US Mint Revises Gold and Platinum Pricing Grid Resulting in Higher Prices

Gold BuffaloThe United States Mint has published a notice in the Federal Register indicating a revised pricing grid for 2013 gold and platinum numismatic products. Under the revised structure, prices will be higher for every product type listed.

Since early 2009, the United States Mint has used a flexible pricing policy for gold and platinum numismatic products. This was intended to allow greater responsiveness to changes in the market price of the metals and more transparency with regards to pricing levels.

Under the flexible pricing system, the US Mint calculates the average weekly prices of gold and platinum based on the London Fix prices from the prior Thursday AM to the current Wednesday AM. These average prices are taken to an itemized grid with ranges indicated for gold at $50 intervals and for platinum at $100 intervals. For each interval, corresponding prices are provided for available numismatic products.

Generally, when the average calculated price of gold or platinum moves into a higher or lower interval, product prices are adjusted accordingly. When applicable, price changes have usually taken place around mid-morning on Wednesday.

Since the original pricing grids were published in 2009, the US Mint has updated them to remove products no longer offered and to extend the pricing ranges for the metals. In 2011, a separate grid was introduced for commemorative gold coins. Besides these updates, there have been no adjustments to the prices levels established at each interval until now.

In addition to higher price levels for each product, the new grid also combines the previously separate gold and platinum grids into a single grid. This results in $50 price intervals for the platinum coin rather than the previous $100 intervals.

For illustrative purposes, the table below shows prices under the old grid and under the new grid for an average market price of gold (or platinum) in the $1,600 to $1,649.99 range.

Old Grid New Grid Difference
1 oz Proof Gold Eagle 1,885.00 1,960.00 +75.00
1/2 oz Proof Gold Eagle 956.00 995.00 +39.00
1/4 oz Proof Gold Eagle 490.00 510.00 +20.00
1/10 oz Proof Gold Eagle 210.50 215.00 +4.50
Proof Gold Eagle 4 Coin Set 3,493.00 3,630.00 +137.00
1 oz Unc Gold Eagle 1,878.00 1,925.00 +47.00
1/2 oz Proof First Spouse 979.00 1,015.00 +36.00
1/2 oz Unc First Spouse 966.00 995.00 +29.00
1 oz Proof Gold Buffalo 1,910.00 1,990.00 +80.00
1 oz Proof Platinum Eagle 1,892.00 2,000.00 +108.00
Proof $5 Gold Commem 497.85 502.65 +4.80
Unc $5 Gold Commem 487.85 497.55 +9.70
3-Coin Commem Set N/A 563.65 N/A

A full copy of the old grid can be found here. I’ve uploaded a properly oriented copy of the new grid here.

Note: The revised pricing goes into effect February 27, 2013.

During 2012, we saw significantly slower sales for many gold numismatic products compared to previous years. In particular, the 2012-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle established a new all time low for the entire series, and the 2012-W Proof Gold Eagles each recorded record low mintages for their respective denominations in proof format. The 2012 Proof Gold Buffalo concluded sales at a level just above the series low set in 2008. Th2 2012 Proof Platinum Eagle is significantly underselling previous years.

Raising premiums for these products may serve to perpetuate the trend towards declining sales and mintages.

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Comments

  1. Jeremy says

    @fosnock, not to mention your response regarding inflation is incomplete in reference to the totality of the economy and where and how inflation exist.

  2. EvilFlipper says

    Wooden Buffalo! That’s funny. But seriously guys…. Stop fighting and start thinking. If you’re really in to coins you’ll look for opportunity to get what pieces you really want when it gets crazy. Why does it always have to devolve into a welfare/banker queen debate or some finger pointing crap. I want to talk strategy, value, and quality! So many opportunities to be had if we put our brains together instead of blow them apart!! Lots of smart people…. Lets ditch out attitudes and let’s start making some “Change”….. Pun intended.

  3. Jeremy says

    @EvilFlipper, you are on the retail end and you will always be disadvantaged because just as everything else you’re essentially dealing with a monopolized market. Good luck chasing your tail trying to find that pathetic “opportunity”.

