Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

2009 Jefferson Nickels and Roosevelt Dimes

I am just returning from a brief vacation. While I was away, several readers left comments about a surprising development reported in Coin World. The US Mint announced that they have ended officially production of 2009 Jefferson Nickels and 2009 Roosevelt Dimes.

According to the article, no more Jefferson Nickels or Roosevelt Dimes will be struck for circulation at either the Denver or Philadelphia Mints for the remainder of 2009. The production of remaining circulating coins will continue, but "in reduced numbers."

The most surprising aspect of the story is that the US Mint is announcing the end of production in April. Many collectors have been expecting drastically lower coin production, but I don't think anyone thought production for two denominations would officially end this early in the year. There must be an enormous stockpile of coins at the Federal Reserve, which literally ensures that no new coins will be needed for at least the next eight months.

The US Mint's coin production page indicates that 36.00 million 2009-P Jefferson Nickels and 33.36 million 2009-D Jefferson Nickels have been produced. There has not been a nickel struck for circulation with a mintage this low since the 1959 Jefferson Nickel with 27.248 million. Last year's production figures were 287.76 million and 352.80 million for Philadelphia and Denver, respectively.

Coin production figures indicate 78.50 million 2009-P Roosevelt Dimes and 41.50 million 2009-D Roosevelt Dimes have been produced. The Denver mintage represents the lowest mintage since the 1958 Roosevelt Dime which had a mintage of 31.91 million. Last year's production figures were 413.00 million and 637.50 million for Philadelphia and Denver, respectively.

In a previous post exploring 2009 Coin Production, I specifically mentioned dimes and nickels as denominations to watch for 2009. It seemed very likely that the mintages would be the lowest in years. The coins also seemed less likely to be retained by collectors as opposed to the other denominations which feature rotating designs.

This new announcement will bring greater attention to the denominations, but no matter how much collector's scramble to acquire and hoard the coins, I still don't think they will be retained in numbers as large as the other denominations. Circulation strike cents, quarters, half dollars, and dollar coins from each mint and for every design have all been (or will be) sold by the US Mint in bags or rolls. Nickels and dimes are the only 2009 circulation strike coins that the US Mint will not offer for sale directly to collectors.

The 2009 nickels and dimes also do not appear to be showing up in banks or in circulation yet. For the past several months I have been watching eBay auctions and contacting roll sellers to see if I could locate the coins. So far, I have come up completely empty.

Has anyone found any 2009 Jefferson Nickels or Roosevelt Dimes?


US Mint Multi-Lens Collector's Box

Starting on April 30, 2009, the US Mint will begin offering a Multi-Lens Collector's Box. This storage product may not be of interest to everyone, but I know there are some Mint News Blog readers who have been particularly frustrated by the issues created by the existing collector's boxes.

These boxes are created to house the US Mint's annual proof sets. The new Multi-Lens box comes with three dividers that can be moved to accommodate different one-lens, two-lens, or three lens proof sets. The number of "Lenses" refers to the number of plastic holders used to house the proof coins for each year.

After the State Quarter series began in 1999, the regular and silver proof sets offered by the US Mint were redesigned. Instead of all of the coins placed within a single lens, all coins except for the quarters were in one lens, with all of the State Quarters in a second lens. The US Mint offered Two-Lens Collector's Boxes to fit the sets. With ten slots per box, presumably the next decade of proof sets would fit in one box.

In 2007, Presidential Dollars were added to the proof sets. For 2007, the US Mint packaged the State Quarters in one lens and the non-quarter, non-Presidential Dollar coins in a second lens. These two lenses were placed in a cardboard outer box. The Presidential Dollars were in a separate lens and separate outer box. This packaging still could have accommodated the Two Lens Box, if you used an additional One Lens Box for the Presidential Dollars.

In 2008, the packaging was changed again. The configuration of coins within the lenses was the same, but all three lenses were placed within in a single cardboard outer box. The US Mint released a Three Lens storage box to accommodate the new format.

There were some collectors who were very upset by the packaging change in 2008. Collectors who had been putting their proof sets in the Two-Lens boxes since 1999, might have ended up with a Two-Lens box containing nine sets, a One-Lens box containing the 2007 Presidential Dollar Set, and a Three-Lens box containing the 2008 Proof Set. This was prior to the approval of the DC & US Territories Quarters series and the National Sites Quarters series, so at the time it seemed that there would only be a single three-lens proof set produced, making the situation even more ridiculous.

