October 2, 2022

US Mint Unveils New Pricing Policy

The US Mint unveiled a new pricing policy which covers all Gold and Platinum Numismatic Products. This pricing policy does not refer to any of the bullion offerings, but only the numismatic products which the US Mint sells to coin collectors. The new policy represents a significant shift in the handling of collectible coins with precious metals content.

The US Mint cites “fluctuating gold and platinum commodity costs” as the reason for the change.

In the past, the US Mint has announced prices for products one to two weeks prior to release. The pricing was presumably based on the market price of the precious metals content plus production costs and a profit margin. This initial price could only be adjusted via publication of new pricing in the Federal Register. Since this process takes time, price changes were preceded by sometimes lengthy suspension periods. Even during the most volatile years for precious metals, prices were changed only three to four times at most.

The US Mint’s new pricing policy will allow them to change prices as frequently as once per week. Price levels would be set based on the average weekly price of gold based on London Fix prices for the preceding week, Thursday to Wednesday. If the average price moves across certain thresholds, prices will be adjusted up or down on Thursday at 10:00 AM ET. The new policy will go into effect January 12, 2009.

This is a significant change of policy that will make numismatic products seem more like bullion products, albeit with very high premiums. It will be interesting to see how this new policy sits with coin collectors and whether there will be any kinks in the implementation.

Below is the text of the US Mint’s notification published in the Federal Register.

[Federal Register: January 6, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 3)]
[Page 493-496]


United States Mint

Notification of New Pricing Methodology for Numismatic Products
Containing Platinum and Gold Coins

SUMMARY: The United States Mint is implementing a new pricing methodology for its numismatic products containing platinum and gold coins to mitigate the effect that fluctuating gold and platinum commodity costs has on the pricing of these products. The new pricing methodology is based primarily on the London Fix weekly average (average of the London Fix prices covering the previous Thursday a.m. Fix through the Wednesday a.m. Fix) platinum and gold prices, which reflect the market value of the platinum and gold bullion that these products contain. As required by law, the prices of these products also must be sufficient to recover all other costs incurred by the United States Mint, such as the cost of minting, marketing, and distributing such products (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and promotional and overhead expenses). This pricing methodology will allow the United States Mint to change the prices of these products as often as weekly so they better reflect the costs of platinum and gold on the open markets.

DATES: The new pricing methodology, as further explained in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section, will go into effect on January 12, 2008.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to the authority that 31 U.S.C. 5111(a)(3), 5112(i), 5112(k), 5112(o), and 5112(q) grant the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue gold and platinum coins and to prepare and distribute numismatic items, the United States Mint sells to the public numismatic products containing American Eagle Gold and Platinum Coins, American Buffalo Gold Coins, First Spouse Gold Coins, and the 2009 United States Mint Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin. In accordance with 31 U.S.C. 9701 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)(2)(B), the United States Mint is changing the prices of these coins to reflect a new methodology in pricing.

Effective January 12, 2009, the United States Mint will commence selling numismatic products containing American Eagle Gold and Platinum Coins, American Buffalo Gold Coins, First Spouse Gold Coins, and the 2009 United States Mint Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin at prices established by using the new pricing methodology. Specifically, each Wednesday, the United States Mint will apply the average London Fix for platinum and gold (average of the London Fix prices covering the previous Thursday A.M. Fix through the Wednesday A.M. Fix) to the below pricing schedules. Price adjustments as a result of this process, if any, will be effective at 10 a.m. E.S.T. on the immediately following Thursday.

The pricing charts included with the release follow. Click for large version.

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