  4. Jeremy says

    @hi ho silver, what to begin eating precious metals like you yourself seem to be apparently doing?

  5. fosnock says

    @ Jeremy – Yes we continue to see deflation in all we own and inflation in all we need, and are heading IMHO back to the 70’s stagflation. I see you did not debate how the CPI is calculate, but as I have already indicated this is a coin blog, not a financial blog. We tend to buy coins that we like and bullion for investments…whither we experience deflation of inflation PMs are a good investment, and unless we lose our jobs we will still buy the coins we like so what is your point about inflation?

  6. Jeremy says

    @fosnock, I wasn’t the initiator of the discussion regarding inflation and if YOU read the posts you’ll see what the point is. Don’t bother trying to make yourself appear relevant to the discussion now, you’ve already exposed yourself of not having a full understanding of the subject matter.

    Enjoy getting fleeced by your coin dealers.
    Oh yeah, on that topic, I believe it was CO, that claimed it was cheaper to go through lcs’ because there isn’t a shipping cost reflected when purchasing coins, at least around here that is NOT accurate at all!

  7. Jeremy says

    @fosnock, oh stfu, I’ve been around for quite a while. Years! Most the time I just let you people spew on and don’t bother contributing much of anything, and I’m sure you’ll argue I still haven’t but I really don’t care what most of you have to say about anything.

  8. gatortreke says

    On a different topic, I haven’t seen Louis Golino posting here recently nor has he published an article at CoinWeek since late January. Wonder what has happened to him.

  9. EvilFlipper says

    Never done retail…. Unless you count waiting tables through college full time. But I love money. Pun intended- again. And if I had a dime for every time I heard it was hopeless… I’d still work my ass off! ;) Thats just how I roll.

  10. Dustyroads says

    What was the topic anyway? Oh ya, rising prices. I like PosterHunter calling up Sherlock Holmes for his input, how closer to the nail can someone swing?

    Hi Ho: Know what you mean. You should see the area I live in, poverty everywhere, but the many 8 liner clubs are full 24 hrs.

    I gather from the posts here that a few of you are seriously into profit, so I can understand your disappointment in the Mints decision to raise prices, every penny counts. I on the other hand had my heart skip a beat when Michael ended his post earlier with “Raising premiums for these products may serve to perpetuate the trend towards declining sales and mintages.” What are you waiting for? There’s GOLD in them there hills!

  11. fosnock says

    @Jeremy – The discussion was about why the mint raised it prices, and one (or more) person said it was because of inflation. It was not a discussion on inflation…I would love to hear your contributions on that discussion (mint price increase) …I never said you contributed nothing I was simply saying this is not the forum for that type of discussion.

    Considering the insult you gave to EvilFlipper for no reason maybe it is a good thing you “don’t bother contributing much of anything.”

  12. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    Just popping back in to thank Frankie and Fosnock for their bullion reseller recommendations/experiences. I’m gonna go with Provident since I know them and others here have also had good experience with them.

    Oh, and no matter whether I darken the doors of the US Mint or not in the future, this Blog is something I will continue to read and follow. I read it just about every day, don’t post much, but have learned a lot from you folks. Thanks!

  13. fosnock says

    @Jus-a-coin-luvr – NP, CO turned me on to Provident. I don’t think you can go wrong with them

  14. george glazener says

    Sheesh..!

    I leave the blog for a few hours and look what happens…!!

    What an argument..!!

  15. les crew says

    I too read this blog to get some insight on collecting coins the fs series pf70 and ms70 .I have a lot invested in the series and I hope to continue all the way through can anyone have a ball park figure for the complete sets when theyare complete in a few years price wise just courious what the total value of both sets would be worth I stiil cannot figure out the mints new pricing scam.lowr mintages in aalready low mintage series .oh well any help would be great thanks keep up the good work

  16. Dustyroads says

    les: you could run some figures at today’s prices, but I doubt that would be accurate enough. Buying all the coins over time should make it affordable. If it’s something you enjoy, then you win.

