The United States Mint will begin sales of the 2012-W Uncirculated $50 American Gold Eagles tomorrow June 28, 2012 at 12:00 Noon ET. This numismatic version of the popular bullion coin will join the proof versions, which went on sale earlier this year.
These collectible uncirculated coins are struck on specially burnished blanks and carry the “W” mint mark, indicating production at the West Point Mint. Although the finish of the coins is similar to the bullion version, the inclusion of the “W” mint mark most clearly differentiates the coins.
The US Mint introduced this additional collectible version of the American Gold Eagle in 2006, with a one ounce coin included in the 20th Anniversary Gold Eagle Set. This was followed by the release of individual one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce coins, as well as a four coin set. The same individual options and four coin set were offered in both 2007 and 2008. Towards the end of 2008, the US Mint announced the discontinuation of the fractional sized coins for the product line. The Mint intended to continue offering the individual one ounce coins, but in 2009 and 2010, these offerings were canceled due to high demand for bullion coins.
The collectible uncirculated Gold Eagle made its return in 2011. The coins went on sale May 5, 2011 and sold out on January 17, 2012. The last reported sales were 8,822, which would represent the lowest mintage for any American Gold Eagle in the history of the program.
For this year’s offering, the 2012-W $50 Gold Eagle does not carry a maximum mintage, but will be produced based on demand. There are no household ordering limits in place. Pricing will be based on the grid prepared by the US Mint, which allows prices to fluctuate based on the average market price of gold. For the start of the offering, the price will be $1,828.00, which is based on an average gold price in the range of $1,550 to $1,599.99.
This year, sales of the Proof Gold Eagles are progressing much more slowly compared to the previous year. If the situation is similar for the collectible uncirculated Gold Eagle, this could set up for another fresh mintage low. Lately, this has become somewhat of a recurring theme where seemingly low mintages are followed by even lower mintages for subsequent releases.