Precious Metals

Gold, silver prices move up

Perhaps the most coveted 2009 $20 Saint-Gaudens, Ultra High Relief coins on the market are MS-70 Prooflike examples with inserts signed by John Mercanti. This one realized $5,503 in an online auction that closed Aug. 28.

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The rare coin market has welcomed a modest jump in the prices of gold and silver over the past several weeks after what’s been a rather slow summer for the precious metal markets.

Gold, which spent the better part of July hovering around the $1,600 an ounce level, jumped to the $1,675 level in the last week of August. Silver spent most of July and August at the $27 to $28 an ounce level, approaching the $31 level by the end of the month.

The market has thinned during the past several months for at least one popular precious metal issue. The 2009 Saint-Gaudens, Ultra High Relief $20 coin has seen a decline in price over the past month.

On eBay, examples graded Mint State 69 can be found for less than $2,500. For example, on Aug. 20, two examples graded MS-69 by Professional Coin Grading Service realized $2,295 each.

At the end of July these same coins were selling at the $3,000 level.

2009 Ultra High Relief coins with Prooflike designations continue to sell for premiums, with the most expensive examples being those graded MS-70 Prooflike, housed in PCGS holders with a special label signed by John M. Mercanti, the former chief engraver of the U.S. Mint.

These examples can bring as much as $6,000. One was offered in an online auction that closed on Aug. 28 where it brought $5,503 after receiving 38 bids.

The long-term demand for 2009 Ultra High Relief coins is nearly certain, provided that the 2009 coins remain a unique one-year issue and the concept is not duplicated for later issues.

Its 2009 mintage of more than 100,000 pieces means, though, that this coin will never be rare. Relative to the First Spouse $10 gold coins, some of which have mintages of fewer than 5,000, the 2009 Ultra High Relief $20 double eagle is barely even scarce.

September marks the start of the fall coin show season. Whitman’s Philadelphia Coin and Collectibles Expo in Philadelphia — typically held in the autumn — won’t be held this year since the city hosted the American Numismatic Association’s convention in August. Whitman’s Philadelphia show will return in 2013.

The next major show is California’s Long Beach Expo, Sept. 6 to 8, which features major U.S. coin, paper currency and world coin auctions by Heritage. ¦

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