Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

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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At April 10, 2009 at 11:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How relatively brisk is that for a commemorative silver dollar?

I would imagine after this initial surge, sales will flatten.

At April 10, 2009 at 12:21 PM , Blogger Michael said...

Compared to other commemorative silver dollar sales, I think this coin will end up in the mid range. It won't be as popular as Benjamin Franklin or Abraham Lincoln which sold out, or the Bald Eagle, which nearly sold out. But it should fare much better than some of the slower sellers.

The Louis Braille coin did get some mainstream attention, and the surcharges are donated to a cause many people would support. The coin also features a solid design and a unique feature.

The pace of sales has been steady comparing week one and week two, but I think it will slow at the end of the introductory period. If I had to guess, by the end of the year, maybe it will end up with total sales in the 250,000 -300,000 range.

At April 10, 2009 at 1:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the easy open numbers are already included in the uncirculated numbers...? This would imply that the uncircs are a lower % of totla sales.

At April 10, 2009 at 2:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Friday update: just tried to access the Mint website to place an online order of 2 items. Initially a message popped up warning that their "certificate" was outdated or not working and not to access the website. After about 3 hours the next attempt found the website could not be accessed at all as there was an internal server error. I hate to say this, but here's another opportunity for a sale lost for the Mint and seemingly more evidence that something is very wrong with either their website, ordering process, or the new fullfillment center operation. Perhaps the rumor floating around that an investigation is underway might have some merit. I'll try to access the site and place my order on Saturday. Some really odd stuff going on lately.

At April 10, 2009 at 10:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

not odd at all, happens all the time with maintence required by the MINT, they do it on a friday night when people are'nt really on their computers but, having a life. also it's time off for holiday and stock market closed. most sites need updating. I have never had any problems with the mint website or ordering. Go out on friday and make discisions/purchases on wed/thur when london prices may change the prices. It's the norm. Go party come back later, patience is part of the strat.

At April 14, 2009 at 11:12 AM , Blogger Michael said...

To Anonymous at 1:33 PM:

I am fairly certain the two Unc numbers report totals separately. I have seen it reported as such in several other places, most recently here:

At April 16, 2009 at 9:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I put my order in for my coins as soon as 12 noon est came up on my atomic clock. At 12:01 my order was done. I still have no coins.
Why is it.. the little guy seems to always take a back seat lately at the mint? In Stock and Reserved... like the other 13 orders I have.. as each day passes some of my orders are changing to No longer Available. How is it.. I can order at the very moment they are available and still not have any in my possesion? How are other people getting them so soon? Are they buying 1000 at a time?


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