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.
The 2009 Ultra High Relief (UHR) Double Eagle Gold coin was launched by the United States Mint on Jan. 22, 2009. It was the most talked about gold coin of the year.
The 24-karat, .9999 fine gold piece was digitally reproduced from Augustus Saint-Gaudens' original ultra high relief 1907 Double Eagle. The modern versions equaled the beauty of the original strikes, and elicited buying action from those who could justify the expense.
Coin collectors were given until 3 PM ET on Dec. 31, 2009 to place an order for the one-year-only issue. How many were sold through 2009 is now known. A US Mint spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that the final sales number is 115,178.
The UHR $20s were originally offered on January 22, 2009. They were white-hot in their first day, with a blazing 28,173 sold. What makes that number more astonishing is the fact that the Mint had a household order limit of one in place. And at the $1,189 price upon their introduction, representing a premium of over $300 above the melt value of the gold within each coin, the picture of demand becomes more impressive.
Giving collectors just a few more weeks to make their final purchases, sales of the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coins will continue until December 31, 2009, the US Mint announced on Tuesday.
These coins were originally offered on January 22 of this year and were white-hot in their first day, selling an amazing 28,173.
What makes that number even more astonishing is the fact that the Mint was enforcing a household order limit of 1 at the time. Also add in the fact that each coin cost $1,189 upon their introduction, a premium of over $300 above the melt value of the gold they contain, and you can see that interest among collectors for this coin has been high.
In less than a week following their release, another 13,491 coins had been sold bringing the total to 41,664. At this point and into the summer, sales started to level off, rarely reaching over 1,000 during any given week.
The 2009 Ultra High Relief $20 Double Eagle Gold Coin is one of the most exciting US Mint offerings this year with collectors jumping in to purchase 102,311 as of Nov. 1.
Nothing highlights the coin's popularity better than the sizzling sales of 28,173 on their Jan. 22, 2009, launch day. And that was in spite of a recession, a one coin order limit preventing bulk buying and gold hovering around $860 an ounce making the double eagle's issue price $1,189 -- a hefty amount for the average collector.
Flash forward 10 months... The economic picture continues to be cloudy -- worse for some with the unemployment rate now at 10.2%, and gold has touched $1,100 pushing the UHR price up $250 more to $1,439 (and knocking at the door of $1,489). Despite the US Mint lifting order limits, it's not surprising that only 1,607 more were purchased during the last two weeks of October. Throwing aside all the negative factors, it would be rare indeed for sales to be thrashing for months on end.
However, an analysis (see chart below) of eBay completed auctions from September 1 through October 31 shows there is still excitement in the air. Graded MS70 UHRs continue to command solid premiums in the secondary market.
2009 $20 Ultra High Relief Gold Double Eagle sales exploded with a sizzling 28,183 purchased by the end of its Jan. 22 launch day. Action continued to be strong despite the initial $1,189.00 price, which is now considered a dreamy bargain for buyers in today's market. By the following Tuesday, Jan. 27, the number jumped to 41,664. How have they done since? A week-by-week analysis paints the picture.
After Jan., orders settled. As spring started, summer began and then July ended, there were only four times when UHR orders rose above 1,000 a week. In fact, average weekly sales were hitting 875 -- a far cry from the early days.
A higher price for the coin -- up $100 by now -- and the US Mint's mandated one order limit per household was stifling sales. The former was a result of surging gold prices. The latter was proven true on July 27 when the Mint increased household limits from one to ten. Following the change, sales shot up another 3,800 in less than a week. The numbers later moved with several peaks and valleys, but weekly gains easily topped 2,000 until the final days in Sept., or for nearly two months. (In between, the Mint increased order limits to 25 on Aug. 31 and lifted them entirely on Sept. 21.)
UHR $20 Gold Coin order limits will be eliminated on Monday, Sept. 21, the United States Mint announced Wednesday. It is the third change in recent months in a US Mint effort to smartly ratchet up order limits to "ensure the broadest and most fair product access."
The US Mint has added a new message to its online store that states:
Effective September 21, 2009 at 9:00 am (ET): The United States Mint will remove the household order limit on the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin.
UHR coin sales spiked immediately after July 27 when the Mint raised the limit from one to 10 UHRs per household. They began declining following the second limit increase of 10 to 25 on Aug. 31, however, indicating a top order threshold was no longer needed.
2009 UHR $20 Gold Coins will be much easier for coin dealers to purchase going forward. The US Mint is increasing the order limit from 10 per household to 25, according to the following message posted earlier this week on its Web site.
Effective August 31, 2009 at 12:00 noon (ET): The United States Mint will adjust the household order limit on the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin from a limit of ten (10) coins per household to twenty-five (25) coins per household. The household order limit will be re-evaluated on a regular basis and the United States Mint will either extend, adjust or remove the limit as needed.
This is the second consecutive month the US Mint has increased the amount of coins the public can buy.
2009 Ultra High Relief (UHR) Double Eagle Gold coins have topped a new milestone and demand is stronger than ever in the month of August.
New United States Mint sales figures reveal several thousand of the 24-karat gold coins have been sold during the last few days alone. And since the US Mint began offering them on January 22, 2009, a total of 80,700 have been sold.
It is quite an accomplishment and a testament to the popularity of the UHR, given the hefty price tag of nearly $1,300 a piece to acquire one.
The special coin, a digitally reproduced version of Saint-Gaudens' original ultra high relief 1907 Double Eagle gold piece, has been greatly helped by the elimination of the one-coin order limit. On July 27, the UHR limit was raised to ten per household. Since then, weekly sales have more than tripled, as the following table highlights:
An earlier year Senate bill calling for .995 pure palladium one-ounce UHR $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle coins was joined by a House version introduced Thursday, July 30, by Rep. Dennis Rehberg [R-MT]. Both bills seek to produce "coins in palladium to provide affordable opportunities for investments in precious metals."