Mint introduces gold commem pricing grid

Volatile metals market drives revision to program
Published : 09/08/11
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The U.S. Mint introduced a new methodology for pricing gold $5 half eagle commemorative coins “to mitigate the effect that fluctuating gold commodity costs has on the pricing of these products.”

According to the Mint’s “Notice of New Pricing Methodology,” published in the Aug. 26 Federal Register, the new system is based primarily on the London Fix weekly average. The London Fix weekly average is the average of the London Fix prices from a Thursday A.M. Fix through the subsequent Wednesday A.M. Fix.

A new pricing grid was implemented to reprice the Proof and Uncirculated 2011-W U.S. Army and Medal of Honor half eagles. They are the first U.S. commemorative coin programs the U.S. Mint has repriced after commencement of sales at regular prices. For previous programs, regular issue prices remained in effect for the life of the commemorative coin program, after a scheduled introductory price period.

Sales of the U.S. Army and Medal of Honor half eagles were suspended shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern Time Aug. 11 for repricing, with sales resuming at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 25. The Proof half eagles were repriced at $534.30 and the Uncirculated coins at $524.30 when sales resumed Aug. 25.

The pricing grid for the gold commemorative coins is separate from the grid used for pricing other gold numismatic products that was introduced in January 2009.

The pricing grid for commemorative coins can be found online at The pricing grid for noncommemorative gold and platinum numismatic products is posted at

According to the U.S. Mint’s Aug. 26 Federal Register notice, numismatic commemorative products containing 0.2431 fine troy ounce of gold and carrying a $35 surcharge will be subject to the new pricing grid for gold commemoratives. The specifications and surcharge given in the document are those for the gold $5 half eagle.

“Specifically, each Wednesday, the United States Mint will apply the average London Fix for gold (average of the London Fix prices covering the previous Thursday A.M. Fix through the Wednesday A.M. Fix) to the below pricing schedules,” according to the Federal Register Aug. 26 notice. “Price adjustments as a result of this process, if any, will be effective at 10 a.m. E.T. on the immediately following Thursday.”

Mint officials emphasize in the Aug. 26 notice that “as required by law, commemorative coins must be sold at a price equal to the sum of the face value of the coins, the surcharge with respect to such coins, and the cost of designing and issuing the coins (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping).”

“This pricing methodology will allow the United States Mint to change the prices of these products as often as weekly so they better reflect the costs of gold for these coins.” ■

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