A few of my prior blog posts have received periodic complaints about this situation. The commenters also mentioned that they had contacted the US Mint and their Congressmen about the situation. The US Mint will introduce this new collector's box as "a one-size-fits-all storage solution" to the problem.

The product page for the new Multi-Lens Collector's Box can be found here. The official start of sales will be April 30, 2009 at 12:00 Noon ET. The new box is priced at $16.95 with additional 5-packs of dividers sold separately for $6.95.


Monday, April 27, 2009

The US Mint's Shrinking Product Line

A combination of factors have come together to create a drastically reduced number of 2009 collector products available at the United States Mint. A few readers have recently remarked that it's now "boring" to visit the US Mint's online store.

By my count there are only 22 2009-dated products available from the US Mint's online store. This compares to more than 50 2008-dated products available on the same date last year. There are a number of factors that have caused the reduced number of available products.

First, the US Mint intentionally reduced the number of products that would be offered for 2009. Numerous fringe products were eliminated such as the collectible spoons and the Historical Signature Sets. Product eliminations also included a large number of platinum and gold products. The number of anticipated Platinum Eagle offerings was cut from ten to only one, Gold Buffalo offerings were cut from ten products to only one, and Gold Eagle products were cut from ten to six. The cuts were supposedly in response to customers who complained that the US Mint offered too many products.

Second, the US Mint has been forced to delay the release of several 2009 precious metals related products. This includes the 2009 Proof and Uncirculated Gold Eagles and 2009 Proof and Uncirculated Silver Eagles. These collector products are suspended until the US Mint is able to obtain sufficient inventories of gold and silver blanks to meet market demand for bullion products. Release dates have not been set for the proof Platinum Eagle and proof Gold Buffalo coins.

Third, there has been a high percentage of sell outs for 2009 products. Sold out products have included all 2009 District of Columbia Bags and Rolls, proof and uncirculated Lincoln Commemoratives, William Henry Harrison Rolls, Lincoln Birthplace Rolls, and two options for Puerto Rico Bags. There is greater demand for these rolls due to record low mintages for some of the coins. Also, some collectors may be buying the rolls simply due to a lack of other options.

While I would have to agree that last year, the US Mint was offering too many products, this year the situation has swung to the opposite extreme. There are too few products available and the US Mint is not stocking inventories deep enough for these products to remain available for very long.

Listed below are the 2009-dated products currently available for sale at the US Mint. For anyone looking to draw comparisons, here is an archived version of the US Mint 2008 Product Release Schedule.
2009 Native American Direct Ship Rolls
2009 DC & US Territories Proof Set
2009 Native American Roll - P
2009 Native American Roll - D
2009 UHR Double Eagle
2009 Kennedy Half Bag
2009 Kennedy Half Two Roll Set
2009 Presidential Dollar Proof Set
2009 First Spouse Anna Harrison - Unc
2009 First Spouse Anna Harrison - Proof
William Henry Harrison Coin Cover
Anna Harrison Bronze Medal
2009 DC & US Territories Silver Proof Set
Louis Braille Commemorative - Unc
Louis Braille Commemorative - Unc (easy open)
Louis Braille Commemorative - Proof
2009 Puerto Rico Quarter Two Roll Set
2009 Puerto Rico Quarter 100-coin Bag - P
2009 Puerto Rico Quarter 100-coin Bag - D
2009 Presidential Dollar Uncirculated Set
Presidential $1 Coin and Medal Set - Harrison
District of Columbia Coin Cover


Friday, April 24, 2009

2009 Lincoln Cent Rail Spliter Two Roll Sets

The US Mint has officially announced the second 2009 Lincoln Cent Two Roll Set offering. Two Roll Sets for the Formative Years or "Rail Splitter" design will go on sale at the US Mint on May 14, 2009 at 12:00 Noon ET.

This will be the second of four different reverse designs to grace the Lincoln Cent during 2009. The rotating designs are issued to mark the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, which is also the centennial of the Lincoln Cent coin. Each design will cover a different stage of his life with a new design released periodically throughout the year. See all of the 2009 Lincoln Penny Designs and Release Dates.

The 2009 Lincoln Cent Formative Years Two Roll Set will contain two 50-coin rolls, one with coins from the Philadelphia Mint and one with coins from the Denver Mint. Each roll will use a custom designed wrapper which denotes the contents of the roll and the mint.

