August 13, 2022

2010 Platinum Eagles Available

The United States Mint began selling 2010 American Platinum Eagles this week– not the bullion coins, but the collectible proof version of the coin.

Platinum bullion coins actually have not been produced by the US Mint since late 2008. The 2009-dated bullion coins were announced canceled as part of a broader announcement, citing “unprecedented demand” for gold and silver bullion coins. There have been no specific updates on the status of platinum bullion coins for the current year.

The one ounce proof 2010 Platinum Eagles are limited to a maximum mintage of 10,000 coins. The initial sales price was set at $1,892. In the absence of bullion versions of the American Platinum Eagle, will this offering have a broader appeal from precious metals investors, rather than just coin collectors?

At the current price, the one ounce proof coins carry a premium of nearly 25% above the current price of platinum. By comparison, a well known bullion dealer has one ounce Platinum Maple Leaf coins available for $1,645 each, or one ounce Platinum Eagles priced at $1,725. These prices represent premiums of 8.22% and 13.49%.

Pricing for the US Mint’s 2010 Proof Platinum Eagle is tiered and based on a weekly average price of platinum, which presents an opportunity to wait for a more favorable price. Assuming the coins do not sell out and platinum prices remain around the current levels, prices for the coins should actually be decreased by $100 on Wednesday of next week. If the price does decline to $1,792 per coin and platinum stays at $1,520 per ounce, the premium above platinum value would be cut down to 17.89%. At around 4.4% more than the premium for random date, bullion quality American Platinum Eagles, precious metals investors may be enticed.

The 2009 Proof Platinum Eagles, which were limited to 8,000 coins, managed to sell out after about a week. The coins now sell for around $2,400 each due to demand from the collector market.

Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium 2010 Second Quarter Performance

Although gold and silver are experiencing a sharp decline today, they recorded strong performance during the second quarter of 2010. Platinum and palladium both posted declines for second quarter, but maintain gains for the year to date.

The table below shows the last London Fix Price of 2009 for each metal and the last price for June 30, 2010 followed by the percentage gain or loss for the 2010 Second Quarter and the Year to Date performance.

2009 Close June 30, 2010 Close 2nd Quarter YTD
Gold $ 1,087.50 $ 1,244.00 11.52% 14.39%
Silver $ 16.99 $ 18.74 7.09% 10.30%
Platinum $ 1,461.00 $ 1,532.00 -6.87% 4.86%
Palladium $ 393.00 $ 446.00 -6.89% 13.49%

Gold recorded the largest gain for the most recent quarter with an increase of 11.52%. It is also showing the strong performance out of the four metals for the year to date, up 14.39%. During 2009, the other three metals had outperformed gold by wide margins.

Silver posted a gain of 7.09% for the quarter and is up 10.30% for the year to date. Notably, silver has now posted a gain for the past six consecutive quarters. This represents the longest quarterly winning streak which took place through the beginning of 1980 when silver had eleven consecutive quarters of gains.

Platinum and palladium showed declines of 6.87% and 6.89% for the quarter. Year to date numbers remain positive at 4.86% and 13.49%.

Measuring Declines from the High- Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium

For the past few weeks, precious metals have undergone significant, rapid declines. This follows a year of banner performance during 2009. I wanted to take a post to briefly examine the extent of the declines for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

Roughly two months ago, gold had reached a new all time high and silver had reached its highest level going back about twenty months. Less than three weeks ago, platinum and palladium had reached their highest levels in about sixteen months.

The figures below show the recent high compared to the recent low and the extent of the decline. All figures are London PM Fix.

Gold

Recent High: $1,212.50 (December 2, 2009)
Recent Low: $1,058.00 (February 5, 2010)
Decline: -$154.50 (-12.74%)

Silver

Recent High: $19.18 (December 2, 2009)
Recent Low: $15.14 (February 8, 2010)
Decline: -$4.04 (-21.06%)

Platinum

Recent High: $1,627.00 (January 20, 2010)
Recent Low: $1,475.00 (February 5, 2010)
Decline: -$152.00 (-9.34%)

Palladium

Recent High: $462.00 (January 21, 2010)
Recent Low: $395.00 (February 5, 2010)
Decline: -$67.00 (-14.50%)

2009 Precious Metals Performance: Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium

Precious metals delivered a strong performance during 2009 with strong returns across the major categories of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Although gold seemed to dominate the attention of the mainstream press, the annual performance figures reveal that it was outperformed by other precious metals.

The table below displays the last price of 2008 from Kitco’s historical charts and the last price of 2009. The change and percentage change are computed below.

2009 Precious Metals Performance

Gold Silver Platinum Palladium
Last 2008 Price 869.75 10.79 898.00 183.00
Last 2009 Price 1,087.50 16.99 1,461.00 393.00
Change 217.75 6.20 563.00 210.00
Percentage Change 25.04% 57.46% 62.69% 114.75%

As seen above the surprising winner for the year was palladium, which delivered a return of 114.75%. This was followed by platinum with 62,69%, silver with a gain of 57.46%, and lastly gold with a gain of 25.04% recorded.

