With this post, I wanted to summarize the last reported sales figures for each release of the First Spouse Gold Coin series. This now includes a total of fifteen different coins in proof and uncirculated versions. Eleven of the coins are no longer available for sale at the US Mint, and four coins remain currently available.
The US Mint has not yet provided sales figures for the recently released 2010 Gold Buffalo Proof Coin, which many readers have been waiting for. Additionally, the last available sales figures for the Letitia Tyler and Julia Tyler First Spouse coins remain unchanged from the prior week. For a while now, the US Mint has not been reporting final updated sales figures for products which had sales end during the weekly reporting period.
Until final audited mintage figures are reported, these figures will remain the best available numbers. I think the final numbers will probably be very close to these, if not lower. In the past, whenever final audited numbers have been released for collectible gold and silver coins, they have been a few percent lower than the last reported sales figures.
First Spouse Gold Coin Sales Figures
|Van Buren’s Liberty||7,515||4,334||11,849|
Lines listed in italics are coins that remain available for sale.
The Julia Tyler coin sets a new (perhaps temporary) sales low for the series with 4,830 proofs and 2,861 uncirculated coins reported sold, for a combined total of 7,691. This is less than 20% of the maximum authorized mintage level of 40,000 coins. Starting with the 2010 releases the maximum mintage levels were decreased.
Julia Tyler First Spouse Coins were only available from the US Mint for roughly ten months, contributing to the lower sales. It seems likely that Sarah Polk sales will surpass the numbers at some point, although it will be less certain for the Margaret Taylor release.
The newly released Jane Pierce coins have set a low for initial sales figures. The coins went on sale June 3, 2010 and sold a combined 2,434 coins through June 6. The previously released Abigail Fillmore coins sold 2,881 during its debut sales period. Higher prices likely contributed to the decline, causing some buyers to take pause or drop out of the series. The Jane Pierce coins carried the highest initial prices for any release of the series at $779 for proof coins and $766 for uncirculated coins.
This week’s full US Mint sales report, which also includes debut figures for the Yellowstone National Park Quarter products, is available at Coin Update News.
There has been a continual debate within reader comments about whether or not the extremely low mintages of the First Spouse Gold Coins will eventually translate into substantially higher secondary market values.
One side of the debate is that on a historical basis, commemorative or collectible US Mint coins which have been unpopular during their period of release and experienced low sales have later become desirable, low mintage rarities which sell at big premiums. Examples of this include the 1995-1996 Olympic Commemorative Coins or the 1997-W Uncirculated Jackie Robinson $5 Gold Coin.
The other side of the debate is that First Spouse Gold Coins are unpopular now and will always remain unpopular despite the low mintages. Even though there are very few coins available, this amount will be sufficient to satisfy the continued low demand. The coins will never attain the allure of other low mintage rarities because rather than a single low mintage issue amongst a broader series with higher mintages, nearly all coins of the series will have low mintages.
Personally, I continue to sit squarely in the first camp. I collect the series for a number of reasons, and the prospect of higher secondary market prices is one of them. So far the prices for low mintage issues that are no longer available for sale have crept higher in line or sometimes faster than the rise in the price of gold. In the future, hopefully prices will continue to move upwards gradually or perhaps there will be a spark or interest that creates a more dramatic move. I will continue to be patient and collect the series for the duration.
New Content on CoinUpdate.com
I wanted to take an opportunity to mention new content which will be appearing at CoinUpdate.com. Michael Alexander of the London Banknote and Monetary Research Centre will be contributing a series of interviews with various world mint leaders and others within the coin industry, as well as ongoing coverage of new coin releases from a selection of European Mints.
Michael Alexander’s first article published today is an interview with someone well known to U.S. coin collectors and Mint News Blog readers.
Read the article: Interview with Edmund Moy, Director of the United States Mint