The 2009-W Julia Tyler First Spouse gold $10 bullion coin is
currently the series’ low-mintage champ with 2,188 Uncirculated and
3,878 Proof strikes.
Unsurprisingly, the Julia Tyler coins carry a premium value in
both certified and “raw” states.
In two June 5 eBay auctions, a Julia Tyler coin graded Proof 70
Deep Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service and designated as a
“First Strike” sold for $2,801. A First Strike PCGS Mint State 70
Julia Tyler coin sold for $2,825. The Proof 70 coin had 19 bids; the
MS-70 piece, 27 bids.
Selling the coins in their original Mint packaging on June 25,
APMEX was charging a $600 premium for the Uncirculated Julia Tyler
coin ($1,595); the Uncirculated Letitia Tyler coin cost $986.
According to the U.S. Mint, however, some 2011 First Spouse coins
may be poised to give “Queen Julia” a run for her money.
Based on its weekly sales figures ending June 4, the Mint reports
selling only 1,798 Lucretia Garfield and 2,092 Lucy Hayes Uncirculated
coins. Similarly, low sales are being reported for Proof coins for
Garfield (2,781) and Hayes (3,234).
Most of the 2011 Uncirculated and Proof coins, though, continue to
remain available for purchase from the Mint. As this issue of Coin
World went to press, sales have ended only for the Uncirculated Eliza
Johnson coin (2,914 strikes at last report) and Julia Grant Proof coin
(3,969 coins). At some point soon, the Mint will cut off remaining
2011 First Spouse coin sales, anticipating the 2012 coins, though no
release dates for these have been announced.
When buying or selling First Spouse coins, collectors should keep
in mind that comparative rarity does not always translate into a
significant premium. For example, an Uncirculated 2009-W Margaret
Taylor coin (3,430 strikes) graded MS-70 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.,
sold for $911.99 in a June 24 eBay auction. Three days earlier, an
Uncirculated 2007-W Martha Washington coin (17,661 strikes), also
graded MS-70 by NGC, sold for $979.95 — over $67 more. Since 2008, the
second year of the program, no First Spouse coin, Proof or
Uncirculated, has exceeded sales of 8,000. In early 2010, in response
to falling demand, the Mint lowered the maximum mintage for the series
from 20,000 strikes each to a 15,000-total strike limit, inclusive of
both Uncirculated and Proof strikes. ■