Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

First Spouse Gold Coins Update

There are several items of interest related to the First Spouse Gold Coins. Another issue has sold out, the long delayed Eliza Johnson coin has a release date, and a price increase will likely take place shortly.

James Buchanan's Liberty

As of Monday, the uncirculated version of the James Buchanan's Liberty First Spouse Gold Coin has sold out. This joins the proof version of the coin which sold out more unexpectedly on February 8, 2011.

Based on the most recent US Mint sales report published yesterday, the US Mint has sold 5,364 of the Buchanan's Liberty uncirculated coins. The proof version of the coin had last reported sales of 7,304.

On the same sales report, figures for some of previously sold out First Spouse coins were adjusted lower by significant amounts. The uncirculated Jane Pierce coin was lowered by 158 to 3,333. The uncirculated Abigail Fillmore was reduced by 98 coins to 3,489.

Eliza Johnson

When the US Mint published their initial product release schedule for 2011, the Eliza Johnson First Spouse Gold Coins had a release date of March 3, 2011 indicated. A few weeks before the expected launch, the date was changed to "TBD". Although no confirmation was ever provided by the US Mint, the delay was presumably related to the second round of design candidates prepared for review by the CFA and CCAC.

A release date of May 5, 2011 has now been indicated for the Eliza Johnson gold coins and bronze medal. This will represent a very late start for the series this year. From 2008 to 2010, the first release of the year had taken place by mid-March.

No modification has been made to the release date for the Julia Grant First Spouse Gold Coin. At this time, it is still listed as June 2, 2011, less than a month after the Eliza Johnson release. However, as we know, all release dates are subject to change.

Price Increase

The average London Fix gold price for the prior week and the current market gold price suggest that another pricing adjustment for the available First Spouse Gold Coins.

The price increase, which should take place shortly, will bring the cost of the proof versions of the First Spouse series to $904 and the uncirculated versions to $891. These will be the highest issue prices on record for the series.

The only First Spouse coins still available for purchase from the US Mint are the proof Abigail Fillmore and the proof and uncirculated Mary Todd Lincoln Coins.

Pricing for the 2010 Proof Gold Buffalo would also be adjusted higher to $1,760 per coin. When first offered for sale on June 3, 2010, the coins were priced at $1,510 each.

Coin Update News article

Last, I wanted to highlight an article by Louis Golino just published on Coin Update News. He suggests that the size of the coin should be reduced to one-quarter ounce in order to ensure the sustainability of the series. The suggested change, which could only be accomplished by an Act of Congress, would likely put US Mint issue prices around the levels that were in place for the start of the program in 2007.

Read the full article:
First Spouse Gold Coins Should Be Changed to Quarter Ounce Size



At April 13, 2011 at 7:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's it, I made it this far collecting both. I'm now just ordering the Proofs and I'll sell the uncs to help keep the set going.
To those still collecting both, wow, you will have quite an investment. I wish I could do it but it's time slow down a bit.
I know the uncs are more valuable but my old eyes can see the proofs a lot better.

At April 13, 2011 at 8:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll buy your Van Buren UNC!
Looks nicer than the proof to me.

At April 13, 2011 at 8:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The UNCs, excluding the libs, look like crap next to the proofs. Who cares if only 3,000 are made of them.

I agree with the previous post that the VB UNC is a very attrative coin.

At April 13, 2011 at 9:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the release dates for the Johnson and Grant coins are left the same, I would expect a VERY low mintage for Johnson. Plus the fact that the Johnson coin is probably the ugliest and least relevant of the series so far doesn't help matter.

Another thing that Congress could do would be to eliminate the Unc versions to reduce the headache of messing with an unpopular coin series. I collect the proofs and wouldn't even mind if the ended the series altogether so I could focus my meager resources on something more interesting. JMO.

At April 13, 2011 at 9:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliminating the UNC is a brilliant idea!

At April 13, 2011 at 9:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, a big thanks for the heads up, Michael!

At April 13, 2011 at 9:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Cogress doesn't allow the Mint to sell UNC W-marked versions of popular coins, why in the world would they want to sell something as unpopular as Unc gold spouse coins.

The series would have been MUCH more interesting if they had put the spouse on the front (for their PC reasons), but put a relevant scene from that particular presidents term on the back. For example, Jefferson's liberty on the front and something from the Lewis and Clark expedition on the back. Or Lincolns crazy wife on the front and something from the civil war on the back. JMO.

