2015 American Liberty Coin: Definitely More Like 2009 UHR than 2014 JFK Gold
those who compare the 2015 issue to the JFK gold coin do not literally think
the two coins are similar, but they see them both as a “flipper’s nightmare”
that is a big money loser for those who bought extra coins to sell. So far that is not how things are shaping up.
coin was intended by the U.S. Mint and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee
as a continuation of the effort that started with the 2009 UHR to promote
excellence in coin design.
2015 coin, like the 2009 UHR, has been found with a prooflike finish, and the
main difference is that the 2015 prooflike coins are so far about five times
scarcer than the 2009 prooflike coins.
As happened with the 2009 issue, I think that the search for prooflike
coins, now that collectors are aware of them, will increase interest in and
sales of the 2015 issue.
individual buyers purchased the Liberty coin because they like it, not because
they expected to turn a profit on it.
And many of those who purchased the coin say it is much nicer in hand
than they expected it to be unless their coin had defects.
On the other
hand, those who see the Liberty coin as more like the Kennedy gold half believe
that speculation by dealers and flippers played a large part in sales of both coins,
and they still do not believe that collectors were big buyers of either coin.
There have been
a substantial number of returns of the Liberty coin, usually due to quality
issues, but they pale in comparison to the much-higher level of returns seen
with the Kennedy gold coin, especially during the first couple weeks. The key difference is the JFK coins were
returned because speculators quickly realized they would lose money if they did
not return, whereas most Liberty returns appear to be related to quality
problems, which have unfortunately been quite extensive.
lost tens of millions of dollars on the Kennedy coin, whereas they are earning
solid profits selling graded examples of the Liberty coin. Prices for 70-graded coins have held steady
and for 69 coins they have only dipped a little from their initial value, which
was not the case one month into sales of the JFK gold.
gold coin was the biggest fiasco of any precious metal release from the U.S.
Mint probably ever for dealers, who both overpaid to purchase it from those who
stood in line to buy it from the Mint during last year’s ANA show in Rosemont,
and overbought directly from the Mint, in both cases hoping to flip coins for a
big profit after having them graded.
prices for show label examples of the JFK gold declined very quickly, and prices
for the non-show label coins have generally declined for PF69 coins and more or
less held steady for 70s. And raw coins
have mainly been hurt by the decline in spot gold prices over the past year,
whereas the 2015 issue price has so far gone up $50.
It is true
that after a strong start, sales of the Liberty coin slowed down, but in the
past week there was an increase of 744 coins, which is a bullish sign. I believe this has a lot to do with the fact
that the coin is no longer listed as backordered, and sales through September 6
to be seen whether the Liberty coin will achieve a full sell-out at 50,000
units, but that is certainly still possible.
And it is worth remembering that the 2009 UHR did not follow a linear
trajectory. Sales of that coin also
slowed at various points, and they picked up mainly after the household limit
of one was removed, which allowed dealers to build up inventories.
The jury is
still out on the long-term performance of the 2015 Liberty high relief, but I
have little doubt that the numismatists of the future will place it alongside
the 2009 UHR.