US Coins

Top 10 Stories of 2015: American Liberty gold coin

The 2015-W American Liberty, High Relief gold coin is struck on a 1-troy-ounce planchet of .9999 fine gold with a face value of $100.

Original images courtesy of U.S. Mint.

With the July 30 release of the 2015-W American Liberty, High Relief gold $100 coin, collectors were hoping that the U.S. Mint would also issue a companion silver medal version bearing the same designs.

The bureau nixed the American Liberty, High Relief silver medal months after it had announced the medal would be issued, and moved forward with sales of just the gold coin. 

The gold coin was limited to a release of 50,000 coins, with no household ordering limits.

The coin, retailed at $1,490 each by the Mint, recorded sales of 60 percent of the product limit within the first 75 minutes of its noon Eastern Time release July 30. 

Sales totals thereafter fluctuated up and down in the following weeks. Some buyers who had taken delivery returned them to the Mint for refunds after they were unable to quickly sell the new coins for premiums in the secondary market. It became clear that coin was not going to sell out anytime soon.

As of Dec. 22, the American Liberty coin was still being offered for sale by the U.S. Mint at the same introductory price, $1,490 per coin. Sales of the product through Dec. 13 reached 47,902.

The American Liberty gold coin was issued as part of the Mint’s effort at design and production excellence, and was described in the Mint’s product description as “a piece that renders contemporary designs using the latest in modern digital and manufacturing technology.”

The American Liberty, High Relief $100 coin is intended to complement the 2009 Ultra High Relief gold $20 coin. The 2009 coin was based on a variation struck 102 years earlier, of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ 1907 vision of an Ultra High Relief gold $20 double eagle.

Despite the lack of a sellout for the 2015 coins, some secondary market demand is seen for the coins, especially for top-quality examples that were graded and encapsulated by a leading third-party grading service.

Recent completed eBay auctions include a Professional Coin Grading Service Mint State 70 coin, with gold foil grading label, that sold in a Dec. 15 offering for $1,799. A PCGS MS-70 coin with a First Strike grading label sold in a Dec. 15 eBay sale for $2,695, while another First Strike example in the same PCGS grade sold Dec. 14 for $2,125.

According to the grading service, “The PCGS First Strike program designates coins issued in the first 30 days of the Mint’s release.”

One of the American Liberty gold coins in its original Mint packaging sold in a Dec. 8 eBay auction for $1,590, $100 more than if the buyer and acquired an example directly from the Mint. 

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