Proof Gold Eagle Opening Sales Figures

The opening sales figures are now available for the recently released 2012 Proof Gold Eagles. The numbers are very weak compared to the past two years.

The table below displays the sales for each product option, the maximum established by the US Mint for each production option, and the percentage that has been sold so far.

2012 Proof Gold Eagle Sales
Sales Maximum Percentage
1 oz 1,757 30,000 5.86%
1/2 oz 449 10,000 4.49%
1/4 oz 433 12,000 3.61%
1/10 oz 1,394 25,000 5.58%
4 Coin Set 1,084 30,000 3.61%

The figures above represent sales through April 23, 2012. See the full report on Coin Update News.

After the cancellation of the Proof Gold Eagles in 2009, secondary market prices for prior year issues rose, and by the time the 2010 coins were released, there was a great deal of pent up demand and excitement surrounding the offering. This led to robust sales for the 2010 Proof Gold Eagles, with the individual one ounce option reaching more than 50% of the product limit within the opening days of sales. The response to the release of the 2011 Proof Gold Eagles was less enthusiastic, with sales down between 44% and 53% from the prior year. For this year’s release sales have dropped another 61% to 76% from the already reduced levels.

Here is a comparison of the opening sales figures for the past three years.

Proof Gold Eagle Opening Sales Figures
2010 2011 2012
1 oz 13,980 7,249 1,757
1/2 oz 2,173 1,159 449
1/4 oz 2,780 1,313 433
1/10 oz 6,945 3,680 1,394
4 Coin Set 7,147 3,988 1,084

There are a number of factors likely contributing to the drop off in sales. Over the past few years, the US Mint has caught up with demand for bullion coins, allowing more certainty for the numismatic offerings. The sense of urgency and pent up demand that characterized the product return in 2010 has greatly diminished. There also seems to be a shift away from precious metals in recent months, with some moving back to collector coins. Sales of the US Mint’s Gold Eagle bullion coins were down 30% in the first quarter.

Gold prices may also be having an impact in various ways. For the past two years, the Proof Gold Eagles were released in an environment of rising prices. For the current year, prices have fallen over the past two months leading up to the release. Despite this recent drop, the initial prices for this year’s offerings were higher by the equivalent of $200 per troy ounce compared to last year, possibly making affordability a factor for some collectors. Finally, some collectors may have been delaying orders in anticipation of the price decrease which will take place later today.

Elsewhere in the sales report, weakness was apparent for the recently released 2012 Proof Silver Eagle. After starting with sales of 299,539 last week, this week’s sales registered at only 29,117, bringing the total to 328,656. Last year, sales had reached 407,991 by the second sales report.

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Comments

  1. says

    I think we’ll see sales accelerate for numismatic gold products if prices start trending rapidly upward, but right now things have stabilized and are trending (slowly) to the downside.

  2. wing says

    Is it possible that the number reported the sales less than a week? I mean is it possible that this is a “Mint error report”?
    It is really hard to believe the 1oz AGE proof only sold 1757 in the opening week.
    Usually, the opening sales for the unpopular First Spouse Proof is also more than 1,000.
    Also, there is 0 Lucretia Garfield Proof sold in the last week.
    In the last 2 weeks, it sold 15, and 16 respectively. I mean statistically, the probability of getting 0 is really low given the previous two sales are 15 and 16.

  3. ClevelandRocks says

    2011 ATBs will not sell out for years at this rate.
    Time for the mint to stop the madness.
    @DCDave: the 2011 Buffalo needs to be killed too.

  4. stephen m. says

    Metal is high plus a bad economy and high gas prices = low sales. The average Joe, myself included, is short on funds.

  5. KC says

    Sorry, no more free money from the Fed. Gold down $5 and silver $0.5. For guys wishing gold price going up you are going to be disappointed. The Mint would be vey smart to set no mintage or household restriction on SF 75th coin set.

  6. Gary says

    Why would the Mint be smart to not set any limits on the 75th Eagle Set! Somebody needs to explain to me why these people think all these sets need to be mass produced?? How many times do i have to say this!! If everyone has one then its not a collector coin and there will be zero value in it other than spot silver!! UGH!! If you want just alot of silver in your closet, just buy silver bars..it would be alot cheaper!
    Another 100k would be enough with a 1 per household limit! Really the only thing the Mint got wrong with the 25th Anniversary set was the household limit!
    Other than that Great Job US Mint!!

