Precious Metals

2017 American Eagle platinum bullion on sale soon

Initial orders for 2017 American Eagle platinum bullion coins will be accepted by the U.S. Mint from authorized purchasers beginning Jan. 23.

The preliminary orders for the 1-ounce .9995 fine platinum bullion coins bearing a $100 face value will be accepted on an allocated basis. U.S. Mint officials did not disclose how many coins will be made available in the initial offering, but the order size the Mint will accept from each approved buyer will be based on the size of their previous bullion coin purchases. 

“After depletion of the initial inventory, the United States Mint may offer additional quantities for release later in 2017,” according to a notice sent to the authorized purchasers from the Mint.

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The U.S. Mint’s last two offerings of American Eagle 1-ounce platinum bullion coins, in 2014 and 2016, were on a limited basis. The authorized purchasers absorbed all of the 14,000 coins offered in 2014 and all of the 20,000 coins in 2016. None were offered in 2015.

The 2014 coins were the first the Mint offered since suspending sales late in calendar year 2008. 2014 was also the last year the U.S. Mint offered fractional versions of the platinum bullion coins. The platinum American Eagle was first introduced in 1997.

How does a normal collector or investor go about getting an American Eagle platinum bullion coin?

The U.S. Mint does not offer its American Eagle bullion coins directly to the public. The coins are offered instead to a network of approved firms, who are referred to as authorized purchasers and who offer a two-way market buying and selling the coins. 

The authorized purchasers buy the coins from the Mint based on the closing London PM spot price of the metal per troy ounce on a given day plus a 4 percent premium.

The coins are then resold to other dealers, collectors and investors for a further markup.

Learn more about how the bullion market works

What’s the value of platinum these days?

As of 9:29 a.m. on Jan. 19, one ounce of platinum was valued at $952, according to Kitco.

For a little context, one ounce of gold was valued at $1,199.60, and one ounce of silver was valued at $16.79.

There is another American Eagle platinum coin the U.S. Mint sells, right?

Yes, that would be the Proof American Eagle platinum coin. Those have been sold every year since 1997. The Proof coins are not sold to authorized purchasers only, but are offered as collectibles directly to the public, like all other Mint collector items.

The Mint on June 30 opened sales for its Proof 2016-W American Eagle platinum coin, and they proved popular. All 10,000 of the 2016 coins sold during the first hour of sales.

Proof coins have a special finish and are meant as collector items. Bullion coins, on the other hand, serve as a means to invest in the precious metal they're made from — in this case, platinum.

For the 20th anniversary of the American Eagle platinum program in 2017, all versions of the coins will bear the original designs from 1997.

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