After more than a five year gap in availability, the United States Mint recently resumed production of American Platinum Eagle bullion coins. Authorized purchasers were able to place orders for the coins starting on March 10, 2014. According to the latest information available on the Mint’s website, orders have reached 8,500 ounces.
The American Platinum Eagle had been introduced in 1997, when it was offered in four different bullion weights including one-tenth ounce, one-quarter ounce, one-half ounce, and one ounce sizes. The coins were struck in .9995 pure platinum and distributed through a network of authorized purchasers. The bullion coins were issued annually from 1997 to 2008, when production was suspended late in the year due to heavy demand for gold and silver bullion coins. Production of the Platinum Eagle bullion coins remained suspended until this year, although the US Mint has continued to offer collectible proof versions of the coins annually.
The 2014 Platinum Eagle bullion coins are being offered in one ounce size only. The coins continue to be struck in .9995 purity and feature John Mercanti’s “Portrait of Liberty” design on the obverse and Thomas D. Rodger Sr.’s “Soaring Bald Eagle” on the reverse.
Platinum bullion sales at the US Mint have spanned a wide range. Sales had reached 73,350 ounces in their inaugural year of 1997 during four months of availability. Annual sales reached their all time highest annual level the following year in 1998 at 175,650 ounces. Annual sales would experience a general decline in the following years, reaching a low of 9,050 ounces in 2007. Demand rebounded in 2008, reaching 33,700 ounces before sales were suspended late in the year.
Following the US Mint’s suspension of platinum bullion coin production, other world mints stepped in to fill the void with their own offerings. The Royal Canadian Mint reintroduced their Platinum Maple Leaf in 2009. The most recent data indicates annual sales of 34,650 ounces achieved in 2012.
The Perth Mint of Australia introduced the Australian Platinum Platypus Coin in 2011. The inaugural issue sold out of the maximum production of 30,000 one ounce coins, although recent sales have been lower. The mintage for the 2013-dated coin was capped at 2,000 pieces amidst decreased investor demand.