  7. Fosnock says

    Based on the sales I guess The Defenders of Freedom Set is not in any danger of selling out. I wonder what is going on nothing seems to be selling.

    @KC
    If you believe the Fed I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale…FYI gold is now higher than before the FOMC statement.

  8. Hidalgo says

    @Fosnock – I think the US Mint is experiencing the spillover effect. When the value of precious metals kept going up, that caused sales of other US Mint items to go up as well. Now that gold and silver values are trending downward (not a surprise with improving US economy), sales of other US Mint items are slowing down as well.

    Why buy a 1 oz AGE for $1800, when in say, 6 months, prices will likely be lower with the continued downward trend in values? I certainly would not pay $1800 for a coin today that might be worth $1600 months from now…..

  9. says

    I think Hidalgo has nailed it. I’m one of the people he describes – I’ve been waiting on the SSB uncirc in the hopes of a lower price. And my patience has paid off, we got our cut today. Now to see if the price keeps trending lower over the next week… 🙂

  10. SauceXX says

    CO,

    Funny that’s been my exact plan. I’m going to wait until next week though. I think there’s a good chance it may fall further and If I wait until Tuesday there’s very little risk.

  11. EvilFlipper says

    I’ll keep an eagle eye out for these. The uncircs might even be lower. My gut tells me all markets are about to be taken to the woodshed and to keep some powder dry for some significant bargains. Wait for max pain to buy. There could be potential for some significantly low mintages. As always be patient. But in the end, they’ll
    Print. It won’t work, but they’ll try it anyway. It’s hard to get the feel if classic key date coins will follow this trend or if they buck it because of some rush to safety.

  12. TomP says

    I had to call the Mint to change my credit card on my Infantry special set order due to a bank sale. The CSR said the delay (from a Feb. order date to an Aug. projected date) may be due to packaging issues. However the delivery is thought by the CSR to be earlier than Aug. I wonder if the sales totals are offset by cancels due to the long projected delivery date?

    The CSR also said the SF silver dollar set will be in a hardwood box similar to the 25th Ann. set. She confirmed the other details mentioned earlier (July 5 end, no order limit or mintage total limit).

  13. porkchop says

    Besides the 2008,why are the eagles,always valued higher then the 24 K buffalos ( according to the NGC price guides) Is it because you get more metals .. Gold , silver & copper . Any thoughts?

  14. Jon in CT says

    Gary wrote on April 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm:

    Why would the Mint be smart to not set any limits on the 75th Eagle Set! Somebody needs to explain to me why these people think all these sets need to be mass produced?? How many times do i have to say this!! If everyone has one then its not a collector coin and there will be zero value in it other than spot silver!! UGH!!

    The Mint is not in the business of creating rarities. Its goal is supply product for collectors. The 25th Anniversary (A25) set sale fiasco last year managed to alienate a large segment of the Mint’s long-time customers. Earlier this month, the Mint announced its sales policy for the 2012 Proof Silver Eagle coin in the press release at http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=press_release&ID=1341 which includes the statement:
    “The coin, priced at $59.95, has no household order limit. Customer demand will determine the number of coins minted.”
    Somehow, people are still collecting it, despite the fact that everyone who wants one has the opportunity to buy it.

  15. Zaz says

    Looks like mint to demand for the first four weeks?

    For only four weeks, from June 7, 2012, to July 5, 2012, the United States Mint will be offering a special new set to coin enthusiasts.  The 2012 American Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Silver Proof Set is an exquisite collection that captures the essence and timeless beauty of the American Eagle Silver Coins. This set — one American Eagle Silver Proof Coin and one American Eagle Silver Reverse Proof Coin minted at the United States Mint at San Francisco — is a testament to the fine, exacting craftsmanship that has been a United States Mint hallmark since 1792.

    http://catalog.usmint.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&identifier=1050

  16. says

    @Jon…the regular proof eagle is an annual issue (except for 2009) and has always pretty much been bben made without a pre-set limited mintage.

    However, I totally agree with Gary…if this is a one year “special issued” set, it’s mintage should be limited. Why shouldn’t it? The mint has limits on the Gold proof Eagles, the 5 oz ATB’s, the Platinum proof, Prsidential Coin Covers, etc….why not this set?

  17. rick says

    So that everyone that wants one, gets one. That’s what the mint is supposed to do. First everyone complains about not being able to get their A25, now everyone complains that everyone will be able to get this new set. Well, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too!

