By CoinWeek Staff Reports ….
The final match of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World’s Cup took place in Lyon, France on Sunday, July 7, and once again the United States Women’s National Soccer Team proved their dominance of the sport with their second consecutive championship and fourth championship title overall. Captained by the charismatic Megan Rapinoe, the team started the tournament with a stunning 13-0 victory over Thailand and went on to defeat Spain, France, and Great Britain before overcoming the Netherlands in the final.
It’s been a thrilling run for Women’s Soccer and for U.S. soccer fans in general, but what about the numismatic angle? How have American soccer-themed coins fared during the World Cup excitement? CoinWeek turned to auction results on eBay to find out.
The 1994 World Cup Commemorative
The United States was chosen as the host nation for the 1994 World Cup Soccer Tournament playoffs by FIFA, the International Federation of Association Football, and to commemorate the festivities Congress authorized the United States Mint to strike three commemorative coins: a $5 gold coin, a silver dollar, and a clad half dollar.
The obverse of the gold $5 coin features an image of the FIFA World Cup Trophy, which was made after 1970 when the original World Cup trophy was retired to the winning team of that year’s tournament, Brazil. The new trophy, first awarded in 1974, consists of five kilograms of 18 carat gold and depicts two people, arms upstretched, holding the world. It was designed by Italian artist Silvio Gazzaniga for trophy makers Stabilimento Artistico Bertoni.
The gold coin’s obverse was designed by William J. Krawczewicz, who was also responsible for the 2000 Maryland State Quarter and works as a banknote designer at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP).
The silver $1 coin features a design by Dean McMullen of two male soccer players battling for control of the ball, while the clad half obverse designed by Richard T. LaRoche features another player with his right foot drawn back about to kick the ball, the year 1994 in large numerals behind him.
The common reverse, which features the official World Cup USA logo, was also designed by McMullen.
Each coin was available in both Proof and Uncirculated finishes. According to Whitman’s “Red Book“, 168,208 Uncirculated clad half dollars were struck at Denver, and 609,354 Proofs were struck at Philadelphia. A total of 81,524 Uncirculated silver dollars were struck at Denver, while 577,090 Proofs were made in San Francisco.
Both the Proof and Uncirculated gold $5 coins were struck at the West Point Mint, with 22,447 Uncs and 89,614 Proofs having been produced.
eBay and the Secondary Market
A quick search for recent auction results on eBay for the 1994 commemoratives retrieves a relatively healthy number of coins have been offered over the last 90 days.
An Uncirculated clad half dollar graded MS-69 by PCGS sold on June 4 for $19.00, but an example graded MS-70 by the same company sold on July 7 for $177.50. The July 7 sale is most likely an outlier, but those are the only two records for Uncirculated halves.
There are several records available for Proof clad half dollars, however. July has so far seen PR-69 specimens go for $9.95 on the ninth and $4.66 on the eighth. Proof 69 examples also sold for $9.95 in June and May. April saw prices range from a low of $7.50 to a high of $21.00 – with both “extremes” being for Deep Cameos, interestingly enough.
Uncirculated silver dollars have ranged from $30.00 to $38.50 in the last three months. Prices for PCGS-certified Proof silver $1 coins have ranged from $19.05 and $16.66 in April, to $29.50 and $22.00 in May, to $35 in June.
Gold $5 Uncirculated pieces are, of course, more expensive thanks to gold’s current spot price (at the time of writing, $1,419.10 per ounce or 31.1 grams; the $5 coin consists of about 7.5 grams). On June 15, an MS-70 example sold for $449.94 while another perfect specimen sold for $455.00 just five days earlier. Another MS-70-certified piece sold for $444.95 on June 2. A May 18 sale price was closer to spot, with an MS-69 piece going for $375. And yet another MS-70 sold for $455.69 on April 14.
Clearly, then, an MS-70 $5 gold commemorative carries a numismatic premium.
As for Proofs, there are two records. One coin, a PCGS PR-67 DCAM, sold for $345.44 on July 10, but a PR-69 DCAM sold for $336.10 on April 10. Like the other coins in this program, prices have been increasing slowly but surely. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that most movement has taken place within the Uncirculated prices.
Will these coins continue to hold or improve upon their newfound values? Only time will tell. The next Men’s FIFA World Cup tournament will take place in Qatar in 2022, and the next Women’s Cup will take place in 2023. A host country has yet to be chosen for the women’s tournament.