The rolls will be priced at $8.95 each with an order limit of five per household. This is the same price and ordering limit that was in place for the previous design, which sold out within two weeks.

May 14, 2009 will also mark the official release of the new design into circulation, as well as the launch ceremony in Lincoln City, Indiana. Attendees of the launch ceremony will have the opportunity to exchange currency for new rolls of the Lincoln Cents at face value.

CoinWorld has also reported that US Mint facilities in Washington, DC will also likely have the new Lincoln Cents available for exchange at face value on May 14. The locations where coins may be available for exchange are the US Mint sales centers located at Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave, NE and the first floor of 801 Ninth St. NW, in Washington DC.

The first 2009 Lincoln Cent release saw prices reach ridiculous heights, with regular unmarked rolls of the coins briefly selling for above $50 each. The premiums were driven by high demand combined with a lack of availability through the normal circulation distribution channels. Will there be a repeat for the second release?

In my opinion, there will be relatively large premiums, but not at the extreme levels briefly experienced for the first release. The story has simply gotten too much attention, including mainstream coverage in USA Today.

There will be plenty of speculators descending on the few locations where coins will be available, and immediately putting them up for sale on eBay and other venues. The US Mint will also have the rolls available on the launch date. The prior roll offering came over a month later. This more dependable supply should keep prices at bay.

Nonetheless, you still might want to mark your calendar for the US Mint's release. Even at $8.95, the two roll sets will probably sell out quickly.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Palladium Saint Gaudens Ultra High Relief Revisited

Legislation to create Palladium Ultra High Relief Double Eagle bullion and numismatic coins was recently introduced in the Senate. Since several readers have been commenting about it, I wanted to review the proposed legislation in a full post.

Similar legislation had also been introduced last year. One version of the bill was voted on and passed by the House, but it did not progress further and never became law.

The latest legislation was introduced on April 1, 2009 as S. 758: Original Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Ultra-High Relief Bullion Coin Act of 2009. The bill seeks to aurthorize both numismatic and bullion palladium coins with the classic Saint Gaudens design. The current status of the bill is "Referred to Committee." In order for the bill to become law, it must be approved by the Senate and House of Representatives and signed into law by the President. You can check the bill's current status at

The numismatic coins described in the bill would be exact replicas of the original 27 millimeter version of the 1907 Double Eagle Ultra High Relief Gold Coin except for stated variations. The stated variations indicate that the coins would have a finish that closely approximates the original , bear the denomination of the coin, the date of issue expressed in Roman Numerals, and the motto "In God We Trust." These numismatic coins would be produced at the West Point Mint with a maximum mintage of 15,000.

At the option of the Secretary of the Treasury, a gold bullion coin of the same design may be minted and issued. If the gold version is issued, each numismatic palladium coin could only be issued in a set containing one of each coin. The set would be provided in a "presentation case of appropriate design" and could only be issued in 2009.

The bullion coins described in the bill would bear a likeness of the original obverse and reverse of the 1907 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle. The stated variations indicate that the coin would include raised edge lettering to indicate the weight and purity of the coin, bear the denomination of the coin, the date of issue in Roman Numerals, and the motto "In God We Trust." The bullion coins would be minted at any facility other than the West Point Mint and would be produced in "such number... as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate."

The palladium used for each version of the coin would have a purity of .995. The bill specifies the sources of the palladium bullion used in the coins as palladium mined from natural deposits of the United States within the one year period before the coins are minted.

There are several curious aspects of the legislation that make the proposed coin seem strange or problematic.

Why the 27 millimeter diameter? The legislation specifically requires the coins to have a diameter of 27 millimeters, after the original design. Did the authors of the bill consider the fact that the volume of palladium is about 60% greater than that of gold? The Ultra High Relief in gold already has a thick diameter of 4 millimeters. Would a bullion coin with a thickness over 6 millimeters just start to look funny?

Why the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle design? When similar bills were introduced last year, authorization was not yet in place to produce the UHR Double Eagle in gold, although the US Mint had indicated their intentions to produce the coin. The bill would have provided authorization for the desired UHR in gold, as well as authorize the palladium bullion coin. The UHR Gold Double Eagle was subsequently authorized directly by the Treasury Secretary and has been on sale for the past several months. This makes a portion of the current bill redundant and negates a portion of the original intention. Why not make a fresh attempt at authorizing a palladium bullion coin with a different classic design?

