The beautiful Mexican Libertad continues to show off her unpredictable nature. Fresh from a curious 2012 year that saw an end to the fractional proofs, and the release of the 30th Anniversary Set– which was minted to 1500, there are new developments. The mintage numbers are in (courtesy of Lois & Don Bailey): The Gold Bullion numbers came in at 3000 1 ounce coins, and the Silver Mintage numbers for the bullion coins are: 5 ounce 9500, 2 ounce 18600, 1 ounce 746400, 1/2 ounce 17000, 1/4 ounce 16700, 1/10 ounce 3300.
What does this mean for the BU numbers? Well, if these numbers hold, the 1/10 ounce becomes the lowest minted BU Libertad- edging out the 2007 (3500).
For the many proof Libertad collectors, the 1 oz proof the numbers came in at 4200, which represents the lowest number since 2006, and puts the proof coin in the realm of the 1995-2006 figures. Considering the premiums that low mintage proof Libertads have shown, this is a significant development. When you add in the fact that 1500 of the proofs were available only in the proof sets, that means only 2700 are floating around, and explains why 2012 proofs were so difficult to find. Recent prices have seen a bump, and the proofs have been selling for between 100-200 depending on if they were graded, and with all Libertad proofs there is a wide disparity in sale prices, owing partially to the extreme low mintages and large demand.
The 2012 30th anniversary sets sales have been rather flat, with most holding onto their sets while some speculators paying more for the ‘No COA’ version (for those that remember- the mint sold the sets partially stamped and asked distributors to fill out the COAs as they sold them, but some of the distributors (Panda America, i.e.) mistakenly sold the non-filled out COAs). The low mintage of the 1 ounce proof should help these sets retain their value.
What does this year hold for fractional proofs or sets? Well, early information has the return of the wood-box sets with COAs (Libertad collectors have shown a willingness to pay much more for these than for the same set without the wood box or COA). It’s not clear what the mintage is yet. Also, the proof fractionals are returning this year, at least based on early information, and sources say it is the same design- shades of the 2009 Proof American Silver Eagle.
It’s not clear what this will mean, or how many will be produced yet. But it looks like the 5 ounce, 2 ounce, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10, and 1/20 ounce proofs will be available this year. Much like the 2009 American Proof Silver eagle, which had little impact on future American Eagle Proofs, it remains to be seen whether this will affect the fractional collecting (my guess: no). So, like last year, 2013 is shaping up to be a wily and unpredictable year for Libertad collectors!