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.
Labels: US Mint