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Platinum release sets series’ new low

It took under ten minutes to sell all 2015-W one-ounce platinum proof American Eagle coins when they released Dec. 3. Is this a good sign for sellers on the secondary market?

Maybe, if the sellers can find buyers willing to pay well over the initial purchase price of $1,200.

The 2015 platinum proof Eagle went on sale Dec. 3 and sold out in just minutes, making it a new record low for the proof series.

The 2015 platinum proof Eagle went on sale Dec. 3 and sold out in just minutes, making it a new record low for the proof series.

Matt Crane of L&C Coins, Los Alamitos, Calif., said they have orders out for the new release and will have them in stock when delivered.

“This sellout proves it’s popular,” he said. “I think a lot of it has to do with its low mintage. The Mint got the mintage limit spot on with this coin. They probably used last year’s sales total as a guide for this year’s total.”

As of Dec. 6, the Mint reports 3,954 platinum proof Eagles of the 4,000 mintage were sold. This number makes it the lowest mintage one-ounce platinum proof Eagle.

For the 2014 platinum proof Eagle, a mintage limit of 15,000 coins was set. By the time the Mint ended its sales in March of 2015, just 4,596 coins were purchased, previously the series’ lowest mintage coin.

While the trend of lowering mintages suggests a declining popularity over time, Crane said the series is not without its fans.

“I think sales will be high for people who weren’t able to get it when it went on sale,” he said. “We’ve seen on eBay that some people flipping the coins for a quick profit but this is a series where there are collectors out there who want this issue for their collections.”

As of Dec. 9, completed auctions on eBay of the 2015 platinum proof Eagle show a trending price in the $1,800 to $1,900 range per coin.

With the 2014 platinum proof eagle, recent eBay sales since October of 2015 show buyers are paying $1,700 for that issue.

Crane said some buying right now is probably coming from collectors who didn’t even know a 2015 platinum proof Eagle would be released.

“The Mint didn’t market this at all,” he said. “We only learned about it the Thursday before its release.

“We thought that with the release of the last Coin and Chronicles sets, that was it as far as new releases for the year.”

He said the platinum proof Eagle is at a disadvantage when compared to the collector’s interest in the Chronicles sets.

“There will be curiosity in past platinum proof Eagle issues,” he said. “But because of the high price point, it might not happen as much as what we saw with the Coin and Chronicles sets.

“We have many collectors looking for the past Chronicles sets such as the Theodore Roosevelt set. The Chronicles sets are more collectible due to their much lower price than the platinum proof Eagle.”

The best gauge for lasting popularity of the 2015 platinum proof Eagle will be its auction price a year after its release.

If the coin has held close to the $1,800 to $1,900 it’s going for shortly after release, it’ll prove there’s a devoted fan base. If the price has dropped significantly, it will mean collectors have turned their attention and pocketbooks elsewhere.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express.
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