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Do $5 gold commems make sense anymore?

OverdateOverdate Posts: 6,939 ✭✭✭✭✭

As of this writing, gold is at $2180 and the melt value of a $5 gold commem is $527. The popularity of the series has tanked as these coins have become increasingly unaffordable for the average collector. Early issues were popular, with mintages of several hundred thousand. The latest releases have mintages well under 10,000 for proof and uncirculated combined. Premiums over melt have nosedived even for the coins with the lowest mintages.

To make the gold commems more affordable, and perhaps regain some of their popularity, I suggest that the gold content be reduced for future issues, either by reducing their size and denomination, or reducing their gold content to perhaps .500 fine. My personal preference would be for a $3 coin with the classic dimensions and gold content. This would reduce the gold content by 40% and still provide enough space for placement of attractive designs.

My Adolph A. Weinman signature :)

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    AzurescensAzurescens Posts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would be very happy if we saw a return to $1 and $3 gold pieces some time before 2033. I'm not very fond of modern US commems but I definitely could be if they made some attractive smaller pieces.

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    privatecoinprivatecoin Posts: 3,190 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Gold dollar and silver 3c.

    Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value. Zero. Voltaire. Ebay coinbowlllc

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    U1chicagoU1chicago Posts: 5,610 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wouldn’t mind a change to less gold content as an attempt to provide lower cost options (although even at 1/10 Oz, it would be a pricey coin with today’s premiums).

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,485 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 21, 2024 12:33PM

    @privatecoin said:
    Gold dollar and silver 3c.

    Both of those coins are too small to provide space for a decent design.

    I read in "Coin World" this week that the mint is going to put out a series of 1/10th, quarter, half and full ounce gold coins with designs of classic coins for the 250th celebration. At the current price of gold, those pieces will definitely "run the riff-raff collectors out of the neighborhood." If the mint charges $2,500 an ounce for these pieces, which is too low, that would come to over $23,000 for the sets. It will really be well over $30,000. Too rich for my blood, given my other collecting interests.

    And think ... Back in 1976 they did what they could to keep the sets affordable.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not from a "buy it new from the mint" standpoint.
    But definitely from an "affordable option for buying gold on a budget" standpoint.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
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    johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,513 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The .20 cent piece could be interesting

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    coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't really see the US mint being any less the gold digging (pardon the pun) greedy price gougers that they are today no matter the size or content. I mean look at the prices for the current modern Morgan and Peace dollars, that is some crazy premium over the metal value.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
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    FrazFraz Posts: 1,860 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’m encouraged that an office of the government might understand marketing and profiteering..
    The little gold pieces are the chaff that I throw on the ground when zombies chase me. What is bullion for?

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    mark_dakmark_dak Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was stacking them with OGP and capsule only at melt when the gold price was half or even less what it is today. They are currently "collecting dust" if dust can get into my SDB. I'm not sure that cost is really the issue... for some reason they just aren't collected by many in the hobby.

    Mark

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    MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,945 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think that the coins will be tremendously popular after one or two more “great melts”, and I hope the Mint stays the course with the current formats.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
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    OverdateOverdate Posts: 6,939 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MrEureka said:
    I think that the coins will be tremendously popular after one or two more “great melts”, and I hope the Mint stays the course with the current formats.

    I'm not understanding why "great melts" would make the $5 gold commems more popular. Granted that such melts would reduce the population of common dates, they would remain common, and the melts would be unlikely to affect the price or popularity of the scarce dates.

    My Adolph A. Weinman signature :)

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    Insider3Insider3 Posts: 260 ✭✭✭

    @MrEureka said:
    I think that the coins will be tremendously popular after one or two more “great melts”, and I hope the Mint stays the course with the current formats.

    100% in agreement. Many of us will not be around but one day these coins we consider "melt" now will be sought after. It has happened before to unpopular coins and will continue to happen in the future. I remember when error vintage coins like Liberty Seated "novelties" were considered culls along with Chop marked Trade dollars. :p

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    SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,255 ✭✭✭✭✭

    With the mint premium, they have never made sense. Especially most of the designs.

