Uncirculated Lucretia Garfield Coin Sold Out

Yesterday, the uncirculated version of the 2011-W Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coin was marked as “sold out” on the US Mint’s website. This is the second coin of the series to sell out this week, following the uncirculated version of the Lucy Hayes coin on Monday.

The secondary market response to the Lucy Hayes sell out was swift, with collectors quickly purchasing all available coins from online coin dealers and eBay. (There is now a new wave of listings at much higher price points.) It seems probable that many collectors also decided to order the uncirculated Lucretia Garfield coins, which were still available from the US Mint at this point, sensing a similar low mintage and looming sell out. Whatever the number of orders placed, they quickly exhausted the US Mint’s remaining inventory resulting in the sell out.

The Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coins originally went on sale at the US Mint on December 1, 2011. The maximum mintage across proof and uncirculated versions was 15,000 coins, although the US Mint seems to have produced considerably less than this amount. Initial pricing was $1,029 for the proof version and $1,106 for the uncirculated version. These prices were adjusted weekly based on the market price of gold and reached a lows of $954 for proofs and $941 for uncirculated coins just before the sell out. The proof version of the coin still remains available for sale.

Sales figures for the 2011 First Spouse Gold Coins from this week’s sales report are shown below. These represent sales through August 6, 2012.

FIRST SPOUSE GOLD COINS
Eliza Johnson Proof (2011) 3,907*
Eliza Johnson Uncirculated (2011) 2,905*
Julia Grant Proof (2011) 3,969*
Julia Grant Uncirculated (2011) 2,836
Lucy Hayes Proof (2011) 3,352
Lucy Hayes Uncirculated (2011) 2,243*
Lucretia Garfield Proof (2011) 2,954
Lucretia Garfield Uncirculated (2011) 1,973

When these sales figures were compiled, the uncirculated Lucretia Garfield coin was below 2,000 coins in total sales. However, as I mentioned above, it is possible that ordering activity was heavy this week, which could bring total sales to a similar level with the uncirculated Lucy Hayes coins.

There is still no word on the status of the 2012 First Spouse Gold Coins. The US Mint announced the design selections for the coins way back in April, but since then there has been no indication of the release date, maximum mintages, or other ordering details.

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Comments

  1. Terry says

    These mintages are extremely low. Does anyone know the if the 2243 Hayes mintage qualifies as the lowest minted 1/2 ounce gold coin produced by the US mint? If it is the lowest minted 1/2 ounce gold coin, it should dramatically increase in price – any thoughts

  2. Mint News Blog says

    Terry- depending on where the numbers settle out, the uncirculated Hayes or Garfield would have the lowest mintage for any half ounce gold coin.

    More notably, it would also be the lowest mintage United States Mint gold coin of the modern era (1983-present). You could take this back even further, but its not as comparable to earlier gold coins since survival rate plays more of a factor.

  3. MamaBaba's Gold (Rich H) says

    RARE GOLD BEAUTIES!

    I’ve heard the complaints from those that don’t appreciate the FS series, but this is the sleeper opportunity of the 21st century! WHAT LOW MINTAGE! Not many will ever own a complete set of these exotic ladies.

  4. ClevelandRocks says

    For all of those that want a full set of proof and unc FS, these will be key.
    Funny how the Mint pre-ordained all of this a long time ago when they decided exactly how many to mint. I agree that the Garfield is less unpleasant to look at than the Hayes. I may get a proof while I can…

  5. Samuel says

    i bet the new low will be in the 2012 ones. the mint knows which one is the lowest, right? because they just made it so. is there any way to know how many coins minted?

  6. says

    i bet the new low will be in the 2012 ones. the mint knows which one is the lowest, right? because they just made it so. is there any way to know how many coins minted?

    Samuel,

    On the final number of Garfield coins minted, we’ll find out in next Tuesday’s sales report if nothing else.

    On the 2012 ones, I’m not entirely convinced that they’re on the way. It’s about mid-August now and we haven’t heard a peep. I’m beginning to speculate that the Mint may have decided to just ignore the law (or have discovered a legal loophole) and ended production of the FS coins.

