Coins produced by national mints have their production quantities publicly disclosed to set a foundation for a coin’s expected scarcity.
Mintage refers to the number of a particular issue and denomination of coin produced. A coin with a lower mintage is more likely to have limited availability and to appreciate in profit potential.
Certified gold ownership begins with understanding mintages. When a mint goes through an annual production run for an official national coin, that is what’s called an issue. Similar to the circulated coins that you use in daily commerce, certified coins also have a year of issue, with only a certain number made in that year. That is the coin’s mintage. When you know a coin’s mintage, you know the absolute maximum quantity of that coin that could exist in the world in any condition. Certified coins go one step further and break the mintage down by their finish, if there are multiple ways the coin was struck, and by condition.
Ford Mustang Boss 429
Understanding the concept of mintage.
The concept of mintages is similar to the idea of classic cars. A 1969 Ford Mustang will never be produced again, meaning the number in existence is set and can only possibly go down if a car is destroyed or not preserved. If you know anything about classic cars, you know how rare they can be. According to Mustang 360°, a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 in a top condition has an average price of $250,000 today. The original MSRP for that car in 1969 was around $4,800. That’s a 5,108% return.
The two most common finishes for minted coins are Mint State and Proof. This is the first distinction when it comes to mintage. For example, the 1991 Gold American Eagle coin has a mintage of 253,100 coins in a Mint State finish, but in a Proof finish the mintage is only 50,411—a significant difference. Proof coins tend to be produced in more limited quantities, but that is not always the case.
The lower mintages of certified coins over bullion coins means that fewer exist in the world. In the pursuit of certified coins, coin issues with mintages in the tens of thousands or less are highly sought after. Modern coin programs that issue coins with mintages that number in the hundreds are even more desirable because they give gold buyers an opportunity to buy rarity upfront with the hope those coins could appreciate once they’re mostly off the market. Mintages are an important part of understanding the potential of a coin, but they can be misleading. A particular coin could have a high mintage, but still only have a few hundred that graded perfectly. This is where grading and populations come into play.