At April 13, 2011 at 9:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this eliminate the UNC thinking. Most people that are buying the UNC do so because they think it will be more collectible due to the lower mintage. Most people that buy the proof want a beautiful coin.

At April 13, 2011 at 9:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The congressperson or committee who sponsored the legislation for the First Spouse series should be held up to ridicule. Coin collectors everywhere knew this series was destined to fail due to lack of interest.

At April 13, 2011 at 10:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speak for yourselves...I happen to like the series, and in most cases I prefer the UNC. If you prefer he proofs, fine, but don't presume to speak for "most people"

At April 13, 2011 at 10:12 AM , Anonymous VABEACHBUM said...

I've been pursuing one each of this series from the beginning. And, while I was expecting price increases along the way, I have to say that, 4 years ago, I had not expected to see increases this dramatic nor this quickly.

Like many, I'm picking and choosing all of my purchases more carefully, but this series is getting harder with each newer, more expensive issue.

Given a choice, I would rather that Congress / Mint dictate that they will support one version over the other (PR vs UNC) at the current size, rather than change the size of the coins mid-program. If for not other reason, the reverses of the current coins are pretty darn busy on a 1/2 oz coin. Anything smaller will be a deteriment to the purpose of the presentation.

More to the point, however, I think that most COLLECTORS will agree that the one thing we like, in any series, is consistency across the program. Variations are understandable, acceptable, and add some flavor. However, I believe a dramatic change like this will drive away many of the initial series collectors as it draws in new ones. The initial collectors may not move forward, and they new collectors are not likely to work back.

Poke holes where you may. Again - just my thoughts.

At April 13, 2011 at 10:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with 10:09. I like this series and think most of these coins are beautiful. I also think the coins should be available in quarter ounce, or maybe both. They are getting costly for most people. So what if mintages are low, keep the series going!

At April 13, 2011 at 10:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

plan to substitute the first spouse 1/2 ounce gold coin to 1/4 ounce. maybe it is a good idea to add the 1/4 oz together with the 1/2 ounce. pr maybe just stop producing the uncirculated version. i don't mind. i will just continue to buy some. just don't produce too many. mint should also lowering mintage from 15,000 to 10,000.

At April 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think this would have been an unpoular series if the first issues hadn't been bought out by the big boys so quickly.
While I am giving up the uncs to continue with the proofs I don't think the mint should discontinue either. Those that have been in it since the beginning have put up with enough already. They deserve to finish with a unique set.
Even though I'm thinking sell the extra uncs, I really hope I can avoid selling the Liberty set, it does look nice.

At April 13, 2011 at 11:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A slabbed set of Liberties in a plush wood box is a site to behold!

At April 13, 2011 at 11:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

if first spouse gold liberty is good and collectible. why is it the jefferson's one is still a bullion value. 20k or 40k total is still considered a low mintage as compare to american eagle gold series. right?. and it won't go up. or al least a few percentage premium. nothing. that i can't understand.

At April 13, 2011 at 12:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 11:57am,
If you think of a series consists of only 2 coins, A and B. Coin A has a mintage of 5, and coin B has a mintage of 10.
If this series is not popular, say only 3 people collect this series. Both A and B will not carry much premium as there are plenty of supply.
If this series becomes popular, say there are now 6 people collecting this series. Then the price of A will go up substantially because only 5 coins for 6 people. But price of B will still not rise much because there are still more coins than collectors.
By the same token, if there are 11 collectors, B will also go up, but A will go up much much more.
That's why common date coins usually appreciate much slower than the keys. (the rise of bullion content that drive the value of common date is an exception).

At April 13, 2011 at 12:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with the Mint stopping the entire series mid-stream or just ending the unc or proof. Those of us collecting either set will have all that the mint produced for that particular type (unc or proof), and that's what we're after anyway. It might even make the discontinued coin type (say unc) that much more popular and unique as there would be even less of that type out there to be had. JMO.

At April 13, 2011 at 12:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with VABEACHBUM...the mint might as well end the series if they are going to change the coin size to 1/4 ounce. Although it would be a much more affordable coin (which is a good thing), it would be akin to changing the obverse image to the president (like they should have had in the first place if they weren't so PC). We are much too far down the road with this series.

