Entries Tagged 'Coin News' ↓

2011-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle

The United States Mint released the 2011-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle on May 5, 2011. This represented the return of this collector version of the coin after an absence of two years. Only a one ounce version was available, priced at $1,778.00 to start, but variable week to week.

The coins are struck on burnished blanks, but carry a finish similar to the bullion version of the coin. The “W” mint mark also appear on the obverse, in contrast to the bullion coins which carry no mint mark. Finally, the coins are sold directly by the US Mint at a higher premium, while the bullion versions are distributed through authorized purchasers at prices more closely following the intrinsic value of the coins.

This will be an interesting issue to watch. After two years of absence, it may have fallen off the radar for many collectors. Also, the previously released proof versions have always experienced greater popularity. As higher precious metals prices stretch collector budgets, they may have to choose only one version of the coin to collect.

It seems possible that this might be the lowest mintage Gold Eagle in the history of the series. Recent sales figure show 1,825 coins sold to date. The lowest mintage for an issue of the Gold Eagles series is the 2008-W $10 Uncirculated Gold Eagle at 8,883.

2011 America the Beautiful Quarters Proof Set

Much like the separate set for the 2011 Presidential Dollars, the US Mint offers a separate set containing just the quarters issued for the year. The 2011 America the Beautiful Quarters feature Gettysburg National Park, Olympic National Park, Glacier National Park, Vicksburg National Park, and Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

The separate quarters set is priced at $14.95. It might be useful if someone was only interesting in collecting the proof quarters each year and had absolutely no interest in the other coins issued. However, for most people, I think the full 2011 Proof Set, containing 14 coins and priced at $31.95 presents a much better option.

The US Mint changed the packaging style for the 2011 America the Beautiful Quarters Proof Set. This comes in the second year of the program, making last year’s set look decidedly different with a flag theme, compared to this year’s primarily black colored theme.

In a few weeks, the US Mint will also be issuing a separate quarters set containing coins struck in a composition of 90% silver.

Both of these products, I will be passing on. If the US Mint wants to make sets with the same coins repackaged, they should provide something else as an enticement. Perhaps an illustrated folder with history and information on each of the parks?

2011 Gold Buffalo Coins

Early this week, the 2011-dated American Gold Buffalo coins made their first appearance. The coins went on sale through the US Mint’s network of primary distributors, who will then resell the coins to the broader public.

The Gold Buffalo coins feature a classic design and are struck in 24 karat gold. This has proven to be a popular combination. The design is from James Earle Fraser’s Buffalo Nickel, which was produced for circulation from 1913 to 1938. On the obverse is a portrait of a Native American chief, while on the reverse is an American Bison.

The 2011 Gold Buffalo features the same design as when the series was originally introduced in 2006. It’s interesting to note that the authorizing legislation allows for design changes to either the obverse or reverse after the first year of issue. Thankfully, the US Mint has not exercised this option.

For collectors, the US Mint will release a proof version of the coin later this year. Based on the current price of gold, the collector coins would be priced at $1,710 each. The final price will be based on the average price of gold closer to the release date.

With gold recently reaching a fresh all time high, will the popularity of this series continue? Or will some start to get priced out of the market?

2011 Kennedy Half Dollar

Even though the denomination has not been issued for ten years, the US Mint continues to strike Kennedy Half Dollars to meet the needs of collectors. On February 15, 2011, sales of the collector bags and rolls of the 2011 half dollars began on the Mint’s website.

Featuring the same design since the launch of the series, the obverse of the 2011 Kennedy Half Dollar features a portrait of John F. Kennedy by Gilroy Roberts and the reverse features the Presidential Seal designed by Frank Gasparro. The coin was initially struck in 90% silver, which was reduced to 40%, and eliminated after 1970.

The circulation strike coins included in the US Mint’s bags and rolls are only issued through this channel. The US Mint strikes 2011 Kennedy Halves in proof version and 90% silver proof version for inclusion within annual sets. The US Mint also strikes coins with a brilliant finish for the 2011 Mint Set.

The US Mint issue price is $134.95 for 200-coin bags containing 100 coins from each mint facility. The two roll sets, containing 20 coins each from the Philadelphia and Denver Mint are $34.95 each.

Andrew Johnson Presidential Dollar

The 17th release in the Presidential Dollars series was launched last week to honor Andrew Johnson. The US Mint marked the event by holding a launch ceremony at the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Tennessee.

In line with the format of the series, the obverse of the coin features a portrait of the President. Under the authorizing legislation, this is supposed to be a “larger and more dramatic artwork… reminiscent of the so-called ‘Golden Age of Coinage’ in the United States.” Although a lofty endeavor, I don’t think you can do much with a portrait of a historical figure.

The reverse features the statue of Liberty, which is the common design used across all issues of the series. The face value of the coin is expressed as “$1”.

The official circulation release date for the Andrew Johnson Presidential Dollar is February 17, 2011. The US Mint will issue their numismatic rolls tomorrow on February 23.

The coins may not be circulating with abundance, but at least one of the aims of the series has been accomplished. I can name the 17th to 20th Presidents of the United States, highlighting the educational benefit.