And finally, why a palladium bullion coin in the first place? The Royal Canadian Mint is the only world mint that has ever offered a palladium bullion coin. The Palladium Maple Leaf was offered only from 2005 to 2007 before production of the coin was stopped. In the final year, only 15,000 coins were sold. Maybe a classic design would draw interest from coin collectors, but is there enough demand from precious metals investors to justify a palladium bullion coin program? Here, I will point out that the sponsor and cosponsor of the bill are both Senators from Montana, the location of the only active palladium mine in the United States.

Numismatically, this bill seems a bit interesting, but probably more odd. Whether it has a chance of gaining sufficient political support to become law is another question. On Coin Network, there's an ongoing discussion on the Palladium Saint Gaudens Double Eagle. Feel free to join in with your opinions.


District of Columbia Quarter First Day Cover

The US Mint will release the District of Columbia Quarter First Day Cover on April 24, 2009 at 12:00 Noon ET. First Day Covers were also offered for the prior 50 State Quarters series. This will be the first cover release for the DC & US Territories Quarters series.

The District of Columbia First Day Cover will include two quarters, one each from the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. The quarters will be mounted on a custom display card with a 42 cent 24/7 Flags stamp. The card will be post marked January 26, 2009, Washington, D.C.

The offering will be limited to 25,000 units. The covers are priced at at $14.95 each. This is the same price changed for last year's State Quarter First Day Covers, all of which still remain available for sale on the US Mint's website.

The product page for the offerings is already available on the US Mint's website here, although ordering options won't be available until the official start of sales.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

2009 Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set

When the US Mint announced the availability of the 2009 Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Coins, they also mentioned a special 5 Coin Set, which would be available later in the year. I have some additional details on this highly anticipated set.

The product will be known as the Abraham Lincoln Coin & Chronicles Set. It will include the Proof 2009 Lincoln Commemorative Silver Dollar and the four Proof 2009 Lincoln Cents. These Lincoln Cents will be struck in a special composition of 95% copper, which was used on the first Lincoln Cents released in 1909. The set will include a reproduction of the Gettysburg Address, an image of Abraham Lincoln with his signature printed in gold foil below, and a certificate of authenticity. The set will be housed in a matching hardcover slipcase.

The "Coin & Chronicles Set" format has been used for a few other recent commemorative coins. Previous sets have included the commemorative silver dollar together with reproduced historical documents or other items. The 2005 John Marshall Coin & Chronicles Set included an intaglio print and booklet, and the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Coin & Chronicles Set included postage stamps and a reproduction of Poor Richards Almanack.

Many collectors have been eagerly awaiting the 2009 Lincoln Set. It will present another opportunity to purchase the 2009 Lincoln Commemorative, which is now sold out. More notably, it will also be an opportunity to obtain the 2009 Lincoln Cents struck in 95% copper. All of the 2009 Lincoln Cents struck for circulation have a composition of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. The 95% copper cents will be struck for this special set, as well as the US Mint's other annual coin sets.

Only 50,000 of the sets should be available, as this is the number of 2009 Lincoln Commemorative Silver Dollars which have been reserved from the maximum authorized mintage. The price of the 2009 Lincoln Coin & Chronicles Set will be $55.95. The availability date and other ordering details have not yet been announced.

I would anticipate that a household ordering limit will in place for the offering. In my opinion, even if the limit is set at one per household, the Lincoln Sets will sell out quickly, probably on the first day of sales.

I will post more details on the offering as they are revealed. For now, you can discuss the offering on Coin Network, which has recently surpassed 1,100 members!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Jackson & Van Buren Presidential $1 Coin & Medal Sets Sold Out

As of yesterday, the Presidential $1 Coin & First Spouse Medal Sets for Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren are sold out.

Each set contains one uncirculated Presidential Dollar and the corresponding First Spouse Bronze Medal. These are both placed on a custom plastic card featuring a portrait of the President. The sets were priced at $7.95 each.

Almost immediately after the coins were officially sold out, secondary market prices for the coins as seen on eBay lept incredibly higher. Completed auctions include Martin Van Buren Sets sold for $77.50 and $85.00. Current auctions show one listing with a high bid of over $100.

Here are the current eBay listings.

