Today December 3, 2009 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales of the 2009 Proof Platinum Eagle and the Margaret Taylor First Spouse Gold Coin. These will be two of the final major product releases for the US Mint this year.
2009 Proof Platinum Eagle
The last time I wrote about the 2009 Proof Platinum Eagle, the projected price of the coin was $1,692. Since the average London Fix price of platinum has moved into a higher range, the price of the coin will be $1,792.
The coins will be packaged differently than in prior years. Based on images posted on the US Mint’s website, the one ounce proof coin will be placed in a tri-fold binder. One side will display the narrative “To Form a More Perfect Union” by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., which inspired the reverse design. The other side will have the certificate of authenticity and the coin specifications.
The 2009 Proof Platinum Eagle will be limited to 5 coins per household for at least the first week of sales. After this time, the US Mint will re-evaluate the limit and extend, adjust, or remove it. The maximum authorized mintage for the coin is set at 8,000 coins.
Prospects for the 2009 Proof Platinum Eagle seem mixed. It does represent the only platinum coin that will be issued by the United States Mint this year, which adds a unique aspect. The maximum mintage of 8,000 means that if the entire amount is sold, there would be three one ounce proof Platinum Eagles with lower mintages. This would limit the coins status within the broader series. The lowest mintage is the 2008 Proof Platinum Eagle at 4,769 coins.
Is a sell out possible? Back in 2007, the US Mint released the 10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set, which was initially priced at $1,949.95 with a maximum mintage of 30,000 sets. This product managed to sell 14,862 sets in the first week. However, this was hot on the heels of the secondary market success of the 20th Anniversary Gold and Silver Eagle Sets. More recently, the US Mint sold 19,468 of the one ounce 2009 Proof Gold Buffalo in the opening three days. However, the Gold Buffalo coins definitely have a wider collector base than the Platinum Eagles.
Personally, I am leaning towards a sell out for the 2009 Proof Platinum Eagle, but not an immediate one. Opening sales figures should provide a better indication of whether a sell out is possible and when it might occur. This information should be available by Tuesday and will be posted on Mint News Blog.
Margaret Taylor First Spouse Gold Coin
The Margaret Taylor First Spouse Gold Coin will be the final release of the year for the series and carry the highest initial offering price. The one half ounce proof coin will be priced at $754 and the one half ounce uncirculated coin will be priced at $741.
The US Mint has placed an initial ordering limit of ten coins per option per household for the first week of sales. This limit will be re-evaluated and extended, adjusted, or removed. The maximum authorized mintage for the coin across both proof and uncirculated options is 40,000. Recently, First Spouse Gold Coins have been reaching around 30% of the maximum.
Due to the higher price of the coin and continuing attrition to the collector base of the series, some have suggested that the Margaret Taylor coin might eventually end up with one of the lowest mintages for the series. To make a counter argument, it’s starting to seem that higher gold prices are actually starting to spur additional sales. In the prior weekly reporting period, the US Mint sold 661 First Spouse Gold Coins. This is double the number of coins sold four weeks ago and triple the number of coins sold six weeks ago. The coins were offered at prices $50 and $75 lower during those periods.
On a final note, to coincide with the release of the Margaret Taylor coin, the Van Buren’s Liberty First Spouse Gold Coin will go off sale today. The last reported sales indicate 7,515 proof coins sold and 4,334 uncirculated coins sold.