US Coins

Mint reprices gold commems, resumes sales

The U.S. Mint’s new pricing grid for gold commemoratives was first used to reprice the Proof and Uncirculated gold 2011-W U.S. Army and Medal of Honor $5 half eagles introduced earlier this year.

Images courtesy of U.S. Mint.

The U.S. Mint resumed sales of 2011 commemorative gold coins Aug. 25, two weeks after halting sales of the coins for repricing in response to rising gold prices.

The Proof and Uncirculated 2011 U.S. Army and Medal of Honor gold $5 half eagles were put back on sale at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time Aug. 25 at prices that had been increased between 17 and 18 percent.

The U.S. Mint also returned to sale Aug. 24 other gold numismatic products that were pulled from sale Aug. 22 for repricing for the second time in three weeks.

The gold commemorative coins were removed from the Mint’s product catalog shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern Time Aug. 11 for repricing. It was the first time in Mint history that gold commemoratives were pulled from sale for repricing because of higher precious metals prices.

Following the introductory period during which prices are slightly lower than regular issue prices, the prices of U.S. commemoratives have remained at regular issue prices for the duration of each respective commemorative coin program.

The Proof 2011 $5 commemoratives were increased 17.4 percent to $534.30, and the Uncirculated versions increased 17.8 percent to $524.30. The regular issue prices had been $454.95 for the Proof coins and $444.95 for the Uncirculated versions.

The U.S. Army commemoratives were offered beginning Jan. 31 at the introductory price of $449.95 for the Proof coin and $439.95 for the Uncirculated version through March 2, when regular issue prices went into effect.

When introduced on Feb. 25, the Medal of Honor gold commemoratives were offered at the same prices as the U.S. Army gold commemorative coins until the Medal of Honor introductory period ended March 28 and prices moved to the same regular issue prices as the U.S. Army gold coins.

When the U.S. Army coins went on sale, the spot price of gold per troy ounce was $1,324, but the commemorative coin prices would have been established in the days before the program was officially launched. By the time the Medal of Honor coins were offered, the London PM fix was $1,402.50.

The London PM fix reached a record high close of $1,877.50 on Aug. 22, but dropped to a close of $1,770 on Aug. 24.

U.S. Mint officials have not indicated whether there will be any price drop in the gold commemorative coin prices following the dip in the spot price of gold.

Static pricing for gold commemorative coins may have ended. Mint officials have placed the U.S. gold commemoratives on a pricing grid similar to but separate from that which has been used since January 2009 for pricing the U.S. Mint’s other gold numismatic products — Proof American Eagle 1-ounce and fractional gold coins and Uncirculated American Eagle 1-ounce coins; Proof American Buffalo 1-ounce gold $50 coins; and Proof and Uncirculated First Spouse half-ounce gold $10 coins.

The American Eagle, American Buffalo and First Spouse coins were pulled from sale by the U.S. Mint on Aug. 9 for repricing and reoffered at higher prices beginning Aug. 10. The gold numismatic products were regularly repriced on Aug. 17, then pulled from sale again on Aug. 22, before being repriced and placed back on sale at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time Aug. 24.

“The gold pricing for the week has been completed and the range (and prices) remains the same as when products were taken down — $1,750 to $1,799.99,” according to information provided by U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White.

The Proof First Spouse gold coins are now being offered at $1,054 per coin; the Uncirculated version is priced at $1,041, more than one and a half times the price where the coins were offered when the First Spouse gold coin series was introduced in May 2007.

The other repriced products and current levels are:

? Uncirculated American Eagle 1-ounce coin, $2,028.

? Proof American Eagle 1-ounce coin, $2,035.

? Proof American Eagle half-ounce coin, $1,031.

? Proof American Eagle quarter-ounce coin, $528.

? Proof American Eagle 10th-ounce coin, $225.50.

? Four-coin American Eagle gold Proof set, $3,770.50.

? Proof American Buffalo 1-ounce coin, $2,060.

Gold purchases

The changing cost of the gold used to mint gold commemorative coins is the sole reason for the Mint changing the prices of the coins, according to Tom Jurkowsky, director of the Mint’s Office of Public Affairs.

“The volatility in the gold market has forced us to change the way we price gold commemorative coins so we can ensure that we fully recover the cost of the gold coins and, at the same time, ensure that we do not recover more than is reasonably necessary to sustain the program,” Jurkowsky said.

The U.S. Mint purchases gold for its programs on a recurring basis depending on the demand for all numismatic products that use gold, Jurkowsky said. ¦

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