Precious Metals

2014 American Eagle, Narrow Reeds tenth-ounce gold coin sells

One of just two known examples of the 2014 American Eagle, Narrow Reeds tenth-ounce gold bullion coins was reportedly sold May 14 in a private transaction for $28,650.

Raleigh, N.C., collector Darrell Hicks, who discovered the two coins and subsequently had them submitted to Numismatic Guaranty Corp. for grading and encapsulation, confirmed details of the sale to Coin World on May 19. NGC certified both coins as Mint State 69.

Hicks said he originally purchased the coins raw as bullion coins for $130 each.

To date, the two 2014 coins Hicks discovered are the only examples with the Narrow Reeds edge variant. NGC announced the identification in January of the 2015 American Eagle tenth-ounce gold $5 bullion coins with Narrow Reeds and Wide Reeds edges. Hicks' discovery of the variation on 2014 coins came after that announcement.

Hicks told Coin World he placed the second example he found of the 2014 Narrow Reeds tenth-ounce Eagles in an eBay auction that closed May 1 to test collector interest and establish a value for the edge variant. The eBay auction closed at $5,125.14, but did not sell because the top bid did not meet the reserve Hicks set. Fifty-eight total bids were placed by 10 unique bidders in the eBay auction.

Hicks said he sold the coin privately to one of the collectors who had originally placed bids in the eBay auction. He said the collector drove more than nine hours from his Florida home to pick up the coin in person from Hicks, after agreeing upon the purchase price May 14.

Hicks said he has not determined if or when he may offer at public auction the first example he found of the two 2014 American Eagle, Narrow Reeds gold $5 bullion coins. That coin, too, is graded and encapsulated NGC MS-69.

Narrow vs. Wide Reeds

NGC reported in January that graders had identified two different edge variants of 2015 American Eagle tenth-ounce gold bullion coins — one a Narrow Reeds variant and the other a Wide Reeds variant.

Hicks learned about the two edge variants on 2015 coins, but no similar difference had been certified of the 2014 production. The two 2014 gold bullion coins now verified by NGC were among coins Hicks had planned to sell. In that process, Hicks had taken the two 2014 coins to Golden Isles Coins & Bullion in Raleigh, which submitted the coins for certification on his behalf.

After NGC announced the identification in January of the existence of the two edge variants on the 2015 American Eagle tenth-ounce gold coins, Coin World secured confirmation from the U.S. Mint that multiple edge collars were used as part of the standard tooling. Mint officials deemed the different edge collars as variants, not used in error.

Numismatist Thomas K. DeLorey recognized that the Narrow Reeds variant as matching the finer reeding produced by collars used in 2008 at the West Point Mint for the American Buffalo tenth-ounce gold $5 bullion coins.

NGC graders suggest that collectors and dealers examine American Eagle tenth-ounce gold bullion coins dated 2008 through 2015 looking for examples of Narrow Reeds coins.

Pricing for 2015 variants

The Narrow Reeds versions of the 2015 coins have been bringing premiums over the “regular” Wide Reeds versions, though well below the price claimed for the 2014 coin.  

In recent transactions on eBay, graded 2015 Narrow Reeds examples have sold in a range from $300 to more than $600, depending on grade and any special labels on the slabs. 

The Wide Reeds 2015 coins have been selling for prices generally at bullion value or a bit more, typically ranging from $135 to $175, with prices dependent upon whether a given coin is raw or held in a third-party grading slab.

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