If congress can change the law regarding the gold spouse coin's size, why not just end either the unc or proof type and leave the other as is. Otherwise, they could end the program altogether to allow the those of us collecting this coin to spend our money on something different. Changing the coin size is too much of a difference from what is currently being sold, and I think the total sales would drop even more dramatically. JMO.

At April 13, 2011 at 1:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, just leave the series be. I doubt sales will ever get much lower than they were in 2009 or 2010, regardless of the price. A few collectors will bail out if they simply can't afford to buy these anymore, but those who always buy early to get "first-crack" at them or want them for the dumb-@#$ "First Strike" designation will still buy quickly and find a way to do so. The harder these get to buy, the more appeal they will have as mintages stay low.

I will definitely bail out if the coins are shrunk. I want to have the entire set of both Proof and Unc, and I want them all to match in size. I DETEST changing things mid-stream. I hated it when the Mint changed the Unc COA's in 2010 and removed the artist's depiction of the coin design those had from 2007-2009. It was nice having that on paper, and now that's gone (unless you buy the 4 or 5-medal sets, which still depicts the artists versions on the envelope.)

At April 13, 2011 at 2:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US mint is not going to make any readjustments to the first spouse law. There will be no downsizing to a 1/4 ounce coin, nor will the mint cancel either the proof or the uncirculated coins. The series will continue "as is" until the final coin - most likely Pat Nixon is issued. I do agree with many of the comments on this site that the coins maybe become increasingly cost-prohibitive to many collectors. However, if you can afford to continue the series, you will definately be rewarded upon completion - Good luck to all.


At April 13, 2011 at 3:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cancel 'em both, both look like trinkets next to eagles.

At April 13, 2011 at 3:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliza Johnson has a release date.

At April 13, 2011 at 3:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

END the UNC!
END the UNC!

This will keep sales up to a reasonable level.

If they shrink the coin, folks will not buy them!

At April 13, 2011 at 3:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

End the Cent!
End the Half!
End the Paper Bill!

Let the mint actually do the peoples business and make coins we actually use that have a relevant value.

Isn't it pathetic we worry so much about the trivial that we allow the mint and Washington to simply keep postponing doing their real jobs.

Leave the ladies alone, the people that started sets should be able to finish them. So the mint screwed up again, what's new!

At April 13, 2011 at 4:36 PM , Blogger Jake Smith said...

Does anyone know the maximum mintage for the 2011 First Spouse coins?

At April 13, 2011 at 5:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, that's why Mint canceled my back order (6 coins) last week. JP Uncirculated droped big time. Expect solid price action in e-bay soon.

At April 13, 2011 at 8:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1/4 oz is too small and the reason I am not interested in the gold commemoratives. The classic gold eagles are nice, but the 1/2 eagles don't do it for me.

Maybe a two ounce first spouse silver? Nah, I actually think the idea of dropping the UNC and keeping the 1/2 oz proof makes the most sense and would cause the least dissent.

At April 13, 2011 at 9:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the idea of dropping the UNC and keeping the 1/2 oz proof makes the most sense and would cause the least dissent."

Are you reading what you wrote? The least dissent. What business or sales entity feels so secure that it would chance slapping their erroding customer base in the face by actions that would cause ANY dissent? As a personal opinion, I wouldn't do any business with an outfit that values my participation that low.

Granted the mint has not made any known decision to change sizes and finishes that you people are speculating about. But first they jump prices, then they change packaging, then they cancel many older numismatic offerings, then they cancel an ongoing series that began in 1986 by passing the ASE's last year, and the list goes on. Ha! Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the mint doesn't care whether you do business with them or not. If the insults continue, I think there will come a point where no one buys anything from them. Then as Yogi often would say......."it's over since it's over". Pity.

At April 13, 2011 at 9:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The size doesn't need to change to keep the series going; the series is mandated by Congress no matter if it makes or loses money.

If you don't like one type of coin or the other, don't collect them. I've sacrficed a lot to this point and want to see the collection (as mandated by Congress) through to the end.

Prices for First Spouse coins on the secondary market are artificially low (imo) due to the many collectors that have to sell parts of their collections to finance the rest.

Once the series ends and the few orphaned coins find homes, the nay-sayers will find this to be a very beautiful and valuable collection!

