The US Mint recently added the message “Product will be available for shipping 12/17/2008.” Recently, such shipping availability messages have closely preceded sell outs. After the one ounce coins are gone, all 2008-W Uncirculated Platinum Eagles will be sold out at the Mint.
This series has certainly gotten a lot of attention this year. When the coins first went on sale, the price of platinum was building towards its all time high of $2,290 per ounce. The coins remained on sale for a mere 38 days before being pulled amidst a sharp decline in the price of platinum. Only a few hundred coins were sold at these price levels, and collectors were left guessing for several months whether the coins would return.
The coins finally went back on sale on October 17, 2008 at prices nearly 50% lower than the prior levels. The 1/10 oz. coin quickly sold out, followed by the 1/4 oz. and 1/2 oz. Amidst the sell outs, the offerings were briefly suspended and then resumed with another price adjustment.
Between suspensions these coins were only available for sale for a very brief period of time. In the most extreme case, the 1/10 oz. coin was available for sale a mere 43 days.
The closely watched sales figures for the 2008-W Uncirculated Platinum Eagles have been falling for sold out coins. This may be due to product returns, or more likely orders which are being cancelled by the US Mint. I have seen reports of orders placed for 1/4 oz. Platinum Eagles several weeks ago, which are now being cancelled.
The table below shows the most recenlty reported sales figures for 2006-W, 2007-W, and 2008-W Uncirculated Platinum Eagles. Each number is comprised of the individual coin sales plus the 4 coin set sales numbers.
2006-2008-W Uncirculated Platinum Eagle Sales
The numbers for the 1/10 oz. and 1/4 oz. have fallen from previously reported numbers, and may continue to decline further. The 1/2 oz. and 1 oz. numbers have risen from previously reported numbers.
It will still likely be a few more weeks until the dust settles, but at this point it looks like the numbers for most of the coins will fall between the levels set for 2006 and 2007. In my opinion the coins are good acquisitions if you were able to get them at the Mint’s latest prices. On an absolute basis, these are very low mintage figures, especially if the recent strong interest in the series continues.
There seem to be premiums developing for the sold out 1/10 oz. and 1/4 oz. coins on the secondary market. Recently completed eBay auctions show raw, uncertified 1/10 oz. 2008-W Unc Platinum Eagles selling for $180 – $200 each. This compares to the last US Mint offering price of $134.95. The 1/4 oz. 2008-W Unc Platinum Eagles have sold between $375 – $400. This compares to the last US Mint offering price of $319.95. Here is a link to the current listings.
With the fractional “W” coins slated for discontinuation, will the low mintage coins of the past few years eventually become something akin to the 1995-W Proof Silver Eagle? Or will the distinction of the “W” mint mark lose significance as time moves on?
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