As I have mentioned before, the huge premiums paid for the Coin & Medal Set are essentially paid for the packaging option. All of the 2008 First Spouse Bronze Medals are still available for sale individually on the US Mint's website, priced at only $3.50 each. The 2008 Four Medal Set also remains available for $12.95.

Even though the sets moved into sold out status only yesterday, they may have effectively been unavailable for much longer. Under a prior post, a reader reported ordering the Martin Van Buren Presidential Coin & Medal Set in December 2008. After receiving three separate back order notices, the reader finally received an email stating that the coins were sold out.

About a week ago, I had also ordered one each of the Martin Van Buren and Jackson Sets, just to see if there was something that made the sets different than the individual medals or coins. Unfortunately, my order was also canceled after the sell out.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

2009 US Mint Product Schedule Update

The US Mint has updated the 2009 Product Release schedule posted on their website. Some of the products previously listed with the seasonal release date of "Spring" now have actual dates. Some previously posted dates have been moved forward.

The most notable upcoming product is probably the 2009 Lincoln Cent Formative Years Roll Set, which will be released on May 14, 2009. This release date will coincide with the "Rail Splitter" Lincoln Cent launch ceremony in Lincoln City, Indiana. With the new coins available immediately from the Mint, secondary market prices may be restrained from the heights reached by the previous "Birthplace" cents.

John Tyler Presidential Dollar Rolls will be released on May 21, 2009. The previous release for William Henry Harrison Presidential Dollar Rolls has already sold out. The John Tyler Rolls may experience similar strong interest, as mintages continue to be low and distribution through other sources remains spotty.

Guam Quarter Rolls and Bags will be released on May 26, 2009. The Puerto Rico Quarter Bags and Rolls were released just two weeks ago and have experienced strong demand, with the 1,000 coin bags already sold out. The question on my mind is whether Guam Quarters will have even lower mintages than the Puerto Rico Quarters.

The District of Columbia First Day Cover will be released on April 24, 2009. This product was previously listed with a release date of today, April 14. This is one of several products this year which has seen its release date moved forward.

A Program Map for the District of Columbia & United States Territories Quarters will be available on May 19, 2009. I don't recall seeing this product previously, but I know a number of collectors who have been looking for such a product.

The US Mint's upcoming products with actual dates posted are as follows. View the full scheduled here.

4/24/2009 District of Columbia Official First Day Coin Cover
5/12/2009 Puerto Rico First Day Coin Cover
5/14/2009 Lincoln Cent Formative Years Roll Set
5/19/2009 United States Mint 2009 District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Quarters Program Map
5/21/2009 John Tyler $1 Coin Rolls
5/26/2009 Guam Bags and Two-Roll Sets

Update (4/16/2009): In the comments several readers noted that the 2009 Proof Gold Buffalo and 2009 Abraham Lincoln Five Coin Set were left off the updated schedule on the US Mint's website. These two products are still planned for this year. They were left off the schedule inadvertently.


2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Household Limit

The 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coins have been on sale at the US Mint for nearly 12 weeks. Even though the pace of sales has slowed significantly, the one per household ordering limit remains in place.

Sales of the Ultra High Relief began on January 22, 2009. The initial pace of sales was blazing fast, with over 40,000 coins sold in the first four days. After the initial rush, the pace of sales began to slow, as I examined in this previous post. The trend has continued, with only 491 coins sold in the prior one week reporting period.

A contributing factor to the slowing pace of sales may be the the current household limit which has been in place since the start of sales. Currently, only one coin may be ordered per household. Although there are definitely some people who have gotten around the limit by enlisting the help of friends or family, it does place an ultimate barrier on demand. With the latest weekly sales down roughly 99% from the first week's sales, is it time to remove the household limit?

Greg Hernandez, Acting Director of Public Affairs at the United States Mint provided the following statements:
We are closely monitoring sales of the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin. At this time, the one per household limit is still in place, and we do not have a time frame for when the limit will be changed.

The purpose of the limit is to ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to United States Mint products.
The statements do not provide much in the way of new information, but the important thing is that removing or raising the household limit remains a possibility. In my opinion, the possibility becomes increasingly likely as the pace of sales continue to diminish. The household limit should be of interest to collectors, since it would likely squelch the booming secondary market that exists for the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin.

