 4:40 AM , Anonymous kbsig106 said...

I have the first three of the Liberty Subset in MS 70 - there is no way I could do the whole collection or a PF counter part. The price changes in gold ended up being the killer...

At May 5, 2010 at 7:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Mr. Moy,

Most folks think an "update" should be not be well over 6 months old! On the home page of the US Mint Website the "update":
"For updated information on the American Eagle and American Buffalo Coin Programs, please see our Press Release. You click on this and the Press Release is dated "October 6, 2009"!

Come on, please either give us an update or don't bother having an "update" link that is not updated! It is now May, and I think we all deserve a real UPDATE on the silver and gold eagle situation.

At May 5, 2010 at 8:38 AM , Anonymous VABEACHBUM said...

Like a few of the above posters, I have commented in previous "Spouse" Boards that I, too, am in the program for the long haul - having registered for each version of the subscription program and been intrigued by the presentation case bonuses waiting at the end.

About 3 weeks before the coins went on sale, the Mint's "Fend for Yourself" notice hit my inbox. Then, to add to the anxiety of a long-term program, the sale of the MW coins saw a debilitating denial of service overwhelm the Mint's web commerce servers while 40,000 coins sold in record time.

I simply couldn't imagine having to fight that battle (or being that fortunate) 40+ more times over the next 10-11 years. I began to feel more comfortable about my long-term prospects as program interest started to wane with the Madison coin. Comfort has slowly migrated towards concern as prices continue to rise. Adding to the concern is the Mint's latest curve - a mandated programmatic reduction to 15K coins across both options.

In the near-term, the Buchanan Liberty and the Mary Todd Lincoln have everyone's interest. But what of the long-term: Eleanor Roosevelt? Jackie Kennedy? Others between or after? After this year, I think we'll be able to identify the steady state of the program and those interested in the collection. As that steady state is defined, I fully expect the Mint to reduce total production one more time within the next 3 years; 10K coins??

Employment, economy, health and the cost of gold willing, I am planning to pursue both options to the end, and have adjusted my collecting considerations and budgeting in order to do so. I hope that there are several of us who can cross the line of this "marathon" carrying our completely unique and valuable colletions. If nothing else, we will have amassed 42 or more ounces of gold along the way.

Best of luck to all the collectors over the next 7 years. And, as always, thanks to you, Michael, for the effort and insight you provide to all of your publications.

At May 5, 2010 at 10:00 AM , Anonymous VABEACHBUM said...

After completing my previous post, then chuckling in 100% agreement with the 7:12 AM post immediately before me, I decided to wander through the Mint's website looking for updates.

Interestingly enough, sometime in the last 24 hours they slyly updated the American Buffalo page to indicate that the proof coin will go on sale 03 June 2010. Like the 2010 bullion version - earlier than last year.

Given the 2010 production timeframes, I am expecting numbers similar to last year: 200K or less bullion and 50K or less Proof.

Lots of Gold options going on sale within a two month span: Buffalo Bullion, Buffalo Proof, Jane Pierce Spouse PR and UNC. Sadly, still no versions of ASE or AGE.

Should be interesting...

At May 5, 2010 at 10:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to vabeachbum, I think you touched on everything I have felt and am feeling about this collection. Well said! It certainly isn't going to be easy with the mints' ever changing rules. I'd sure love it if they could just allow us, those that have bought every one until now to get on some kind of "subscription protection" program. I am worried about getting thru with an order for the few highly collectible ones that are yet to come. Good luck to us all.

At May 5, 2010 at 11:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thoughts exactly! 20,000 Mary Lincoln coins is NOT going to last long. The "eBay Posse" will see to that. No order limits makes the situation even more scary.

I hope I am able to place my order to keep my sets going before the available supply is snapped up by the greedy flippers!

I also envision a 10,000 coin limit coming down the pike, maybe as soon as 2012. I don't think the 2011's will see a reduction from the 15,000, simply because the two coins prior should perform very well. However, the 2011's will be dog meat, and make the Mint think another reduction is needed for 2012.

By the time Jackie Kennedy comes along, the default limit might be even smaller than 10,000 coins, unless the price of gold tanks and the resulting lower-priced coins see more demand by then. Hopefully the Mint will use common sense and make the Kennedy limit higher than whatever the then "normal" limit will be.

I just don't want to end up being gouged to get the coins for the sets I'll have been faithfully building since day one (June 19,2007).

At May 5, 2010 at 1:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt this set will ever take off except for the lowest mintage coins, anyone holding out hope otherwise may have a lifetime of waiting.

Think of this, there are maybe two people in the world that could sit down and even name all the spouses, then add to that the mint did the Liberty coins and the Alice Paul scam I don't think there is much hope, sorry.

At May 5, 2010 at 3:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those of you seeing the spouse program to the end will have a very impressive collection and be in rare company. I can't imagine more that a few hunderd folks with complete sets maybe even less than a hunderd people. As a collection they may be hard to unload due to the substantial value down the road. Possibly a museum or historical society with the means might want them. Nothing wrong with keeping 42 ozs. of yellow in the family either.

At May 6, 2010 at 4:30 AM , Anonymous kbsig106 said...

To: Anonymous said...
Last post looks like a scam. Please delete!

May 5, 2010 4:45 AM

I'm not a scam and I actually enjoy the information I get from this blog. You can confirm my MS 70's - since I use the same screen name for NGC...

At May 6, 2010 at 5:04 AM , Blogger Michael said...

kbsig106- They were referring to another comment, which I have removed.

At May 6, 2010 at 11:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been collecting the uncs and proofs of the liberty first spouses and also the first year (2007) because I am fond of those first spouses. The only annoying thing about this is that the last 2 liberty first spouse are for very mediocre presidents (Van Buren and Buchanan). I'm also annoyed that the mint chose to use the way too common, and not very pretty, coronet liberty for the Buchanan coin instead of something much more interesing like the $3 gold obverse. But other than that, I like the liberty designs, especially the obverse of the Jefferson, Jackson, and Van Buren coins.

At May 7, 2010 at 8:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never seen a final mintage tally of the Van Buren's liberty first spouse coins. Does anyone have those numbers?

At May 7, 2010 at 5:17 PM , Anonymous VABEACHBUM said...

With regards to the Van Buren numbers, Michael has published in previous Spouse Coin posts that 7515 Proof and 4334 Uncirculated Van Buren Liberty Coins were produced. Most Mint production numbers can be found at either of Michael's Coin Update website or the Mint Stats section on Numismatic News.

At May 8, 2010 at 4:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Life is chances if you believe stick with ,no matter what the cost.If you started this ,finish! The pay off will be great. I read my father spoke of gold expensive at $30 it's expensive at $1200 you have to work for what you want!Risk is the key. Sometimes you look back and say that was the wrong move, all well you tried.Go for the GOLD.


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