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Platinum sellout surprises

The 2016-W $100 platinum proof Eagle’s quick sellout on June 30 came as a shock to some collectors. The mintage of 10,000 coins was gone in 56 minutes.

Why is that a surprise?

Past releases with lower sales totals have taken months to sell out.

Case in point is the 2014-W platinum proof Eagle. It went on sale Oct. 20, 2014, and didn’t sell out until April 5, 2015, with 4,596 coins purchased out a 15,000 mintage and no household limit.

The 2016-W $100 platinum proof Eagle.

The 2016-W $100 platinum proof Eagle.

Matt Crane said he thinks most of the 2016 platinum coin’s demand came from buyers remembering its low mintage predecessor.

The 2015-W platinum proof Eagle sold out in less than 10 minutes when it went on sale Dec. 3, 2015. Collectors ordered 3,881 on a 4,000 mintage limit.

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“My brother and I were talking about the 2016 sellout and why it was surprising,” he said. “We didn’t realize there would be that much demand,” Crane said.

“I think people saw the 2015 sellout in about 10 minutes and bought the 2016 coin up because of that. I think a lot of people are thinking about the secondary market with this release. We’ll see how the market responds.”

The secondary market is where most buyers will have to turn.

Ron Drzewucki, owner of Modern Coin Wholesale, Sarasota, Fla., said he doesn’t think they’ll go back on sale at the Mint.

“Any returns to be resold by the Mint will be gone right away,” he said. “There’s probably a wait list for interested buyers. We already sold all the ones we purchased.

“The platinum proof Eagle series seems to do well and then it kind of goes away into collections. The coins don’t appear back on the market often.”

On eBay, auctions, the 2016 platinum proof Eagle averaged $1,621 per uncertified coin between July 3 and July 5. The Mint’s issue price was $1,350.

Sales for certified examples are few as most sellers have yet to receive them back from the grading services. In one sold buy it now listing, an NGC PF-70 ultra cameo brought in $1,749. In another listing, an NGC PF-69 ultra cameo earned $1,549.

The lower mintage 2015-W platinum proof Eagle commands high prices on the secondary market.

The lower mintage 2015-W platinum proof Eagle commands high prices on the secondary market.

Compare that price to the 2015 issue’s market value. An NGC PF-69 ultra cameo graded coin brought in $1,925 at auction on May 29 while an NGC PF-70 earned $3,300 that same day.

Even uncertified, a 2015 proof platinum Eagle reached $2,050 at auction on May 27.

Crane said interest in past releases like the 2015 could rise due to the 2016 coin’s sellout.

“It’s possible that this release may create buzz and demand for past releases,” he said. “People may start ‘back collecting’ the series by buying up past platinum Eagles.”

He said the allure of a platinum coin with a beautiful design is enough to draw buyers in.

“I think the people really like this coin,” he said. “The Mint doesn’t make many platinum coins. And this year’s design is classic but original.”

Buyers will also have a reason to buy next year’s platinum proof Eagle. The 2017 release will feature the original 1997 reverse design in time for the coin’s 20th anniversary.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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