2008 US Mint Sleeper Hits
One of the ironies of coin collecting is that coins or sets which are overlooked or neglected while available can later become expensive and desirable rarities.
With all of the attention on the US Mint's gold and platinum products, there are definitely a number of other offerings that are being overlooked. In this post, I will examine some 2008 US Mint products that have the potential to become sleeper hits. I will specifically look at some non precious metals related offerings which are still available for sale.
While these coins all have potential, circumstances can change quickly. The US Mint can always fire up production one more time and change everything.
2008 P & D Sacagawea Dollar Rolls
Interestingly, these coins almost didn't happen. The 2008 Sacagawea Dollars were originally scheduled for release on January 17, 2008. The coins would not be issued for circulation, but sold to collectors in bags and rolls. The offering was pulled before sales started, after the US Mint realized that they did not have legal authority to produce the coins. Authorizing legislation was eventually signed on February 29, 2008, and the coins were re-released on April 28.
The most recent US Mint production figures show only 1.82 million coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint and 1.82 million coins produced at the Denver Mint. If no other coins are produced these will be the lowest mintage coins of the series. The current coins with the lowest mintage are the 2005-P and D coins with 2.52 million produced.
In addition, this will represent the final coin of the Sacagawea Dollar series. Next year it will be replaced by the Native American Dollar series.
2008 P & D Kennedy Half Rolls
Similar to the 2008 Sacagawea Dollars, the 2008 Kennedy Halves are showing some incredibly low production figures. These coins were also not issued for circulation, but sold directly to collectors in bags and rolls.
The most recent production figures published by the US Mint show 1.70 million coins produced in Philadelphia and 1.70 million coins produced in Denver. If no further coins are produced, these would be the lowest mintage coins of the entire series.
The 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar is usually considered to be the key date and its mintage is 2.15 million. The current lowest mintage date is the 2006-D Kennedy Half at only 2.0 million.
2008 US Mint Set
The 2008 US Mint Set is one of the US Mint's core offerings that has become increasingly overlooked. The most recent US Mint sales figures show 626,214 of the sets sold. If the final sales ends up anywhere close to this, it would represent a shockingly low number. The 2004 Mint Set, which sells for a premium, had a mintage of 842,507. You actually have to go all the way back to 1963 to find a mint set with a mintage of less than 800,000.
While the current low sales figures suggest a final low mintage, this one may or may not pan out.
On one hand, last year's 2007 Mint Set was available for sale from the US Mint until July of 2008. (It also reappeared in the US Mint's Last Chance Sale.) If the 2008 Mint Sets remain on sale for another 8 months, sales may continue to grow to levels which would make the set less remarkable.
On the other hand, countless 2008 dated products which usually remain available for sale well into the new year have been selling out. Even one of the annual sets, the 2008 State Quarters Proof Set has quietly sold out. If the 2008 Mint Sets unexpectedly sell out early, the sets would become more remarkable.
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