  17. Mark in Florida says

    If the Mint can sell four proof dollar coins at $15 over face it must cost about $4 to make a coin proof as opposed to non-proof.

    So why do they have to charge $300 extra for a proof gold eagle? It’s just a rip-off to make extra profits on the back of collectors.

  18. Dustyroads says

    Mark: Hypothetically speaking, if you want to buy a piece of land in the country and it’s say 40 acres, and other land in the area is selling for $4000. per, wouldn’t you accept that the price is reasonable based on the fact that land is selling for that amount in the area. When we were kids, did we complain about the high price of a car, or did we just go to work to earn the money to buy it. There shouldn’t be so many of us upset, unless we’re seeing our bottom line effected, in which case I can sympathize. In my own business profits often swing wildly, much of my job is spent dealing with crises management, but one has to be able to grin and bear it. I personally have never considered the mint an organization established with any other goal but to provide basic currency. I like the extras, keep them coming.

  19. Mark in Florida says

    Using that analogy, Dusty, I’d look at bullion gold selling at 4% over spot and proof gold selling at 20% over spot and decide that land is overpriced, I’ll buy the ones at 4%.

    But this is just another example of how our system has deteriorated. Years ago companies made more money by giving customers better products or better prices than competitors. Today companies try to make more money by shrinking the package, charging some customers higher prices for rooms or seats than others, lowering the quality, putting competitors out of business, or other trickery. Our whole system is no longer honest.

    But the good news about the higher prices is that it will probably raise the prices of proofs we already own. When investors, like IRAs, are buying up proof gold they will probably pay the same for older sets as the Mint is charging for current sets. SO all our old proofs just went up in value by these increases.

  20. says

    Dusty,

    I take issue with that as all PM sales from the Mint are based on spot price. We know, roughly, what one ounce of gold should be worth as the market has (theoretically, putting aside for the moment whether one believes in big bank/Fed market manipulation) set the price of metals. The value of gold is not some theoretical thing that is assigned based on pulling numbers out of thin air.

    When dealing with numismatics, the Mint is obviously entitled to charge premiums for their products. However, we’ve seen with other world mints such as Perth and the UK Royal Mint that the minute these coins hit the secondary markets, their prices implode and the premiums collapse. This is a stupid move by the mint because it forces customers who’d been ordering from the mint to go to the secondary markets and shrinks the mint’s retail sales.

    So I don’t think that “it’s worth whatever the Mint says it’s worth” argument really holds water. The coins are worth what the market says they’re worth, and we can just look at eBay and the spot price of metals to get a good idea of what the actual value for something is. Charging $3000 for a one ounce gold coin is an exercise in futility and the mints of the world are only shooting themselves in the foot selling at that price.

  21. T1 browserman says

    MODERN NUMISMATIC offerings always demands a premium vs bullion.

    I wish the new website will, in the near future, post a video on all the steps necessary to create a numismatic coin vs a bullion coin; only then will you REALIZE the DIFFERENCE.

  22. says

    Captain
    I agree wholeheartedly with your comment & observations! I might also add that at the beginning of mint issued new offerings, large modern coin dealers buy them up & rapidly get the slabbed so-called perfect PR or MS 70 specimens out at FAST at outrageously high prices with the misleading and worthless attributes of “First Strike”, “Early Release” etc. The market collapses even faster on these slabbed issues and most collectors are stung and essentially have bought plastic and adjectives on coins for which there is relatively little qualitative difference to the coins in original mint packaging! There are many collectors out there holding these “perfect” coins who will never see their original investment back (in their lifetime, LOL) As to the artificial rarities that Canada & U.K. produce, while some are quite beautiful, you are spot-on with your note on the bullion upcharge. Nicking the collector with a 50%-100% upcharge on the raw bullion is ludicrous. On top of that, if you were to pay the slabbed coin upcharge along with it, well, what true collector could afford it? There are already low mintage “confections” in the U.S. Mint product line, most notably, the First Spouse gold coins. These are low mintage EVERY year and interest wanes in them more in each passing year. Why? Because it is a patently silly program to put ladies on the coins whose only claim to fame (for some) is that they were hitched to a U.S. President (who again, may be obscure, criminal, or a hero).This series is an object lesson for anyone one who wishes to collect precious metals bullion coin series or in a redundant obsessive chronological date collection. I personally still enjoy the U.S. Platinum bullion coin series as a new reverse design has been introduced every year, continuously, since 1998.

