I’ve only written about the 8-8-08 Double Prosperity Set once, just before it was released. At the time, I highlighted the fact that the two coins in the set could be purchased individually for $193.05 less than the price of the set. So basically, you were paying nearly $200 for a custom wooden box. Since that post, circumstances have changed and the Double Prosperity Set now looks like a good buy.
The Double Prosperity Set contains two coins: the one-half ounce 2008-W American Gold Eagle and the one-half ounce 2008-W American Gold Buffalo.
To highlight a point, the coins do contain the “W” mint marked coins. This is significant because it means that these are the collectible versions of the coins, which are minted in much lower quantities than the bullion versions.
Many readers have sent me questions about this set, since the US Mint’s product page makes no mention of the “W” mint mark. Reports from (other) readers, as well as the US Mint’s initial press release found here, confirm that the coins do have the “W” mint mark. From the press release:
“Both coins in the 8-8-08 Double Prosperity Set are legal tender with a nominal face value designation of $25. But their gold metal content and artistry make them worth far more. Inscriptions on the coins include the “W” mint mark for the United States Mint at West Point, the date, the fineness and the weight.”
Since the coins went on sale, three circumstances have aligned, which make the set now look like a good buy.
First, the premium above the prices of the individual coins has declined. This happened when the US Mint had a massive re-pricing of nearly all of their gold and platinum products in mid-November. The prices for the individual coins were re-priced $15 and $56 lower, while the Double Prosperity Set was re-priced $150 lower. This served to eliminate some of the excessive premium for the set.
Second, the one-half ounce 2008-W Gold Buffalo coin sold out in November and secondary market prices have risen. From the data in my recent post examining prices for sold out US Mint products, this coin has been selling for prices in the $650 to $720 range.
The Double Prosperity Set is currently priced at $1,078.88. If the Gold Buffalo coin is worth $650, then you are getting the Gold Eagle for $428.88. This is nearly $80 less than the US Mint’s individual price, and actually less than the value of the gold content of the coin. Additionally, both coins seem to have some potential for further price appreciation down the line.
Third, the most recent Mint Stats published on Numismaster show that only 4,563 sets have been sold. This is the first time the sales figure for the set has been published, and it is much lower than I would have expected.
The number is low enough so that the value of the Gold Buffalo coin should not be diluted, and it may also eventually create a premium for the Double Prosperity Set as packaged. As I have examined previously, sometimes specially packaged sets derive premiums far above the values of the individual coins.
When you put these three factors together, the Double Prosperity Set might actually live up to its name.