In some respects the out performance of palladium, platinum, and silver are simply making up for ground that was lost during 2008 (2008 Precious Metals Performance). Last year palladium had fallen by nearly 50%, platinum by about 40%, and silver by 26%. During the same period, gold recorded a small gain of 4.32%.

One of the recent characteristics of gold has been its steady upward march, defying panics in other asset classes, and general declines in commodities. This year marks gold’s ninth annual gain, which has brought the price of gold 291% higher from the end of 2000 until the end of 2009.

2009 Proof Platinum Eagle

Despite the fact that the 2009 Platinum Eagle bullion coins have been canceled, the US Mint announced their intention to release a collectible Proof 2009 Platinum Eagle later this year. Each year since 1997, the US Mint has produced a collectible proof version of the platinum bullion coin for collectors. Since 1998, the coins have featured a unique reverse design, which changes each year.

The 2009 Proof Platinum Eagle offerings will be curtailed from previous years. From 1997 to 2008, the US Mint had offered a full range of coins including 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz coins, plus a 4 Coin Set. From 2006 to 2008, they had supplemented the offerings with collectible uncirculated coins produced in the same range of individual coins with a 4 Coin Set. At the end of 2008, the US Mint announced all but the one ounce proof coin discontinued.

The design for this year’s proof Platinum Eagle will be an interpretation of the theme “To Form a More Perfect Union.” Early in 2008, several design concepts were produced by the United States Mint and sent to the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory for comment and review. The CFA eventualy endorsed a design featuring a smal tree with thirteen leaves. The CCAC favored a design featuring four faces representing the diversity of America. The final design choice has not yet been announced by the US Mint.

The 2009 Proof Platinum Eagle has a tentative release date of December 3, 2009. Pricing and ordering information have not yet been announced. Based on a pricing grid used for the 2008 Platinum Eagles, the price of the one ounce proof coin is projected to be $1,692 based on an average price of platinum between $1,350.00 to $1,449.99. If the average price of platinum falls into a different $100 increment, the price would be adjusted accordingly.

Last year, the US Mint sold 5,030 of the 2008 Proof Platinum Eagles. Projected demand for the 2009 coin is expected to be higher, due to the curious circumstances surroudning the coins release. How many coins the US Mint sells may actually just boil down to how many they can produce.

2009 Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins Canceled

For the first time since Platinum Eagles were introduced, the United States Mint will not produce platinum bullion coins. This comes after nearly a year of suspension and uncertainty.

The American Platinum Eagle was introduced in 1997 as the first and only investment grade platinum coin issued by the United States Mint. Sales of the coin began strong, with more than 300,000 ounces of platinum sold in the first three years of the program. The US Mint offered a range of weights to accommodate different investment levels. This included one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce coins. During these early years of the program, the average price of platinum was below $400 per ounce.

As the price of platinum began to move higher in the following years, the US Mint sold fewer and fewer Platinum Eagle bullion coins. Between the years 2003 to 2007, less than 10,000 of the one ounce bullion coins were sold each year. Sales figures finally perked up in 2008, after the price of platinum fell by more than half. After selling more than double last year’s level of coins, the US Mint announced the depletion of their inventory and the delayed release of the 2009 coins.

Last week, the 2009 Platinum Eagle bullion coins were finally announced as canceled. In contrast to the actions of the United States Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint actually revived their platinum bullion coin program beginning in 2009. They had previously canceled the program in 1999, citing low demand for the products. The line was quickly revived this year when the RCM recognized a high level of interest from distributors. Sales of the 2009 Platinum Maple Leaf have reportedly been strong throughout the year.

Despite the cancellation of the bullion version of the coin, the US Mint will offer a collectible proof 2009 Platinum Eagle. These coins are minted for collectors and sold at a higher premium to the precious metal value compared to the bullion coins.

Where are the 2009 American Platinum Eagles?

The year is nearly three-quarters of the way completed, and there have been no 2009 American Platinum Eagle coins available from the United States Mint in any form.

Last year on October 25, 2008, the US Mint had announced the sale of the final inventory of 2008 Platinum Eagle bullion coins. They later announced on November 24, 2008 that their inventory had been depleted and the release of 2009 dated platinum bullion coins would be delayed. Since this date, I am not aware of any communication or update issued by the US Mint with regards to their platinum coin offerings.

During this ten month time period, the price of platinum has recovered from its lows and posted more than a 50% gain. The price of platinum hit its low right around the time the US Mint stopped selling it.

Chart- Kitco.com

This is not the only bullion or collectible bullion coin that the US Mint has delayed this year. Among the list of expected 2009 precious metals coins expected, but still not issued are: fractional Gold Eagle bullion coins, 24 karat Gold Buffalo bullion coins, collectible proof and uncirculated Gold Eagles, collectible proof Gold Buffaloes, collectible proof and uncirculated Silver Eagles, and collectible proof Platinum Eagles. For the missing gold and silver coins, the US Mint has offered blanket explanations about a tight supply of precious metals blanks. (These explanations were posted earlier in the year, when the arguments actually made sense.) There has been no explanation offered for the missing platinum coins.

