Volatile precious metals have already affected one category of coins issued by the United States Mint. The bureau on Monday suspended numismatic silver products due to plunging silver prices.
And now, for a third straight week, the Mint on Wednesday is expected to implement price cuts on its collector gold coins due to plummeting gold prices. Since gold has fallen to such an extent, coin prices are likely to be cut deeper than normal.
[Update: The United States Mint reduced coin prices to their expected prices at approximately 1:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Due to lower platinum costs, the Mint also trimmed the American Eagle Platinum Proof Coin by $200 from $2,092.00 to $1,892.00. Most affected products had their ordering option frozen for about an hour during the price adjustments.]
The United States Mint uses a pricing methodology which predominantly relies on a weekly average of gold from the previous Thursday to current Wednesday. If the average falls or rises within a different Mint specified $50 range, coin prices are adjusted accordingly.
Last week prices were reduced for collector gold coins when the precious metal dipped between $1,750.00 and $1,799.99 an ounce. While the Wednesday London AM fix for gold must be considered, the current average using eight of the available nine fixings has the yellow metal well within the Mint’s price setting range of $1,650.00 to $1,699.99 an ounce, or two tiers below the current level. That calls for double-sized cuts, which should be:
|US Mint Product||Current Price||Expected Price||Price Cut|
|Uncirculated First Spouse Coins||$1,041.00||$991.00||$50.00|
|Proof First Spouse Coins||$1,054.00||$1,004.00||$50.00|
|American Gold Buffalo||$2,060.00||$1,960.00||$100.00|
|1 oz Uncirculated Gold Eagle||$2,028.00||$1,928.00||$100.00|
|1 oz Proof Gold Eagle||$2,035.00||$1,935.00||$100.00|
|1/2 oz Proof Gold Eagle||$1,031.00||$981.00||$50.00|
|1/4 oz Proof Gold Eagle||$528.00||$503.50||$25.00|
|1/10 oz Proof Gold Eagle||$225.50||$215.50||$10.00|
|Proof Gold Eagle 4-Coin Set||$3,770.50||$3,585.50||$185.00|
The above price reductions would range from $10 to $185.00. Before any price adjustments are made and based on past implementations, the United States Mint is expected to freeze product ordering late Wednesday morning for several minutes until the new prices have been set.
The one-half ounce, 24-karat First Spouse coins expected to be affected include both the proof and uncirculated versions honoring Lucy Hayes, Julia Grant and Eliza Johnson as well as the proof honoring Mary Todd Lincoln (Lincoln’s uncirculated version is no longer offered).
United States Mint investment-grade coins, like the bullion versions of the 22-karat American Eagle and 24-karat American Buffalo, do not have a fixed weekly price like proof and uncirculated collector gold coins. They are instead sold for a small amount over the current price of the precious metal they contain.