  18. guama says

    Rick…I believe you are correct! The mint cares about selling, not collecting. The secondary market ate up the mint’s profits. If there was a 1 per h/h limit..the little collector wouldn’t get one and all of the flippers would have their friends/family and neighbors on speed dial and “buy” button. So what if it isn’t valuable…any collection is supposed to be for your own enjoyment. My grandchildren won’t care if I have only one in 100,000. Unless they sell it and I really hope they won’t…lol

  19. Brad says

    Like I said on an earlier post, at least this should bode well for the 2006-P and 2011-P Reverse Proof coins. If many who own the 2012-S Reverse Proof coin decide they want to own the other two as well, there aren’t nearly as many of those to go around. So, the older limited sets could very well have their values go up.

    In any case, I’ll be “demanding” a few of these SF sets. Maybe 10 or so. They’ll still be pretty to look at, even if there are 500,000+ sets made. Who knows, no mintage limit might even steer some away without the allure of a quick sellout, so there might not be as many sold in a 4 week period as it might seem there would be. Time will tell, I guess.

  20. auxmike says

    Wow, it’s official then. One month sale meeting collector demands with no preset mintage limits!
    That means there’s no need to fight at noon to get something….

  21. Frank says

    My plan is to order one set on June 7 and another on July 5 if the latest mintage is still below 200K. 🙂 My guessing on the final mintage will be around 200K.

  22. says

    If you look at the post on “World Mint News Blog” you will see that everything is about LIMITED mintage foreign coins…Dragons, Titanics, Ladybugs, Libertads, Panda’s, etc…that is what makes coins “special”…not when everyone has one. You should have to “work” for limited edition coins…they are not an “entitlement”. Regualar bullion and proof and “w” unc silver eagles are available for everyone to purchase and enjoy…why not have something “special” that may take a little effort to acquire.

    @Brad…I agrre with you you’re comments on how this may add value to the 2006-P and 2011-P reverse proofs.

  23. says

    @Frank, the regular proof did almost 300,000 in the first 5 days. This will sell sell 750,000-1,000,000 in four weeks.

  24. MarkInFlorida says

    “If you look at the post on “World Mint News Blog” you will see that everything is about LIMITED mintage foreign coins”

    What is the point of selling less of a product than you could? Sure the mint could make just 1000 limited edition sets that 1000 lucky, grateful, joyous newly-rich customers would buy, but if they could sell 200,000 of the same set why bother doing just 1000? The mint’s job is not to make a few people rich, it’s to make a lot of people happy while making money.

    And we all know that if the mint ever made anything so rare, our corrupt Congresscritters, Mint managers, political pals, etc. would require that they got first dibs.

    I think a limited window of unlimited availability is the only fair way to go. If flippers don’t think it’s worth buying it will be rare some day when others want to add it to their collections..

  25. McLovin says

    One reason, the main reason for me, that sales are down. Is because of the inconsistent procedures of the mint. There should be no coins sold for more than 12 months. It’s like they are just trying to sell inventory instead of creating demand. There is a huge difference. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised as the govt. isn’t really capable of much. They could create markets and a huge increase of sales if done right. Instead, they are just being incapable.

    Why buy something that won’t ever sell out? If you lose the intital excitement of the release, you won’t get it back.

    You take these people that have no experience of selling anything and put them in charge of the mint. It’s a mistake, a common one, it seems….

  26. Scott says

    I have decided to quit buying these from the mint for now. High mintages and outrageous premiums are my two biggest reasons. I think this is the first time the previous year and current year Proof Gold coins have been for sale at the same time. These coins won’t be rare unless the 2012 final mintages are extremely low, or gold bullion skyrockets. Roughly ten years ago you could buy prior year coins cheaper on the aftermarket. I think that scenario could happen again, unless Helicopter Ben keeps on printing.

  27. says

    @MarkInFlordia…I respect your opinion as well as others that agree with you.
    However, I think there as just as many that would agree that a “limited” edition set is what they would like to see.

