In a short time frame, the United States Mint has caught up with many of their delayed 2010 gold offerings. This is encouraging news for collectors who are hoping that the Mint will issue collectible versions of the 2010 American Gold Eagle.
The collectible offerings had been canceled for 2009 Gold Eagle. By law, the US Mint is required to produce the bullion versions of the coin in quantities sufficient to meet public demand. Since full demand was not being met, the Mint allocated all available 22 karat gold blanks to the bullion coins and did not produce the collector versions, which are not legally mandated.
This year started on a low note, when the US Mint delayed the release of the one ounce 2010 Gold Eagle bullion coins. Usually, bullion coins bearing the following year’s date can be ordered by authorized purchasers in December of the prior year for delivery in early January. This year, orders were not accepted until January 19, 2010. Initial demand for Gold and Silver Eagles was heavy and seemed to foretell a repeat of last year.
The first encouraging sign came in March 2010, when the US Mint ended the allocation program for American Gold Eagle bullion coins. This program rationed the number of available gold bullion coins amongst the authorized purchasers. With unrestricted ordering, it was a signal that the US Mint was able to meet full demand for one ounce Gold Eagle bullion coins.
In the following month, the Mint began accepting orders from authorized purchasers for bullion version of the 2010 Gold Buffalo coins on April 29, 2010. This initial offering date was more than five months ahead of the prior year, when coins were not available until October 15.
In recent news, the availability date for the 2010 Proof Gold Buffalo has now been announced as June 3, 2010. This is once again more than five months ahead of the sales start date for last year’s coin, which was October 29. Since this is a collector coin, it will be available directly from the US Mint.
Additionally, Numismatic News reported that the Mint has begun striking fractional Gold Eagle bullion coins, although a sales start date is still unknown. Last year, the fractional weight gold bullion coins were not offered until December 3.
With the US Mint is now running several months ahead of last year’s release schedule, all gold bullion products released or soon to be released, and gold bullion no longer subject to rationing, it seems more likely that collectible versions of the American Gold Eagle will be issued this year.
If collectible 2010 Gold Eagles are issued, the expected products would include one ounce 2010-W Uncirculated Gold Eagles; and one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, one-tenth ounce 2010-W Proof Gold Eagles and a four proof coin set.