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limited Libertad mintages, pros and cons.

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TMCGRADY

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The libertad is a beautiful bullion coin with pros and cons.

Compared to most other larger bullion programs, the Mexico mint makes a ridiculously low mintage series year over year. When looking at the silver eagle, maple, panda and Australia programs that mint anywhere from 8 to 45 million coins each year, the libertad mintages are around the 1 million mark. Last year the libertad mintage was only 420k and there are 12 years years where the mintages were lower than 500k. When looking at their proof silver as well as their gold BU and proof gold mintages, most years range from a few hundred toba few thousand. Last year i was lucky to pick up 20 1oz proof coins, mintage of 6400 or so, had them graded and 16 came back as PF70.

The pros of having such low mintages are having a relatively scarce coin to collect as well as having a coin with huge potential to increase in value over time. The price has noticeably increased over the past year where i was buying them for pennies over spot. Today, some of the same years have doubled or tripled in price. A typical BU 1 oz from the 80s used to be 20 bucks, now depending on the year can go anywhere from 35 to 100 dollars. My first 87 DDO libertad i purchased over a year ago for 33 dollars, that same coin will run 60 to 80 dollars. Forget about the 1988 1oz BU, first they seem to be almost non existent but when they do come up be ready to pay 50 to 100 dollars. My favorite of the earlier years is the 1994 with a lower mintage of 400 thousand, this is one coin you still can pick up for 35 dollars, the only problem is they come up often. All the above coin prices are for raw only, if they are graded by NGC or PCGS then all bets are off as some years can run upwards of 1000 dollars in highest grade.

I did the Richmond coin show last week and brought with me a large amount of raw and graded libertads to sell. Each customer was asked "what do you collect"? Anyone that responded with "everything" was shown the libertad. Most never saw one but most then bought one after learning more about them. Certainly as more people discover these the collector base will rise.

There are some big disadvantages of having small mintages year over year. The most obvious is there not enough to go around and visibility of these are low. If people dont know about them then how could they collect them? Population reports for graded libertads are stupid low. There are 16 years where the total pop is 50 or lower for all grades. It wasn't till 2012 when there were over 1000 graded and those numbers have climbed each year since. Lastly, he libertad program started in 1982 making it one of the longest running programs in the world but, the strikes and handling for the first 15 years or so was less than marginal. The coins were allowed to abbraid with one another and the strikes on most were weak making it undesirable to collect.

Bottom line, when having a low mintage bullion program, it can be great for the collector but also be its own worst enemy.

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