  7. Brad says

    I hope the orders I placed before the sellouts get fulfilled. I have 2 Hayes and 4 Garfields outstanding. It would have been 2 Garfields, but after placing the orders there was no sign of them in my order history. I got scared, so I placed two more orders. When there was no sign of them either, I stopped. Then a little while later, all four orders appeared. I had originally thought I’d cancel the two extra orders, but then I thought better of it. I can probably unload these coins pretty quick for a nice markup, so I’ll let all of the orders ride. Even if I can’t unload them, I can still pay for them in full and hold on to them if need be.

    Yes, it was pure speculative greed that motivated me to buy these now. So shoot me! 🙂 Keep in mind though that I also collect as well as sell. I’m still building two complete sets of Uncirculateds and one complete set of Proofs. The way I see it, if I get a windfall from these insanely low-mintage gems, all proceeds left over after paying selling fees and Uncle Sam will go towards my 2012 FS coin sets (if they EVER get released, that is!)

  8. oldfolkie says

    I tried to keep sets of both uncs and proofs going but the gold price got too high so I sold off the uncs two years ago to the best profits I’ve made in coin collecting in fifty years. I don’t care what anyone says, all together they are “beautiful”. Those that have been in since the beginning are going to be happy as the rarity factor grows and eventually, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, and even Betty Ford come into play. And, I do believe eventually the big old ATBs will follow the same path to value….and this from an old timer that loves his early 20th century sets, and whose pride and joy is his Dansco 7070.

  9. Samuel says

    i have zero interest in this series. but i just want to learn something here. when mint minted these coins, they know they just minted XXXX number of Y coin. and people out there just guess this XXXX number? can the mint release this XXXX number beforehand? the sell out is not because the time limit or something, it is simply because they only minted this much? am i right?

  10. Mint News Blog says

    The sell outs occurred because all coins remaining within the US Mint’s inventory have been sold.

    These coins can only be minted during 2011, but the sales period generally extends into the following year to give a one year duration for the offering. Based on demand forecasts, the US Mint strikes the number of coins that they anticipate needing for the entire sales cycle.

  11. says

    i have zero interest in this series. but i just want to learn something here. when mint minted these coins, they know they just minted XXXX number of Y coin. and people out there just guess this XXXX number? can the mint release this XXXX number beforehand? the sell out is not because the time limit or something, it is simply because they only minted this much? am i right?

    Samuel,

    My understanding is that we basically don’t find out the true mintages until sales actually end and the final number is released in the sales report. We won’t know what Lucretia’s final numbers are until next Tuesday most likely. We’re speculating on what the final number for Lucretia could be until then. The 1,973 number is just what was in this week’s sales report a few days before the sellout.

  12. ClevelandRocks says

    IF the series continue, you may have to wait until 2013 for record low mintages, as coin collecting patterns usually show unexpected lows followed by higher sales the next year followed by apathy (1999 silver sets low, 2000 higher, 2001 lower, ’11 AGE low, ’12 trending higher….).

  13. Brad says

    The next sellout will most likely be the Lucy Hayes Proof or Julia Grant Unc. Inventory remaining on both of those is probably about gone.

    I have confidence that the 2012 FS coins will be issued, but the method of selling them may change. I can see it going one of two ways. The limits may be lowered again to levels that are more in line with the sales levels now, say 7,000 each. The Mint will strike that many coins for each design prior to December 31 2012 in the ratio of 4,250 proofs and 2,750 uncs, then sell them during 2013 and possibly into 2014 until all have been sold.

    Or, as others have suggested, the Mint may sell all four 2012’s during a 4-week ordering window similar to the SF Silver Eagle set. Maybe take orders from early October to early November, then strike only what was sold for each design in the ordered ratios and be done with them. While that method might make the most sense from a production standpoint, for 2012 it would be tough to implement. The reason being is that selling all four coins at once would put a tremendous strain on collector budgets. That might result in the 2012 coins having fewer coins ordered than would have otherwise been the case, simply because some collectors cannot afford to buy so many expensive coins at the same time. Now, if this method were employed for the 2013’s, it would probably work very well. Simply sell one coin per calendar quarter in this fashion. But the 2012’s are getting such a late start, most would likely have to go into credit card debt to buy them all in this fashion.

