U.S. Mint should consider fractional platinum Eagles

The United States Mint is still planning on releasing a 1-ounce American Eagle bullion coin in platinum in 2015. Fractionsl versions were last offered in 2008.

Images courtesy of U.S. Mint.

Collectors and investors in anything labeled American Eagle from the U.S. Mint are patiently waiting for officials to launch sales for the Proof and bullion versions of the 1-ounce .9995 fine platinum coins.

The Mint’s principal deputy director and President Obama’s nominee for Mint director, Rhett Jeppson, told Coin World in August that both versions are likely to be released during the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2016 — Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. As of Oct. 14, there is nothing new to report from the Mint on the American Eagle platinum coins.

Collectors and investors welcomed the return in 2014 of the 1-ounce platinum bullion coins, the first since American Eagle platinum bullion coin production stopped in November 2008.

2014 sales totaled 16,900 of the 1-ounce platinum coins, compared with 20,800 sold in 2008. And the second half 2008 sales were with the spot price of platinum more than double the current London PM closing price, at $983 per troy ounce on Oct. 13.

And in 2008, the Mint was offering fractional versions of the platinum coin — the half-ounce $50 face-value coin, $25 quarter-ounce coin and $10 tenth-ounce coin — to go along with the 1-ounce $100 coin.

The fractional versions were popular with collectors. Dealers and collectors alike have periodically expressed to Coin World an interest in the fractional alternatives.

With platinum trading several hundred dollars per ounce below gold, maybe it’s time Mint officials take a second look at offering the fractional American Eagle platinum bullion coins again.