Strong Early Sales Suggest Modern Liberty Has Appeal
The pace of
initial sales of the 2015 American Liberty high relief gold coin, which reached
36,686 on the first day, surprised most people.
According to the Mint, in the first ten minutes on July 30, 5,231 orders
were placed, which works out to 8.72 orders per second. In the first 75 minutes, the Mint received
more than 30,000 orders.
question, one that is currently the subject of much discussion, is how those
sales broke down between individual collectors and dealers/coin companies. Given the rapid pace of sales and the price
tag of $1,490 per coin, it seems likely that dealers purchased a significant
portion on those coins.
numismatic blogosphere, some collectors were tracking order numbers of their
fellow collectors and calculated that there were approximately 12,500 orders
before the coin went on backorder. They
further estimated that if most individual buyers were purchasing one coin in
most cases, that means dealers bought at least 20,000 pieces.
well be about right, but it is a little too early to automatically assume
that this means there will soon be a glut of coins on the market that will pull
prices below issue price, as happened with the 2014 Kennedy gold half dollar.
depends on a couple factors, including whether the coin sells out completely in
the next week or so and how soon the backorders are filled. The Mint’s web site has since its relaunch
been overly conservative in the shipping estimates it provides buyers when an
item is unavailable but can be ordered for later delivery.
example is the Jacqueline Kennedy proof coin that immediately went into
backorder status with an estimated shipping date months away, only to begin
shipping days later with most orders filled not long after that.
As usual, it
appears that the big players’ strategy is to have their early purchases graded
to capitalize on the demand for first strike/early release MS70 coins, then
once the coin is no longer available and premiums rise, they will sell remaining
inventory over time.
I read and
heard complaints from some buyers that dealers were locking them out of buying
a coin by purchasing all those coins during the first couple hours when some
people were not able to order because they were at work or otherwise busy.
were few reports of buyers who said they had trouble placing an order, and by
now experienced buyers understand that there is almost always intense
competition for high-demand coins when they are first released, which means
they should order right away if they want to make sure they secure their coins.
I would note that the tagging of the coin as “unavailable” after 4:00pm EST on
release day, which switched to “backordered” about four hours later, may have
resulted in a lost sales momentum during a critical period because for some
buyers it suggested the coin was sold out.
Mint tracks how many orders are coming in and knows when the maximum mintage is
reached, it would be preferable to immediately tag items not in stock as
backordered, as was the case with the previous order management system, so as
not to lose orders during the interim period before the backorder notice goes
coin ends up performing in the marketplace, the strong start of sales of the
coin is in my view a health sign for the modern coin segment of the hobby
because it suggests that there is demand for modern representations of Liberty.
former CCAC chairman Gary Marks, who spearheaded this initiative, told me, if
the Mint produces a deep cameo proof silver medal version, it will be “a