Sales of the 2015 High Relief $100 gold piece have hit a wall.
Daily demand has fallen to practically nothing.
Total sales as of Sunday, Aug. 2, reached a very strong 41,930 after the coin first became available Thursday, July 30.
By Tuesday, Aug. 4, the recorded sales number was 42,146, up 216 coins.
On Wednesday the Mint put the sales total at 42,167, up just 21 pieces.
There is no better example of the front-end loading of new coin demand by current collectors.
It also is testimony to the powerful effect the third-party grading service designation of early release or first strike has on the secondary market.
But what happens to the market for a coin when most of the issue qualifies for an early release designation?
There will be some coins, of course, that will not earn this label because they won’t be delivered in time.
Coin buyers who want these designations are now deterred from placing new orders with the Mint by the current backorder status of the High Relief and its scheduled delivery date of Oct. 1.
High Relief prices on the secondary market are up so far, but not performing all that well.
This might be due to two additional factors.
Commercial sellers of these coins on the secondary market had an easy time assembling an inventory quickly.
The very high household order limit of 50 coins assures that there are ample supples in their hands.
These commercial sellers will not have to do much, if any, additional buying on the secondary market.
Their financial incentive in fact will be to sell off their holdings as fast as possible.
They do not want to be sitting on an inventory that could fall in value.
The second factor affecting the market is that there is no positive psychological effect of a sellout on collector perceptions of the desirability of the issue. They will instead focus on the excess supply of nearly 8,000 coins – 7,833 to be exact.
Latecomers to the market know they have access to the Mint’s remaining coins. That knowledge will diminish their urge to bid up prices on the secondary market even of coins with the best third-party labels.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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