U.S. Mint Making a Mint with 59%-79% Premiums on Platinum Proof Coins

by Mike Unser on August 4, 2008 · 3 comments

2008 American Eagle Platinum Proof coinThe United States Mint is showing they’re extremely proud of their 2008 American Eagle Platinum Proof coins with premiums running between 58.7% and 79.1%.

The price of platinum has taken a beating as gloomy car industry data continues to take its toll. About half of the global platinum supply is used in vehicle catalytic converters, and U.S. car sales slipping to a 16-year low is no good news for platinum’s demand.

Today, New York platinum futures dropped to $1,563 an ounce, or another 5.6%, to a fresh six-month low. The metal has been giving up ground since the middle of July.

With such a southerly, multi-week turn, expectation would lead platinum coin buyers to expect lower prices too. That hasn’t been the case. At least not for the U.S. Mint’s 2008 American Eagle Platinum Proof coins.

For whatever reason, the Mint seems content in selling coins that once had premiums marked in the 30% range, but are now marked up between $124-$1,700. The following tables reflect prices and premiums.

Platinum proof coin premiums on Aug. 4

Size
New York Platinum (8/4/08)
Coin Prices
Premium $
Premium %
One-ounce
$1,563.00
$2,509.95
$946.95
60.6%
1/2 ounce
$781.50
$1,279.95
$498.45
63.8%
1/4 ounce
$390.75
$   664.95
$274.20
70.2%
1/10 ounce
$156.30
$   279.95
$123.65
79.1%
All
$2,891.55
$4,589.95
$1,698.40
58.7%

Platinum proof coin premiums on July 24

The following prices and premiums are based on the day the Mint resumed 2008 proof platinum coin sales on July 24. The Mint temporarily suspended sales of the proof versions in late June "due to the increasing market value of platinum."

Size
New York Platinum (7/24/08)
Coin Prices
Premium $
Premium %
One-ounce
$1,713.80
$2,509.95
$796.15
46.5%
1/2 ounce
$856.90
$1,279.95
$423.05
49.4%
1/4 ounce
$428.45
$664.95
$236.50
55.2%
1/10 ounce
$171.38
$279.95
$108.57
63.4%
All
$3,170.53
$4,589.95
$1,419.42
44.8%

Initial 2008 platinum proof coin prices and premiums

Price of platinum and premiums when the 2008 proof platinum first went on sale.

Size
New York Platinum (5/5/08)
Coin Prices
Premium $
Premium %
One-ounce
$1,927.40
$2,299.95
$582.55
30.2%
1/2 ounce
$963.70
$1,174.95
$316.25
32.8%
1/4 ounce
$481.85
$609.95
$183.10
38.0%
1/10 ounce
$192.74
$269.95
$87.21
45.2%
All
$3,565.69
$4,119.95
$1,024.26
28.7%

 

Is the United States Mint justified in selling coins with such high mark-ups?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

AJP August 6, 2008 at 12:48 am

No, but do you really expect fairness and fiscal responsibility from any branch of the U.S. government? People who buy these coins either don’t care about money or are really, really stupid.

Tom August 6, 2008 at 8:19 am

I’ll sound like a broken record here but there is a lot of truth is AJP’s comment. Platinum goes up $50 maybe $75/ounce and suddenly the proof platinum coins have to be repriced. Platinum drops $500 and no action needs to be taken. They’re just refusing to take a loss on the platinum that they bought and it really angers me. Sometimes you lose the game.

Jo September 22, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Mint is just making money from suckers; sorry, collectors, that think they are investors.

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