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    GoldminersGoldminers Posts: 3,587 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They should just stop minting the uncirculated gold commemoratives. The several thousand remaining commemorative gold collectors seem to prefer the proofs anyway.

    As far as reducing the gold content to .500, I think that is classic inflationary currency debasement. The joke is they will still say they are "worth" five US dollars.

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    MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,945 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Overdate said:

    @MrEureka said:
    I think that the coins will be tremendously popular after one or two more “great melts”, and I hope the Mint stays the course with the current formats.

    I'm not understanding why "great melts" would make the $5 gold commems more popular. Granted that such melts would reduce the population of common dates, they would remain common, and the melts would be unlikely to affect the price or popularity of the scarce dates.

    Almost all of the commem $5's, including low mintage issues, are now trading at melt in the wholesale market. With any further big spike in the price of gold, even the scarcest issues will be indiscriminately tossed into the melting pot. And at some later point, when it becomes clear that many issues have well under 1000 in existence, I think the coins will attract some attention as legitimately rare coins.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
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    OverdateOverdate Posts: 6,939 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 21, 2024 10:15PM

    @MrEureka said:
    Almost all of the commem $5's, including low mintage issues, are now trading at melt in the wholesale market. With any further big spike in the price of gold, even the scarcest issues will be indiscriminately tossed into the melting pot. And at some later point, when it becomes clear that many issues have well under 1000 in existence, I think the coins will attract some attention as legitimately rare coins.

    I agree up to a point. But any big spike in the price of gold will make collecting the series, including the scarce coins, even more unaffordable. Future financial returns, on a percentage basis, will probably be better on a common coin such as the 1987 Constitution commem than on the low-mintage 2022 issues.

    Premiums on precious metal coins tend to become compressed as the price of the underlying metal rises. Here’s an example from my own experience: when I was actively roll searching back in 1964, I found several circulated 1955 Franklin halves that I was able to sell for $7.00 each. (That’s $70 in today’s dollars.) Nearly all of the other halves in the rolls were spending money, and I spent them. Today circulated 1955 halves carry barely any premium at all over their melt value, and I would have done nearly as well by keeping the common 1963 halves instead.

    Unless gold and silver prices take a deep dive, I don't see premiums for the scarce issues making any kind of a significant comeback.

    My Adolph A. Weinman signature :)

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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,639 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 21, 2024 10:38PM

    $5 US Modern Gold Commems: Many in my coin club invest in them. I like the modern slabbed ones in MS69 &70.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,438 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Does the subject matter and the proliferation of issues have anything to do with their lack of popularity with coin collectors?

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,945 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:
    Does the subject matter and the proliferation of issues have anything to do with their lack of popularity with coin collectors?

    Sure, but the subject matter of every one of them still compares favorably to that of a Morgan Dollar.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,438 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MrEureka said:

    @PerryHall said:
    Does the subject matter and the proliferation of issues have anything to do with their lack of popularity with coin collectors?

    Sure, but the subject matter of every one of them still compares favorably to that of a Morgan Dollar.

    Comparing a commemorative gold coin to a regular issue silver dollar is an apples to oranges comparison. :D

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    privatecoinprivatecoin Posts: 3,190 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:

    @privatecoin said:
    Gold dollar and silver 3c.

    Both of those coins are too small to provide space for a decent design.

    To each their own. With today's technology there could be plenty of room for design. How many words were squeezed in the shirt on a recent quarter? 😆

    Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value. Zero. Voltaire. Ebay coinbowlllc

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    MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,945 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:

    @MrEureka said:

    @PerryHall said:
    Does the subject matter and the proliferation of issues have anything to do with their lack of popularity with coin collectors?

    Sure, but the subject matter of every one of them still compares favorably to that of a Morgan Dollar.

    Comparing a commemorative gold coin to a regular issue silver dollar is an apples to oranges comparison. :D

    Agreed. Gold is way better than silver.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
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    erscoloerscolo Posts: 494 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Gold has been too expensive for me to purchase more than three of the five dollar commemoratives. I stick with the half dollar and dollar pieces on those commemoratives I do purchase. The only exceptions were the proof and uncirculated Apollo 11 issue in 2019, and the proof Greatest Generation issue in 2024. The three coin proof set was a big pill at $836.

