U.S. Mint Pulls American Eagle Platinum Products

by Mike Unser on August 6, 2008 · 3 comments

The United States Mint’s online product pages no longer offer or display 2008 American Eagle platinum coins. All platinum coins to include individual and sets within the uncirculated and proof categories are gone. No message is currently in place to indicate why or whether they will return.

The hope is that the Mint has pulled the products in order to downward adjust prices to make them more inline with current platinum prices.

In recent weeks, the price of platinum has plunged dramatically in the wake of concerns and data regarding car production and sales figures. Platinum is used in vehicle catalytic converters and that purpose accounts for some 50% of the world’s demand for the metal.

At its worst on Monday, Aug. 4, U.S. Mint American Eagle platinum proof coins had premiums between 59%-79%. Premiums around the 30% range have been more the norm for such coins, and reflective of what they were when the Mint first released this year’s proof batch in May of 2008.

Ironically, platinum has climbed since Monday. New York platinum closed today to $1,610 an ounce. But to highlight the price disparity at even this price, the American Eagle platinum proof coin (one ounce) was priced at $2,509.95.

Such high premiums do not make U.S. Mint customers happy. Especially when the Mint has been so quick to suspend bullion coin sales when precious metal prices increase.

As examples, in the most recent CoinNews article asking whether the United States Mint was justified in selling coins with these mark-ups, two CoinNews readers responded:


  • AJP says:

    August 6th, 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 (COIN MAN at Blogspot.com) says:

    August 6th, 2008 at :19 am

    I’ll sound like a broken record here but there is a lot of truth in 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.


Let’s hope the Mint resumes platinum coin sales again, but at prices collectors are willing to pay or can at least understand.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom August 6, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Excellent! I discovered this fact not more than 20 minutes ago but Coin News beat me to the punch. 🙂

Platinum closed in NY today at $1585-$1592 an ounce (at least that’s what Kitco reported). However, what is more interesting is how volatile was the market. The low was 1566 and the high was 1643. Of course that could all change when the overseas markets open in a few minutes.

Perhaps after all the Mint will do the right thing. That would be a good step for them!

Mint News Blog August 7, 2008 at 7:22 am

Nice scoop. It will be interesting to see how the Mint handles a price reduction (if that’s what is taking place). This might be upsetting for anyone who bought the coins for high premiums over the last few weeks.

Tom August 7, 2008 at 1:18 pm

That would be bad news for those who might’ve purchased at the higher prices. However, we as collectors are used to playing that game when buying bullion related products. We won’t be able to win every time. Plus when sales were suspended at the beginning on July, Coin World reported that very, very few had been sold despite them having been available for many weeks. I am sure that the number of people who bought them in this time period is even smaller.

But I’m pretty sure they would have to come back. The Mint has sunk a good amount of money in making the dies for these coins (pun intended). Also, aren’t they required by law to have them on sale until a sell out or the next year’s issue is released? I’m not sure they can just stop selling something because they want to. But I don’t have hard evidence of this.

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