2009 Fractional American Gold Eagle bullion coins are in the history books with leading sales figures, despite their late launch and quick sell out.
Having only been released on Dec. 3, 2009, the coins in the fractional sizes of one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce weights recorded smashing release day sales — 345,000 were sold for a total of 58,000 ounces of gold.
On the very next day, the United States Mint announced that the supply of the smallest size was depleted, and that the other two sizes were nearly exhausted. It offered the remaining bullion coins in an allocated process, and then suspended sales until the final 2009 inventory was produced from available in house blank supplies.
The Mint started reselling these on Monday, Dec. 14. In just over a week, the mintages of the 1/2 oz and the 1/4 oz weights nearly doubled. All the fractional coins completely sold out. The final sales figures follow:
2009 Gold Eagle Bullion Mintages
|2009 1/2 oz Eagle||110,000|
|2009 1/4 oz Eagle||110,000|
|2009 1/10 oz Eagle||270,000|
Traditionally, eagles have been available through most of a year. That was not the case for 2009 where the fractionals were available for less than a month. But in that short time, more were sold than in all of 2008. When 2009 levels are compared to the years dating back to the series launch in 1986, the 1/2 oz and 1/4 oz coins rank fifth all-time in the amount sold, as the following chart illustrates:
Fractional American Gold Eagle Sales by Year: 1986-2009
The stronger years for the two options were 1986, 1987, 1998 and 1999. Sales of the 2009 1/10 oz coins fell in the middle of the pack.
The Mint is still offering the one-ounce size in an allocated basis, and will continue to do so "through the end of the year and into 2010 as long as inventories remain." 1,300,500 were sold for the year as of Dec. 28. Last week the Mint announced that it would place 2010 Eagle coins on sale beginning Jan. 19.
Although a preliminary 2010 schedule for 39 products has already been published by the Mint, the release dates for the numismatic 2010 versions are not available. Collectors will recall that in early October the US Mint canceled 2009 proof and uncirculated eagles because of the enormous bullion coin demand, stating in part:
"All available 22-karat gold and silver bullion blanks are being allocated to the American Eagle Gold and American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin Programs, as mandated by Public Law 99-185 and Public Law 99-61, respectively."
Both laws direct the agency to produce the coins in quantities sufficient to meet public demand. The proof and uncirculated versions of the American Eagle Gold and Silver Proof Coins are not mandated by law.
The US Mint sells bullion coins for a small amount over the current spot price of gold, but only to authorized purchasers. The authorized purchasers in turn resell the coins to coin dealers, precious metal providers and/or directly to the public.
The above sales table and mintage chart use the data provided by the US Mint at http://usmint.gov/mint_programs/american_eagles/index.cfm?action=sales&year=2009.
About the United States Mint
The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage. Its primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.