It’s been a busy few weeks for the coin market as dealers have had
to adjust to rapidly moving bullion prices and a shortage of American
Eagle silver bullion coins.
At the start of 2013 silver was hovering at the $30 to $32 an
ounce level, dropping to $28 at the start of April. The price then
dropped from $27.40 on April 12 to $23.54 on April 15, and dipped
below $23 an ounce as of April 23.
Many collectors and investors looked at silver’s sharp downturn as
a buying opportunity and took advantage of lower bullion prices to
stock up on classic circulated 90 percent silver U.S. coins and
American Eagle silver bullion coins. As a result, premiums on these
types of bullion-related coins have increased recently.
Demand for the 2013 American Eagle silver bullion coins reached a
record high in January as 7,498,000 coins were sold to authorized
purchasers. This high demand, combined with a planchet shortage, has
created a supply issue. While the typical wholesale premium for new
silver American Eagles is around $2.25 over the spot price, as of
April 23, the wholesale premium was $4 to $4.50 over silver spot.
The retail premiums are even higher, with 2013 issues on eBay
selling for $33 to $36 with free shipping, a hearty premium of $10 to
$13 an ounce over the April 23 spot price of $23 an ounce.
Proof silver American Eagles have had a bumpy ride as wholesale
prices for examples with original Mint packaging have fallen for all
but the low-mintage 1994 coin, where wholesale prices rose from $85 at
the start of April to $100 per coin. As of April 24, the Mint’s
website listed Proof 2013-W silver American Eagles as temporarily
unavailable, for product repricing.
Collectors seeking to speculate in coins a bit will have their
chance in May with the release of the 2013 American Eagle West Point
Two-Coin set featuring the new Enhanced Uncirculated 2013-W coin — the
first of its finish type.
It is scheduled to be released on May 9, priced at $139.95, with a
launch coinciding with the American Numismatic Association National
Money Show in New Orleans. The set will have a 30-day ordering window.
The ordering window concept was introduced last year with the 2012
American Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Silver Proof set. That set was
offered at $149.95, and around 225,000 were sold. In online auctions
the 2012 sets are now trading at the $180 level. ■