Are Commemorative Gold Coins a Scam?

July 2, 2014 – The U.S. Mint is preparing to release the U.S. Marshals commemorative gold coin, with proceeds going towards construction of a U.S. Marshals museum. A $35 surcharge on each coin will go towards the museum, but some gold coin market analysts aren’t convinced of the plan’s viability.

Recently released commemorative gold coins have had mixed financial results. The 2007 Little Rock Central High School gold coins commemorating desegregation made only $1.9 million, but the following year the American Bald Eagle coin series raised $7.76 million in surcharges. Last year’s 5-Star Generals coins made $2.2 million, while the Boy Scouts coins ($3.5 million) far outperformed the Girl Scouts coins, which didn’t even generate enough surcharges to cover production and marketing costs.

“In recent years, most commemorative coin programs have not sold very well, which has reduced the surcharges generated,” said writer Louis Golino. Does this mean the commemorative gold coin market is dead? “A theme that has broad appeal and a strong design is much more likely to generate a lot of surcharges,” commented Golino.

Commemorative gold coins usually have a surcharge meant to benefit a cause or charity, and this means premiums on such coins are higher than those of bullion coins. Additionally, their resale value could fluctuate wildly, and independently of gold spot price movement. The Baseball Hall of Fame $5 gold coins, for example, went from $425 to $3,995 to $725 in just three months.

While commemorative gold coins may not be an outright scam, the commemorative coin market definitely merits caution. View the full range of investment-grade gold coins in our Coin Catalog, or call directly at 800-425-5672 for obligation-free assistance with choosing gold coins that are right for you.

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