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Check those checkbooks

Brother, can you spare $20,798,000?

That’s what the Mint hopes to get from coin collectors when the Dolley Madison First Spouse gold coins go on sale at noon Eastern time today.

This is more than the Mint asked for the Martha Washington and Abigail Adams and Jefferson Liberty coins that went on sale in June and August, respectively.

Rapidly rising gold prices have forced the Mint to increase the average sales price by 19.14 percent. I write average because that compares the sales dollar totals from prior offerings and assumes the current offering will sell out in the same even 20,000-coin increments.

It may not work out this way. It is possible that the Madison First Spouse coins will not sell out as the others did. The price hike might stop would-be buyers. The less active secondary market for First Spouse coins might also slow down buyers who plan simply to acquire the coins from the Mint for the sole purpose of immdiately selling them online.

Perhaps more proofs will sell this time than uncirculated coins. It has been a bit unusual for three offerings in a row to go exactly 50-50 when other programs see proof coins preferred by roughly 3-1.

The figure $20,798,000 may not sound like a lot in an age of government budgets in trillions of dollars, but the figure is real money to real collector budgets. Collectors have already ponied up $50,454,000. If the Madison coins sell out, that totals $71,252,000.

With a minimum run of 10 years, collectors collectively will be asked for $712,520,000 for First Spouse coins. That number is almost three-quarters of a billion dollars and it presumes no further rises in issue prices.

This is a large number to ask of collectors. Can they spare it? We’ll see.

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4 Responses to Check those checkbooks

  1. John Drown says:

    I really pushed the budget limits early this year when I bought the first three proof First Spouse coins. The Dolley coin willl not find its way to my home though, the $100 jump in price and the reletively slow appreciation has put an end to my gold collecting. I might wait for a special First Lady like Jackie Kennedy (my wife would like that one) but hardly any others are intersting enough. I think I’ll stay with silver.

  2. DixonAgee says:

    There is no mystery why the coins are sold in a 50/50 proof/uncirculated ratio – the Mint expressly states that they will be minted and sold in exactly that ratio.

    For example, go to the page for the Dolly Madison coin and you’ll find the following quote: "Dolley Madison Coin Maximum Mintage: 40,000 total across all product options. A maximum of 20,000 proof coins and 20,000 uncirculated coins will be produced." This has been the stated policy of all four coins to date.

    Mystery solved. 😉

  3. Yikes! When you put it that way it does seem like a lot to ask of collectors. Especially in light of the twice a year commems, the new collectible versions of all the bullion coins, the annual sets, and all of the various state quarter and presidential dollar products…

  4. DixonAgee says:

    Did you ever wonder how they slip 40,000 gold coins (20,00 ounces of gold) into the package shipping system without anyone noticing? Seems like a stage-robbery waiting to happen.

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