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Buy That Gold or Else
January 15, 2010



We hobbyists are used to the shortages that have manifested themselves in the gold bullion American Eagle market on an off for the past 18 months, but how will we react to mandatory purchases?

It sounds strange, I know.

However a possibility exists that not all 2009-dated gold American Eagles will be sold by the time the 2010 coins go on sale to the authorized purchaser network on Jan. 19. As of Jan. 13, the Mint had 51,000 of the 2009 gold American Eagles on hand, which represents roughly a half month’s supply.

The Mint has a plan to get rid of them if buyers don’t step up to the plate between now and Jan. 19.

Force them to buy.

Any buyer who wants 2010 gold American Eagles will have to also buy 2009 coins until the supply is deleted.

For every three 2010 coins they purchase, they will also have to take one 2009 coin.

Will the market absorb these without fuss, or will this turn into another grievance against the Mint?

The date should make no difference to investors. Gold is gold, but collectors or other buyers who are focused on the new date might not care for the older coins and resent yet another unexpected turn in the secondary market for these coins.

On the other hand, perhaps the premium for the 2009 gold will fall enough on the secondary market to induce investors to take the supply, thereby achieving more bang for their investment buck.

Let’s watch and see.

One more thing, because the Mint ran out of 2009 silver American Eagles Jan. 12, possible mandatory purchases apply only to gold American Eagles.



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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News, Bank Note Reporter and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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