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    Modern Numismatics

    Louis Golino has been a collector of American and world coins since childhood and has written about coins since 2009. He writes about modern coins and other numismatic issues for Coin World. He is a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum.

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  • Swan Sells Out in Days

    ?The Perth Mint has done it again. That is launched yet another silver bullion coin called “The Silver Swan,” which is expected to be an ongoing series with a new design each year like its other silver bullion coin series except for the Kangaroo that is expected to retain the same design. 

    But this time the mint decided to do the opposite of the Kangaroo series introduced in 2015, which except for that year’s 300,000 run, carries an unlimited mintage with sales already in excess of 12 million per year.  The Kangaroo is a bullion play. 

    The 2017 Swan mintage is a different animal.  Its mintage was set at the very low level of 25,000 coins, and it was sold primarily by APMEX outside of the 10% reserved for sale in Australia.  APMEX launched the coin on Monday starting off at $24 and within a day, the price was up to over $30.

    The Swan is in fact the Perth Mint’s official symbol and appears on its logo, and that is because the mint was founded on the shores of the Swan River in 1829. 

    APMEX, which is believed to have received 20,000 of the entire run of 25,000 according to a customer was told that by the company, sold out by the middle of the week.  It is unclear if their entire allocation is gone, or if more are coming later.  But if so, they will not be cheap.

    At this point, the coin appears to only be available from a couple German dealers for about 45 euros, or $48, where they are on order, and on eBay, where prices are now in the $60 range. Those who snagged some when prices were barely $6 over spot are very pleased, especially some buyers who said in forums they bought large quantities.

    Plus, if the information about APMEX is true, and after factoring the 2,500 that sold out instantly in Australia at the mint and another seller, only some portion of the remaining 2,500 that mostly went to Germany is likely to be left.

    What accounts for this meteoric rise in a few days?  In addition to an unusually low mintage for a silver bullion piece, the coin is the first of a new series, featuring a gorgeous and elegant design that is less busy that many Perth designs.  And there is the fact the Perth sells coins of this type (again except for the Kangaroo) in protective capsules and makes them to the highest quality standards.

    For all these reasons the Swan is a good example of “semi-numismatic” bullion coins, whose initial price is based on a premium over silver content that was comparable, or just slightly higher, than that for its Kookaburra, Koala, and Lunar ranges.  These coins are really collected for their designs and mintages rather than bought for their silver content, though that provides a baseline value.

    Then when the entire mintage is sold out by distributors, those premiums begin to rise, and in this case the entire process was speed up by very high demand primarily due to the low mintage and the limited number of companies selling the coin.

    It is hard to say what the 2017 Swan will be worth in a year, but I doubt prices will go down, and it seems more likely they will go higher.