One of the most sought after coins released by the United States Mint last year was the 2009 Ultra High Relief $20 Double Eagle Gold Coin.
These Ultra High Relief (UHR) strikes were so desired that an amazing 28,173 flew off US Mint’s shelves in the very first day of availability (January 22, 2009). And that was with a one per household order limit in place. They sold for $1,189. That accounted for a premium of almost $330 over the then current spot price of the one ounce of gold they contained. But that would prove to be a bargain when gold continued to climb the rest of the year.
By the 31st of December, the last day in which the Mint was accepting orders for the UHRs, their $1,489 purchase price was the highest it had been all year — exactly three hundred dollars over where they started. Final sales figures show a total of 115,178 were sold. Now, the only place to purchase the gold pieces is from the secondary market. Not surprisingly, prices have not gone down. Graded examples are higher than ever.
UHR Values Seen on eBay
Analyzing the first 45 days of this year (which is also the first 45 days in which the UHR’s were not available from the Mint), almost 150 non-graded strikes appeared on eBay. The average price paid for them was $1553, or $62 over the highest price ever charged by the Mint. The trend line showed very little price fluctuation from the beginning to the end of the 45 days. On the low end, some lucky buyer only paid $1,255.99 for one. That was offset by several other buyers paying around $1,750.
Moving on to graded UHRs, there was nearly one new MS69 listing per day during the 45-day period. Considered almost perfect, with perhaps a few miniscule imperfections, these coins realized an average price of $1,644. Someone even paid $2,500 for a "proof like" MS69.
Raising the bar even further were the hundred plus MS70 coins. They averaged over $2,300. Graded in perfect condition, these definitely commanded a premium. Multiple MS70s topped $4,000, if they were also graded proof like.
In taking a look back, these secondary market premiums are higher than what buyers were paying in September and October.
While the prices seem lofty, they are actually nothing compared to what one seller was asking for a Mint Error MS69 UHR. Graded by NGC as a “OBV STRUCK THRU”, it premiered on eBay last month at $38,000. Not selling, it appeared once again for $25,000 where it remained unsold. Nevertheless, the error coin will undoubtedly find a home eventually, and at an elevated price.
To check out current UHR gold prices and bids, see the coin listings on eBay.
About the 2009 Ultra High Relief
Created as a faithful reproduction of Augustus Saint-Gaudens famed 1907 $20 Double Eagle gold piece, which is considered by many to be the most beautiful coin ever struck by the US Mint, the 2009 version was minted from one ounce of 24-karat, .9999 fine gold to a relatively small diameter of 27 mm. This smaller size allowed the one ounce of gold to have a thickness of 4 mm providing enough depth for the ultra high relief design to be struck.
The obverse contains Saint-Gaudens image of Lady Liberty in a flowing gown holding the torch of freedom in one hand and an olive branch in the other. The reverse shows a young bald eagle flying over a sunrise.