The United States Mint on Monday halted sales of its collector gold coins for an extended period after gold prices soared toward $1,900 an ounce. The suspensions are expected to last until Wednesday when coin prices are poised for increases (jump to table of likely prices). 15 of the Mint’s gold coin products are now off sale.
The action, as conveyed in a previous article published on Friday, was not completely unexpected based on gold’s explosive jump — the yellow metal in New York has surged nearly $150 in six days.
When gold moves higher or lower in predefined $50 increments, the Mint adjusts prices on its collector gold coins. However, those adjustments normally take just a few minutes and occur solely on Wednesday. Gold moved so abruptly in such a short time that the United States Mint preempted its normal Wednesday timeline, just as it did two weeks ago. At that time, the Mint reiterated that it:
"Reserves the right to discontinue sale of gold numismatic products in the event that the selling price of United States Mint gold bullion products begin approaching the sale price of the gold numismatic products."
The United States Mint has bumped up what it charges for its collector gold coin products in four of the last five weeks. Prices since July have been increased on a per coin basis from as little as $25 to as high as $462.50. The previous hike occurred just last Wednesday as the weekly average for gold moved between $1,750.00 and $1,799.99 an ounce, a price range setting used by the Mint.
The upcoming price increases are clouded, in the sense that they could skip several $50 tiers higher given how fast precious metals have moved. As the primary determinant, the United States Mint will use the London gold Fix average from Thursday AM (August 18) to Wednesday AM (August 24), which means future fixings are still in play before prices will be set. The six available AM and PM fixings from Thursday through Monday already has the average of gold at $1,847.29 an ounce, or just a few dollars shy of moving coins into a third higher pricing tier from where they stand now.
The table below highlights the most likely increases. Price Tier 1 represents a range based on a gold average of between $1,800.00 and $1,849.99 an ounce. Price Tier 2 indicates a range of between $1,850.00 and $1,899.99 an ounce. Price Tier 3 denotes a pricing range of between $1,900.00 and $1,949.99 an ounce.
|US Mint Product||Current Price||Price Tier 1||Price Tier 2||Price Tier 3|
|Uncirculated First Spouse Coins||$1,041.00||$1,066.00||$1,091.00||$1,116.00|
|Proof First Spouse Coins||$1,054.00||$1,079.00||$1,104.00||$1,129.00|
|American Gold Buffalo||$2,060.00||$2,110.00||$2,160.00||$2,210.00|
|1 oz Uncirculated Gold Eagle||$2,028.00||$2,078.00||$2,128.00||$2,178.00|
|1 oz Proof Gold Eagle||$2,035.00||$2,085.00||$2,135.00||$2,185.00|
|1/2 oz Proof Gold Eagle||$1,031.00||$1,056.00||$1,081.00||$1,106.00|
|1/4 oz Proof Gold Eagle||$528.00||$540.50||$553.00||$565.50|
|1/10 oz Proof Gold Eagle||$225.50||$230.50||$235.50||$240.50|
|Proof Gold Eagle 4-Coin Set||$3,770.50||$3,863.00||$3,955.50||$4,048.00|
In addition to the above coins, the United States Mint is also no longer selling its four 2011 gold coin commemoratives. Those were suspended on August 12. The Mint plans to implement a pricing system for them which is similar to the grid system used on its collector gold coin products.
In another suspension, the Mint on Friday halted sales of two 2010-dated silver sets when silver moved above $42 an ounce. 2011-dated silver coin suspensions are possible if silver shoots higher. The white metal reached as high as $44 an ounce on Monday.
CoinNews.net’s U.S. & World Coins section offers information and specifications for each of the coins listed above.