By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for Coinweek …….
United States Mint officials confirmed that thousands of 2016 American Eagle one-ounce gold bullion coins feature a high-relief die variety and have been released into public distribution channels. The design devices on the high-relief variety rise above the height of the coin’s rim, making it difficult to stack these coins on top of one another.
Tom Jurkowsky, director of the United States Mint Office of Corporate Communications, says Mint officials “consider the anomaly [on the high-relief 2016 American Gold Eagle coins] to be a variant and not an error.”
Jurkowsky adds that “as many as 63,000 coins could have been struck with the higher-than-intended obverse relief.”
The U.S. Mint has provided no explanation as to what caused the high-relief American Gold Eagles, which were struck at the West Point Mint.
A few possible explanations as to the cause of the high-relief variety include nuanced differences with the creation of the offending obverse die, added strike pressure, or peculiarities with the die preparation process are all possible factors. The U.S. Mint was notified of the high relief variant by one of its customers.
Several authorized purchasers first noticed the high-relief American Gold Eagle upon receiving their shipments of the bullion coins in mid-January. Many of these coins were sent to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) for encapsulation and were returned because of contact marks on the coins caused by the high-relief design causing stacking problems within the coins’ original plastic shipment tubes.
At this point, there are no indications as to what numismatic premiums, if any, the 2016 High-Relief American Eagle One-Ounce Gold Coins might yield. As of mid-March, approximately 174,500 of the one-ounce American Eagle Gold coins have been distributed in 2016, meaning as much as one-third of the total number of 2016 1-ounce American Gold Eagles may exhibit this die variety. At this time, with gold trading for approximately $1,260 per ounce, bullion-quality $50 1-Ounce American Gold Eagle coins are selling for about $1,320.
2016 American Gold Eagles Available on eBay