On Wednesday, collectors are likely to see the U.S. Mint lower its price for the 2011-W Proof American Platinum Eagle. The current Platinum Eagle price of $1,892.00 should drop $100 to $1,792.00. That would be $300 lower than when the coin was first introduced in May 2011 at $2,092.00.
In order for a reduction to kick-in, Wednesday’s London PM Fix for platinum needs to be is less than $1,550.00 an ounce. That likelihood is high since today’s PM Fix was $1,514.00 an ounce and the current spot price is down even further at $1,504.00 an ounce.
[Update: The United States did in fact reduce the Eagle’s price. As of 11:45 AM ET on Wednesday, the proof coin was available for $1,792.00. As expected, prices for the bureau’s numismatic gold coins remained the same.]
U.S. Mint’s Coin Pricing Process
The U.S. Mint uses a weekly average of the London Fix for gold and platinum to judge whether to adjust pricing on coins composed of them. The average is compared to a set of pre-determined levels which are posted on a grid found on the U.S. Mint’s website (see a PDF of it here). The prices from Thursday AM through Wednesday AM are used to calculate the weekly average, and then the Wednesday PM is used as a directional indicator.
The range used for the current Proof Platinum Eagle price is between $1,550.00 and $1,649.99. As of today the average is $1,533.66, which is clearly lower. But the U.S. Mint will not make changes unless the direction component — the Wednesday PM Fix — agrees.
In short, a $100 price cut for the Eagle will occur Wednesday if:
- the AM Fix is less than $1,648.00 an ounce and
- the PM Fix is less than $1,550.00 an ounce
The 2011-W Proof American Platinum Eagle may be purchased directly from the United States Mint website at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or directly here, and by phone at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). The Mint has yet to indicate when the 2012-dated Eagle will be released.
Pricing on Numismatic Gold Coins
For numismatic gold coins, on the other hand, the likelihood that the United States Mint will change their prices is minute. The London Fix average for gold has held easily between $1,600.00 and $1,649.99, which is the current price setting area. The weekly average as of today was $1,630.50. It would take a sudden and nearly $200 swing in gold prices for the Mint to adjust prices on its gold coins.
If the U.S. Mint changes the price of the Proof Platinum Eagle, it will temporarily suspend its sales while changes are made and tested. This usually occurs between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. ET.
The last time the U.S. Mint changed the Platinum Eagle’s price was on March 28, 2012.