Precious Metals

Low mintage translates to high prices

Does the grading insert a third-party grading service uses for encapsulating certain coins have an impact on the secondary market prices paid for those coins?

Apparently it can, based on the prices realized for some 2015 American Eagle silver bullion coins whose production can be definitely tied to the Philadelphia Mint.

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The Philadelphia Mint’s mintage of 79,640 American Eagle silver bullion coins is the lowest mintage of the bullion coins from any individual Mint production facility since the series’ introduction in 1986.

The Philadelphia Mint’s total for 2015 is a fraction of the West Point Mint’s total production of 46,920,500 of the 2015 coins.

Completed sales on eBay show several Mint State 69 examples of the 2015 American Eagle silver bullion coins that are graded and encapsulated by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. or Professional Coin Grading Service with labels identifying the coins as from the Philadelphia Mint selling at prices from $540 to as high as $725.

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2015 American Eagle silver bullion coins graded MS-69 by NGC or PCGS but without a source of production identified on the label are selling for less than $40 each on eBay and from bullion retailers.

PCGS MS-70 examples of 2015 American Eagle silver bullion coins labeled as being from first-day production at the West Point Mint are selling online for under $60.

The serial numbers on the 500-coin boxes in which the coins were packed indicate the production facility. The U.S. Mint’s authorized purchasers pick up their coin orders from the West Point facility, packed in these boxes, and many submit the unopened boxes directly to the major grading services.

The bullion coins themselves bear no Mint mark identifying any production site.

Identification of the serial number meanings and the individual facility mintages was the result of Freedom of Information Act requests filed independently in February by Coin World and NGC. FOIA responses were supplied by the U.S. Mint to both parties the third week of April.

The information supplied includes individual mintages of coins dated 2014 through 2017 to the date of the response, at the West Point, Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints.

The San Francisco Mint did not strike any 2015 American Eagle silver bullion coins, according to the provided information. 

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