Those familiar with Miles Franklin are well aware that we do NOT recommend numismatic products to anyone but hobbyists and otherwise precious metal experts. In our view, the principal reason to own PMs is protection of your life’s savings, and insurance against the ominous political, economic, and social developments plaguing the world today. That said, when “numismatics” – i.e., products with subjectively determined value, above and beyond melt value – trade at or near melt value, we aggressively market them to clients.
Like any subjectively valued market, “bargains” arise from time to time, for a variety of reasons. And when they do, you are afforded the rare opportunity to acquire rare coins at or near melt value, with a zero or low cost “option” on future numismatic value. In our business, the most common reasons for such price anomalies are general PM market apathy; “emergency” product sales (often, in very small amounts in illiquid markets); and in the case of the Royal Canadian Mints’ – or RCMs’ – limited edition Wildlife, Birds of Prey, Call of the Wild, and Predator series’; or for that matter, the Perth Mints’ “exotic and dangerous creatures” series – like the Saltwater Crocodile and Funnel Web Spider; the simple fact that upon issuance, they are not yet perceived to be supply constrained.
Miles Franklin has marketed the aforementioned RCM series’ immediately following their issuance’s – as in each case, issuance prices were essentially the same as generic Maple Leafs. And in each case, gold or silver, their value relative to generics has increased over time. Typically, the RCM has issued one-a-year series’ in February; and for two-a-year series,’ February and September. And each time, Miles Franklin has aggressively marketed the newly issued coins – such as the silver Peregrine Falcon in February 2014; and both the silver Red-Tailed Hawk and gold Growling Cougar in February 2015.
Miles Franklin does NOT guarantee the new issuance’s will garner significant premiums over generic Maples; or that older issuance’s will maintain the premiums they have attained thus far. However, after eleven such silver issuance’s; and three gold issuance’s; it’s difficult to make the case a trend isn’t forming. Moreover, the oldest series’ continue to hold the highest values – such as the silver “Wildlife” Wolf, issued in 2011; and the gold “Call of the Wild” Howling Wolf, issued in 2014.
Below, I have compiled a table of where each of the six “Wildlife”; four “Birds of Prey”; and one “Predator” series’ are trading relative to generic silver Maples, in chronological order of issuance. Each of the eleven series was limited at exactly one million ounces, to never be minted again. As you can see at the bottom of the chart, the last such issuance, of the silver Cougar “Predator” in February 2016, is already trading at a 5%-6% premium.
Following the silver “Predator” Cougar (not to be confused with the silver “Wildlife” Cougar or the gold “Call of the Wild” Growling Cougar), the second of the silver “Predator” series, the Lynx, has just been announced – with two other issuances anticipated in the next year or two. As of today (Monday), we will have initial price quotes for the Lynx – which likely will be just slightly above that of a generic silver Maple Leaf. In our view, this premium will be low enough that the risk of it losing its “numismatic” value – relative to the potential for it to garner a significant premium over time – is immaterial.
As for gold, the fourth and final of the four-coin “Call of the Wild” series was just announced as well; i.e., the “Bugling Elk.” Like 2014’s “Howling Wolf,” 2015’s “Growling Cougar,” and 2016’s “Roaring Grizzly,” the “Bugling Elk” is .9999 fine gold – making the series the world’s only “five nines” gold issuance. As you can see, they come individually packaged with an assay card on the back; and like generic gold Maples, are Precious Metal IRA eligible.
Unlike the silver “Wildlife”; “Birds of Prey”; and “Predator” series’, the mintage of the gold “Call of the Wild” series was not officially capped. That said, we are quite confident that the February-2014-issued Howling Wolf was discontinued when the Growling Cougar was issued in February 2015, and the Growling Cougar when the Roaring Grizzly was issued in February 2016; and currently, the Roaring Grizzly now that the Bugling Elk has been announced. The reason being, that Howling Wolf supply essentially dried up two years ago and the Growling Cougar last year; as did Roaring Grizzly supply this month. As you can see below, the Howling Wolf now trades at a 16%-17% premium to generic gold Maples, the Growling Cougar a 6%-7% premium, and the Roaring Grizzly a 3%-4% premium. Like the silver Predator Lynx, we will have initial pricing for the Bugling Elk today (Monday) – which should be barely above the price of a generic Maple. To wit, when the Roaring Grizzly was issued last year, the premium over a generic gold Maple Leaf was just over 1%. Thus, for those considering new gold bullion purchases, we believe the “Bugling Elk” may be the “cheapest numismatic around!”
If you have any questions about the silver Lynx “Predator” or gold “Bugling Elk”; or any other Precious Metal product or storage service – please call us at 800-822-8080, or email me at [email protected].