The 2008 Elizabeth Monroe First Spouse Gold Coins will go on sale at the Mint today February 28, 2008 at 12:00 Noon ET. This is the fifth coin of the First Spouse Gold Coin Series and the first of 2008.
As mentioned in a previous post, the coins are priced several notches higher than the first three coins of the series, and one notch higher than the previous coin honoring Dolley Madison.
As of this morning, the Dolley Madison coins are still available for sale at the Mint at the offering prices. This creates an interesting disparity. Collectors can buy the Dolley Madison coins for $529.95 (proof) and $509.95 (uncirculated). Or they can buy the next coin in the series honoring Elizabeth Monroe for $619.95 (proof) and $599.95 (uncirculated).
Both coins are part of the same series and both have identical specifications as to metal content, one-half ounce of 24 karat gold, yet they are both available at prices approximately 17% apart.
Anyone looking to purchase the Elizabeth Monroe coins can’t help but feel they are getting a bad deal. Anyone who thinks the Dolley Madison coins are a good deal may have already purchased the coin anyway.
Over the past year, the Mint’s curious pricing around precious metals fluctuations has caused many interesting situations. The 2007-W Burnished Gold and Platinum Eagles have had relatively low sales since they spent so much time with sales suspended. At various times, commemoratives and other issues containing precious metals have been better or worse relative values based on the ever changing “coin premium” above the value of the metal content. And now, there is a significant price difference between two coins of the same series on sale at the same time.
The Mint’s pricing procedures clearly were not created with the current volatile precious metals market in mind. Since the metals markets show no signs of calming down, I am sure this will continue to create odd situations in the future.