A review of recently completed eBay auctions shows that uncertified examples of the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle are selling within a range of roughly $1,500 - $1,650. This compares to the current price at the US Mint price of $1,239. These coins carry no special distinction other than the fact that they are available for immediate purchase and delivery. (View recently completed eBay auctions.)

If the household ordering limit is raised or removed, I think the following scenario would take place: There would be an influx of orders from resellers or speculators who had previously sold the coins for a profit and believed that the premiums would continue. Once the US Mint started delivering these coins, there would be an influx of coins available on the secondary market. This influx would come at a time when buyers were finally able to purchase the coins directly from the US Mint in unrestricted quantities. This increase in supply and decrease in demand would cause secondary market prices to fall, bringing them down to the price level at the US Mint.

While it's possible that the household limit will remain in place for the rest of the year, I wouldn't count on it. If you are looking to purchase an additional Ultra High Relief Double Eagle, your best option might be to wait and see if there are any changes to the household limit before paying a premium on the secondary market.


Friday, April 10, 2009

2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar Sales

The 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar went on sale at the US Mint on March 26, 2009. After two weeks, combined sales have already exceeded 70,000 coins.

The Louis Braille Commemorative has a maximum authorized mintage of 400,000 across all product options. The number of coins sold now represents 17.6% of the maximum. The breakdown of sales as published on Numismaster appears below.
2009 Louis Braille Commemorative Sales
Proof 42,107
Uncricualted 19,556
Uncirculated (Easy Open Capsule) 8,611
Total 70,274

On interesting thing to note is the high percentage of the uncirculated version of the coin that have been sold. The uncirculated version makes up 40% of sales to date. By comparison, the uncirculated version of the 2009 Lincoln Commemorative makes up only 25% of teh overall mintage.

A big contributing factor to the higher percentage of uncirculated version sales is the Easy Open Capsule ordering option. The US Mint created this option for those who wish to feel the tactile features of the coin. The reverse of the coin includes the first readable Braille on a United States coin.

Later in the year, the US Mint plans to release a special set limited to 25,000 coins which will also include the uncirculated version of the coin. This special set was mentioned in a March press release, but I have not yet seen any further details on this set.

The Louis Braille Silver Dollars are still available for sale at their introductory prices of $31.95 for either uncirculated version and $37.95 for the proof version. After April 27, 2009, the prices will be increased to $33.95 for the uncirculated coins and $41.95 for the proofs.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Puerto Rico 1,000-Coin Bags Sold Out

Collectors appear to have taken note of the drastically lower mintages for the 2009 Puerto Rico Quarters. The 1,000-coin bags offered by the US Mint have sold out in roughly nine days.

Bags and rolls of Puerto Rico Quarters went on sale March 30, 2009. The 1,000-coin bags were priced at $309.95, the 100-coin bags priced at $32.95, and the Two Roll Sets priced at $32.95. Currently, only the 100-coin bags and Two-Roll Sets remain available for sale.

A combination of the economy and the split of production between six different designs has created the perfect environment for low mintage quarters. Based on the US Mint's production figures, the 2009-P Puerto Rico Quarter has a mintage of 53,200,000 and the 2009-D Puerto Rico Quarter has a mintage of 86,000,000. As discussed in a previous post, these are the lowest mintages for circulating quarters in over 40 years.

Recent indications about US Mint production activity suggest that mintages may decline even further for subsequent releases of the DC & US Territories Quarters program. The next quarter for Guam should be released on or around May 26, 2009.

Separately, the William Henry Harrison Presidential Dollar Rolls have also sold out. The rolls were briefly unavailable a few weeks ago, but then went back on sale. The William Henry Harrison Dollar has the lowest overall mintage for any Presidential Dollar released to date with a combined 98,420,000 from the Phildelphia and Denver Mints.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

US Mint Gold Coin Price Decrease Likely

As a consequence of the US Mint's new pricing policy, the prices for gold coins will likely decrease this week. Will collectors use this as an opportunity to buy US Mint gold coins?

Under the US Mint's new pricing policy for gold and platinum numismatic products, prices are adjusted as often as weekly based on the average of the London Fix prices from the previous Thursday AM through Wednesday AM. If the average price moves across thresholds set at $50 increments, prices for products are adjusted.