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,485 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @privatecoin said:

    @BillJones said:

    @privatecoin said:
    Gold dollar and silver 3c.

    Both of those coins are too small to provide space for a decent design.

    To each their own. With today's technology there could be plenty of room for design. How many words were squeezed in the shirt on a recent quarter? 😆

    When I was a dealer, some customers refused to buy small coins like gold dollars and even dimes. For many collectors the bigger the better.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,716 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Too many coin collecting options could kill the hobby. That's the major reason why stamps are no longer avidly collected.

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    The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Perhaps the responsibility/privilege of producing the $5 gold piece should be passed around to the various mints, honoring the simple fact that the denomination is the only one to be produced at all eight facilities, and likewise in the formats of uncirculated, proof, and reverse proof. And given the low mintages of recent issues, interest may be generated if pieces were struck at Carson City on the old press.

    Custom album maker and numismatic photographer, see my portfolio here: (http://www.donahuenumismatics.com/).

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    WillieBoyd2WillieBoyd2 Posts: 5,037 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bought this coin just because I liked it.

    It is about the size of a US $5 gold coin.

    image
    Denmark 20 Kroner 1913
    Gold, 22.0 mm, 8.97 gm

    When you have a king your coin designs are already done.

    :)

    https://www.brianrxm.com
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    tommy44tommy44 Posts: 2,195 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Before gold broke the $2,000 per ounce recently I was a stacker of these at melt to 2% over. I still think they would be fine for anyone that just wants to owe some gold.

    it's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide

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    @WillieBoyd2 said:
    I bought this coin just because I liked it.

    It is about the size of a US $5 gold coin.

    image
    Denmark 20 Kroner 1913
    Gold, 22.0 mm, 8.97 gm

    When you have a king your coin designs are already done.

    :)

    Well, half way done anyways. 😉

    Having fun while switching things up and focusing on a next level PCGS slabbed 1950+ type set, while still looking for great examples for the 7070.

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    Almost all of the commem $5's, including low mintage issues, are now trading at melt in the wholesale market.

    Well, they kinda always have though. Unless my memory is failing me. With a few exceptions they’ve always been very close to spot.

    Having fun while switching things up and focusing on a next level PCGS slabbed 1950+ type set, while still looking for great examples for the 7070.

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    MartinMartin Posts: 840 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @WillieBoyd2

    Is that coin graded?

    I have a 1912 version of it got it for
    aLittle over melt. Long time ago

    Martin

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    OverdateOverdate Posts: 6,939 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jacques_Loungecoque said:

    Almost all of the commem $5's, including low mintage issues, are now trading at melt in the wholesale market.

    Well, they kinda always have though. Unless my memory is failing me. With a few exceptions they’ve always been very close to spot.

    If I remember correctly, prices realized for the "keys" were way above melt between 2000 and 2010. The unc. Jackie Robinson peaked around $4000 (I sold one at that price) and three of the four 1995-96 unc. Olympic gold commems were fetching around $2000 each. Several "semi-keys" were also bringing quite a bit above melt. And that was with mintages considerably above those achieved more recently.

    My Adolph A. Weinman signature :)

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    mark_dakmark_dak Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @tommy44 said:
    Before gold broke the $2,000 per ounce recently I was a stacker of these at melt to 2% over. I still think they would be fine for anyone that just wants to owe some gold.

    Bought them at melt well before that... they will be the first to go if/when I sell off my gold. Definitely will be on the block before my pre-1933 stuff goes.

    Mark

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    TomBTomB Posts: 20,733 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a stack of these modern $5 gold commems as bullion, too. Fortunately, the common issues could always be found around melt and then when Bing worked with ebay on that disastrous marketing promotion around 2008-2010 I picked up dozens more. Does anyone else recall when Bing and ebay worked together to give 35% cash rebates to folks who purchased an ebay item after searching for it on Bing? I purchased lots of gold well under bullion value at that time.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
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    OverdateOverdate Posts: 6,939 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB said:
    I have a stack of these modern $5 gold commems as bullion, too. Fortunately, the common issues could always be found around melt and then when Bing worked with ebay on that disastrous marketing promotion around 2008-2010 I picked up dozens more. Does anyone else recall when Bing and ebay worked together to give 35% cash rebates to folks who purchased an ebay item after searching for it on Bing? I purchased lots of gold well under bullion value at that time.

