The Silver and Gold Eagles celebrating the end of World War II are soaring to lofty heights

 

By Jim BisognaniNGC Weekly Market Report ……
 

It was a hard fight, and many of us didn’t get what we wanted. No, I’m not talking about the presidential election. I am referring to the mad dash to the United States Mint’s website a few days after the election.

To be more precise, Thursday, November 5, at high noon, the Mint’s site fell under siege by hordes of collectors, dealers, and profiteers looking to buy the prized End of World War II 75th Anniversary American Silver Eagle and American Gold Eagle Proof Coins.

Of all the times that I have attempted to purchase a hot item from the US Mint, the servers have never seemed so overmatched or taxed so severely. I got all kinds of error messages, was blocked from the site, and had to repeatedly attempt two-step verifications like clicking on all the pictures containing boats. I was exasperated. Both coins sold out within minutes of their availability.

Although I was able to come away with the “V75” Silver Eagle for my efforts, hundreds of thousands of others weren’t so lucky.

Here’s a bit of background on why these coins were in such frenzied demand. For one, the mintages are extremely limited, and each of their mintage numbers is significant in marking the end of World War II. The gold has a mintage of 1,945 to represent the end of World War II in 1945, and the silver has a mintage of 75,000 to reflect the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.

Yet the symbolic “V75” privy mark stamped on the obverse of these American Eagles is what makes them truly unique collectibles and the wildly popular series that it is. The gold was priced at $2,600 and the silver at $83, each with a household order limit of one.

Their release just a few days after the election and one week before Veterans Day was great marketing and timing. It likely brought more patriotic collectors out of the woodwork, all vying for these precious metal mementos. Adding to the barrage, many of the millions still working from home shifted their attention just before noontime.

Five days after their release, eBay sales data shows that nearly 4,000 “V75” Silver Eagles have been sold. Prices realized for the Silver Eagle have shown solid momentum with sealed and confirmed, or in-hand, coins bringing an average upwards of $550. The Gold Eagle is a true prize, commanding a somewhat mind-boggling $12,000 to $13,000 or more!

However, to put things in perspective on a percentage basis, the silver is bringing in 575% above issue price, while the gold is claiming around 400%.

Let’s Make a Deal

One dealer on an electronic trading network had offered up 100 of the 2020 World War II Privy Silver Eagles last evening, and within 12 minutes of posting, they were all sold!

I spoke to Brian Timmons of the Harbor Coin Company in Gurnee, Illinois. He informed me that he sold that entire deal to a well-known California dealer at $650 per coin. Brian said that he has another deal around that size available. As of this writing, he is an active buyer at $550 per coin for the Silver Eagle and $10,000+ for the Gold Eagle.

“I’m usually able to leverage a little bit higher prices,” said Brian. “We have such a large group, and major traders don’t like to buy them one at a time on eBay.”

As for the gold, he has only four confirmed and considering that they are all local collectors, Brian is pretty sure they will be in to get their money.

I asked how he was able to acquire such a sizable inventory of the Silver “V75.” Timmons explained that the company has “engaged” a homegrown network of buyers as their US Mint connection.

“The network grew from our own employees; then employees’ relatives and their friends, customers, etc. And it just grew.”

This strategy has become a necessity for dealers since the US Mint has imposed order limits for a single coin or for sets on many of the very limited issues.

Concerning World War II Gold and Silver Eagles, Brian said, “They will probably have legs through the end of the year, but of course that demand could change at any time. Presently I think $650 to $700 for the silver and $12,000 to $15,000 for gold is right.”

He cautioned, though: “You have to watch eBay. If everybody starts sucking all the coins off eBay, the prices can go up really quickly.”

This “V75” tandem is a major force in the market, especially the silver coin. Everyone seems to be getting in on the act. I found one seller from New York on eBay who usually lists athletic shoes and associated attire. He sold an in-hand World War II Silver Eagle for $1,500.

Yet rather comically the seller, perhaps out of habit, listed “Brand New – Silver US Size 9 ½ New with Box” in the description.

Wholesale Madness

In a conversation with well-known dealer Kevin Lipton, he, too was having a difficult time securing sufficient inventory. Mr. Lipton has several hundred Silver Eagles at this point, but the gold coins have proven to be very elusive, especially in-hand orders and confirmed orders from the Mint.

“Right now, I’m playing the silver game until I can get legitimate delivery on the gold,” said Lipton. “It’s going to be a huge collectible. There’s never been a counterpunch on a coin like this.”

Although Kevin is a wholesaler, he did have opinions on the retail market for the silver: “I think the PF 70 with premium labels, like the Reagan Mercanti First Day of Issue label, will retail for over $2,000.”

Lipton continued, “If someone were to offer me 100 “V75” gold coins, I would wire them a million dollars or more on delivery. That’s how strong the demand is.”

“Most of the buyers were young profiteers, and there’s nothing wrong with that. God bless America, and let them make money. Would I have liked to make all that money? Sure, but like anybody else, I will play whatever game I am dealt.”