For the past several weeks prices for gold products have not changed, as gold has fluctuated between $900 and $950. The prior week's gold prices will likely move gold into a lower price threshold. The prices for this week's period are as follows:

Apr 2, Thurs AM 914.75
Apr 2, Thurs PM 897.75
Apr 3, Fri AM 901.50
Apr 3, Fri PM 905.00
Apr 6, Mon AM 879.50
Apr 6, Mon PM 870.25
Apr 7, Tues AM 879.25
Apr 7, Tues PM 879.75
Apr 8, Wed AM ?

Unless the Wednesday London AM Fix price of gold is above $970 or so, we should see a price reduction for the US Mint's gold products. Although there are not a large number of gold products currently available, some collectors may have been waiting for a price reduction to make their purchases. Of course, they will also have to consider whether the price of gold might decline further in the coming weeks or months.

The US Mint has stated that price changes will be effective on Thursday mornings, but the past several adjustments have taken place on Wednesday afternoons. Once adjusted, the new prices should remain in effect at least until the following week when prices could be adjusted again if the average price of gold moves out of the $850 - $899.99 range.

The US Mint's currently available gold products, which would have price reductions are listed below.

2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin
2008 First Spouse Gold Louisa Adams - Unc
2008 First Spouse Gold Louisa Adams - Proof
2008 First Spouse Gold Jackson's Liberty - Unc
2008 First Spouse Gold Jackson's Liberty - Proof
2008 First Spouse Gold Van Buren's Liberty - Unc
2008 First Spouse Gold Van Buren's Liberty - Proof
2009 First Spouse Gold Harrison - Unc
2009 First Spouse Gold Harrison - Proof

A price reduction would see the price of the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin move lower by $50 to $1,239.00. First Spouse Gold Coin prices would move lower by $25 to $604.00 and $591.00 for proof and uncirculated coins, respectively.

The last time prices were at these levels was the last week of January 2009. It will be interesting to see whether the lower prices result in a noticeable increase in sales.

Update: As of Wednesday, April 8 around Noon ET, the prices for gold products have been lowered on the US Mint's website.


Friday, April 3, 2009

2009 Lincoln Cent Launch- May 14 in Lincoln City, Indiana

Update: For coverage of the ceremony go to 2009 Lincoln Penny Launch Lincoln City, Indiana

The second of the newly designed 2009 Lincoln Cents will be released on May 14, 2009. Some initial details on the launch ceremony and US Mint's Two Roll Set offering are already starting to emerge.

The 2009 "Rail Splitter" Lincoln Cent represents the formative years of Lincoln's life, which he spent in Indiana from 1816 to 1830. The reverse design depicts a young Abraham Lincoln taking a break from working as a rail splitter to read a book and educate himself. The reverse was designed and sculpted by Charles Vickers. The obverse will continue to bear the bust of Lincoln originally designed by Victor D. Brenner.

The launch ceremony for the new design will take place on May 14, 2009 at 10:00 AM at Lincoln State Park in Lincoln City, Indiana. Representatives from the US Mint and Lincoln Bicentennial Commission are expected to be in attendance. The ceremony will be followed by a coin exchange where attendees will be able to exchange currency for a minimum of two or maximum of ten six rolls of the new 2009 Lincoln Cents for each pass through the exchange line. After all attendees have had the opportunity to go through the exchange line a second pass will be allowed for a maximum combined total of twelve rolls per attendee. (updated: May 4, 2009)

The ceremony for the previous release was held in Hodgenville, Kentucky. An estimated 1,500 people attended the ceremony, which was followed by a coin exchange. It turned out that this was one of the only places to acquire the new coins, and prices for coins acquired at the exchange quickly soared.

Also on May 14, the US Mint should be offering two roll sets of the "Rail Splitting" design. The Roll Sets would hopefully be available for the price of $8.95, the same price as first two roll set. Susan Headley has reported that the US Mint will offer only 100,000 sets. This is the same number of sets that were available for the first design's release, which sold out in less than two weeks. It's a bit surprising that the US Mint was not able to allocate more coins for these sets, especially following the popularity of the first offering and continued limited distribution through the normal channels.

After the huge price increases for the first design's release, its likely that more people will show up at the launch ceremony in Indiana and the US Mint facilities to exchange coins. The Two Roll Sets will also likely be a quick sell out, provided the US Mint is only selling 100,000 sets. While I wouldn't depend on the skyrocketing appreciation of the first release, for anyone looking to add the next 2009 Lincoln Cent to their collection- it would better to acquire the coins early through one of the official channels, than risk paying more later on the secondary market.