The US Mint will begin sales of the 2011 American Gold Eagle Proof Coins on April 21, 2011 at 12:00 Noon ET. Although this will no doubt prove to be a popular offering, this year’s release seems to lack some of the excitement and pent up demand experienced last year.
The 2010 Proof Gold Eagles had been released following the cancellation of the 2009-dated coins, and a period of more than 18 months during which proof Gold Eagles were not available for purchase from the US Mint. Secondary market prices for prior year issues had risen dramatically due the lack of new supply. When the coins were released late in the year on October 7, initial sales levels were three to five times higher than comparable figures for the 2008-dated coins.
Ultimately, the 2010 Proof Gold Eagles only remained available for sale for roughly four months, until all options sold out. The US Mint did not strike the coins to the full extent of the authorized production levels, possibly due to timing, conservative demand forecasts, or blank supplies.
This year, the 2011 Proof Gold Eagles are being released within the typical time frame, which should provide for a longer period of availability. There was never much doubt as to the release of this years issue, which had a release date set before the start of the year. The demand for bullion coins, which had previously caused delays and cancellations, is not as much of an issue. While US Mint gold bullion sales are strong, the coins are currently not subject to allocation (rationing) and furthermore the US Mint now has the legal flexibility to produce numismatic coins in any case.
The one factor generating some extra excitement and a sense of urgency is the record price of gold. Gold passed the $1,500 per ounce level for the first time yesterday and continues to set new highs. Higher gold prices result in higher product prices for the 2011 Proof Gold Eagles, and likely price increases during the course of the offering.
As in the past, the US Mint will produce the coins in one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce sizes. Each of these coins will be available individually or as part of a complete 4 coin set. Maximum production levels for each option have been announced. For some options, the levels have been increased from the prior year.
The pricing for the 2011 Proof Gold Eagles will be based on the average price of gold based on the London fix prices from last Thursday AM to this Wednesday AM, which falls within the $1,450 to $1,499.99 range. Prices for the coins will be adjusted weekly if the average price moves into a higher or lower tier.
The production limits, mintage limits, and pricing for the upcoming offering is shown below.
|2011 American Gold Eagle Proof Coins|
|Product Limit||Mintage Limit||Initial Price|
|4 Coin Set||40,000||N/A||$3,215.50|
The US Mint also plans to offer the 2011-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle next month, with a release date set for May 5, 2011. This collectible uncirculated version of the coin with the “W” mint mark is expected to be available in one ounce size only. The last time this collector version of the Gold Eagle was offered was back in 2008.