US Coins

2015-W American Eagle coin in Proof is becoming a hit

The Proof 2015-W American Eagle platinum $100 coin sold out within minutes of its Dec. 3, 2015, issue and examples are selling on the secondary market for hearty premiums over the U.S. Mint’s initial $1,200 price.

Image courtesy of the United States Mint

The fast sellout of the Proof 2015-W American Eagle platinum $100 coin took some by surprise, if only because they had forgotten about the U.S. Mint’s platinum coin series. 

The first release of a special two-year series, the coin features the “Liberty Nurtures Freedom” design that depicts Liberty and an American bald eagle, representing Freedom. 

With a mintage limit of 4,000 coins and a household ordering limit of just one coin per household, it sold out within minutes of the Dec. 3 launch at an issue price of $1,200.

Considering that platinum was hovering at the $850 an ounce level at the launch, the issue price represented a substantial premium, yet the price did not scare away buyers. One thing making this issue attractive is that the low mintage of 4,000 coins is lower than the final sales level of previous coins in the series — the Proof 2014-W platinum coin sold 4,596 pieces — and the Mint is releasing no other platinum bullion coins in 2015. 

Unlike with some other recent issues from the U.S. Mint that sold out, many major market makers were not able to secure sufficient supplies from the Mint, meaning that they must secure examples on the secondary market. 

Collectors who were quick on their computers and able to buy a Proof 2015-W American Eagle platinum $100 coin directly from the Mint were able to immediately cash in. On Dec. 3, the same day that the coins went on sale, numerous pieces were offered as “buy it now” listings on eBay at the $1,550 to $1,600 level. 

Within days of the sellout, wholesale dealers were seeking to buy examples in Mint-sealed boxes for $1,700 to $1,800. By Dec. 10, prices had increased to $2,000 to $2,100 and those with examples to sell were asking $2,250 to $2,300 on popular dealer-to-dealer message boards. 

On eBay, uncertified examples described as “in hand and ready to ship” were selling via auctions at the $2,300 level on Dec. 13, while the least expensive one available for “buy it now” was at the $2,200 level.

Those certified by third-party grading services were enjoying even stronger premiums. An example graded Proof 70 Ultra Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. with the firm’s Early Release label brought $3,795 as a “buy it now” on Dec. 13. 

The success of the platinum issue was a nice way to end the year for collectors, especially for those who thought they would be able to cash in on the 2015-W American Liberty, High Relief gold $100 coin but could not. 

That issue went on sale July 30, 2015, at $1,490 per coin and saw the majority of its sales in the first week, with 41,930 sold as of Aug. 2. Sales as of Dec. 6 stand at 46,526 of the allowed mintage of 50,000 coins. Examples are trading on the secondary market below the Mint’s issue price, making a sellout of the gold coin in the 2015 calendar year unlikely. 

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