An article from CoinWorld has broken the story that the United States Mint will be offering 2010 Proof American Gold Eagles. The popular collector coins will be available in mid-October, across the standard range of options.
As collectors are well aware, the 2009 Proof and Uncirculated Gold Eagles were canceled as a result of demand for bullion coins. By law, the US Mint must produce American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins in quantities sufficient to meet public demand. For an extended period, the US Mint fell short of meeting full demand and accordingly sourced all incoming blank supplies to the production of bullion coins. Collector versions of the Gold and Silver Eagle, which are not legally mandated, were not produced.
As explored in a previous post, throughout the current year, the US Mint had shown that they were catching up with demand for gold bullion coins. The US Mint ended the allocation program in effect for one ounce Gold Eagles in March. The following month, 2010 Gold Buffalo bullion coins were offered, followed by the proof versions of the coin. Fractional Gold Eagle bullion coins were also available by mid year. As the US Mint is now presumably satisfying full public demand for American Gold Eagle bullion coins across options, they are clear to produce collector versions of the coin.
According to the CoinWorld article, maximum mintages have been set at 64,000 one ounce coins, 54,000 one-half ounce coins, 55,000 one-quarter ounce coins, and 66,000 one-tenth ounce coins. This takes into account the separate maximums established for individual coins and 39,000 of each coin allocated to 4 Coin Sets.
Although the maximum mintages seem high, they are basically in line with the maximum limits established for the 2008 Proof Gold Eagles. However, for that year, final sales fell far short of the maximum levels established. The table below shows the combined maximum mintage for each of the 2008 Proof Gold Eagles, along with the final audited mintages.
|2008 Proof Gold Eagles|
|Max. Mintage||Final Mintage|
It has not yet been confirmed whether household ordering limits will be imposed for the 2010 Proof Gold Eagles. Pricing will be determined based on the average London Fix price of gold during the week leading up to the release. Once these details are available, they will be explored in a future post.
The CoinWorld article also mentions that the 2010 Proof Silver Eagles are “still in limbo”. While demand for gold bullion has abated, demand for silver bullion is still running at high levels. For the year to date, the US Mint has sold 23,600,500 of the one ounce silver bullion coins. If the current pace of sales continues, the annual total for 2010 will mark a fresh all time high.
Recently, it was revealed that the US Mint was hoping for legislative action to allow them to produce 2010 Proof Silver Eagles for collectors. Within testimony delivered during a House subcommittee meeting, Director Moy discussed a potential change in law that would allow production of Proof Silver Eagles even if full demand for bullion coins remained unmet. He mentioned specific mintage levels if production could begin in September. To date, I have not seen any progress on the legislative front and silver bullion demand remains stubbornly high.
In my opinion, without quick legislative action or a dramatic decline in silver bullion demand, the 2010 Proof and Uncirculated Silver Eagles still seem unlikely.