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|
Labels: US Mint