Home InfoVault Articles 2015-W American Platinum Eagle Proof Coin Sells Out In Minutes

2015-W American Platinum Eagle Proof Coin Sells Out in Minutes

2015-W American Platinum Eagle Proof Coin Sells Out in Minutes
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Posted: 12-03-2015 03:03:00 PM

Setting what appeared to be a record for the fastest sellout of a modern U.S. gold or platinum coin, the 2015-W American Platinum Eagle proof coin was marked as “unavailable” in less than ten minutes from the time it went on sale.  Not long after that, the Mint reported on its Facebook page in response to a question from a customer that the coins are, indeed, sold out.  

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2015-W Proof American Platinum Eagle

On December 3rd, the U.S. Mint released the much-anticipated 2015-W American Platinum Eagle proof coin. 

Setting what appeared to be a record for the fastest sellout of a modern U.S. gold or platinum coin, the 2015-W American Platinum Eagle proof coin was marked as “unavailable” in less than ten minutes from the time it went on sale. Not long after that, the Mint reported on its Facebook page in response to a question from a customer that the coins are, indeed, sold out. 

Although the coin’s design was approved last year, collectors have been waiting all year for the release of the coin, which created pent-up demand for this issue over the course of the year.

The release of this coin was delayed by difficulties sourcing platinum planchets for the new coins.  As a result of this problem, the U.S. Mint announced on November 25 that only a proof 1 oz. coin will be released this year.  No bullion coins will be struck. 

"As the program moved forward to 2015, the Mint began the process of expanding its supply base for platinum, completing trial strike testing and full production validation with two new suppliers," according to the U.S. Mint's announcement.  "These steps were completed in late October, and Mint officials decided to use the available blanks for the 2015 Torches of Liberty Proof coin program instead of the platinum bullion program. The Mint looks forward to resuming platinum bullion production at its West Point facility as additional blanks become available in 2016."

In addition, the proof coin has a remarkably-low maximum authorized mintage of just 4,000 coins and a household limit of one coin.  In the past these coins had no household limit and had much higher maximum mintages.  No previous gold or platinum coin has ever had a maximum mintage this low. 

Design of the 2015-W Proof American Platinum Eagle

2015-W Proof American Platinum Eagle ReverseThe 2015-W proof platinum coin is part of a two-year “Torches of Liberty” series that focuses on the core values of freedom and liberty and ends with the 2016 coin. 

The 2015 release is called “Liberty Nurtures Freedom,” which is portrayed symbolically on the reverse design by a Lady Liberty figure in a flowing gown with one hand grasping a torch and the other outstretched towards a bald eagle. This modern interpretation of the Statue of Liberty conveys the idea of Liberty looking to the future.

The earth and sun are also shown, as well as the usual inscriptions for denomination of $100, fineness of .9995 platinum, the “W” Mint mark for the West Point Mint, where the coin is struck, and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”

The reverse design was prepared by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion program medallic artist, Joel Iskowitz, who has designed many popular coins for the Mint, and sculpted by Phoebe Hemphill, who has also designed many coins.

The obverse by John Mercanti, who was the 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, features a close-up of the face of the Statue of Liberty plus inscriptions for “LIBERTY,” “2015,” and “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

While the reverse of these coins changes annually, the obverse remains the same from year-to-year. The changing reverses have helped drive interest in the platinum series.

Interest in the Platinum Eagle

The extremely high level of interest in this coin, in addition, comes partly from the appeal of a two-year series that is much easier to complete than the usual multi-year series, and the appeal of the design that is reminiscent of classic U.S. coins.

But two even more important factors are the super-low mintage and the decline in spot platinum prices this year, which resulted in a $400 lower issue price than last year’s platinum proof coin minted by the United States Mint.

The American Platinum Eagle series includes bullion and proof coins in four sizes (1 oz., ½ oz., ¼ oz., and 1/10th oz.) struck since 1997 except for no coins between 2009 and 2013 plus a series of burnished coins issued from 2006 to 2008. 2015-W Proof American Platinum Eagle Obverse

Out of all these coins the lowest mintage coin is the 2008-W half oz. burnished issue with only 2,253 coins sold, which is also one of the lowest-mintage coins issued in the past 100 years by the Mint.

However, within the 1 oz. proof series, which are the only proof coins that are now issued, the 2015-W coin will be by far the lowest mintage coin.  The previous low is the 2014-W coin at 4,596 pieces. Prior to those, mintages were much higher at 5,763 in 2013, 10,084 in 2012, and 14,790 in 2011.

The 4,000 mintage is low not only for a platinum proof coin, but really for any gold or platinum coin issued by the Mint in the modern era, especially since that is the authorized maximum rather than actual sales, which could end up being lower, especially given the planchet shortage. 

Of course, mintage alone is not everything. Demand is also key in shaping a coin’s long-term value, and the price of platinum is also a factor.  Most people believe platinum is very underpriced at its current level.  The speed with which this coin became sold out from the Mint suggests there is indeed very strong demand for this release.

MCM carries certified examples in Proof 69 and 70, including Early and First releases as certified by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).

There is likely to be a strong market for graded examples of this coin, one of the hottest releases of 2015, especially for proof 70 coins.

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About The Author

Louis Golino Louis is an award-winning numismatic journalist and writer specializing on modern coins. He has been writing a weekly column for CoinWeek since May 2011 called “The Coin Analyst,” which focuses primarily on modern U.S. and world coins and developments at major world mints. In August 2015 he received the Numismatic Literary Guild’s award for Best Website Column for “The Coin Analyst.” He is also a contributor to several magazines, including Coin World, where he writes a bimonthly feature;The Numismatist, the American Numismatic Association’s monthly publication, where he writes a monthly column on modern world coins; and American Hard Assets. He began writing about coins in 2009. He is a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum hosted by ModernCoinMart and has written articles for MCM since 2014. He has collected classic and modern U.S. and world coins since he was about 10 and first joined the ANA in the 1970’s. He was previously a congressional relations specialist and policy analyst at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and a syndicated columnist and news analyst on international politics and national security for a wide variety of publications. He has been writing professionally since the early 1980s.

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