US Mint pulls gold collector coins

Sales are suspended for repricing as gold soars.

By Kim Peterson Aug 11, 2011 2:41PM
The price of gold (-GC) has soared so high that the U.S. Mint took the unprecedented step this week of halting the online sale of gold collector coins. The coins were back within a day at a higher price.

These are the gold numismatic coins sold to collectors, not the gold bullion coins sold to investors, the Mint told Reuters.

The problem was that the market price for gold bullion was fast approaching the price of gold collector coins. The U.S. Mint has the right to stop collector sales when that happens, but that apparently has never happened, at least as far as anyone can remember.

Gold futures shot up near $1,800 Tuesday (and beyond that Wednesday), with some analysts predicting the metal could go even higher. Gold was selling at about $1,750 Thursday.

Normally, the U.S. Mint prices its numismatic coins weekly. But the price of gold bullion was shooting up so quickly that it was within range of gold collector coins. So the U.S. Mint suspended collector coin sales Tuesday and re-priced them Wednesday. You can see the new prices at this site.

Collectors and investors have increased their gold purchases recently as the price of the previous metal has soared, according to CoinWeek. The gold collector coins generally are priced with a surcharge that goes to museums and support organizations.

CoinWeek columnist Louis Golino thinks the U.S. Mint should develop a real-time pricing system for coins, similar to what bullion dealers use, instead of setting prices each week. For now, he recommends the Army and Medal of Honor $5 commemorative gold coins purchased directly from the Mint. "Everyone who follows these coins closely is surprised that the Mint has not yet (as of Aug. 10) also removed these coins for repricing," he writes.
Tags: gold

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4Comments
Aug 11, 2011 4:27PM
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It's M-E-T-A-L not m-e-D-a-l. "with some analysts predicting the medal could go even higher." Are there no proof-reading or publishing standards anymore?
Aug 11, 2011 3:34PM
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This article is a little bit out of date already. The US Mint has already adjusted the prices upward as of yesterday (8/11) and was suspended earlier this week. In fact, with the drop in gold prices today (8/11), I am wondering how long will it take for the US Mint to adjust the prices downward.
Aug 11, 2011 7:23PM
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i would guess that as long as they allow oil speculating to keep the price of gas at a 40% over s/d gold will continue to soar because it gaurentees economic destruction
Aug 11, 2011 4:18PM
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why don't they just price all the PM coins with a fixed amount over spot price of the metal.
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