Precious Metals

Berlin show provides peek at seldom-seen Ukrainian bullion coins

Finding a modern 1-ounce silver bullion coin with a mintage below 25,000 pieces, for about $30 U.S., might seem like an impossible task.

But attendees at the World Money Fair in Berlin in late January and early February had the chance to acquire a coin from Ukraine that fit the bill.

At least one dealer, and the National Bank of Ukraine itself, was selling the 2014 coin for the equivalent of $35 or less. 

Ukraine has offered a bullion program since 2011, beginning the program with 1-ounce and quarter-ounce .9999 fine gold coins and a 1-ounce .9999 fine silver coin. 


In 2012 the program was expanded to include tenth-ounce and half-ounce .9999 fine gold coins.

TopWorldCoins was selling examples of the 2014 silver coin for €25 (about $28.20 U.S.) and the National Bank was selling them for €30 (about $33.83 U.S.).

The 2014 silver bullion coin has a mintage of 24,705 pieces, according to the National Bank, slightly higher than the 2013 mintage of 24,500 pieces. 

Multiple auctions of the 2014 silver bullion coin at over the past month have realized between $30 and $40 U.S. per coin. In comparison, the Perth Mint’s 2014 Year of the Horse 1-ounce silver dollar, which had a sold-out mintage of 300,000 pieces, trades for about $38 today. 

At the time of writing on Feb. 13, four major world bullion sellers — American Precious Metals Exchange, Silvertowne, Modern Coin Mart and Modern Coin Wholesale — did not offer any of the Ukrainian coins, indicating how scarcely the pieces are found in the United States.

Coin World did not inquire about gold bullion coins at the show, but recent prices in Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles’ Jan. 27 and 28 auction suggest opportunities for buyers looking for sleepers.

None of the Ukrainian gold coins, in any of the sizes, have mintages greater than 8,000 pieces. 

For comparison, the Proof 2012-W American Eagle 1-ounce gold $50 coin has a mintage of 14,782 pieces, while the mintage of the 2012 1-ounce gold 20-hryvnia coin from Ukraine totals 5,900 coins. 

The current market value for the U.S. coin is about $1,701. An example of the 2012 1-ounce gold 20-hryvnia coin, graded Mint State 69 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp,. realized $1,586 in the Goldberg auction, some 23 percent above the precious metal or "spot" value of $1,288 at the time of the sale. The auction had a 17.5 percent buyer's fee.

The market valued the rarity of one of the gold Ukrainian coins in the Goldberg auction. The 2011 quarter-ounce 5-hryvnia coin sold in the Goldberg auction has a mintage of 3,000 pieces, and was graded MS-69 by NGC (tied for the finest grade). The coin realized $517, against a spot price of $322.

In comparison, the Proof 2011-W American Eagle quarter-ounce gold $10 coin, with a mintage of 9,971 pieces, has a retail price of $430 to $440 per Professional Coin Grading Service price guide.  

A 2012 tenth-ounce gold 2-hryvnia coin graded MS-68 by NGC realized $212 (compared to a spot metal price of $161) in the Goldberg auction.

A 2013 example of the same coin, graded MS-70 by NGC, realized $294 in the Goldberg sale.

Also offered in the Goldberg sale was a quarter-ounce gold 5-hryrvnia coin from 2013. Graded MS-70 by NGC, it realized $564, compared to a spot price of $322.

Full mintage figures for the Ukrainian series are posted at a special page of the National Bank website.

The Ukrainian bullion coins show the Archangel Michael on the reverse, with text in Ukrainian. 

The obverse of the Ukrainian coins features the coat of arms of Ukraine and the emblem of the National Bank of Ukraine. 

Keep reading about world coins:

Crocodiles on Roman coins most familiar as the emblem of the province of Egypt

First Irish circulating commemorative €2 coin on tap for 2016

Portugal plans to issue Red Cross, Timor discovery circulating €2 coins

Paddington Bear goes to Isle of Man on new coins from Pobjoy Mint

George V gold pattern crown by Wyon realizes $219,364 U.S. in Dix Noonan Webb auction

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