    The Mint may opt for the “strike ’em all and sell them until they’re gone” method. They don’t seem to mind leaving prior-year coins for sale alongside current-year coins anymore.

  14. Hidalgo says

    @Brad – a variation would be for folks to place orders during a 4-week period for all 4 of FS coins. However, payment and shipping would be spread throughout 2013 (or say, over a 6 month period). Billing would not take place until the coins are shipped.

    Or another variation – folks could place orders for all 4 2012 FS gold coins — and they would be sold as a set of 4. This set of 4 would be somewhat similar to the way the American Gold Eagle sets are sold.

    @ Terry – from my perspective, there are two factors that impact the secondary market value of the FS gold coins. 1) These coins were never meant to be circulated, unlike gold coins minted before 1933. Ounce for ounce, gold coins meant for circulation have a higher value than the FS coins. 2) Although there are separate mintages for proofs and unc FS gold coins, the designs are the same. So from that perspective, based on total mintages, some of the coins are not necessarily as rare as sellers make them out to be (in comparison to other FS gold coins).

  15. Wylson says

    “Any bets for next FS “sellout” (mercy kill)?”

    I like the “mercy kill” term. My guess LH proof.

  16. William says

    Buddy can you spare a dime?

    Yesterday, a 1873 dime minted in Carson City with Lady Liberty sold for $ 1.6 million.

  17. VA Bob says

    Congrats to those collecting these. I wanted to when the series began, but hesitated. Looking back I’m glad I didn’t go for it. Not because of the coin designs, but the price. It would have dominated my coin hobby purchases, forcing cuts elsewhere. My hats off to those that can complete the set. That will be one impressive collection when it’s finished.

    That said, I do have some concerns about these large series runs, particularly gold coins. Others can chime in whether they agree or disagree. First is, assuming a decent appreciation is realized, wouldn’t this set be difficult to sell (if needed) as a whole due to the number of pieces? One could break up the set, but are the sum of its pieces the equivalent value of the set in its entirety? This is really a “collectors” set in the sense of the word, strictly from the patience it takes to build it, but even the most loved collections get sold at some point.

    Second, with such low mintages, is there a concern interest will wane when after the last coin is issued? With sub-2K mintages, and the possibility of still lower to follow, that means few “new” sets, outside completed collections in strong hands, will be available. For that reason will collectors give it a pass?

    While these big sets are impressive, I personally hope it’s not the future Mint wave. Well of course the problem is congress, in their rush to legislate something. I’m pretty confident in saying the Mint would probably rather be making something that took longer to do the run than it does to install the dies.

  18. Shutter says

    One could break up the set, but are the sum of its pieces the equivalent value of the set in its entirety?

    A completed set will nearly always bring less money as a set than if it were to be sold piece by piece. The reason is that a completed set is only of interest to investors, who are only interested in the best price possible. A collector may have a set nearly complete and is willing to pay a little more for that last one or two coins.

    Second, with such low mintages, is there a concern interest will wane when after the last coin is issued?

    Extremely low mintage is part of the problem. You need enough coins to maintain an active market. In the alternative, you need coins that are highly sought after. None of the FS coins fit the bill. The other problem is that there is not and never will be an affordable coin in the series. A collector can get started on a Classic Commemorative set with a bunch of easily available and affordable coins and only later work his way up to really rare and expensive coins. With FS, you have to start at the top. And there are too damn many of them. Most of these women were completely inconsequential. You could probably count on one hand those of any historical importance.

  19. ClevelandRocks says

    A full set of FS (UNC & Proof) will cost around 10X that of a complete ATB set.
    The most important thing that will influence value of FS and ATB will be PM prices. I think the early rise in gold has lured some into thinking FS is a good investment, but be prepared if gold goes down to say $1100-$1200 again, you will have lost a large amount of your investment. The fact that public interest in Mary Lincoln was much less than expected should concern the dedicated FS collectors. I collect some FS that I like (Liberty subset and select others), but the ATBs are a much safer long term investment.

