A dynamic shift in pricing for US gold and platinum collector coins is underway, according to a United States Mint notice published Tuesday by the Federal Register, which is the official daily source for rules, proposed rules, and notices of government agencies and organization.
Instead of static pricing, coin prices will be primarily determined and actively adjusted according to the London Fix weekly average. The Mint said this was to "mitigate the effect that fluctuating gold and platinum commodity costs" has on coins. The London Fix is used as a price benchmark for immediate silver, gold and platinum delivery.
The new policy is scheduled to take affect on Monday, January 12. Properly executed, it should help restore confidence to the Mint pricing process. In late 2007 and throughout 2008, volatile swings in silver, gold and platinum prices caused havoc as the Mint was often slow to adjust coin prices. The Mint’s new policy is much more like an open book. It contains tables of coin prices based on ranges of bullion prices, to include the upcoming 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin.
The Mint notice follows:
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
United States Mint
Notification of New Pricing Methodology for Numismatic Products Containing Platinum and Gold Coins
SUMMARY: The United States Mint is implementing a new pricing methodology for its numismatic products containing platinum and gold coins to mitigate the effect that fluctuating gold and platinum commodity costs has on the pricing of these products. The new pricing methodology is based primarily on the London Fix weekly average (average of the London Fix prices covering the previous Thursday a.m. Fix through the Wednesday a.m. Fix) platinum and gold prices, which reflect the market value of the platinum and gold bullion that these products contain. As required by law, the prices of these products also must be sufficient to recover all other costs incurred by the United States Mint, such as the cost of minting, marketing, and distributing such products (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and promotional and overhead expenses). This pricing methodology will allow the United States Mint to change the prices of these products as often as weekly so they better reflect the costs of platinum and gold on the open markets.
DATES: The new pricing methodology, as further explained in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section, will go into effect on January 12, 2009.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: B.B. Craig, Associate Director for Sales and Marketing; United States Mint; 801 Ninth Street, NW.; Washington , DC 20220; or call 202-354-7500.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to the authority that 31 U.S.C. 5111(a)(3), 5112(i), 5112(k), 5112(o), and 5112(q) grant the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue gold and platinum coins and to prepare and distribute numismatic items, the United States Mint sells to the public numismatic products containing American Eagle Gold and Platinum Coins, American Buffalo Gold Coins, First Spouse Gold Coins, and the 2009 United States Mint Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin. In accordance with 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)(2)(B), the United States Mint is changing the prices of these coins to reflect a new methodology in pricing.
Effective January 12, 2009, the United States Mint will commence selling numismatic products containing American Eagle Gold and Platinum Coins, American Buffalo Gold Coins, First Spouse Gold Coins, and the 2009 United States Mint Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin at prices established by using the new pricing methodology. Specifically, each Wednesday, the United States Mint will apply the average London Fix for platinum and gold (average of the London Fix prices covering the previous Thursday A.M. Fix through the Wednesday A.M. Fix) to the below pricing schedules. Price adjustments as a result of this process, if any, will be effective at 10 a.m. E.S.T. on the immediately following Thursday.
To view the entire notice, which includes tables of coin prices, read the Federal Register PDF: Mint Gold and Platinum Pricing Policy.