Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gold and Platinum Product Price Increase Likely, Other Suspensions Loom

Despite the decline in precious metals prices late in the day, price increases still seem likely to occur tomorrow for the gold and platinum numismatic products covered under the US Mint's flexible pricing policy. Other products not covered by the policy face the increasing prospect of a sales suspension and eventual price increase.

In January 2009, the US Mint adopted a pricing policy for numismatic gold and platinum product which would allow changes to be implemented as frequently as weekly based on changes in the prices of the underlying precious metals. The policy specifically covered the American Gold Eagle, American Gold Buffalo, First Spouse Gold Coin, and American Platinum Eagle numismatic products.

Under the policy, the average price of gold and platinum is calculated each week based on the London Fix prices from the prior Thursday AM to the present Wednesday AM. If the price falls into a higher or lower tier (established at $50 increments for gold and $100 increments for platinum), then a pricing change would generally take place. The final requirement is for the Wednesday PM Fix price to fall within the same range directionally as the potential change.

Gold products are currently priced for within the $1,500 to $1,549.99 tier and the single platinum product is priced within the $1,650 to $1,749.99 tier. The average prices for each metal fall well within the next higher tier. The only thing that could prevent a price increase would be if the Wednesday PM gold price is below $1,550 or the the Wednesday PM platinum price is below $1,750.

Otherwise the prices would be increased as follows:

Old Price New Price
2011 1 oz Proof Gold Eagle $ 1,785.00 $ 1,835.00
2011 1/2 oz Proof Gold Eagle $ 906.00 $ 931.00
2011 1/4 oz Proof Gold Eagle $ 465.50 $ 478.00
2011 1/10 oz Proof Gold Eagle $ 200.50 $ 205.50
2011 Proof Gold Eagle 4 Coin Set $ 3,308.00 $ 3,400.50
2011-W Unc Gold Eagle $ 1,778.00 $ 1,828.00
2010 Proof Gold Buffalo $ 1,810.00 $ 1,860.00
Proof First Sposue Gold Coins $ 929.00 $ 954.00
Unc First Spouse Gold Coins $ 916.00 $ 941.00

2011 Proof Platinum Eagle $ 1,992.00 $ 2,092.00

Pricing changes under the policy are typically implemented around mid-morning on Wednesday. If the increases take place, the prices for the gold products would represent new highs. The price of the 2011 Proof Platinum Eagle would return to its initial price in effect when the coins went on sale in late May 2011.

Products which are not covered by the US Mint's flexible pricing policy must be adjusted through a more lengthy process of publication within the Federal Register. This generally involves suspending product sales for several weeks until the new prices can be published.

With the recent rise in precious metals prices, the $5 gold commemorative coins and many products with silver content face the increasing prospect of a sales suspension and repricing.

Both the Army and Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Programs include $5 gold coins priced at $454.95 for the proof and $444.95 for the uncirculated version. These prices reflect a surcharge of $35 per coin, payable to the beneficiary organization, reducing the net proceeds for the Mint. Each coin contains roughly 0.242 troy ounces of gold, with a value of $384.30 based on the current price of gold. If the price of gold were to approach $1,700 per ounce, then the net proceeds to the mint would be less than the melt value of the gold content.

Numismatic products available from the US Mint which include silver content include the America the Beautiful Quarter Silver Proof Sets, annual Silver Proof Sets, commemorative silver dollars, September 11 silver medals, and the 2011 Proof Silver Eagle.

The silver content of each product in troy ounces is shown below.

Silver Content
ATB Quarter Silver Proof Set 0.9042
Annual Silver Proof Set 1.33823
Commem Silver Dollar 0.77344
Proof Silver Eagle 1
September 11 Silver Medal 1

The following table shows the silver value for each product, the face value of any non-silver coins included, the total of the silver and other fave value, and the US Mint's current price. Also bear in mind that the commemorative silver dollars and September 11 silver medal prices each include a $10 surcharge payable to the beneficiary organization.

Silver other FV Total Price
2010 ATBQ Silver Proof Set 35.26 0 35.26 39.95
2011 ATBQ Silver Proof Set 35.26 0 35.26 41.95
2010 Silver Proof Set 52.19 5.06 57.25 64.95
2011 Silver Proof Set 52.19 5.06 57.25 67.95
Proof Commem Silver Dollar 30.16 0 30.16 59.95
Unc Commem Silver Dollar 30.16 0 30.16 54.95
Proof Silver Eagle 39.00 0 39.00 59.95
September 11 Silver Medal 39.00 0 39.00 56.95

During silver's last run, the US Mint had halted sales of the 2010 Silver Proof Set and 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Quarters Proof Set when the price of silver had broken above the $40 per ounce level. Sales of the 2011 versions of the sets were suspended less than two weeks later as silver rose above $43 per ounce. Ultimately sales for the products resumed without any price change, after silver fell back to $35 per ounce.

Coin Update News: US Mint Sales: Numismatic Gold Coin Sales Surge