Sales of the 2010 Proof Platinum Eagle will begin at the United States Mint later this week on Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 12:00 Noon ET.
The reverse design of this year’s coin is based on the theme “To Establish Justice,” representing the second in a six year design series presenting the core concepts of American democracy. Last year’s coin carried the theme “To Form a More Perfect Union.” Themes for future releases are “To Insure Domestic Tranquility” (2011), “To Provide for the Common Defense” (2012), “To Promote the General Welfare” (2013), and “To Secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and our Posterity” (2014).
The 2010 Platinum Eagle Proof Coin reverse features a blindfolded Justice holding scales and a laurel branch. An American Eagle privy mark is also included. Inscriptions read “Justice the Guardian of Liberty”, “United States of America”, and the weight, purity, and face value of the coin. The reverse was designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The obverse of the coin features the rendition of the Statue of Liberty designed by John Mercanti that has been used for all American Platinum Eagle coins.
The proof coins are available in one ounce size only. After 2008, the US Mint discontinued the fractional weight and collectible uncirculated versions of the coin. The US Mint also hasn’t produced the bullion version of the coin since late 2008.
The maximum authorized mintage for the 2010 Proof Platinum Eagle is 10,000 coins, representing an increase of 2,000 over last year’s maximum. The household ordering limit has been set at five, the same level as last year.
The initial price of the coins will be based on the average London Fix prices from last Thursday AM to the current Wednesday AM, with additional consideration given to the Wednesday PM price. Because of higher platinum prices last week, the average looks like it will fall within the $1,550 – $1,649.99 range, which yields a price of $1,892 per coin, compared to a price of $1,792 for last year’s coin.
The 2009 Proof Platinum Eagle had sold out at the US Mint in approximately one week. Some unique circumstances of the release contributed to the quick sell out. After nearly a year of uncertainty, the US Mint had announced the cancellation of all collectible Gold and Silver Eagles, but the availability of the Proof Platinum Eagle, which would be released in December. By releasing the coin so late in the year and canceling all other collectible American Eagle coins, there was a sense of urgency to the offering and a larger pool of potential buyers. Some would-be buyers of the gold and silver coins may have opted to purchase the platinum coin instead. Some collectors may have decided to purchase the coin as the first year of a new series. Others may have purchased the coin in anticipation of a sell out due to the relatively low maximum mintage.
The circumstances of this year’s release are different. Personally, I don’t think there will be a repeat of last year’s quick sell out. If a sell out does occur, I think it will take place after a matter of months.
This year, the release takes place in August and hope still lingers for 2010 Proof Gold and Silver Eagles, diffusing some of the urgency of the platinum offering. Besides the dedicated followers of the series, collectors might be more likely to wait and see than buy immediately. The increased mintage and price serve as additional disincentives. The higher mintage makes the coin seem less desirable than the first release and might be pushing the limits of the collector base for a one ounce proof platinum coin. The higher price might put the expensive coin out of reach for some collectors.
More generally, sales of nearly all US Mint products have had slower sales this year compared to last year. As a case in point, the most recent sales report indicates that the 2010 Proof Gold Buffalo has sold 24,891 coins after two month and one week. After a comparable period last year’s 2009 Proof Gold Buffalo had sold more than 42,000 coins.
Coin Update: Latest US Mint Sales Report