Until next time, be safe and happy collecting!

* * *

Jim Bisognani is an NGC Price Guide Analyst having previously served for many years as an analyst and writer for another major price guide. He has written extensively on US coin market trends and values.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. I think there’s a LOT wrong with greedy entremanures seeking simply to flip these coins for a profit, denying them to collectors at the issue price.

    • I did just that and maybe to you it’s wrong, but the collector that I was dealing with was very happy have extra people on hand buying for him. You can always make a deal with some people looking to make a few dollars. Just because you want it for your collection doesn’t entitle you to have it more than someone else.

  2. Speaking for collectors of moderate means, this sort of crap drives me nuts. I had the same log in problems. This one in particular is just …! It’s almost irresponsible on the part of the US Mint. They might as well have priced their releases at $650 and $12000 to begin with but then they would have lost traction when it comes to their favorite hobby: bitching about their “low seigniorage!
    The Mint’s Holiday gift guide came in today’s mail. I haven’t looked at it (my grudge is still simmering) but wouldn’t be surprised to see the V75 Eagles featured. If so, I may order one. You never know.

  3. I have been a loyal US Mint customer since the early 80’s buying most all the precious metal special issues, commemoratives, coin sets, etc. To have this situation happen where I’m literally blocked from the site is insulting and infuriating. In addition to being an avid US Mint coin collector I also have a father that was a B-17 crew member during WW2. The US Mint needs to take a lesson from the UK’s Royal Mint where they use a registration and cue system to manage traffic and access to the site in an orderly fashion for high demand issues (such as the Brexit coins). To add to the disappointment and anger over the WW2 ordering fiasco is that profiteers, including a certain TV shopping channel, will be halking these “sold out at the mint” coins, raking in huge profits. The whole thing stinks to high heavens. The Mint needs to examine their entire ordering paradigm before they issue any more of these extremely limited coins. It time to start identifying and taking care of their loyal customers that have supported the Mint for many years.

  4. I was lucky enough to secure both the 75th WWII Silver Dollar & Silver Medal. Yes the silver dollar was frustrating to acquire being kicked off site many times, multiple (and annoying) captcha tiles to flip, banned from site, informed to run virus check and the oops! page both while trying to get item in cart and even after in cart while trying to complete paying for it. Not a fan of the registration system as it will just encourage folks to get their employees and friends to register early blocking collectors. Mint should subcontract the activity out to a private processing company or bank who can handle these large volumes.

    Be that as it may, the mintage is grossly too small for a significant event commemorating the end of WWII. The whole of the country was mobilized from 1941-45 and many WWII veterans are still alive as well as family members who would wish to have USG specially minted coin to add to their records and displays of what their grandparents did to defend democracy. My grandfather was killed in action in France FEB1945, a man I was never to meet, and the silver dollar and silver medal are for me to hold and pass on to family members.

    We cherish the gold star pin my grandmother was given following her husband’s death in action as do many other American citizens who lost loved ones in WWII. More American families should have this opportunity to get a coin (and medal) to add to their fond memories of loved ones lost.

    • Well said. I did not know about these coins until I received the US Mint catalog this week. Wanted to order one for my collector brother as our father was a WWll vet. After I saw the web notice that they were unavailable today, I checked around and discovered the sad history of this release. Can’t believe that such a small number of these coins were minted – 1,945 gold and 75,000 silver. Who came up with that idiotic choice. Mint up a quantity that will truly serve the desires of MANY interested Americans. I did put my info on the US Mint site to be reminded if more become available. I hope that they will produce a much larger run that can satisfy current demand and leave the 575% profiteers hanging.

      • Thank you Dave. The silver dollar on eBay is going for $500+ now but the silver medal is hovering around $120-$140. That may be a good second choice as a gift for your collector brother.

  5. All of the above comments are spot-on-the-target!
    The US Mint needs to have a lottery for everyone that signs up before the deadline date/time.
    All the wasted time trying to log-in and place an order by anyone is unacceptable.
    This is almost 2021; time for the Mint to get up to speed with on-line sales..

  6. The US Mint, aside from producing circulating currency, is running a business in the sale of collector items. What business in it’s right mind does not produce enough product to meet demand if it has the capacity to do so. Clearly the US Mint has the capacity as is evident from other issues.

  7. Maybe once the item is in your bag, you have 24 hours to pay for it. The internet traffic will be lower when you come back later to complete your purchase. The problem seems to be once you get to the check out screen you get kicked off. If you don’t purchase it within the time frame, it goes back up for sale.

  8. I too was entangled in that spider web trying to order a silver WWII coin. Kicked out several times, just like others here have described. I am named after an uncle killed in the Battle of the Bulge. My father was a WWII Marine. My father-in-law is 94, who as a young soldier was shipped to Hiroshima to keep the peace shortly after the bombing. I had planned to present the coin to him on his birthday. Sadly, the Mint doesn’t care about any of that. They’re acting like a runaway monopoly. Not good for business, long term.

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