They will rue the day they didn't see it through...imho.

At April 14, 2011 at 12:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

People that can't afford the spouse gold coins can collect the spouse medals, that is why they made those.

At April 14, 2011 at 4:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a numismatist, I don't collect medals.
I have a coin collection, not a medal collection.
Keeping the proof versions and eliminating the uncs makes the most sense IMHO.
I'm not in favor of making them smaller.

At April 14, 2011 at 4:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

...They will rue the day they didn't see it through...imho...

You mean the ones who could have afforded to see it through, right?

At April 14, 2011 at 6:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

They should make them out of zink and gold plate them. They would then look the same and would be affordable.

At April 14, 2011 at 8:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The uncs are my favorite of the two. If I quit one, it will be the proofs.

At April 14, 2011 at 9:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The uncs are my favorite of the two. If I quit one, it will be the proofs."

Other than the rare exception (ie. the Van Buren Unc), the proofs look nicer.

The desirability of the UNC (ie. Julia Tyler) has to do with low mintage. You can't look me in the eye and say the Unc looks nearly as nice as the higher populated Jullia Tyler proof.

Eliminating the Unc will keep the size still ok, and sales at reasonable levels, and (most importantly) keep collectors able to purchase the entire series without breaking the bank (as much).

I'm on the bandwagon for eliminating the Unc and keeping the proof 1/2 oz.


At April 14, 2011 at 10:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will be no changes. This is all silly speculation based on high prices, low sales, and mint delays. The series will continue. Buy, or don't buy, what's the big deal.
Give this series a chance. The more time passes(10-30 yrs), the more it will be realized what great rarities these are. Especially for those who hang on to theirs through Gold's eventual parabolic and melt stages coming sooner than later. IMO

At April 14, 2011 at 11:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there is an article on why these coins ever even came to be, it was a compromise to then Senator Clinton on having a Presidential dollar series, she got the gold spouse series for the First Ladies.

So before any changes are made I imagine she would have to approve it and I doubt that happens. If anything it will be expanded to include more First Spouses including her before all is said and done.

So do what you have to do, but don't expect changes in these coins to help a few collectors out with affordability. That is why they released the spouse medals, and the gold spouse coins have to be the same diameter as the Presidential dollars. So I doubt that will ever change.

At April 14, 2011 at 11:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's ridiculous to argue which looks better. We are all different, our tastes are different. I'm dropping the uncs because I like the contrast, my old eyes really see them better in proof.

That said the classic look of the uncirculated gold is much nicer to me. I'm going to have a hard time quitting the Uncs. I'm already plotting how I can continue to afford both.

At April 14, 2011 at 12:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

makem 1 ounce silver with .23 mg gold coating


At April 14, 2011 at 1:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilary Clinton got the first spouse gold coinage into law so she will have a gold image of herself for eternity?

Wow she is good!

Remember, she was the one that first brought up Obama's lack of a real US birth certificate (not the Republicans or Trump). She is a powerful lady!

Can you spell E G O M A N I A C?

At April 14, 2011 at 1:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton won't be able to be on one of these coins unless Betty Ford, Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter, Nancy Reagan, George & Barbara Bush, Bill and herself all pass away before her turn comes up. Technically the subjects are supposed to have been dead for 5 years, but I'm thinking that would be waived if it came right down to it.

There are no gaps scheduled in the series, so for the moment series continuation hinges on Betty Ford. Even if Rosalyn Carter dies but Jimmy is still alive, she won't have a coin either. The President has to be dead before his wife can have a coin. And, even though Ronald Reagan qualifies for a Presidential Dollar, he won't have one unless Jimmy Carter dies before it's his turn.

At April 14, 2011 at 1:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic:

How many weeks does it take to adjust silver proof sets?

Very annoying, especially if it is just to raise the quarter set $2.

Glad government doesn't run health care (yet)!

At April 14, 2011 at 1:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone out there can caculate melt value of silver set and melt + face of full mint set on $42/oz silver?

Full 2000 silver proof sets still on ebay for under $50. My gut thinks these are good buys, any other opinions or other specific numismatic silver for spot or less?

At April 14, 2011 at 1:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So before any changes are made I imagine she (Hillary Clinton) would have to approve it and I doubt that happens."

