Yesterday, the one ounce 2011-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle sold out on the US Mint’s website. The latest available sales figures show a strong possibility that this coin may mark a new mintage low across all American Gold Eagles.
From 2006 to 2008, the United States Mint offered collectible uncirculated versions of the American Gold Eagle, individually in four denominations or as a complete four coin set. These coins were struck on specially burnished blanks and carried the “W” mint mark. Near the end of 2008, the US Mint announced the cancellation of the fractional versions of the coins, with plans to offer only the one ounce size in the following year. This never came to pass, as high demand for bullion coins resulted in the cancellation of numismatic offerings. The one ounce collectible uncirculated Gold Eagle was similarly cancelled in 2010.
After the two year hiatus, the US Mint once again offered 2011-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle on May 5, 2011. From the outset, I had mentioned the possibility for a low mintage to occur. The collectible uncirculated coins never managed to generate the same interest level as the proof versions of the coins, and even after a two year absence, there did not seem to be a great deal of pent up demand.
The initial sales for the product came in rather low at 1,098 and proceeded at a relatively subdued level. There were some spikes in sales during the course of the offering, particularly during the unusual period when some of the US Mint’s numismatic gold coins were selling near bullion prices.
The most recent sales report, just published today shows sales for the 2011-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle at 8,810. The sales reporting date is the same day that the coins sold out, so it is possible that an updated figure may be provided next week. Also bear in mind that these are sales figures, not final audited mintage figures, which the US Mint can sometimes take years to release. However, as it currently stands, this would represent a new mintage low across all denominations and versions of the American Gold Eagle.
The three next lowest mintage Gold Eagles are shown below.
Low Mintage American Gold Eagles
|2008-W $10 Uncirculated Gold Eagle||8,883|
|2006-W $50 Reverse Proof Gold Eagle||9,996|
|2007-W $25 Uncirculated Gold Eagle||11,455|
The current mintage low 2008-W Uncirculated $10 Gold Eagle has sold for prices of more than $1,000 on the secondary market, which represents a significant increase in value for quarter ounce gold coin. If memory serves, prices didn’t reach this level until about a year after the initial sell out.
How will the 2011-W Uncirculated $50 Gold Eagle fare? There might be an immediate price bump, but in the longer term I think it will depend in great part on whether the US Mint continues to offer collectible uncirculated Gold Eagles in the coming years. If the coins continue to be offered, mintages may creep even lower for future years, particularly if gold prices continue higher. This would make the 2011-W less exceptional. However, if the US Mint discontinues the offering, this would solidify the status of the 2011-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle as the mintage low for the series, making the coin much more significant.