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Why US gold coins are so expensive?


JayAg47

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I mean gold itself is not cheap, but from what I see, both modern and pre-33 are pricier than other government issued gold coins, for the price of a common dated circulated 1 dollar Indian head, I could by a half sovereign or a full sovereign for the price of a 2 1/2 dollar.

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Yes US collectors want US coins - but many people want coins of their own country and presumably the mintages are generally proportionate to demand. I think there's an extra pressure in the US because there are no coins before the 1700s and they're all machine made. So any variation (errors, gold, slabs/grades/stickers) is seized upon to make things interesting.

In the UK, I have 2000 years more to collect. I can collect all my life and never get a coin after 1492. In Europe, they can go thousands of years further back, through different civilisations. You can specialise in so many more subjects there's never a need to chase gold.

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hotwheelsearl & John Conduitt gave the best answers ☺️. Supply & demand, & because American collectors want American coins. I'll add another important factor, American collectors have more disposable wealth than collectors from other countries 😄. Personally I like ancient gold coins & modern U.S. gold coins, & have tried to get the best possible condition for both types that I can afford. Pictured below are two favorites in my collection. Theo.IISolidusAlKowskyCollection.jpg.69ca1619a5b8c30cf65803f01f46d321.jpg

PCGSU.H.R20PR70PL.jpg.0afaeb0d588b457036c49f6404fcf301.jpg

Heritage sold a 2009 UHL $20 coin equal to my example 4 months ago for $3,600, & the solidus of Theodosius II would probably fetch about $1,000 today. Many modern U.S. coin designers have been influenced by ancient coins, & one of the best examples I can think of is the Pan-Pacific $50 coin of 1915, designed by Robert Aitken, pictured below (not my coin 😒). This coin was influenced by the most iconic of all ancient coins, the Greek Owl 😊. On todays market this coin would fetch well over $100,000. 

55948519.jpg.3a1868fdac069bb23447af3992eafe40.jpg

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35 minutes ago, Al Kowsky said:

hotwheelsearl & John Conduitt gave the best answers ☺️. Supply & demand, & because American collectors want American coins. I'll add another important factor, American collectors have more disposable wealth than collectors from other countries 😄. Personally I like ancient gold coins & modern U.S. gold coins, & have tried to get the best possible condition for both types that I can afford. Pictured below are two favorites in my collection. Theo.IISolidusAlKowskyCollection.jpg.69ca1619a5b8c30cf65803f01f46d321.jpg

PCGSU.H.R20PR70PL.jpg.0afaeb0d588b457036c49f6404fcf301.jpg

Heritage sold a 2009 UHL $20 coin equal to my example 4 months ago for $3,600, & the solidus of Theodosius II would probably fetch about $1,000 today. Many modern U.S. coin designers have been influenced by ancient coins, & one of the best examples I can think of is the Pan-Pacific $50 coin of 1915, designed by Robert Aitken, pictured below (not my coin 😒). This coin was influenced by the most iconic of all ancient coins, the Greek Owl 😊. On todays market this coin would fetch well over $100,000. 

55948519.jpg.3a1868fdac069bb23447af3992eafe40.jpg

Thanks. Although I think a Theodosius  II solidus in that condition would sell for around $2,000 or so today.

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4 hours ago, DonnaML said:

Thanks. Although I think a Theodosius  II solidus in that condition would sell for around $2,000 or so today.

You may be right 😉. This variety of solidus is far less common than the VOT XX-XXXX types. The example pictured below sold two years ago at CNG 117, lot 631 for $1,920 (including the buyers premium).

CNG117lot631TheodosisuII.jpg.032ffaaafe9811c74540eaa76cae2b1b.jpg

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"Supply and Demand" is correct -- but that is the correct answer to nearly every question about the prices of anything.

@JayAg47 must be asking about demand.  Why are US gold coins in higher demand than other gold coins?

The types are interesting and varied.  Sovereigns have a nice reverse, Pistrucci's St. George, but it is the same reverse as the crown and it has been used for nearly two centuries now.  The obverses are exactly the same as the bronze and silver.

There is less US numismatic history.  All collectors of US coins are all competing for the same 230 years worth of coins.