  20. joe says

    Whether someone collects the FS coins and believes they will do well or poorly is just personal opinion at this point…nothing more. But I think it goes without question that everyone can agree that the Mint is dropped (and is still dropping) the ball on this series.

    No matter what one’s opinion is regarding the logic (or lack thereof) of minting or purchasing FS coins, I think everyone can agree that the primary purchasers of FS coins are collectors. And based on the number of FS coins being produced, I think that everyone can agree that the number of collectors of this series are decreasing with every sequential coin that is released.

    So what does the Mint do to help make the best of congress’s bad decision to produce this particular politically-correct series? Advertising? Reduced mark-up? Special packaging? (all of which are at the discretion of the Mint and not in any way related to the law that requires the production of this series)

    Nope…The Mint decides to sit on the four 2012 coins that are supposed to be offered this year to make it even harder on those who collect this series. Those who still collect this series (and there are now few) will struggle to purchase four expensive 1/2 gold coins (with significant Mint markup) in the next 4 months. And even if the 2012 coins are released and stay on sale into 2013 and beyond, theoretically there will be additional FS coins released into the future.

    I find it unconscionable that congress would come up with this risky and politically-correct series (I mean, gold first spouse coins?…who’d thunk it – except for politicians I mean!) and then allow the US Mint to mismanage it the way that it has by not releasing them on their predetermined schedule. Maybe a gold FS coin wasn’t the best idea in the world, but the US Mint is doing its best to kill what collector base they have left for this series. Are other Mints (Perth, RCM, etc.) this substandard? I noticed that the Director of the US Mint has an MBA from Harvard’s School of Business. Harvard should rescind his degree and he should be fired from the US Mint for complete incompetence!

  21. Shutter says

    A full set of FS (UNC & Proof) will cost around 10X that of a complete ATB set.

    How do you figure? Assuming total 42 coin types at an average $1,000 that’s $84,000. 56 Uncirculated ATBs at an average of $210 is $11,760 plus bullion at an average $160 makes another $8,960. That’s a total of $20,720. Roughly 4X, not 10X.

    the ATBs are a much safer long term investment.

    Possibly. However, as you said, both will be tied to PM prices. Historically, silver has been much more volatile than gold.

  22. Shutter says

    So what does the Mint do to help make the best of congress’s bad decision to produce this particular politically-correct series? Advertising? Reduced mark-up? Special packaging?

    Hey maybe the mint can sell them embedded in a set of collector spoons.

    There is little you can do to make a truly bad idea work.

  23. William says

    Reduce the mintage to 5,000 units.

    Restrict the number of purchases to one coin each, proof and/or uncirculated.

    Increase the value of the coin from 10 dollars to 500 dollars.

    Produce a new copper coin set with the image of vice presidents and make them worth twenty dollars each.

  24. ClevelandRocks says

    @Shutter: I mean yearly expenses for numismatic FS products are close to 10X numismatic ATB expenses. Silver may be less “stable” than gold, but I personally think silver has a greater chance of hitting $40 than gold hitting $1900 (IMHO).
    William has some good ideas, and even the old idea of making 1/4 oz seems reasonable.

  25. Shutter says

    ClevelandRocks,

    If you are only counting annual spending, then yes, you’re right. But, to my mind, the point is to collect the series. Even so, $80K is a lot of money to tie up in what essentially is 40 oz of gold. The only real saving grace of the FS program, is that those who purchased the early issues when they first came out, saw the value go up. ATBs had the misfortune to debut just as the silver price was reaching for $50.

    Silver may be less “stable” than gold, but I personally think silver has a greater chance of hitting $40 than gold hitting $1900

    That’s what volatility means. Greater risk, but greater potential reward. If we look at modern commemoratives, we’ll see that only a very small handful of gold coins sell for a significant premium over melt. Silver dollars, OTOH, have performed very well, with an average premium over melt of 135%! Still have to be careful. I recently bought 3 1996 Olympic coins for about $175 each. Since they were graded by PCGS, I was able to see that each of these coins has changed hands a couple of times between 2005 and 2007. The prices then were about double of what I paid.

