US Coins

Nine Specimen 70 gold dimes set for auction

Tucked amid the hundreds of 19th, 20th and 21st century Mint State and Proof United States coins being offered Sept. 5 in Los Angeles by Bonhams are 2016 gold coins marking the 100th anniversary of their first production in .900 fine silver.

The nine 2016-W Winged Liberty Head gold dimes being offered in a single lot were among the 125,000 gold dimes first issued by the U.S. Mint on April 21, 2016. The issue price was $205 per coin.

The nine-example lot offered in the 810-lot auction carries an estimate of $2,000 to $2,200 for the lot. All nine examples are graded and encapsulated Specimen 70 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

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Recently completed eBay online auctions record sales at $250 to $400 of Specimen 70 gold dimes from either service, with the differences in prices attributed primarily to the grading label used.

NGC Census and PCGS Population Report

The NGC Census identifies a total of 26,529 submissions for the gold dime — 23,707 dimes in Specimen 70, 2,811 in Specimen 69, 10 in Specimen 68, and one in Specimen 67.

The Professional Coin Grading Service Population Report indicates a total of 31,648 submissions for the issue — one in Specimen 67, 10 in Specimen 68, 2,897 in Specimen 69, and 28,740 in Specimen 70.

The certification totals from the top two grading services reflect nearly half of the entire mintage sold. Clearly, a majority of the coins the two services graded were certified in the perfect grade.

Centennial anniversary

When the U.S. Mint began production of the Winged Liberty Head dime in 1916 for general circulation, output was executed in .900 fine silver. To mark the 100th anniversary of the issue, the U.S. Mint offered a tenth-ounce .9999 fine gold version, with a maximum mintage of 125,000 coins initially offered with a maximum household limit of 10 coins.

The entire mintage was recorded as sold out in minutes on April 21. However, within weeks of the product's release, thousands of coins reappeared in Mint inventory, from returns or from coins that never left the order fulfillment center because of canceled orders.

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More than seven more months passed before the U.S. Mint's inventory of roughly 8,000 to 9,000 gold dimes were offered for sale a second time, and the inventory sold briskly. The price had dropped to $200 per coin, tied to the spot price of gold, for the Dec. 15 issue, with the household ordering limit set at one coin.

The product's final reported sales stand at 124,915 coins.

Additional lots in the Bonhams sale

Billed as "The Collection of A Southern Gentlemen," several gold coins struck at the Branch Mints in Dahlonega, Georgia, Charlotte, North Carolina, and New Orleans are offered. The lots comprise gold dollars through gold $5 half eagles.

The auction also includes an 1895 Morgan dollar graded PCGS Proof 64. It is one of 880 examples reportedly struck at the Philadelphia Mint for sale to collectors. No circulation-strike 1895 Morgan dollars are known.

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