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Is $100 the tripwire?

Shoes just keep dropping. It wasn’t my intention to write about the U.S. Mint so much this week, but, hey, as they say, stuff happens.

The latest stuff was the Mint suspending sales yesterday afternoon of the “W” uncirculated platinum American Eagle coins and the bulk sales of the proof platinum American Eagle four-coin set.

The reason is the usual one. Bullion prices are rising. The Mint wants to reprice, but the repricing mechanism is so cumbersome that the Mint must go through a lengthy internal process to come up with new pricing.

We don’t know how long that process is, because the “W” uncirculated gold American Eagles, which went on the unavailable list Sept. 13, are still unavailable. Perhaps soon we will know the answer.

However there is one interesting tidbit I want to put out there. It would seem that for the Mint, a $100 difference is the tripwire that sets their suspensions in motion.

The one-ounce platinum “W” unc coin was priced at $1,489.95 each. Platinum trading started yesterday with an ounce of bullion at more than $100 below the sales price, but it closed at $1,398, up roughly $18, and taking it to a level of less than a $100 difference from the coin’s price.

The same can be said of the proof Buffalo gold that went off sale the day before. It got within the $100 range of the $825.95 issue price and stayed there.

The $100 figure for one ounce of gold or platinum may not be precise, but it is certainly something to file away for future reference.

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