Uhh...last time I checked, Hillarious wasn't a senator. I don't know what she would have to do with approving or disapproving the con...I mean coin. Sorry for the Freudian slip.

At April 14, 2011 at 2:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right now former Senator Clinton is in the Obama administration, and if any changes are proposed she would be informed of them by other Senators.

I think the issue of later First Spouse coins was also mentioned and a couple beyond the scheduled ones are already planned, they just haven't been added yet because it is too far out.

PS I doubt they care how many coins are sold or what they cost, that is not the purpose of this series. It is a matching set to the Presidential Dollars, and won't be changed by collectors ability to pay.

At April 14, 2011 at 3:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you really think that a former senator and secretary of state has that much power over the mint OR even cares about it? Wow! Congress makes laws...the executive branch can only approve or not approve a law.

Other than the fact that hillary doesn't give a rip about first spouse coins since she will definitely not get one before the law expires, I agree with everything else you said.

At April 14, 2011 at 3:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Full 2000 silver proof sets still on ebay for under $50. My gut thinks these are good buys, any other opinions or other specific numismatic silver for spot or less?...

I've run out room for all the proof and quarter proof sets I have accumulated below melt on eBay.

Just last week I picked up a slew of 2009 silver quarter sets for $36 a piece.

At April 14, 2011 at 5:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the silver bubble bursts, you'll have plenty of coins that will simply be worth the value of the bullion itself.

Last year, when silver was at $18 or so, folks that was too high. Let's be real.... silver ain't that rare.

At April 14, 2011 at 6:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The current price of silver has more to do with the US dollar printing machines running 24/7 than it has to do with silver being rare (although the Chinese might beg to differ with you). So in dollars, yes, silver is probably worth what it's going for now because dollars will soon be worth a little more than the price of paper. You need to quit living in the 90s.

At April 14, 2011 at 7:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not silver that's going to's the dollar that is POPping as I write this.

At April 14, 2011 at 7:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs. Clinton would tell President Obama, Senator Reid and/or the current First lady about the coins and veto any changes. Sorry folks, no changes to the spouse series other than adding more coins.

At April 15, 2011 at 5:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that there will be no changes to the gold first spouse - because of political correctness - not because of hilarious clinton. Obama hates her guts and she hates his. Reid is just punch-drunk and wouldn't know a gold coin from a copper penny. Plus, hilarous will only care if there's a buck in it for her. Furthermore, she will never make it onto a coin in this series.

At April 15, 2011 at 9:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"silver ain't that rare."

Where did you get this bit of misinformation?

The world is using up more silver than it produces each and there is currently more gold than silver in world stockpiles.

Price has been low because large banks have been manipulating the price with short-selling on the exchanges. The price of silver is finally catching up with the reality of its value.

At April 16, 2011 at 2:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must be young. Believe it or not, I heard similar justifications of how rare silver was during the last run up in its price. Speculators were saying that silver was used in films, electronic equipment, and the ever-increasing creation of jewelry.

In 1980, the silver price rose to a peak for modern times of $49.45 per ounce due to market manipulation of the Hunt brothers. Some time after Silver Thursday, the price was back to $10 per ounce. By December 2001, the price had dropped to 4.15 per ounce and in May 2006, it had risen back as high as $15.21.

Silver isn't rare. Look at the millions of silver bullion rounds that exist throughout the world. It's just that demand -- at this time -- is great for any type of precious metal. When that demand drops, so will its value. And when there's a sell off, the price will likely drop swiftly and dramatically, as dumping begins.

Enjoy the ride up for now....


"silver ain't that rare."

Where did you get this bit of misinformation?

The world is using up more silver than it produces each and there is currently more gold than silver in world stockpiles.

Price has been low because large banks have been manipulating the price with short-selling on the exchanges. The price of silver is finally catching up with the reality of its value.

At April 16, 2011 at 4:06 AM , Blogger Duane said...

To anonymous (above) "...that silver ain't that rare." Either I've been reading misleading information the past decade or you haven't read or research anything concerning silver. I've been led to believe that there is more above ground GOLD available than above ground silver. Silver gets lost in industrial use and is a necessary product in today's world. Silver over the past 15 months (Jan.29,2010 through April 15, 2011) has produced roughly 3X's what my gold investment has generated.

At April 16, 2011 at 6:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Enjoy the ride up for now...."

