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It's all about gold

How would you like to be in charge of pricing the First Spouse half-ounce gold coins? Here we are just two days prior to the opening of sales for the Louisa Adams coin and prices have not yet been revealed.

Perhaps they will show up later today. I will keep looking.

If the price is set too high, sales will stall even more so than they have for the Elizabeth Monroe coins, which hold the record in this young series for the slowest sales pace.

Only 3,910 uncirculated pieces have been sold and 6,666 proofs. Add them up and they total 10,576, which is hardly more than a quarter of the number that could be sold.

Prices of the Monroe coins are $619.95 for the proof and $599.95 for the uncirculated. That works out to a premium of about 35 percent for the proof and 31 percent for the uncirculated coin.

It is likely that the Louisa Adams prices will be in the same neighborhood if not identical to these unless bullion takes a dramatic leap higher or a fantastic spill lower in the next few hours.

The Dolley Madison coins can still be purchased for $529.95 for the proofs and $509.95 for the uncirculated. Even these relatively low mark-ups from the current price of bullion of 15 percent and 11 percent, respectively, have not sent sales soaring.

I almost wrote “set sales on fire” but that just didn’t seem quite right for the woman who was burned out of the White House in 1814.

It is a shame that the reputations of the First Ladies have been completely overshadowed by the price of gold. It is going to be a long and tedious 10 years.

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4 Responses to It's all about gold

  1. Bradley R. Hutson says:

    Actually, the prices WERE revealed a few days ago on the "Upcoming Products" page. The Louisa Adams coins are priced at the same level as Elizabeth Monroe, $619.95 for the Proof and $599.95 for the Uncirculated. With the spot price of gold as of this writing about $50 lower per ounce than the day the Monroes went on sale, I sense another slow seller coming on. I will wait this one out for a while, as there is no longer a danger of missing out due to a sellout. I won’t drag my feet on the Liberty designs later this year, but Louisa isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Mint MAY even lower the price later if gold spot falls some more. It’s much more common for them to suspend sales and re-price due to rising spot prices, but they have lowered prices in declining spot price scenarios in the past. With the much-larger premium on these coins, it could happen.

  2. Dave Harper says:

    Thanks. I appreciate your update.

  3. Scott Barman says:

    The intent of the First Spouse program was to use gold to honor the spouse behind the president. When the law was passed in December of 2005, gold was about $510 per ounce. When the first Martha Washington coin was being released, gold was about $615 per ounce and the half-ounce gold coins were priced at $429.95 for the proof and $410.95 for the uncirculated coins, 38-percent and 33-percent (respectively) premiums.

    Although that was considered expensive, gold was within relative reach for some and the economy was not as bad.

    Today, everything is different. Gold is $909 per ounce, oil is a more expensive commodity, and the economy is not the greatest. Also the "new car smell" of the program is no longer there. So I expect sales to be down. They might be down for a while–or at least until the economy strengthens.

    Personally, I am not buying these coins. They just don’t do anything for me. I will wait for the proof Buffalo and the Saint-Gaudens piefort next year!

  4. I posted this info on Mint News Blog Friday. Stop by and check it out.

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