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Fractionals hit market

This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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If you like buying gold coins, the U.S. Mint has just given you more options.

In addition to the 2010 1 ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins made available Jan. 19, the Mint is now offering fractional gold Eagles in 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10 ounce weights. All are 22 karat gold.

For those who can’t afford to purchase a full ounce gold coin, the fractionals offer buyers a piece of the gold pie.    

The 1 ounce gold bullion coin was selling for a bit over $1,330 at various online sites June 16, while the 1/10 ounce Eagle gold bullion coin was closer to $150. Those prices are likely to change as the price of gold fluctuates in the market.

“We just started selling on a pre-release basis,” said Ken Pines, president of Coast to Coast. “Sales are kind of what we expected, not setting the world on fire, but moderate.”

The coins were first released by the Mint on June 10 to Authorized Purchasers who make them available to the general public through precious metal dealers, coin dealers, brokerage companies and  participating banks.

“I think they’ll do well,” Pines said. But maybe not as well as when the 2009-dated fractionals were released in May.

“Last year, the timing right around the holidays helped,” he said.

The fractional gold coins were so popular they sold out in 19 days.

In December 2009, the Mint recorded sales as follows:

• 1/2 ounce, 110,000 coins,  55,000 ounces.
• 1/4 ounce, 110,000 coins, 27,500 ounces.
• 1/10 ounce, 270,000 coins, 27,000 ounces.

The U.S. Mint reported sales of the 2010 fractional gold coins in their first four days, June 10-14 as follows:

• 1/2 ounce, 28,000 coins, 14,000 ounces.
•  1/4 ounce, 42,000 coins, 10,500 ounces.
• 1/10 ounce, 240,000 coins, 24,000 ounces.

Sales for the 2010 dated American Eagle 1 ounce gold coins were 43,500 in the first 14 days of June. To date, 565,000 coins have been sold.

2011 U.S. Coin Digest: Bullion Coins
The latest details and values for these circulating and non-circulating bullions.

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