    I recall using those rebates to buy several packs of 100 two-dollar bills at around $170 per pack.

    My Adolph A. Weinman signature :)

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    @TomB said:
    I have a stack of these modern $5 gold commems as bullion, too. Fortunately, the common issues could always be found around melt and then when Bing worked with ebay on that disastrous marketing promotion around 2008-2010 I picked up dozens more. Does anyone else recall when Bing and ebay worked together to give 35% cash rebates to folks who purchased an ebay item after searching for it on Bing? I purchased lots of gold well under bullion value at that time.

    Wow, Tom. I was out of the numismatic world during that time period, give or take a few years on each side. I sure wish I was involved in this promotion. What a missed opportunity! Sounds like a once in a lifetime situation.

    Having fun while switching things up and focusing on a next level PCGS slabbed 1950+ type set, while still looking for great examples for the 7070.

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    GoldminersGoldminers Posts: 3,587 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Mintages uncirculated gold:
    2021 Law Enforcement 1,754
    2022 Purple Heart 1,677
    2022 Negro Leagues Baseball 1,507
    2024 Harriet Tubman 998 so far, but Mint states it is limited or "not available" depending on occasional returns?
    2024 Greatest Generation 848 as of March 17th, still pre-order

    The more expensive the mint premiums above the gold price, the fewer sales?
    The more expensive gold spot, the fewer sales?
    The modern design topics commemorated, fewer sales?
    All of the above?

    The Mint should stop the uncirculated gold commemorative coins. Probably losing money on them.

    Maybe just mint proofs and since they are not really intended for circulation, I would think using .9999 gold like buffaloes or spouses would be a better choice for composition.

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    WCCWCC Posts: 2,383 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Overdate said:

    I agree up to a point. But any big spike in the price of gold will make collecting the series, including the scarce coins, even more unaffordable. Future financial returns, on a percentage basis, will probably be better on a common coin such as the 1987 Constitution commem than on the low-mintage 2022 issues.

    Premiums on precious metal coins tend to become compressed as the price of the underlying metal rises. Here’s an example from my own experience: when I was actively roll searching back in 1964, I found several circulated 1955 Franklin halves that I was able to sell for $7.00 each. (That’s $70 in today’s dollars.) Nearly all of the other halves in the rolls were spending money, and I spent them. Today circulated 1955 halves carry barely any premium at all over their melt value, and I would have done nearly as well by keeping the common 1963 halves instead.

    Unless gold and silver prices take a deep dive, I don't see premiums for the scarce issues making any kind of a significant comeback.

    I don't think it will make any difference either, except with speculators buying for "investment".

    Look at the First Spouse coins. Some might potentially approach 1000 now also due to melting. There are likely far more buyers buying it for the low mintage than for actual collecting. That's not exactly a winning formula for future appreciation.

    The current prices reflect a lack of interest in the coins as collectibles. Collectors either like the coins or don't. It's apparent the entire series has a low collector preference, and it shouldn't be a mystery because there are far more interesting coins available for close to the same money. What's going to make future collectors like it more than now?

    None of these coins are actually scarce, even with mintages near 1000 because the relevant comparison isn't the total mintage, but the number of survivors in comparable quality and comparable prices. Few if anyone is buying a noticeably lower quality coin as an alternative to one of these, except for similar "widget" type material. If anyone has read any of the books promoting modern commemoratives as "investments", it's one of the primary errors they make.

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    JimTylerJimTyler Posts: 3,059 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You guys haven’t figured this out ? They’re bullion maybe someday they won’t. Drop the 🎤

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    tincuptincup Posts: 4,785 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The US Mint has been following the path of " Mint it and they will come ". And why not.... seems that no matter how much they raise the price, how lacking the design and subject matter, etc.... ...they are able to convince buyers to spend the money.

    But it appears they may have overshot on the $5 gold; time to come up with better subjects, designs, etc.... AND at better cost. There should be a place for the $5 gold concept.

    ----- kj

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