Sales of the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin jumped to their highest level in months. The increase comes as a result of three potential factors, the most significant being the increase of the household ordering limit.
For the past several months, the UHR Double Eagle has been selling fewer than 1,000 coins per week. The pace of sales had settled into this steady, but restrained pace after a frantic opening weekend in late January, when the US Mint had sold more than 40,000 coins.
For the most recent weekly reporting period, the UHR recorded sales of 3,799 coins. This was up more than 300% from the sales level of the prior week.
The table below displays the weekly sales stats since July as reported by Numismaster. The first column shows the cumulative sales total for each reporting period and the second column showing the incremental sales increase for each period.
|2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Sales|
There were three factors driving the big jump in sales for the prior week. First, the United States Mint raised the ordering limit on the coin from only one per household to ten per household. This change likely unleashed some pent up demand from collectors who have been waiting to purchase additional coins beyond their one per household allocation.
Second, the price of gold has been moving higher. On Thursday of last week, the price touched a two month high when gold moved above $970 per ounce. Under the US Mint’s pricing policy, the price of the UHR is increased if the average weekly London Fix gold price moves across certain levels. By my calculation, last week the coin just narrowly missed a price increase. Collectors may have accelerated purchases since a price increase seemed likely.
Third, the increased sales might be partially attributable to the US Mint’s new internet advertising campaign for the coin. To the best of my knowledge this seems to be something that they started using recently, if not within the last week.
The US Mint has stated that the mintage of the UHR Double Eagle will be “unlimited for one year.” Under the authorization received from the US Secretary of the Treasury, the coins may only be minted during 2009, however sales “may continue into 2010 if inventory exists.” This means that if the US Mint’s final production run in 2009 does not sell out by the end of the year, they do have authority to continue selling the coins into the following year until the coins sell out.
At this point, it seems likely that the UHR Double Eagle will have a final mintage above 100,000. Collectors have been looking at the potential final mintage of the coin as one of the several factors which will determine whether the coins have potential for price appreciation down the line. The last one ounce gold coin produced for collectors to sell more than 100,000 coins was the 2006 Proof Gold Buffalo Coin.