The United States Mint released the highly anticipated 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin today at noon (ET). All indications show that early coin sales are blazing, with reports of busy Mint phone lines and online ordering backups where buyers have had to wait an hour or more to place an order.
The coin collector’s excitement for the modern day recreation of the famed Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ designed 1907 $20 Double Eagle gold piece is felt across the Internet — websites, forums, and social groups. On CoinNews itself, thousands of collectors have searched for and viewed recent double eagle articles in a matter of hours, easily ranking interest in this coin at a historical high for any on the site.
The Mint’s opening price for the gold piece is set at $1,189.00, plus $4.95 for shipping and handling. The one-ounce coin is struck in 24-karat, .9999 fine gold and is limited to a single year of issue. Striking is the coin’s more than double thickness when compared to other modern gold coins from the Mint.
On Thursday morning, the London AM gold price was fixed at $860 an ounce. The CoinNews US Mint Price Guide shows a $329 premium over gold for the modern $20 double eagle. While not an insignificant margin at 27.7 percent, it is actually less than two other collector bullion coin options the Mint now sells.
Orders will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis, and could potentially take up to six to nine months to complete based on gold blank availability. When placing your order, please consider your credit card’s expiration date, as charges will coincide with shipment. If your credit card has expired by the time of shipment, your order will be cancelled. To update your credit card information, you must call 1-800-USA-MINT and have your order number available.
The thought of potentially waiting 6-9 months is disheartening. Then again, the US Mint has not always been the quickest to deliver advertised products. Disappointing, yes. Even a bit upsetting. However, it is also a double-edged sword that can work for collectors. Anyone can cancel their order should the wait become too long, or even re-order — albeit with some risk — should gold prices go down and the double eagles with them.
Some resources of interest:
And the US Mint product order page for the coin, and to place orders:
Also, for more information directly from the US Mint, follow its 2009 Ultra High Relief Coin page.
[Editor's update: The US Mint increased limits in late August. For more, including the latest sales figures for the coins, read UHR Coin Limits Rise.]