The U.S. Mint introduced a new methodology for pricing gold $5 half
eagle commemorative coins “to mitigate the effect that fluctuating
gold commodity costs has on the pricing of these products.”
According to the Mint’s “Notice of New Pricing Methodology,”
published in the Aug. 26 Federal Register, the new system is based
primarily on the London Fix weekly average. The London Fix weekly
average is the average of the London Fix prices from a Thursday A.M.
Fix through the subsequent Wednesday A.M. Fix.
A new pricing grid was implemented to reprice the Proof and
Uncirculated 2011-W U.S. Army and Medal of Honor half eagles. They are
the first U.S. commemorative coin programs the U.S. Mint has repriced
after commencement of sales at regular prices. For previous programs,
regular issue prices remained in effect for the life of the
commemorative coin program, after a scheduled introductory price period.
Sales of the U.S. Army and Medal of Honor half eagles were
suspended shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern Time Aug. 11 for repricing,
with sales resuming at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 25. The Proof half eagles were
repriced at $534.30 and the Uncirculated coins at $524.30 when sales
resumed Aug. 25.
The pricing grid for the gold commemorative coins is separate from
the grid used for pricing other gold numismatic products that was
introduced in January 2009.
The pricing grid for commemorative coins can be found online at http://catalog.usmint.gov/wcsstore/ConsumerDirect/images/catalog/en_US/CommemGoldCoinGrid.pdf.
The pricing grid for noncommemorative gold and platinum numismatic
products is posted at http://catalog.usmint.gov/wcsstore/ConsumerDirect/images/catalog/en_US/GoldCoinGrid.pdf.
According to the U.S. Mint’s Aug. 26 Federal Register notice,
numismatic commemorative products containing 0.2431 fine troy ounce of
gold and carrying a $35 surcharge will be subject to the new pricing
grid for gold commemoratives. The specifications and surcharge given
in the document are those for the gold $5 half eagle.
“Specifically, each Wednesday, the United States Mint will apply
the average London Fix for gold (average of the London Fix prices
covering the previous Thursday A.M. Fix through the Wednesday A.M.
Fix) to the below pricing schedules,” according to the Federal
Register Aug. 26 notice. “Price adjustments as a result of this
process, if any, will be effective at 10 a.m. E.T. on the immediately
Mint officials emphasize in the Aug. 26 notice that “as required
by law, commemorative coins must be sold at a price equal to the sum
of the face value of the coins, the surcharge with respect to such
coins, and the cost of designing and issuing the coins (including
labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses,
marketing, and shipping).”
“This pricing methodology will allow the United States Mint to
change the prices of these products as often as weekly so they better
reflect the costs of gold for these coins.” ■