Today, the US Mint announced that orders for the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin will only be accepted until December 31, 2009 at 3:00 PM ET. This leaves collectors with 21 days left to order the coins directly from the Mint.
As of December 6, 2009, the US Mint had sold a total of 108,207 Ultra High Relief Double Eagles, including the sales of 1,131 in the most recent week. Assuming the pace of sales doesn’t pick up too much in the coming weeks, the final mintage for the coin should fall below 120,000. For a one year issue of a hugely popular coin, this mintage is relatively low. When the 2006 Proof Gold Buffalo was released, the US Mint had sold nearly than 250,000 coins.
Since the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin has been one of the biggest stories this year, I wanted to provide a recap on the history of the coin from the initial announcement through the projected end of sales.
March 13, 2008
US Mint Director Edmund Moy announced plans to recreate Augustus Saint Gaudens’ Ultra High Relief $20 Gold Coin. The announcement came at a meeting of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Director Moy remarked, “Recreating thousands of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ ultra-high relief Double Eagles will be a defining moment in American coinage.”
July 30, 2008
The United States Mint unveiled the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Baltimore, Maryland. A four phase exhibit at the US Mint booth showcased the development of the coin from gold bars, to plaster casts, to feasibility and test strikes, to the finished one ounce 24 karat gold coin. A similar online exhibit is now available on the US Mint’s website.
November 24, 2008
The first production strike of the UHR Double Eagle took pace at the West Point Mint. The first coin produced was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. The second coin was retained for the United States Mint’s heritage assets. Director Moy remarked, “One hundred years from now, I believe the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin will be remembered as the birth of the greatest American century in coin-making history.”
January 22, 2009
Sales of the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle began at 12:00 Noon ET. The initial offering price for the coin was $1,189 with an ordering limit of one per household. The product page contained a disclaimer that delivery could potentially take six to nine months based on gold blank availability. In the first day of sales, the US Mint sold 28,173 coins. Within five days, more than 40,000 coins had been sold.
February 9, 2009
The first 2009 UHR Double Eagle was received by a collector. The delivery and images of the coin were posted on Coin Network. The few collectors who received their coins early turned out to be the lucky ones.
February 25, 2009
After a few of the coins had shipped, the remainder were delayed for several weeks due to problems with the Companion Book. The US Mint sent emails to customers who ordered the coins to announce that shipping would resume, and some companion books would be shipped shipped separately. The delays and initial lack of information from the Mint upset some collectors. When more coins started to ship, there were also indications that coins were not shipping in First In-First Out order as the US Mint claimed.
After a strong opening, the pace of sales for the UHR Double Eagle experienced a steep decline. By March, the US Mint had reached sales of 50,000 coins, but the pace of sales had declined to about 1,000 coins per week. Weekly sales would range from about 500 to 1,000 coins per week until later in the summer.
July 27, 2009
The United States Mint finally raised the ordering limit for the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle to ten coins per household. By this time, year to date sales had reached nearly 70,000. The coins had also undergone a few price increases which brought the price to $1,289.
August 5-9, 2009
The United States Mint booth was a big attraction at the World’s Fair of Money in Baltimore, Maryland. Attendees were allowed to purchase the UHR Double Eagles under the increased order limit. Many dealers used the opportunity to build an inventory of the coins by offering bounties for anyone who purchased coins at the US Mint’s booth and immediately resold them. Coin Update News had an interview with one of the dealers. The increased activity helped push sales above 80,000.
August 31, 2009
The United States Mint raised the order limit to 25 coins per household.
September 21, 2009
The US Mint removed the ordering limit completely. By this time, the sales total had reached 92,346 and the coins were priced at $1,339 each.
October 18, 2009
Sales of the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle exceeded 100,000 coins.
November 25, 2009
The rising price of gold pushed US Mint prices higher for all gold coin products. The price of the UHR Double Eagle was increased to $1,539. This represented the highest price to date and was $350 above the initial offering price.
December 31, 2009
The final day of sales for the UHR Double Eagle at the US Mint. Orders may be placed through 3:00 PM ET on this date.