The United States Mint has informed its network of authorized purchasers that the last day to place orders for 2014-dated American Platinum Eagle bullion coins will be October 1, 2014. The Mint plans to begin accepting orders for 2015-dated platinum bullion coins in early January.
This year marked the relaunch of the platinum bullion series after more than a five year gap. The American Platinum Eagle had been introduced in 1997 when it was offered in bullion and proof versions across four different sizes. For the first year of issue, both versions carried an obverse design by John Mercanti featuring a portrait of Statue of Liberty and a reverse design by Thomas D. Rogers featuring a soaring bald eagle. From 1998 onwards, the collectible proof and briefly offered collectible uncirculated versions featured an annually rotating reverse design typically following a multi-year theme. The bullion version continued to feature the original soaring bald eagle design.
In late 2008, production of the Platinum Eagle bullion coins had been suspended due to heavy demand for gold and silver bullion coins. Production for the following year was delayed and eventually canceled. Ultimately, the bullion coins would not be produced from 2009 to 2013, although the limited mintage proof versions continued to be offered.
While the production of American Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins is mandated by law, the production of platinum bullion coins is left to the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury.
The United States Mint relaunched the American Platinum Eagle one ounce bullion coins this year, with the coins available for authorized purchasers to order from March 10, 2014. The opening day orders reached 8,500 ounces, with orders totaling 10,000 by the end of the month. The pace of sales subsequently slowed, with total sales for the year to date now at 13,700 ounces based on information from the Mint’s website.
While 13,700 ounces may seem like a low figure compared to the sales totals achieved for the more popular gold and silver bullion coins, there have been numerous years when sales for the one ounce Platinum Eagles have been lower. The mintage level for the one ounce Platinum Eagle bullion coins have been less than 10,000 pieces in five separate years.
The United States Mint plans to release the collectible proof version of the 2014 Platinum Eagle later this year. The reverse design will depict the theme To Secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and Our Posterity and represent the final release within a six year series highlighting the core concepts of American democracy. Although a sneak peak of the design has been revealed, the design and release details have not yet been officially announced.