Numismatic Gold Coin Pricing Policies

With the increasing popularity of numismatic coins, the US Treasury took a step forward in setting a new price list for numismatic coins on 12 January 2009. The Deputy Director of the US Mint, Mr. Brunhart, commented the reason for the new pricing. The new pricing of numismatic coins are based on the catalysts of transparency, customer service and agility which allows the Treasury to adjust numismatic gold prices week by week depending on the value of gold.

Pricing and policy

Previously, the policy regarding numismatic coins was inflexible to buyers and sellers as it was compulsory for any price change to be published with the Federal Register. This was a lengthy process which delayed the trading of such valuable coins in the market.

Hence, a new policy was required to meet the high volatility of these valuable coins and in 2008, a newer policy was adopted.  The new pricing of numismatic coins was done in respect to the averaging of gold prices determined by the London Fix.

The new pricing includes every other cost that the  incurred like minting cost, marketing expenses and distribution costs in terms of labor, machinery, dies, materials, promotional costs as well as overhead expenses. The total package gives numismatic gold coin buyers a better view of the market trends for such gold coins. But this policy does not affect bullion product pricing.

Pricing Administration

The United States Mint has been practicing this policy consistently over the years. The price is declared usually on Wednesdays rather than the appointed Thursdays; its performance in monitoring and specifying the gold pricing has been commendable except for one occasion where a big blunder occurred in the system on some days in May 2010 which caused some confusion over the numismatic gold coin prices.
On May 24 – 26, 2010, the US Mint displayed the following numismatic gold coins pricing:

-    May 24, 2010 Monday AM $1,183.75
-    May 24, 2010 Monday PM $1,187.00
-    May 25, 2010 Tuesday AM $1,189.50
-    May 25, 2010 Tuesday PM $1,198.25
-    May 26, 2919 Wednesday AM $1,212.50

But this was the price list of gold on 12 May, 2010 and not the actual prices for the stated days.
This wrong price list affected the price of numismatic coins being traded on those days; for example, the 1st Spouse gold coin with ½ oz. 24 karat gold was wrongly priced at $779 instead of $754. Otherwise, the US Mint administered the pricing well.