Amidst lower precious metals prices, some of the US Mint’s numismatic gold product offerings have been exhibiting stronger sales trends. In particular, the 2013 American Gold Eagle numismatic product offerings are tracking ahead of the respective offerings from 2012.
During the sharp rise in gold prices over the past few years, numismatic sales for many gold products were under pressure as some collectors were presumably priced out of the offerings. For many long standing collector favorites, sales levels declined year after year, culminating in historically low mintages. In particular, the 2012-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle sold out with last reported sales of just 6,118, which would represent the lowest mintage of the series across all bullion and numismatic issues. The 2012-W Proof Gold Eagles each established a new mintage low for the respective denomination in proof format.
Following the recent declines in precious metals prices, sales for some numismatic gold products seem to be experiencing a rebound. The lower pricing may be enticing some collectors who have been on the sidelines in prior years or encouraging existing collectors to increase their purchases at more favorable prices. A similar phenomenon has been seen with regards to bullion sales. At mid-year, Gold Eagle bullion sales are nearly double the level of the prior year.
For this post, I wanted to take a comparative look at the sales levels for the 2012 and 2013 Proof and Uncirculated Gold Eagle product offerings at a similar point in the respective sales cycles.
The first table below shows sales figures for each Proof Gold Eagle option after roughly two and a half months of availability. Specifically, the 2012 proofs reflect sales from the release on April 19, 2012 until the sales report reflecting data through July 2, 2012. The 2012 proofs reflect sales from the release on April 18, 2013 until the sales report reflecting data though June 30, 2013.
Comparing Proof Gold Eagle Sales Figures
As can be seen, across a similar time frame sales for the 2013 products are running well ahead of the prior. The largest increases are seen for the highest priced options, the individual one ounce and four coin set.
A comparison of the 2012-W and 2013-W Uncirculated Gold Eagles is a bit less significant since the products had differing release dates across the two years and the present release has only been available for less than a month. The sales figures shown below reflect roughly three and a half weeks of availability. For the 2012-W, sales are from the initial release on June 28, 2012 until the sales report reflecting data through July 23, 2012. For the 2013-W, sales are from the release on June 6, 2013 through the just released sales report reflecting data through June 30, 2013.
Comparing Uncirculated Gold Eagle Sales Figures
As can be seen, once again the data shows an increase, although it is a smaller one. Since the sales period reflects only a limited period, it is more difficult to draw any broad conclusions about this specific offering.
In any case, the seemingly stronger sales for the US Mint’s numismatic American Gold Eagle offerings is a trend worth following. So far, the low mintage levels for the 2012-W Proof and Uncirculated Gold Eagles haven’t seemed to generate substantial interest from collectors. As mentioned in some prior posts, these recent mintage lows seem to have carried less of an impression likely due to the expectation that each subsequent year will undercut the previous low. If this trend finally breaks, some new key dates may be more firmly established within the modern precious metals series.
Gold and Platinum Numismatic Price Decrease Possible
Based on the available data, another price decrease for the US Mint’s gold and platinum numismatic products may be possible for tomorrow. However, any pricing change will remain dependent on the Wednesday PM prices for each metal.
In general, pricing changes for gold and platinum numismatic products take place when the calculated average weekly prices moves into a higher or lower tier. However, as a secondary criteria, the Wednesday PM London Fix price must agree directionally with any change.
If the Wednesday PM price of gold is below $1,250, then a one tier price decrease would take place. Products impacted would include the 2012 First Spouse Gold Coins, 2013 commemorative gold coins, 2013 Proof Gold Eagles, 2013 Proof Gold Buffalo, and 2013-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle. Prices would be decreased proportionally by $50 for each ounce of gold content. If the Wednesday PM price is $1,250 or greater, then no price change would take place.
Likewise, if the Wednesday PM price of platinum is below $1,350, then a one tier price decrease would take place for the 2012 Proof Platinum Eagle. If the price is $1,350 or greater, then no price change would take place.