Incidentally, the Royal Canadian Mint has been selling their platinum coin, the Platinum Maple Leaf, for most of the year. This coin program had actually been suspended after 2002 amidst a lack of demand. The RCM revived the program this year amidst strong demand . Incidentally, this was a coin program that had been suspended since 2002. It was revived in 2009, amidst strong demand from distributors.

Gold, Silver & Platinum 2009 Second Quarter Performance

With the second quarter behind us, let’s take a look at the performance of gold, silver, and platinum for the second quarter of 2009 and year to date.

All of the metals posted gains, but at single digit levels. The best performer for the second quarter was silver with a gain of 6.33%, followed by platinum with a gain of 5.52%, and then gold with a gain of 1.96%. The closing numbers don’t tell the full story. At the beginning of June, precious metals prices had spiked. At this recent peak, silver had been up as much as 22% for the quarter. Platinum and gold were also showing heftier gains at this time.

2009 Second Quarter Gold, Silver, and Platinum Performance
31-Mar-09 30-Jun-09 Change Percent
Gold 916.5 934.50 18.00 1.96%
Silver 13.11 13.94 0.83 6.33%
Platinum 1,124.00 1186.00 62.00 5.52%

On a year to date basis, the top precious metal performer remains as platinum with a gain of 32.07% on the year. This is followed by silver with a gain of 29.19% and gold with a gain of 7.44%. The performance of the metals had lined up in the same manner at the close of the first quarter.

2009 YTD Gold, Silver, and Platinum Performance
30-Dec-08 30-Jun-09 Change Percent
Gold 869.75 934.50 64.75 7.44%
Silver 10.79 13.94 3.15 29.19%
Platinum 898.00 1186.00 288 32.07%

Platinum & Palladium Bullion from Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint has revived two bullion coin programs that had been previously been suspended for a number of years. This includes the Platinum Maple Leaf, with bullion coins already available, and the Palladium Maple Leaf, which is planned for later this year.

The Platinum Maple Leaf was originally launched by the Royal Canadian Mint in 1988 and offered in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz sizes. The platinum bullion coins were offered until 1999 when the price of platinum started to rise and demand for the coins started to drop. Ten years later, the RCM revived the program due to demand from distributors. So far, the 2009 Platinum Maple Leaf has only been produced in 1 ounce size. The RCM does not sell the coins directly, but they can be purchased through most bullion dealers.

For 2009, the RCM seems to be the only major world mint producing platinum bullion coins. The United States Mint typically produces the popular Platinum Eagle bullion coins. In late 2008, the US Mint announced that the launch of 2009 dated coins would be delayed. To date no coins have been available and no details have emerged about the status of the program.

The Palladium Maple Leaf was the world’s first palladium bullion coin offered. (Note: Some mints have issued commemorative or special issue coins minted in palladium.) The coins were introduced in 2005 and limited to production of only 40,000 coins, which were all sold. The novelty of palladium bullion wore off by 2007 when only 15,000 coins were sold and the program was ended.

Palladium bullion coins currently carry high premiums due to the fact that no major world mints currently produce the coins, and the brief production by the RCM was in very limited numbers. So far the RCM has stated that they intend to begin producing palladium bullion coins for 2009, but no availability date has been provided.

Platinum ETF and Palladium ETF Coming Soon?

ETF Securities USA recently filed with the SEC to launch exchange traded funds covering platinum and palladium. There are currently no exchange traded funds covering these metals available in the United States.

The same firm already offers ETFs for platinum and palladium which trade in Europe. According to the Wall Street Journal, the platinum holdings for the ETF approach 500,000 ounces.

Rumors of a platinum ETF for the US market briefly made the rounds back in May 2007 after the launch of the European ETFs. The rumors were quickly squelched as it was viewed as unlikely that the SEC would approve such a listing. At the time, the world’s largest platinum producers were reportedly unsupportive of the idea and pressure from the US auto lobby against the ETF was viewed as likely.

With platinum more than 50% off its peak and auto manufacturers dealing with larger issues, there doesn’t seem to be as much resistance this time around.

Here you can view the SEC filings for the proposed platinum and palladium ETFs. The filings indicate that the price per share would be equal to the value of one-tenth of an ounce of each metal.Today, platinum traded at $1,175 and palladium traded at $231. The filings include world supply and demand figures for the metals for the past ten years. In 2008, reported supply exceeded reported demand for both platinum and palladium.

The ETFs would be launched at a time when obtaining physical platinum and palladium for investment continues to be difficult or at high premiums. In order to buy physical platinum in coins or bars, premiums can be $100 or more – if you can find them. The US Mint delayed the 2009 launch of their platinum bullion product the Platinum Eagle. This delay has continued without any update. Physical palladium for investment is usually obtained in bars. The Royal Canadian Mint briefly offered the Palladium Maple Leaf from 2005 to 2007, but ended the program due to low demand.