This post will take a look at the time line of 2008 Platinum Eagle sales and provide some possible answers to the question everyone wants to know: Will 2008 Platinum Eagles Return?
You can also see my previous post on the most recent 2008 Platinum Eagle sales figures.
2008 Proof Platinum Eagles went on sale May 5, 2008. Ordering options included the 1 ounce coin; 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce, and 1/10 ounce fractional coins; and a 4 coin set. On May 17, sales of the 4 coin set was suspended. On July 1, the individual ordering options were suspended. For the brief period between July 24 and August 7, all ordering options went back on sale at bafflingly higher prices. In total, coins were available for sale for a combined time period of 70 days.
2008-W Uncirculated Platinum Eagles went on sale July 1, 2008. Ordering options included the 1 ounce coin; 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce, and 1/10 ounce fractional coins; and a 4 coin set. All ordering options were suspended on August 7. In total, coins were available for sale for a period of 38 days.
The most recent suspensions came amidst a sharp and continuing decline in the price of platinum. The price of platinum has now declined nearly 50% from its all time high price of $2,290 reached earlier this year. The spot price of platinum as of the writing of this post is $1,191.
Will the 2008 Platinum Eagles ever go back on sale at the Mint?
I have not been able to attain any definite answer, but here are several possibilities (rumors) that have been floating around the internet. I can’t vouch for any of these. I’ve listed the possible answers in descending order of probability:
- The Mint is in the process of re-pricing the 2008 Platinum Eagles in line with the current market price of platinum. Since the Mint must go through a process of determining, approving, and publishing prices in a Federal Register, it takes a certain amount of time for coins to go on sale at the newly established prices.
- The Mint is waiting for platinum prices to stabilize. Since there is a lag between the time the Mint determines prices and coins go on sale, the continuing steep decline in platinum has made accurate pricing impossible. The Mint needs some period of stability so their prices will reflect the market price of platinum.
- The Mint cannot take a loss on the 2008 Platinum Eagles. This may be either legally or by choice. The platinum the Mint used to produce the coins was purchased at a much higher price than the current market price. They are waiting for previously high prices to return before putting the coins back on sale.
- The Mint is done with 2008 Platinum Eagles. They are either fed up with the price movements of platinum or phasing out the products. The Mint may or may not sell the remaining inventory from the last production run before the end of the year.
Does anyone out there have any definite answers or any more theories? Please feel free to post them in the comments.