Today, April 18, 2013 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales of the 2013 American Gold Eagle Proof Coins. The available products will include individual one-tenth, one-quarter, one-half, and one ounce size coins, as well as a four coin set option. For this year, maximum mintage levels have been reduced and initial prices will be lower, following the decline in the market price of gold.
The American Gold Eagle features Augustus Saint Gaudens’ depiction of Liberty from the classic double eagle minted from 1907 to 1933. Liberty is depicted holding a lit torch and olive branch with the rays of the rising sun and the US Capitol building behind her. Fifty stars surround the image. The reverse design features Miley Busiek’s depiction of a family of eagles with inscriptions indicating the precious metal weight and legal tender face value.
Last year’s Proof Gold Eagles experienced historically low sales, with none of the product options reaching even half of the established maximum mintage levels. Accordingly, the US Mint has trimmed the product and mintage limits for this year’s offerings. The individual one ounce and four coin set options are reduced by 10,000 units. The individual one-tenth ounce and individual one-quarter ounce are down by 5,000 and 2,000 units respectively.
The initial prices for this year’s offerings are lower compared to the prior year. A lower average market price of gold has offset some higher premiums built into prices following the adoption of a new pricing grid. The initial prices for last year were based on a gold price in the $1,650 to $1699.99 range. The initial for this year are based on a price in the $1,450 to $1,499 range.
A summary of the product limits, maximum mintages, and initial pricing for the 2013 Proof Gold Eagles is shown below.
|2013 American Gold Eagle Proof Coins|
|Product Limit||Mintage Limit||Initial Price|
|4 Coin Set||20,000||N/A||$3,352.50|
With the market price of gold now within the $1,350 to $1,399.99, a price decrease might be possible for next week. The US Mint determines the average market price based on the London Fix prices from the Thursday AM to Wednesday AM and makes an price adjustments around mid-morning Wednesday. The possibility of a price decrease in just a few days may serve to dampen opening sales levels.
Beyond this period, it might be possible that lower precious metals prices might reignite some interest in the offering. Over the years, higher metals prices have served to price some collectors out of the market and sales levels have dwindled. Unlike some other offerings, the US Mint also offers a full range of fractional weight options to make the coins available across a broad range of price points.
If sales of this year’s coins prove to be stronger than the prior year, this may add some luster to the 2012 Proof Gold Eagles. Each denomination closed sales at a new mintage low for the respective denomination in proof format.