The US Mint recently updated their Scheduled Products Listing with the majority of their product line up for the 2009. They had previously posted a partial schedule of products available through the spring.
Specific release dates for newly listed products have not been posted. The availability dates are simply listed as summer, spring, fall, or winter.
Notably still missing from the schedule are all expected collectible offerings for the 2009 American Gold Eagle, 2009 American Silver Eagle, 2009 American Platinum Eagle, and 2009 American Gold Buffalo.
Assuming the US Mint will offer the same products as the prior year except for the ones that were discontinued, the expected offerings include:
2009 American Gold Eagle – 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz 2009 Proof Gold Eagles, the 2009 Proof Gold Eagle 4 Coin Set, and the 1 oz 2009-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle.
2009 American Silver Eagle – the 2009 Proof Silver Eagle and the 2009-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle
2009 American Platinum Eagle – the 1 oz. 2009 Proof Platinum Eagle
2009 American Gold Buffalo – the 1 oz. 2009 Proof Gold Buffalo
Last year the US Mint released many of these products early in the year. The 2008 Proof Silver Eagle was released on January 3, the first 2008 American Gold Buffalo was released on February 5, and the first 2008 American Gold Eagle was released on March 4. (View an archived version of the US Mint’s 2008 Release Schedule.) The fact that the US Mint cannot yet commit to even a vague seasonal release date for this year’s products raises concerns.
Besides the already released 2009 UHR Double Eagle, the only gold products the US Mint has included on their release schedule are the 2009 First Spouse Gold Coins. The US Mint is legally required to issue these coins under the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005. Besides the traditionally offered 2009 Silver Pr0of Set, the only silver coins listed are the 2009 Louis Braille Silver Dollar and the 2009 Abraham Lincoln Silver Dollar. The US Mint is legally required to issue these commemorative coins. There are no platinum products listed.
Readers can correct me if I am mistaken, but I do not believe that the US Mint has any legal requirement to produce and issue the collectible versions of the American Eagle and American Buffalo coins listed above.
Does that mean there potential that these coins will not be issued in 2009?
Last year, amidst the ongoing shortage of Silver Eagle bullion coins, the US Mint indicated that they would use all incoming silver blanks for the production of bullion coins rather than collector coins. The US Mint indicated this explicitly within one of their statements:
We are not using incoming supplies of silver blanks to produce numismatic versions of these coins (American Eagle Silver Proof and Uncirculated Coins); all incoming inventory is being used solely for silver bullion coins…”
The 2009 Silver Eagle and 2009 Gold Eagle bullion coins are currently subject to rationing. I do not believe production has even begun for the 2009 Platinum Eagle bullion coins and 2009 Buffalo Gold bullion coins. This is presumably due to continued strong demand for bullion coins combined with a shortage of gold, silver, and platinum blanks needed to produce the coins.
If the demand for bullion products remains greater than the supply of blanks the US Mint is able to obtain, will they use all incoming blanks for bullion coins throughout 2009, and forego production of gold, silver, and platinum numismatic products that are not legally required? By not including these products on their schedule, is the US Mint allowing for this possibility?