  28. fosnock says

    One thing is for sure the mint is listening to it customers…now if they could only get the 2012 ATBs out for sale

  29. John C says

    I think there are a couple of more reasons why the mints sales numbers are poor. I purchase a lot of coins from the mint but for me this is the poorest week of the year for me because I have a business and I had to write a large check to the IRS last week. I think another reason is that more and more of the US mints customers are spending there hard earned dollars at other world mints buying some high quality low mintage items. I also think the mint has lost some respect by keeping the 2011 5 ouncers on sale forever.And to Markinflorida, The mint is trying to maximize profits. Creating some low mintage coins is crucial to keep people interested in there products.

  30. DCDave says

    Keeping items for sale for over a year really is disgusting!
    The ’11 Buffalo sales look ridiculous next to the ’12 Buffalo for sale.
    How does the collector know the ’12s wont be available until ’14
    Some math genius should also tell the Mint that the ’11 ATBs will be for sale until ’14 also.

  31. DCDave says

    2010 Lincoln Cent Coin Two-Roll Set “Preservation of the Union” (LP5)

    Price: $8.95
    Enter Quantity

    Yeh, right. This item has been available for OVER TWO (2) YEARS now !!!!!

  32. Chrome says

    I’m so surprised at how many A25s are still available on eBay. They are sure to get sucked up now. As for the S75s, minted to demand, I’ll just wait and buy them already graded on the secondary market. Demand should be sky high by the big commercial buyers and low by the average collector. The economy is not that great right now and the A25s knocked the cash out of a lot of collector’s pockets. They should of capped this issue at 250k. My feelings are mixed. Looks like the big guns will get their way this time.

  33. fosnock says

    What is causing me to blow my top is they are delaying releasing products. It is inexcusable that they can not release the 2012 ATBs, then again with them being sold for multiple years what is the mints hurry to get them out. My hurry is silver is at $30 per oz how long that will last is anyone guess. Unlike other posters I don’t think the bull market in silver is over, and I would like to get some bullion at these lower prices

  34. Brad says

    That page that tells about the sets being “minted to demand” didn’t mention anything about a household ordering limit. Who knows, there might still be one of those (for the first week or two, anyway) in an attempt to prevent massive numbers of very large orders. The Mint might say they will be “minted to demand’, but they never promised not to place limits on how much “demand” from one person they will allow.

    The Mint doesn’t always have a stellar track record of forecasting demand for it’s own products. It seems very dangerous to offer a set like this with no safety net at all. It could use up quite a bit of the Mint’s silver blanks. They might be like “Whoa! 2,000,000 of these special sets were ordered! We don’t have 4,000,000 blanks to spare for them!”

  35. Shutter says

    We don’t have 4,000,000 blanks to spare for them!”

    Well, maybe then they could take the opportunity to melt down all the unsold ATB coins. There is about 1,500,000 oz in them. Plus a few thousand of 2011 Eagles. And they could always buy more. The planet isn’t running out of silver yet.

  36. TomP says

    Off-topic

    The Eliza Johnson FS gold unc. went on a 2 week delayed shipping. For a previous year minted coin, this often indicates a soon to be announced sell out.
    At a last posted mintage of 2,872, the Eliza unc. will be just over the mintage of 2,861 for the Julia Tyler unc.

  37. RPW says

    I don’t necessarily agree with some of the posts here that suggest that the mint loses out to the secondary market by setting a mintage limit.

    The limit (ie 100,000) was a tremendous success because there was a limit.
    It makes the coin/set more apt to be collectable, thus there is a huge demand. Basic supply and demand. Lets say the total sales for new 2 coin ASE set reach 500,000. Assuming there are no error type flaws, etc. it would seems to me the set would really not carry much collector value. It would also seem that the 25th ASE set value would become a little more collectable for the lower mintage. Continuing to mint additional reverse proofs each year would seem to also harm the collectable value. Again – supply and demand. Many people cannot afford to buy all the coins they would like so they must pick and choose. What is the deciding factor????? I’m willing to bet a lot of it is based on what the coin will be worth in the secondary market. I am slowly becoming turned off of collecting because there are WAY too many coins being sold. Look at some of the other foreign mints (Perth, Canadian). They have a coin for everything. Who could possibly collect them all? I guess in the end – the ones that sell the least will be worth the most (even though they are more like the junk sold at 2AM on T.V.). I only started buying coins in 2008 so I’m pretty new to this but as I said – I’m already getting turned off by the vast number/type of coins being sold. It’s a little too much.

    As for the article above: Does anyone else agree with the figures re: the 2009 UHR Coin sales figures? If I’m not mistaken – weren’t the final sales closer to 147,000?

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