It been a while since I have taken a look at sales figures for the 2008-W Uncirculated and Proof Gold Eagles offered by the US Mint. Sales to date have been incredibly low this year as the result of two main factors.
The first factor is the high premium above the spot price of gold that the Mint is currently charging for the coins. As of the writing of this post, the premiums for the proof coins range from 48% for the 1 ounce coin to 85% for the 1/10 ounce coin. The Mint initially set pricing for the coins when gold was at a much higher level. They have not adjusted prices lower to reflect the decline in gold. It’s very hard for collectors to justify paying this kind of premium and has definitely impacted sales.
The second factor is the new offering of Fractional Gold Buffalo Coins. This year fractional versions of the popular 24 karat gold coins were offered for the first time. Even though the Buffalo coins were released later in the year, for several denominations they have out-sold their American Eagle counterparts. Some money that would have been spent on Gold Eagles has been spent on Gold Buffaloes.
Here are the most recent sales figures for the 2008-W Uncirculated and Proof Gold Eagles based on the latest Mint Stats from Numismaster:
|2008-W Uncirculated Gold Eagles|
|4 coin set||1,271||2,542|
This year’s sales are running far below last year’s figures. This post shows the last indication of the 2007-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle mintage based on the final Mint sales report. As an example comparison, the 1/2 ounce uncirculated coin had combined total sales of 13,358 for 2007 compared to 2,095 sales to date for 2008.
|2008 Proof Gold Eagles|
|4 coin set||7,219||14,438|
Again, sales are far behind last years. This post shows the 2007 Proof Gold Eagle mintage based on the final Mint sales report. As an example comparison, the 1/2 ounce proof coin had combined total sales of 45,398 for 2007 compared to 9,445 sales to date in 2008.
Will the 2008 mintages turn out to be so low that the coins become scarce key dates? Early indications suggest the possibility, but its only September and there will be many more months of sales. The situation could change if the Mint lowers prices for the products or if the price of gold increases significantly. As we come closer to the end of the year, these are definitely some products worth watching.