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2008-W $25 Burnished American Gold Eagle
In 2006 the U.S. Mint introduced a new type of American Gold Eagle, which it called uncirculated but most people refer to as burnished because they are produced on specially burnished planchets. They also carry a ‘W” Mint mark for the West Point Mint that issued them.
2008 was an especially volatile year for gold prices, which reached a high in March of $1,011 and a low of $712 in October and ended the year at $880.
While the price of gold resulted in high demand for regular bullion Gold Eagles during the year, the premiums the U.S. Mint charged for the burnished coin, and the fact that in 2008 in particular the Mint was producing so many different precious metal products for collectors, resulted in very low sales of the burnished coins, especially the fractional-sized coins smaller than one oz.
The $25, half oz. Burnished Gold Eagle ended up with a final mintage of 15,683, which was the third lowest for that size coin in this series, which was produced for three years from 2006 to 2008. It would have had a lower mintage if it had not been also issued in the “8-8-08 Prosperity Set” with the $25 Gold Buffalo coin.
Nevertheless, this coin is a favorite of collectors. That is partly because these coins were only issued for three years, and they also “enjoy a halo effect from the general mintage crash that occurred in 2008,” according to Top 50 Most Popular Modern Coins by Eric Jordan and John Maben.
Why purchase this MS70 $25 2008-W Burnished Gold Eagle?
NGC has graded 1,756 of these coins, and of those 85% of 1,495 coins received the top grade of 70, and 15% or 260 coins graded mint state 69.
It is always desirable to own the finest quality, a top-graded mint state 70 coin. In some cases such as this one, the U.S. Mint’s production standards for this issue were very high, which is why the incidence of mint state 70 coins is quite high. And that means that the cost of a mint state 70 is not as high compared to a mint state 69 coin, which presents the buyer with a good opportunity to purchase the best quality at an affordable price.
In addition, the coin is perfect for a registry set, and its inclusion in several of the leading books on modern coins such as 100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins by Scott Schechter and Jeff Garrett (now in its third edition) and the book by Jordan and Maben mentioned above have resulted in the creation of several NGC registry sets that are based on the coins highlighted in those books, which include this one.
For all these reasons it is likely that this coin will remain a collector favorite for a long time.
This 2008-W 1/2 oz Burnished Gold American Eagle $25 NGC MS70 is proudly minted by the U.S. Mint. The United States Mint was founded in 1792 and manufactures circulating, collectible, and bullion coinage.
|Year of Issue:||2008|
|Display Weight:||1/2 oz|
|Weight in Grams:||15.5516 g|
|Weight in Ounces:||0.5 oz|
|Legal Tender:||United States|
|Obverse Design:||Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle design|
|Reverse Design:||Family of Eagles|
|Reverse Designer/Engraver:||Augustus Saint-Gaudens|
|Obverse Designer/Engraver:||Miley Busiek|