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|
|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|
|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.