The U.S. Mint sold out of its individually packaged Proof 2012-W American Eagle silver dollar on Nov. 13. The sudden end to sales put demand on existing Proof 1986 to 2012 issues and prices increased substantially in the following two weeks.
The swift and steady rise in prices for all Proof silver American Eagles on the wholesale market suggested that market makers were taken by surprise by the Mint’s announcement. Pressure will be exerted on the existing supply until 2013 when the Proof 2013-W coins are issued. It’s presently unknown when the Mint will release these 2013 issues.
The Proof 2012-W American Eagle silver dollar went on sale April 12, priced at $59.95. The price was reduced to $54.95 on July 25 and went back up to $59.95 on Oct. 10.
As of Nov. 27, market makers were paying $73.50 for all Proof silver American Eagles in correct original Mint packaging consisting of the proper outer cardboard box, inner velvet box and certificate of authenticity. Those lacking the official accoutrements sell at a $5 discount.
The climb for these issues has been steep. Immediately before the sellout, large buyers were paying $58, raising that price to $62 immediately after the Mint’s announcement. Prices then moved up around a dollar a day until Nov. 26 when they hit $73.50.
Some market makers have stopped buying since they have supplies sufficient for their immediate needs and the immediate demand has calmed a bit.
These sharp increases mean that relative price differences between common and scarcer issues in the series all but vanish.
This summer the price difference between a Proof 1994-P and common 2010-W issues approached $50. Today the difference is around $10 to $15. When common issues become pricier, scarcer issues, which also include the Proof 1993-P and 1995-P coins, can seem underpriced.
The key Proof 1995-W silver American Eagle is in a class of its own and defies easy comparison to other issues in terms of price.
Another recent issue, the 2012 American Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Silver Proof set is selling for a modest premium over its $149.95 issue price. Sets in online auctions like eBay are currently trading at the $175 to $180 level, representing a profit for initial buyers, but certainly no windfall. ■