Very well spoken by someone who is either upset that they missed the ride up or doesn't have a clue about economics.

Yes, silver went up in the 80s to roughly $50, then crashed. So what! What does that have to do with anything?

These are different times, we have different leaders, there are different powers in the world, and the economic circumstances are certainly different. A dollar is only worth about 1/3 of its purchasing power as compared to 1980. With QE/QE2 (money printing) being pushed by the current administration, we will soon be longing for the day when we could buy a gallon of milk for $3.00.

Silver, gold and copper have been accepted currencies for as long as man can remember. Countries such as China and India (among others) are now stockpiling these metals because they see the writing on the wall even if you do not. Fiat currencies have had their day and their demise was sped along by the lunatics now running the asylum. At the BRICS conference, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa agreed to quit using the US dollar as an exchange mechanism. At the same time, our government is running the printing presses 24/7 to dilute the value of the dollar, which is a form of stealing from those who hold dollars. Furthermore, out debt is crushing and the current administration would rather shut down the government than be responsible stewards of their trust.

PMs will continue to fluctuate and that fluctuation may become volatile at times, but rest assured that unlike the 80s the stars have aligned (or should I say the idiots have aligned) and this time elevated prices will stick. Sorry to give you the bad news...simple Economics 101.

At April 16, 2011 at 1:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Louis Golino, author of the widely criticized proposal to change spouse sizes. I agree with many of the criticisms but think a lot of you may not have understood I was not saying change sizes because I or others can't afford them. I was thinking of the long-term market, which may suffer if future collectors are deterred from buying them because they are all several thousand each. That will limit how much the coins are traded, which may result in prices settling at a certain, rather high level and not moving much higher after that. For prices to keep moving higher, coins need a solid buy-sell market. I should have explained that more clearly, and may do a follow-up article addressing that and some of your concerns.
Re: silver in 1980. As Michael noted in yesterday's update, silver was only above $40 for 4 days in 1980. It's been above 440 now for most of the past several weeks. I think the current market is much stronger than the 1980 market. There will be adjustments along the way, but long-term, silver will be over $100, maybe more years down the road. No other investment is likely to give you that return, including gold.

At April 16, 2011 at 8:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

by just adding face value only for those non-silver proof coins to a silver proof set is unfair. how much a proof clad coin cost?. that is why the mint should stop selling all silver proof set and quarter set. unless some price adjustment is made. business is business. right?,

At April 16, 2011 at 8:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

right now the cheapest way to buy coins is the clad proof set and clad quarter proof set. mint uncirculated set too. check the latest cdn bid and ask prices for those that i have mentioned. terribly cheap. even very much cheaper than original mint first offered.

At April 17, 2011 at 5:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duane and Anonmous @ April 16, 2011 6:19 AM:

Both of you are clearly young white males who did not experience the gold and silver bubbles of the 1980s.

Many of your arguments for a price increase were raised almost 30 years ago. The reality is that the market (and demand) for precious metals is cyclical. History shows that. If you are naive to think that gold and silver will continue to escalate without ever going down, then power to you.

Listen to economists, money managers, and business experts about what they have to say about investing in precious metals. Then listen to what you are saying.

Good luck. I hope that you amass your fortunes before the bubble bursts.

At April 17, 2011 at 6:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Both of you are clearly young white males who did not experience the gold and silver bubbles of the 1980s."

First, I would like to thank you for the complement regarding my age. However, I was definitely there and remember the Hunts very well. Today, we do not have a couple of rich guys trying to corner the market so it's "apples and oranges" as they say.

"Many of your arguments for a price increase were raised almost 30 years ago. The reality is that the market (and demand) for precious metals is cyclical. History shows that. If you are naive to think that gold and silver will continue to escalate without ever going down, then power to you."

I agree that PMs are cyclical and that history shows that (hence the term 'cyclical'. Furthermore, I did not say that PMs would continue going up without ever going down. What I did say is that PMs are going to get volatile; however, the general trend will be up. To be honest, it depresses me that PMs are going up like they are because it is a sign that our fiat currency (and our economic life as we knew it) are near the end. Your assumption is that our current government can control inflation, which they can't. They have manipulated the dollar (and PMs) for so long that are losing control. Even if the USA tries not to recognize PMs are their inflation adjusted values, China, India, Russia, etal will not play that game and the world price of PMs will continue to rise until it reaches an equilibrium. Look at Germany and the price of PMs in their currency back in the 1920-30s. Then tell me why our currency is immune to that sort of hyperinflation. And Germany was printing money at a slower rate than the USA is today.

