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Anybody collect First Spouse gold?

I have written many times how important the profit motive is to coin collectors. It may not be the basic reason that a collector collects, but no collectors I know are averse to making a little money.

I should write PROFIT in capital letters when referring to First Spouse coins.

First Spouse gold coin sellers on eBay seem to be attempting to get about double issue price for the Martha Washington and Abigail Adams proof and uncirculated pieces that went on sale June 19 and sold out the same day.

I see “Buy it now” prices of $2,999.95 and $3,200 when the initial cost for a proof and an uncirculated was $1,681.80.

The U.S. Mint is concerned about the perception collectors who were shut out of the sales process might have about what happened. I speculated in my blog last week that a theoretical 4,000 buyers could clean out the entire 40,000 pieces of each design.

In the event, the Mint tells me that there were 25,000 orders received between the two designs and the average sale was roughly three coins per household.

It was conceded that about 8 percent of the orders received were trying to get around the 5-coin per household limit for proofs and for uncirculateds, meaning 10 coins per household total for each design. These will not be honored.

I was told that demand far exceeded the Mint’s most optimistic forecasts and that those forecasts were based on market research.

A consequence of the initial sellout is the Mint says it raises the possibility of an increase in the number of coins offered for the four designs to be sold in 2008. The Mint is ever adjusting sales numbers trying to walk the tightrope between sellouts and having an excess supply at the end of a program. It doesn’t want to melt coins it has already struck.

While profit is important, I have not heard much from collectors who were pursuing the “shocking” idea of actually buying the new coins to hold in their collections. I know they are out there somewhere. I hope I will hear from them.

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7 Responses to Anybody collect First Spouse gold?

  1. Adam Nash says:

    I’m planning on collecting the proof set of first spouse coins. However, the shockingly high value of the first two coins would suggest selling them quickly.

    I’m still undecided on whether or not I’ll keep the coins at this point.

    All the drama about people being shut out on the first day is just whining – the US Mint had communicated the date & time well in advance. If you were even close to that time, you got the coins you wanted.

    Adam

  2. Russell Moore says:

    I bought one each of the MW and AA proof coins. I hope to collect all of the First Spouse proofs because I think the coins are exquisitely beautiful and the history they embody are both important and interesting. All of this present hype and drama driven by supply and demand will not affect my decision to hold on to these coins.

    If only one of my great-great-great grandparents had reached out to snag an 1804 Draped Bust Silver Dollar. These coins are not even nearly that rare, but I think they are truly special.

  3. Michael McLaughlin says:

    I also bought one of each in proofs via the Mint’s web site, took me 25 minutes to finalize my order. Have received both in the mail via Fedex. I did write a letter to the mint complaining about the household limit of 5 each. I personally feel this is ridiculous, they should limit the household number to 1 each, 1 UNC and 1 Proof. This allows more buyers the option of buying directly from the Mint. Reference comment by Bruce R. Froman in July 10, 2007 issue…this gentleman has the best plan for selling that I have seen yet; problem is to get the government to go along with this great idea. Here is what I wrote the Mint, whether I’ll get a reply is yet to be seen:

    United States Mint 25 June 2007
    Customer Care Center
    801 9th Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20220

    Attn US Mint Director:

    I would like to take the time to express my great concerns on how the First Spouse Gold Coins that were released June 19, 2007.
    I strongly disagree with the quantity of 5 per household. This is way too many, if everyone bought five (5) of each there would only be 8,000 buyers and this is really restrictive to the coin collecting community.
    I personally purchased one of each in the Proof State for my collection, took me 25 minutes to complete the transaction online and I started promptly at 12 :00 PM Eastern Time.
    I am also an avid eBayer and immediately I find quite a collection on the auction block already at double and triple the US Mint price. This is ridiculous when the Mint allows five (5) units of each to be bought by one individual.
    Please take the necessary action to correct this matter and restrict the quantity to one (1) of each per household. I am referring to one (1) proof and one (1) uncirculated of each coin per household.
    At least give 20,000 people an opportunity to buy at the Mint price instead having to buy from private individuals who are making a killing on these coins.
    Also, please make it possible to email the US Mint via the web site instead of having to write a letter and mail it via the US Postal service. It’s too easy for letters such as these to get lost in the government bureaucracy. I worked for the government for 36 years.
    I would appreciate a reply to this letter in a reasonable amount of time. Thank you for your time.

    Michael D McLaughlin

    Thanks for the opportunity of voicing my opinion…

  4. Sadly, it looks like the popularity of these coins has evaporated.

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