The Perth Mint has just released two new silver coins with the popular Wedge-Tailed Eagle design by retired U.S. Mint engraver John Mercanti.
A Proof Wedge-Tailed Eagle 1-ounce .999 fine silver dollar is joined by a high relief Proof Wedge-Tailed Eagle 5-ounce .999 fine silver $8 coin.
These two new coins follow the successful release in January of two high relief Proof versions bearing the same Mercanti design, a 1-ounce .999 fine silver dollar and a 1-ounce .999 fine gold $100 coin, both of which quickly sold out after their Jan. 7 launch.
The newer coins were officially launched at midnight May 6 in Western Australia (where the Perth Mint is located) for distribution in Australia and the world outside the United States. However, U.S. distributor GovMint.com has been exclusively offering them in the United States for several months.
While the newer silver dollar shares a common design, fineness, weight and Proof finish with the previously released silver dollar, the newer coins differs in two categories: relief and diameter. The newer silver dollar has a flatter relief than the earlier high relief coin, but it has a diameter of 40.6 millimeters, significantly larger than the 32.6-millimeter diameter of the high relief version.
All of the coins carry Mercanti’s design of an eagle in mid-flight as it prepares to land on a tree branch. Mercanti’s initials are hidden in the branch.
The coin obverses show the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
The May 6 launch (at noon Eastern Daylight Time May 5 in the United States) makes the coins available to the rest of the world market. Both new coins have a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces, and are expected to sell out, especially given the strong demand in the market for all four coins already.
Encapsulated, graded versions of the new 5-ounce $8 coin are selling in the secondary market for around $500, depending on grade, grading firm, and sale date. GovMint.com only sells the coins already graded; an official issue price was unavailable (and GovMint.com has apparently sold out its supply of the coin). Secondary market prices for the standard Proof silver dollar have settled around $100 to $150, after being around $200 for March and part of April (the GovMint.com website currently offers the Proof example at $99).
Via online auction site eBay.com, the secondary market evidences strong demand for the first two coins as well.