The U.S. Mint saw
a golden opportunity in 2016 and issued .9999 fine gold versions of
the Winged Liberty Head dime, Standing Liberty quarter dollar and
Walking Liberty half dollar to mark the 100th anniversary of each
coin’s original production in .900 fine silver.
The coins were struck on tenth-ounce, quarter-ounce and half-ounce
gold planchets, respectively, that met the specifications the U.S.
Mint used for last producing fractional American Buffalo gold bullion
coins in 2008.
The coins exhibit a “business strike” finish, according to U.S. Mint
officials, without any special planchet or die treatment. Major
grading services are calling the finish “Specimen.”
Connect with Coin World:
up for our free eNewsletter
Follow us on Twitter
The release of each Centennial gold numismatic product was met with
both heavy anticipation (that quickly morphed into disappointment)
and mild controversy, both seen most with the Winged Liberty Head dime.
Critics argued before its April 21 release that the 2016-W gold
dime’s 10-coin-per-household ordering limit was way too high for the
only 125,000 coins being made available, at $205 per coin.
The entire mintage was seemingly absorbed within 40 minutes of its
noon ET launch, disappointing numerous collectors unable to obtaining
even one coin for their collections.
Within two weeks of their release, after customers who successfully
ordered the coins began to receive them, some of the gold dimes began
a return trip to the Mint. Coins were returned for refunds because of
damage to the coins or packaging, or because customers who ordered
multiple coins were unable to flip them for the quick profit they had anticipated.
The returns joined other examples retained at the U.S. Mint’s
contracted order fulfillment center in Memphis, Tenn., that were never
shipped, because of expired credit cards or other obstacles that
prevented successful order processing. Shortly, the Mint found it had
an inventory of 8,000 to 9,000 examples of the “sold out” coins.
Officials placed the Winged Liberty Head gold dimes back on sale
Dec. 15 priced at $200 each. Mint officials refused to state the exact
number of coins offered Dec. 15, but this time they limited sales to
one per household and prohibited anyone who purchased them previously
from acquiring an additional coin.
The second round of sales lasted about 90 minutes, after which the
dimes were again described as sold out at the Mint website. The Mint’s
Dec. 11 weekly sales report, the last report before
Round Two of sales began, showed 116,096 coins sold; the Dec. 18 chart
shows a total of 124,950 coins sold.
Examples of the dimes graded Specimen 70 by either Professional Coin
Grading Service or Numismatic Guaranty Corp. are offered at a
number of retail sources for just under $300 each.
Standing Liberty 25¢
The 2016-W Standing Liberty gold quarter dollars was released at
noon ET Sept. 8 priced at $485 per coin, with a household ordering
limit of two coins. The issue has a maximum mintage of 100,000 coins.
On Sept. 21, U.S. Mint officials lifted the household ordering restrictions.
As of the Mint’s Dec. 18 sales report, the gold quarter dollar’s
total sales had reached 85,325, more than 14,000 coins short of its
maximum. The price of the coin was last changed to $447.50 per coin.
The coin remains available from the Mint, and officials have not
disclosed whether they will offer any remaining coins on into 2017.
Walking Liberty 50¢
The maximum number of three-coin Centennial gold sets that may be
assembled is 70,000 — the maximum mintage for the 2016-W Walking
Liberty gold half dollar.
The gold half dollar went on sale at noon ET Nov. 17 at $865 per
coin, with a household ordering limit of three coins. Less than two
weeks after the launch of sales, the order limit was lifted.
The Dec. 18 sales report from the Mint indicates 59,048 of the coins
The half dollar is still available from the Mint, at $840 per coin.
The issue price of the coin, while available, is subject to change
weekly with changing trends in the spot price of gold.
Read all of our Coin World Top 10 of 2016 series:
- U.S. Mint issues gold Centennial coins
- Pogue IV auction tops $16 million
- Rare English gold coin found in toy
- Boutique bullion trend catches on worldwide
- Langbord 1933 double eagle case rolls on
- 1974-D aluminum cent returned to U.S. Mint
- Treasury announces new Federal Reserve note
- 1964 Morgan dollar tooling uncovered
- American Liberty silver medal released
- U.S. Mint plans yearlong 225th anniversary party