    To my mind, the FS program is a bad idea executed badly, while ATB is a good idea executed badly. The latter can be salvaged, while the former should be put out of its misery.

  26. ClevelandRocks says

    I think we all basically feel the same about the FS series and know something must change. If I see Alice Paul released with a 15,000 limit at around $1000/coin, we should call for a new Mint director.

  27. Shutter says

    DCDave,

    You’re correct. That is one of the legs of the stool of failure that is ATB. If a 1 oz bullion coin is $1, then it would be reasonable for 5 oz coin to be $5. The other self inflicted problems are the physical size and the obverse design. The 3″ diameter is just too big. It has contributed to difficulties in getting the program started up and it just doesn’t feel right. 2.5″ or so would be much better. Perth mint makes them about 2.58″ and they feel and look right. The third problem is the obverse design. The Flanagan’s design just doesn’t work on that size coin. Also it wasn’t the best design available. If they chose to make it a $5 coin, they could have just as easily used Laura Fraser’s design that was pressed into service for the 1999 commemorative.

  28. oldfolkie says

    Sorry, I know I’m beating a dead horse but the obverse should have had Teddy Roosevelt, it simply made too much sense.
    On another topic I am one that has tried mightily and stretched my budget hard to buy all the first spouses. I am very worried about how the mint will release these. Wouldn’t it be nice if the mint acknowledged their pathetic marketing for once and tried to accommodate the collectors. I for one would like to see limits on ordering for the first couple months or so. The numbers are getting so low the potential for mayhem has grown too high.

  29. phillip says

    I’ll be sad to see the series end. Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolly Madison, Elizabeth Monroe, Louisa Adams, Mary Todd Lincoln, Alice Paul, Frances Cleveland, Helen Taft, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Eisenhower, Jackie Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and all the Liberty coins. There are a lot of famous and influential women there. It’s a very cool series, imo. There’s a couple great books on the first ladies you can get, if you’ve never heard of any of these women and what they did. Great reading!

  30. says

    OT….SF set grading

    PCGS thus far has graded 33.5% of RP’s as 70’s & 33% of regular PF’s

    I haven’t seen any NGC numbers yet.

  31. oldfolkie says

    ClevelandRocks, sorry I’m not Grandpa yet. I’m hoping my 14 year old daughter and 18 year old son wait at least 6 or 8 more years. I’m in no hurry. 🙂
    When I have the Spouse and ATB sets done and they’re finished college I’ll be ready.

  32. ClevelandRocks says

    @Steve, so this would mean a little over 80,000 PF70s (graded or not).
    Those numbers will get premiums, but when the dust settles, I’m not sure 2X offering price will stand…
    I think the 2011 ASE RP will be the key for a while.

    On topic, funny how FS UNCs are priced from the Mint less than proofs, but secondary market usually likes the lower mintage UNCs, even though I personally like the look of the proofs much more (but not always, as I prefer the Van Buren Liberty UNC), and collecting is supposed to be about “eye appeal”. One of my fav coins I own is a Julia Tyler proof. I also bought a JT UNC, and find it somewhat obsurd that my UNC would fetch more than my beautiful proof just because the mintage of the proof is super low and the UNC is super duper low (lately they are super duper duper low).

  33. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    guess I’ve got to be Scrooge, but $1000 for a half ounce gold is just too much for me to pay. 10 or 12 yrs ago this coin would have cost $250.
    It’s a shame that our govt had to print out trillions of $$ to prop up the stock market, leveraging against the poor yen where Japanese exports are so expensive 78 Yen= $1 their economy is in shambes. Hey, the money had to come from somewhere.
    It is just another blow to Japan who was hit with that devastating earthquake and tsunami last year, their economy is in shambles. But retirees of America can dance away the night. But you should be aware of these world events.

  34. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    me, too. i’m dancing away the night very merrily, but I’m aware of these events.

