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Latest Eagle cheaper with lower gold price

Famous billionaire securities investor Warren Buffett has said that stocks are the only things that the public is reluctant to buy when they are on sale.

How about modern gold coin buyers?

We will find out next week when the 2018-W uncirculated one-ounce American Eagle gold coin is offered by the U.S Mint.

Mintage will be limited to 10,000, which sounds low, but for a gold coin it might even be too high.

Last year’s uncirculated gold ounce saw 5,800 purchased.

That result likely means there will not be a quick sellout when the 2018-W coin becomes available on the U.S. Mint website at noon Eastern Daylight Time July 12.

The two most important factors that will affect the sales outcome are collector preference and price.

Collectors have stronger preference for proofs rather than uncirculateds.

So far, sales of the 2018-W proof one-ounce coin is only just approaching 10,000.

As I assembled the latest Mint Statistics pages, I saw that the one-ounce 2018-W proof has recorded sales of 3,834 individual pieces and another 5,739 that are part of the four-coin set.

That brings the total to 9,573.

Is it likely that more uncirculated pieces will sell than proofs? No.

The second factor influencing collector buying behavior is price.

Collectors do have a tendency to scramble to buy modern gold coins directly from the Mint when the price of bullion rockets higher.

That is not the state of the bullion market today.

The Kitco website said gold was $1,255.90 this morning.

It began the year at $1,306.30.

According to the Mint’s pricing table, the cost of the uncirculated gold piece will be $1,627.50.

Issue price would be $1,577.50 if the average market price of gold is under $1,250.

But a falling bullion price does not get the adrenaline flowing.

Neither does it incite dreams of new record high prices.

As you can see, both factors are pointing to the Mint selling fewer than 10,000 of the 2018-W uncirculated gold pieces.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."