The coins are obtainable without major effort.  Except for the Charlotte mint and a few keys, anyone can buy them.

Because the coins are common, pawnshops will accept them.  You can't really pawn medieval gold or even Conservation Series world gold.

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8 minutes ago, Al Kowsky said:

You may be right 😉. This variety of solidus is far less common than the VOT XX-XXXX types. The example pictured below sold two years ago at CNG 117, lot 631 for $1,920 (including the buyers premium).

CNG117lot631TheodosisuII.jpg.032ffaaafe9811c74540eaa76cae2b1b.jpg

This one is currently available on MA-Shops at Munthandel G. Henzen for the bargain price of $4,679.53!

combined69709.jpg

 
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5 minutes ago, Ed Snible said:

Sovereigns have a nice reverse, Pistrucci's St. George, but it is the same reverse as the crown and it has been used for nearly two centuries now. 

"Not all sovereigns" (or half-sovereigns)! Especially under Elizabeth II and now Charles III; I'm sure the recent variations in the reverse have been designed to appeal to collectors. And I'm not even counting the British gold bullion coins, i.e., the "Britannia."

Victoria:

image.jpeg.84912da593acb3e0bfab9a7a8a0dc26b.jpeg

On the left, Elizabeth II:

image.png.ecb3f63813fb130a6ce7d3700945e32e.png

Charles III half-sovereign:

image.jpeg.d0eed2a8c0d3b0acb071dac5da71e511.jpeg

And certainly not all crowns; the first ones with the St. George and the Dragon reverse were issued late in George III's reign, around the time the sovereign replaced the guinea:

image.jpeg.29830e81ef918255b791bc743b03ebbc.jpeg

And even after that, there was a lot of variation beginning under George V.  This is for the period 1931-2002. (I stopped collecting the ones minted after 2002 -- they got entirely too numerous, and the reverses got too ridiculously unrelated to the royal family or important national events.)

image.jpeg.4f22f45deadbb8f32ed29460a0be5f80.jpeg

Except I did buy this one:

image.png.97c7fe9941b8bfa9b560778c9de048d0.png

So the last crown with a St. George and the Dragon reverse was issued in 1951.

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4 hours ago, DonnaML said:

 

image.png.ecb3f63813fb130a6ce7d3700945e32e.png

Charles III half-sovereign:

image.jpeg.d0eed2a8c0d3b0acb071dac5da71e511.jpeg

 

What I hate about modern sovereigns is that they look so pink! probably swapped silver with copper in the alloy, to me it doesn't feel like a gold coin. 

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33 minutes ago, JayAg47 said:

What I hate about modern sovereigns is that they look so pink! probably swapped silver with copper in the alloy, to me it doesn't feel like a gold coin. 

Alternatively, it's just the effect of my cellphone camera and poor photographic skills!

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In the past gold sovereigns and other coins of equivalent size and weight generally were treated a bullion coins, for the commoner dates and mints.  The uptick in the price of US gold coins is being driven in large part by gold's rise to over $2,000 and ounce.  As with other coins those in choice condition or rare in some aspect command premiums, sometime substantial ones, as has been true in past years.

I had an arrangement with a coin dealer in California to buy a coin or two from him, he would invoice the coins to the value of the California sales tax cutoff, which at the time I think was $1,200 in the late 90s early 2000s.  Of course the coins had to be priced in total close the cutoff then (which is now $2,000 due to inflation).  In return I would receive a gold sovereign or an equivalent gold coin to make up the difference.  I actually used some of these coins to buy my most recent purchases at my local coin shop.  I figure now, with gold prices so high this was as good a time as any.  Gold, being a volatile metal at times, could go way down or way up! 

Here's one of the remaining sovereigns, a pretty but common one, priced at the time, around 2002, at $79, from the days of creative invoicing.  Its gold content now is around $400.

 Australia, George V, sovereign, 1919, Perth.

 KM 29

D-CameraGeorgeVsovererign1919AustrailiaPerthMintKarlKM299-18-22.jpg.54049bb2c7f9b19a8ffe6bb8cfbe53dd.jpg

Edited by robinjojo
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