  23. saucexx says

    The issue isn’t about raising the price to cover increased production and material costs, or even to keep pace with inflation. That happens in all businesses. No this is about sneaking in increases on material even as those materials are dropping in price. If the Mint wanted to increase overall prices fine increase the introductory price, they’ve done that already with other products like the proof ASE. Their sales on gold products are already suffering, I’m not sure how this is supposed to help.

    From my own perspective I just turned back to the Mint after giving up on Perth and other world mints because of their crazy premiums. My reward is this garbage.

  24. fosnock says

    T-1,

    Per my understanding the U.S. Mint suspended its attempt to update its technology infrastructure.

    Yes “captain obvious” everyone knows that modern numismatics demand a premium vs bullion. The issue is IMHO is that the mint knows it will not get any “new” collectors for the FS coins or the AGE proofs so it is squeezing it collector base. Based on the posts in this blog that collector base is voting with their feet.

  25. says

    Sauce,

    I am in the same boat as you as I’d been planning on buying a 2013 proof buffalo. I’ve found that quite a few Eastern European numismatic pieces, especially Polish coins, seem to sell quite close to spot if you can find a decent seller. You might consider looking at them.

  26. says

    saucexx
    If you stick to just buying directly from the U.S. mint and only coins in OGP you should do OK, even with the price increases. Just make sure it is a series you can afford for the long haul and definitely stay away from the slabbed 70 stuff or just wait 1-2 years in the aftermarket on Ebay and snap them up in 69 slabs at melt value as many savvy collectors do.
    Yes, I wanted to purchase a set of the Canada 2006 Constellation Palladium coins. They are truly unique and a wonderful theme & concept! I wondered why they were so high priced on Ebay for a recent bullion coin. There were only 300 sets made. Well, the Canada mint charged a HUGE premium over bullion on these coins (and I mean, insanely high). In the last two years I have seen a number of these sets for sale. They were at the original mint offer price or lower, and did not sell! There is a lesson here: The original buyers who leaped to buy these artificial rarity coins truly do have something special, a great rarity item that nobody wants. Those that purchased them as slabbed 70 specimens have lost so much money on their purchase will probably never speak of the foolish thing they did with their money, hard-earned or not!

  27. Dan in Fla says

    The way i read it the FS coins will be going up on 2/27/13. I would not take any chances buy them now or pay the new price on 2/27.
    I wish that the Mint had a Buffalo or Eagle for sale now because I would be in on it. The 2013 Buffalo reverse proof set seems like a pipe dream now. And what happened to the five ounce coins for 2013?
    I will be in on the new price grid. Who are we kidding? They Where else can I get a 2013 Buffalo or AGE?

  28. Dustyroads says

    Are strange things going on in Government, the dollar, and pricing at the Mint? you bet. Are people fed up with sinking money into what’s beginning to look like vanishing returns on their investments/hobby? absolutely. I just feel like many of what I have a chance to buy from the Mint at this time are making a place in history. FS coin’s I stay away from, just because their mintage range is typical, but anything that drops dramatically has to retain value, in my opinion. I don’t depend on the Mints pricing to make a change in my personal finances, so I’m either in or out, no more simple than that. I’ll be watching.

  29. art says

    It’s done. As of about noon today. All PM prices have been adjusted. Including 2012 First Spouses and the 2012 Proof Platinum. The Federal Register wording was not well done because it specifically stated that the change was being made for 2013 products.

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