  35. says

    Shutter,

    PCGS has just released their updated population report on 8/12 which shows that just 33.5% of the reverse proofs (591 of 1764) have been graded as 70, and just 33% of the regular proofs (583 of 1766).

  36. CW says

    Too bad Congress cannot mandate coin series that people might actually want. I don’t know anyone who has $84k to spend on a gold coin set with many first ladies the average Joe has never heard of.

  37. ClevelandRocks says

    $84k would be a 20% down payment for a nice suburban home in a good school district here in the Cleveland area.

  38. DCDave says

    Oh, but then you’d have to live in Cleveland??? Even hometown LeBron wanted out! I read Shutter’s article, but still don’t follow what is so hard or new about minting a gold coin???

  39. Hidalgo says

    Coin World reports:

    United States Mint officials say striking problems with two of the four 2012 First Spouse gold coins have delayed striking and release of this year’s coins.

    Officials cite problems in striking the Alice Paul and Frances Cleveland (first term) coins. Once the problems are resolved, production and sales of all four coins will begin before the end of 2012, according to the Mint.

    Typically, by this time in the calendar year, several of the year’s First Spouse gold coins would have been released.

  40. VA Bob says

    Did Alice Paul scare the engravers? No horse in that race, but would it have been so hard to do another classic coin example?

  41. Ikaika says

    Should we believe that the US mint is having problems striking the 2012 FS coins? Why they had no problems with the previous issues? Anyone?

  42. Shutter says

    Why they had no problems with the previous issues?

    Who says they didn’t. Maybe they did, but got started earlier. Or maybe, seeing how low the new mintages are, their hearts just aren’t in their work. Or maybe they finally understood just how stupid an idea this FS series is, and are subconsciously sabotaging their own work.

  43. ClevelandRocks says

    The Mint has been striking $5 gold coins since 1795, what is the problem now?
    I find the whole thing pretty hard to believe.

  44. Shutter says

    The Mint has been striking $5 gold coins since 1795, what is the problem now?

    Not that it matters, but FS are $10. Also there are lots of things that can go wrong in making coins.

  45. ClevelandRocks says

    The Mint has been striking $10 gold coins since 1795, what is the problem now?
    I find the whole thing pretty hard to believe.

    There are a lot of things that can go wrong making my scrambled eggs in the morning, but I usually can work it out.

  46. george glazener says

    ROFLMAO…..That says it all right there.

    I’m wondering why there are so few listings (actually none) of the Lucy Hayes UNC in OGP on eBay right now? I would have thought the flippers would be starting to release them.

  47. george glazener says

    And what about the Bronze versions of the FS series? And the Presidential Dollar Coin and FS Medal Sets? Both nice collectibles too, but there’s been no word on them either.

  48. george glazener says

    Woo Hoo….Lemonade Lucy and the Great Easter Egg Roll.

    Sounds like a good title for a quickie children’s book..!!

  49. Hidalgo says

    I sure would not mind collecting all of the FS gold coins, but at about $900 – $1,000 per coin, with so many more FS coins to buy, and with all of my other expenses, I need to limit my purchases on those coins that I really want in my collection.

    I am uncertain how others do it — that is, how the handful of collectors on this blog are able to buy even 1 or 2 of every FS gold coin the US Mint offers. Well, I guess it’s a matter of priorities and how much income one has…..

  50. RP says

    Not all the flippers lost on Lucrecia…MS 69 PCGS FS $1,795 and a OGP at over $1700 right now on Ebay… WOW, just crazy!

  51. joe says

    Hidalgo – It’s actually easy when the Mint doesn’t release FS coins anymore. Doesn’t cost a penny…

  52. Brad says

    Joe,

    Hee hee! Yes, but it will eventually catch up with a vengeance! I have to buy one proof and two uncs for each 2012 to keep the sets going, and with it all falling in the last quarter, it will be more painful than normal!

    I was hoping to have some extra unc Lucy Hayes and Lucretia Garfields to sell shortly, but those backorders might be cancelled due to lack of inventory to fill the orders with.

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