US Coins

Palladium Proof American Eagle sells out in minutes

In less than five minutes, orders placed Sept. 6 for the Proof 2018-W American Eagle $25 palladium coin were sufficient to put the numismatic product into “Currently Unavailable” status.

The product is limited to a maximum release of 15,000 coins; the Mint sold 14,782 examples. Customers ordering the numismatic product were restricted to purchasing one coin per household. The Mint-determined price for each coin was $1,387.50. 

A “Currently Unavailable” status does not automatically mean a sellout. The product notice on the Mint’s website states: “We are currently out of this item, but more may be available later. Provide your email using the ‘REMIND ME’ button and we will let you know when we are taking orders again.”

Mint spokesman Michael White said the orders placed are being reconciled to ensure proper processing of orders. Some orders are likely to be canceled because of expired credit cards or because the person placing the order chooses to cancel the sale on their own, White said. Any coins that are available after the order reconciliation, provided the maximum is not reached, will be offered first to customers in the order in which orders were placed but not filled because of the ending of initial sales, White said.

Even before sales got underway, some dealers were offering bounties of up to $500 per coin to anyone successful in placing an order and willing to resell the coin to the dealer making the guaranteed profit offer.

Some collectors, both those successful in placing orders and those shut out, posted their comments on online numismatic discussion boards, sent emails and placed phone calls to Coin World, and remarked on the Mint Facebook page about their experiences. Most shared their difficulties with the ordering process, whether successful or not.

Collectors on the Professional Coin Grading Service U.S. Coins forum speculated on how long it took the Mint to determine orders were sufficient to exhaust the 15,000 coins available.

One collector, Onastone, reported:

“I believe it was UNAVAILABLE at the 4.5 minute mark. That’s 270 seconds. The mint was selling them at about fifty-five coins per second. The site was definitely being choked and despite long pauses and frozen screens, the sales chugged along processing the first 15,000. I was logged in at noon, dropped the coin into my cart, went through the payment pages, and had the purchase in around 90 seconds. There wasn’t much time for any mistakes or refreshing key strokes.”

The 2018-W palladium coin is a Proof version of the American Eagle palladium bullion coin that was introduced in 2017. The bullion version was limited also to a release of 15,000 pieces, which sold out to the Mint’s authorized bullion coin purchasers the first day the coins were offered Sept. 25, 2017.

Mint officials have not yet announced a release date or mintage for the 2018 American Eagle palladium bullion coin.

The Proof and bullion versions are both products of the West Point Mint, but only the Proof coin bears the production facility’s W Mint mark.

The coin’s obverse and reverse designs are mandated under provisions of Public Law 119-94.

Both designs replicate those originally executed by sculptor Adolph A. Weinman.

The $25 palladium coin’s obverse is adapted from Weinman’s Winged Liberty Head that debuted originally on the dime in 1916. The reverse of the palladium American Eagle bears Weinman’s 1906 eagle design for the American Institute of Architect’s gold medal, first awarded in 1907. 

Secondary market

While the U.S. Mint offered the Proof American Eagle palladium coin for $1,387.50, completed transactions on eBay, as well as dealer offers on the secondary market, show significantly higher prices for the limited-edition release.

Hundreds of completed eBay sales for coins, where the order to ship a coin to a customer was confirmed by the U.S. Mint, show prices ranging from $1,830 to $3,750, for coins still in their original Mint packaging. Many of the completed transactions on Sept. 6 were for $2,000 per coin.

APMEX was offering Numismatic Guaranty Corp. Proof 70 Early Release coins at $3,295 each as of Sept. 7.

The coins were at a “pre-sale” price with delivery not guaranteed until Sept. 21. 

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