Gold Standing Liberty sales jump after limits lifted
- Published: Sep 26, 2016, 10 AM
Lifting the ordering restrictions for the 2016-W Standing Liberty gold quarter dollar has significantly boosted the U.S. Mint’s sales of the coin.
Through 11:30 a.m. ET Sept. 26, the Mint recorded sales of 75,338 total out of the product limit of 100,000 coins. From Sept. 8 through Sept. 18, the U.S. Mint sales totaled 54,875 coins.
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The one-coin-per-household ordering restriction was lifted at noon ET Sept. 21, allowing buyers the opportunity to order as many as they wished of the remaining coins available for $485 each. The $485 price is the same price the Mint charged when the coins first went on sale at noon ET Sept. 8.
Pricing for the coins is subject to change weekly based on the U.S. Mint's pricing grid.
The pace of sales for the Standing Liberty gold quarter dollar was significantly slower than the sales pace for the Winged Liberty Head ("Mercury") gold dime, which had a mintage of 125,000, and was listed as unavailable within an hour of its release.
The household ordering limit for that coin was 10, leading to collector anger over a small number of customers being able to purchase in bulk.
The ordering limit initially set on the Standing Liberty gold quarter dollar seems to have allowed collectors a better opportunity to purchase a coin without worrying that a small number of customers would eat up all the inventory, only to sell them in the secondary market.
How the Standing Liberty gold quarter is struck
The 2016-W coin is a quarter-ounce .9999-fine gold version of the Standing Liberty .900-fine silver quarter dollar designed by sculptor Hermon A. MacNeil and first struck in 1916. The obverse design on the gold version is the Bare Breast subtype as introduced 100 years ago. MacNeil’s original design was changed twice in 1917, first issued as a slightly modified version of the 1916 design, and then again with a repositioned eagle on the reverse and chain mail added to cover Liberty’s exposed right breast on the obverse.
Standing Liberty quarter: The Standing Liberty quarter dollar is, in fact, one of the most beautiful U.S. coinage designs of all time. The controversy over the original version of MacNeil's Standing Liberty only adds to the coin's appeal. How much are Standing Liberty quarters worth?
The gold coin is produced at the West Point Mint with a circulation-strike finish. The coin exhibits a standard, wide-reed edge, with the number of reeds at 109, according to Mint officials.
The W Mint mark appears above and left of the 2 in the date, to the right of the star there. The M above and right of the 6 in the date, right of the star there, is sculptor MacNeil’s initial.
The West Point Mint received the required planchets from Leach Garner. The planchets are received with a proto-rim that is upset, or raised, to help restrain metal flow during striking.
Before the planchets were struck into coins, the planchets were subjected to five to 10 minutes of burnishing in Spaleck burnishing equipment. The planchets were tumbled in a proprietary solution of soap, water and a mild surfactant in a tub containing steel media. After the burnishing operation is complete and the solution removed, the burnished planchets were placed on edge into trays.
A press operator at the coinage press placed one planchet at a time into the coining chamber, using tongs to hold the piece by its edge.
The planchets were struck twice on a Gräbener GMP 360 coin press exerting striking pressure of 65 to 68 tons per strike to bring up the design relief.
The dies were oriented on the coinage press to strike vertically, with the obverse as the upper, hammer, die, and the reverse as the lower, anvil, die. The edge, or collar, die imparted the reeding.
Pricing information for the Winged Liberty Head gold dime and Standing Liberty quarter dollar can be found with our Coin Values value guide.
Next up: Walking Liberty gold half dollar
Though Standing Liberty gold quarters remain available for sale, the hobby has already started turning its attention to the third and final Centennial gold coin.
Production has begun for the 2016-W Walking Liberty gold half dollar, and Coin World published exclusive images of the coin on Sept. 14.
Details are yet to be released on when the gold half dollars will go on sale, the numismatic product’s maximum mintage and whether there will be any household ordering limits.
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