Fast sellout for Proof 2016 American Eagle platinum coin prompts premiums

Coin sells out in 56 minutes; initial premiums start to fall
By , Coin World
Published : 07/01/16
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Secondary market prices for the Proof 2016-W American Eagle platinum $100 coin rose to more than 30 percent above issue price within hours after the coin became an unofficial sellout, but premiums offered for the coins later began to fall.

Initial demand was so strong that the limited-edition numismatic product was placed in “Currently Unavailable” status within the first hour of sales June 30. That status typically means that the U.S. Mint received enough orders to exhaust the maximum number available, before order cancellations and credit card refusals are factored in the sales total. After orders are reconciled, it remains possible that the coin may become available for sale again.

U.S. Mint officials confirmed July 1 that, at 12:56 p.m. Eastern Time June 30, the product went into “a ‘Currently Unavailable’ status after the Mint received orders totaling the entire mintage of 10,000.”

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The Proof 2016-W American Eagle platinum $100 coin was offered by the U.S. Mint at $1,350 per coin, with orders restricted to one coin per household.

The 10,000-coin maximum mintage for the coin had market watchers speculating whether the issue would be a fast sellout or if examples would remain available long after sales opened, and whether premiums would remain high in the case of a sellout. 

The most recent comparative issue was the Proof 2015-W American Eagle platinum $100 coin. The 2015 coin had a 4,000-coin limit and no household ordering limit. Those two factors helped to ensure that the coin sold out in minutes on the same day the coins were first offered, Dec. 3, 2015. The 2015 coin was priced at $1,200.

So how's the secondary market? 

Within minutes of the sales cutoff for the 2016 coin, eBay had multiple listings for the coins being offered for resale for between $1,750 and $2,000 per coin. Many of the listings are for coins in the original U.S. Mint packaging.

Many of the listings had a Buy It Now and/or Best Offer option. Some of the listings had been for pre-sales, while others were for coins whose sellers claimed they had notice from the U.S. Mint that their order placed June 30 was confirmed.

Several eBay auction listings were in the $1,750 range offering coins graded and encapsulated by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. as Proof 70, Ultra Cameo, Early Release. Early Release designates coins shipped within the first 30 days of a coin first going on sale by the U.S. Mint.

As the day progressed, however, premiums being offered for the coin began to fall, as reported in various online forums. One buyer and seller at the Collectors Universe U.S. Coins forum reported selling four coins he had purchased for a premium of $50 each. Earlier in the day, dealers were offering premiums from $100 to $135 per coin. The falling premiums led to buyer’s remorse for some purchasers, some of whom then canceled their orders.

Ordering process goes smoothly

The sale of the 2016 American Eagle platinum coin triggered few complaints despite the fast switch in status to “Currently Unavailable.” Coin World’s Facebook post regarding the sale prompted no complaints. 

Previous big U.S. Mint releases have come with complaints from customers who experienced issues with the Mint's online ordering platform. Perhaps most notably was the 2015 Dwight D. Eisenhower Coin and Chronicles set, when the site went down for approximately 4 minutes after the sets went on sale.

More on the coin's design

The 2016 Proof coin is the second in the two-year Torches of Liberty design series.

The 2016-W coin’s obverse bears a modern rendition of Liberty as represented by the Statue of Liberty. The obverse has appeared on all versions of the American Eagle platinum coin since the series was introduced in 1997. John Mercanti, sculptor-engraver for the U.S. Mint at the time, designed and sculptured the design.

The “Torch of Enlightenment” reverse design for 2016 reflects the nation’s core values of liberty and freedom. 

The design depicts Liberty holding a torch of enlightenment in her right hand and an olive branch in her left to symbolize peace. The 13 olives represent the 13 original colonies. A bald eagle with outstretched wings appears beside Liberty.

United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Paul C. Balan executed the 2016 reverse design; it was sculptured by U.S. Mint Medallic Sculptor Joseph F. Menna. 

The 2015 coin bears a reverse titled “Liberty Nurtures Freedom,” showing Liberty feeding an American bald eagle that represents Freedom.

The 2016 coin is packaged in a custom-designed presentation case, allowing the 2015 and 2016 coins to be displayed together.

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