US Coins

Gold ‘Mercury’ dimes enter hobby’s secondary market

2016-W Winged Liberty Head gold dimes have certainly caused a stir in the numismatic marketplace.

The U.S. Mint reported a sellout within an hour of the launch on April 21, but as customers cancel orders and return coins, the Mint has a small inventory that remains to be distributed, although the Mint is still undecided how it will make the remaining coins available for sale.

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In the meantime collectors have been enjoying a modest secondary market for the coins.

Currently, on wholesale trading networks, examples are selling for around $240 to $250 each, resulting in a decent per-coin profit over the $205 original issue price. Dealers are continuing to buy these in quantities at $220 to $230 per coin for examples in original packaging or those graded Specimen 69 by Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

As of May 17 on eBay, the least expensive “Buy it Now” offerings are at the $265 level, which is comparable to what examples are bringing in auctions, and at the local show level, prices near $275 are seen currently.

The market for perfect examples graded 70 seems to be settling at the $300 to $325 level per coin. Those with special labels, such as those graded PCGS Specimen 70 First Strike signed by PCGS co-founder David Hall, are trading wholesale at or near $350.

As one marketer says, the special label presents, “A TREMENDOUS telemarketing item of what might be the most sought after PCGS insert of any Gold Mercury Dime!” Both PCGS and NGC are offering many different label variations to help create demand within the issue.

The new “Mercury” gold dime was well-produced by the U.S. Mint and it comes nice.

As of May 17, PCGS has graded just one Specimen 68 coin, 1,246 in Specimen 69, and the overwhelming majority — 9,229 — as Specimen 70. It seems that perfect is the norm for these gold dimes.

The secondary market for the gold dime is showing that the United States Mint seems to have done a good job of anticipating the demand for the coins and creating a mintage limit that promotes an aftermarket for the issue.

While many collectors are complaining that the ordering limit of 10 per household was too high, the jump in price in the secondary market is smaller — at least in terms of dollar value — than in similar popular issues from Mint releases that sold out quickly.

Market watchers are curious to see how collectors will respond to the 2016-W Standing Liberty gold quarter dollar and Walking Liberty gold half dollar to be released later this year.

These two coins will be more expensive and may potentially have lower mintages. The higher price thins out the buyer pool, but how will that intersect with the reduced mintage for these two coins?

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