Archive for February, 2013

Will These Coins Be Future Key Dates?

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

The United States Mint has offered proof versions of the popular American Gold Eagle since 1986. These coins are struck in the same composition and purity as the bullion versions of the coin, but feature a high quality proof finish and a mint mark. Additionally, instead of being produced based on bullion demand, they are often subject to limited mintages or available for only a brief space of time.

For the duration of the series, there has not really been a significant key date. Although mintage levels have fluctuated during more than 25 years of issuance, they have never dipped to such a low level as to create a significant premium. The one exception is perhaps the reverse proof coin issued in 2006, however this is not strictly part of the proof run, and was available with in the 20th Anniversary Set.

The situation may be changing with the 2012 Proof Gold Eagles. These coins were offered in the standard line up including one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce coins, with a four coin set also available. The period of sales lasted for much of 2012 and for some product options into the following year. Perhaps as a result of collector ennui and an uncertain economy, sales levels were extremely low. In response, the US Mint did not produce to the full extent of the established maximum mintage levels.

The coins began to sell out at historically low levels. When the dust settled and all product options were sold out, it was apparent that each of the four proof coins would have the lowest mintages for their respective denomination. The new lows were set by a somewhat significant margin. So far, the coins seem to be very hard to come by, although premiums have yet to develop. Are these future key date coins in the making?