Mint Can’t Issue More 2015 Platinum Eagles
I would like
to respond to the letter by Cornell Scanlon in the Feb. 8 issue of Coin
World. Mr. Scanlon suggests that he was
unable to purchase a 2015-W American Platinum Eagle proof coin due to “the
professional speculators’ computer-controlled entries” and that the Mint should
reissue the coin this year when sufficient platinum planchets are
available. He also suggested that buyers of the 2014
issue should have been given first crack at purchasing the 2015 issue.
was certainly not easy to place an order before sales ended somewhere around
4-7 minutes after they began. But there
is no proof that speculators grabbed the lion’s share of these coins, whereas
there is considerable evidence that individual collectors purchased many of
dealers, even major ones, were only able to secure a handful of coins based on
the small number of coins available for sale from those companies as far as I
have seen. Second, if speculators had
indeed purchased a majority of the coins, the secondary market value would have
by now either crashed or at least declined substantially by now. Instead, values have held steady at around
$2,000 for raw coins and $3,000 and up for 70-graded pieces. This typically means the coins are in “strong
hands,” meaning held by buyers who plan to keep them at least for now.
I was able
to purchase a coin and encountered none of the website issues I have seen in
the past, and I have many friends who also got their orders in. From what I have heard most people were so
impressed with these coins in terms of the design and high quality that they
decided to keep them despite the prospect of an easy payday. I noticed the same trend in online coin
key point is the Mint by law cannot strike coins from one year in the following
year. They can sell them provided they
were struck during the year that appears on them except for commemoratives, and
whatever rules apply to stamps have no bearing here. Besides, even if they could, this would be a
dangerous precedent and would upset the market for these coins and of course
the buyers too, who would see the value of their purchase decline after the
mintage was increased.
this is something the Perth Mint in Australia has done in the past, and it did
not go over well with collectors.
The U.S. Mint
does try to focus on collectors and maintain an even playing field, but it also
has other clients too, namely dealers, and it is not so easy catering to such a
wide customer base. As I have argued
previously, there are certain areas in which it gives dealers the ability to
buy in bulk at a discount, but that does not apply to all products and did not
apply to this coin. Moreover, most of
the allegations one hears from Mint buyers about how they got locked out by the
“big boys” turn out not to have any solid evidence. They are based on issues such as how fast
some dealers had their coins graded, which is often a function of how close
they are located to the grading companies.
And keep in
mind that virtually every other major world mint gives dealers huge advantages
such as the ability to order coins before they are released to the public,
which in the case of the Royal Canadian Mint often results in coins being sold
out before the public can even order with the exception of members of their
Master’s Club, which was revamped last year.
far as giving priority to buyers of the previous issue, this is something some
foreign dealers do, and perhaps the Mint could look into such an approach. A first step would be to ask its customers if
they would favor this, and to see if the Mint thinks it would be feasible to do
this approach would not have worked with the 2015 platinum coin since the 2014
had sales of over 700 coins more than the 2015 issue. How would the Mint decide which of the buyers
of the previous issues could purchase the coin?