The Dolley Madison First Spouse Gold Coins went on sale at the US Mint today at 12:00 Noon EST. As of writing this post at 9:00 PM EST, the coins are still available for sale. This is notable because the prior three issues of the First Spouse Coin Program had sold out within shorter time frames.
Because of the previous quick sell outs of the first three coins, there had been some discussion amongst coin collectors about whether the Dolley Madison coin would sell out just as quickly. Well, the debate has been settled, and the answer is unfortunately “no.”
I had cited some of the obstacles making a sell out more difficult in a previous post. The Mint raised the offering prices for the coins to from $410.95 and $429.95 to $509.95 and $529.95 for the uncirculated and proof coins, respectively. I had suspected that the new prices may had been set based on a very high spot price of gold. After gold’s recent pull back, the gold content price component may now be overpriced relative to prior issues. Besides this, the higher price levels may have also pushed the coins out of the spending limits of some collectors.
Another obstacle is the declining premiums for the coins on the secondary market. When the Martha Washington and Abigail Adams coins first sold out, the coins immediately appeared on ebay selling for hundreds of dollars above the Mint’s price. These premiums have since declined to a level which may have driven off buyers looking to buy the coins simply to flip them on ebay.
As a third obstacle, the Mint has set an ordering limit of only one of each version of the coin per household. The ordering limit was five coins per version for the Washington and Adams coins, and helped the coins sell out more quickly.
Put together, these factors have cooled the demand for the First Spouse series. The coins may eventually sell out, but probably not today.