"Listen to economists, money managers, and business experts about what they have to say about investing in precious metals. Then listen to what you are saying."

I learned the hard way not to trust the banks and business experts you cite above. They have their own "dog in the hunt". Since you bring it up, Chase-Morgan is a great example of why to BUY PMs. They have been shorting silver and gold for years and years, even as it has gone up. Their track record is pathetic, and they are one of the largest banks in the world. own ability to interpret economic data and obvious manipulation of the PM market has worked out fine for me to date. As for economist you cite, I could find one to back my position for every one you found to back yours. If you would like, I can also provide sources (notes from Fed meetings) that show Alan Greenspan (and likely his successor) actively manipulated the PMs to protect fiat currency.

"Good luck. I hope that you amass your fortunes before the bubble bursts."

Thank you Sir...I guess we'll see.

At April 17, 2011 at 11:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to Mr. 4/17 at 6:04!! Excellent retort and good points, with which I agree. We may be in a cycle but I suspect it will last much longer than most of the financial expert PM naysayers (like the CNBC crowd except Cramer)think it will. Every time it goes up they say the bubble is going to burst any second, and every time it declines, even a little, they say it's all over, head for the hills, this shows how weak PM's really are, etc. But as we all know nothing goes up in a straight line, and if and when it does, it comes crashing down later. Even if there is a major cyclical decline say in 3-5 years, it will be from a much higher level than now, and it will probably not be as much as the naysayers think.

At April 17, 2011 at 7:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a thought, if the mint did have to downsize to make the first spouse coins more affordable, they could continue the proof at 1/2 ounce and create a unc at 1/4 ounce with a different mint mark that would still sell in good numbers.

At April 18, 2011 at 9:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the PM naysayers, I couldn't have said it better myself:

At April 18, 2011 at 1:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So,if at some point in the future gold drops in price to say $750.Does that mean that the first spouse coins will lost 50% of todays value or will the numismatic value keep them from falling that far?

At April 18, 2011 at 2:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMO, coins are made up of three factors: 1) rarity, 2) demand, 3) and bullion content. Obviously each of these factors are made up of "subfactors." For example, I would say that a beautifully designed coin would fall under demand (in general). If the beautiful coin has a low mintage, then you have rarity. Finally, if it's a beautiful coin with a low mintage and made of gold, then it is the best of all worlds.

The value of a coin does not relate equally to each of these factors. What I mean is that when gold prices go up, the gold bullion content of a coin goes up; however, the price may not rise linearly because people begin looking at a coin as a piece of gold instead for its collectible value.

All of which brings us to the gold spouse coins. Some are nice (e.g., liberty subset) and some are not (e.g., Eliza Johnson). Most are rare by historical standards. All are made of 1/2 ounce of gold. So to answer your question, some will drop more than others, but all will drop (unless the rarity factor is extreme) if gold goes to $750.

All that said, you will never see gold below $1000 again (at least in worthless USD script).


At April 19, 2011 at 6:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gold at $750??? NFW!! Even a deal to balance the budget would not do that. Did you hear about the Un. of Texas which purchased $1 billion of physical gold recently for its pension fund?

Re: Eliza Johnson. May not be as ugly as many people think. I've seen some mock-ups of the obverse that look alright to me. The reverse is a weak design, but what can you do? I just wish the Mint had not dithered on offering it so we could have saved some money.

At April 21, 2011 at 2:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it looks like we might see another increase before the coins go on sale. That will make it two tiers above the March 5 level, when it was originally slated to go on sale. That translates to an extra $150 for me, since I buy one proof and two uncs of each issue.

I could always quit the series I guess, but I've been enjoying collecting them and watching the value rise. If I don't buy them, I can't watch the value of my paper money rise! Well, my uncirculated "star" notes still go for a premium I suppose. :)

At April 24, 2011 at 8:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous. Imagine how the value of the First Spouse Coins would be affected if ten thousand women started collecting the coins! Anyone who has the complete series up until now has made a very good investment.As for me, I will try to complete the series.


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