Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

John & Letitia Tyler Presidential Dollar and Medal Set Packaging Error

An interesting packaging error has surfaced for the John and Letitia Tyler Presidential Dollar and First Spouse Medal Set. Some sets have been identified with the Letitia Tyler Medal mounted on the Julia Tyler display card.

Because John Tyler had a first and second wife, the US Mint is issuing two separate Presidential Coin and First Spouse Medal Sets- one for each wife. The Letitia Tyler Set was released on July 14, 2009. The separate set for Julia Tyler has not yet been released by the US Mint and is currently scheduled for August 25, 2009.

The fact that the Julia Tyler Set has not been released further legitimizes the packaging error. After the release of the next set, one could argue that someone switched the medals to create the packaging error after the sets left the Mint. In reality, I believe this would be hard to accomplish without looking obvious, since each set is sealed in plastic cellophane and the coin and medal are securely mounted on the card.

After one of the packaging errors surfaced on eBay, an anonymous reader added a comment to the most recent Mint News Blog post to inform others about the mistake. This comment prompted several readers to more closely examine their own sets.

John Crosby, known as modern-coins on eBay, checked his shipment of 99 sets and located one example with the packaging error. The incorrectly packaged set that he identified is pictured at the top of this post. His sets were ordered on July 24 ,2009 and shipped by the United States Mint on July 30, 2009.

He plans to sell the packaging error set, but he is not certain when. There are currently three packaging error sets listed for auction on eBay with high starting bid prices. To date, no sets listed have reached the end of the auction or received a bid. Here's a link to the current listings for the packaging error.

This represents the second mix up by the United States Mint for First Spouses with the same last name. The Mint had previously created a mule error which combined the obverse of the Abigail Adams Medal with the reverse of the Louisa Adams Medal. These errors have been found within 2007 First Spouse 4 Medal Sets. The mule errors continue to sell for approximately $400 each.

Although the current Mint mistake falls into the category of packaging error, in all likelihood these sets will sell for premiums, especially if the number discovered remains low. If you ordered and received the John & Letitia Tyler Coin and Medal Set, be sure to check your sets for the packaging error!



At August 4, 2009 at 7:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No error set found among the 50 I ordered. Why the Mint did such a good job on my sets?!

At August 5, 2009 at 6:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont you hate it when they do things right.

At August 5, 2009 at 7:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My apology if these questions have been addressed before but who is this series targeted at:
The serious collector?
It seems like these are a low mintage item that is getting swept up by the hoarders just for that reason alone. I can't see the serious grading houses actually grading these; how could you, they're useless if opened?
It does not appeal to me as a serious collector's item. This seems like some crap you'd see in a national monument tourist gift shop.

At August 5, 2009 at 8:14 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

Well, my two cents... maybe in this case, my $1 and some bronze... but as to the question of whom this set is targeted to... duh, anyone who likes it and will buy it. If its not your thing, that's fine. But I'm not sure belittling it does any good. Coin collecting doesn't have to be all about low mintages, and slabbing coins, or for that matter stuffy boring coin shops.

These sets are nice because they are relatively inexpensive and give a nice historical perspective on each Presidency and for once, you have a product that gives the spouse of the President her due as well. You can get the spouse medals separately, but this gives it more context when its paired with the associated $1 Presidential coin.

As to grading companies... I thought I had seen one or two of these graded on Ebay, but I could be mistaken. I seriously don't think they NEED to be graded to be valuable. First day coin covers are a similar type product and seem to hold some value over time.
In any case, it wouldn't surprise me if the grading companies do or will find a way to grade these. If it will make them money, the grading companies nowadays will find a way to grade it. They use to body-bag any coin they couldn't give an official grade, but now, they'll slab those too WITH the appropriate some kind of label like "Genuine". And the whole First Day of issue business was a brilliant marketing ploy but almost meaningless as to the actual nature and/or quality of the coin.

I, personally, like coin covers more than these Presidential spouse sets. But I can see the attraction.

And can we please find a way to make coin shops more fun. There's a huge intimidation factor in most of these places, no room to move, and lots of old guys sitting around like they were at some bar for retirees. And nobody there seems to be technically proficient and they hate online auctions. :-)

At August 5, 2009 at 8:25 AM , Blogger Michael said...

These sets were launched along with a flood of other Presidential Dollar related products. This had included the now canceled Historical Signature Sets and Individual Proof Coins.

After the US Mint trimmed their product line last last year, the Presidential Dollar Coin and First Spouse Medal Sets remained- due to the higher sales levels (or maybe higher profit levels?) for the product.

I think some collectors have been picking up the sets as an alternative to buying the First Spouse Gold Coins. You get each design together with the dollar coin, on a custom designed card. In hand, the product displays well and I can see the appeal of putting together the complete run.

Besides the these types of collectors, there is definitely a speculative audience for the set. After the 2007 Sets went off sale, prices for some jumped over $200.

At August 5, 2009 at 9:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far a pricing goes if these weren't being hoarded by the sharpees then what would the average Joe pay for one of these in the secondary market? If they're not cranking out a whole lot of these (in comparison to their other products) that tells me that the mint doesn't think that there is a big market amongst the general public.

At August 5, 2009 at 9:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that the William Henry and Anna Harrison set did not see any secondary market price increases after the sell-out. The latest statistics at Numismaster show that only 14,985 of them were sold. That is several hundred lower than the previous lowest reported sales figure for the 2007 John & Abigail Adams set.

The 2008's never had any figures reported, but my gut tells me that the figures for them are comparable to the 2007's. It seems that the Mint only sells in the 15XXX-16XXX range for each of these sets. I don't know why, as they could obviously sell a lot more of them. Maybe it has to do with the number of the "Satin Finish" Presidential Dollars they want to make. They might want to allocate only so many of them to these sets.

At August 5, 2009 at 9:31 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

I don't see these going for a lot on the secondary markets with some exceptions. In general, maybe $15 to $20?? That's still double your investment. The 2007 ones are going for a lot more though. But you can buy the current ones at $9 at the Mint. All very reasonable prices for a fun Mint collectable, IMHO.

In general, I don't think any of these types of collectables over the last 10 years have big mintages. If you're not mint sets, rolls or bags of coins, you're just not going to have a big production. But that's more because of simple demand. But I think the Mint thinks they have some value. And they're just fun items.

This year the Mint reduced all the products it had to offer to just the few that were most popular. For things like coin covers and medal sets, that means things that get bought in the tens of thousands.

At August 5, 2009 at 11:04 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

I don't understand the statement, "as they could obviously sell a lot more of them". I don't think that's true. I think they are great items, but I don't think they have much higher initial demand than the Mint makes.

The Letitia Tyler set goes up maybe 1000 or so each week, maybe. Then things start to settle around the 14,000 mark. I'm sure with that kind of demand, the Mint plans on making maybe 16,000 and not much more. If they hit their mintage number, they stop. If its petered out for a while with no big increase in demand and new similar products are about to come out, they stop it.

These are decent products, but they aren't LP1s. The demand is just not there.

At August 5, 2009 at 11:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was basing that remark about being able to sell a lot more of them based on the reports of all the backorders that were eventually cancelled by the Mint. It happened with the 2008 Jackson and Van Buren sets, and also with the 2009 Harrison sets.

At August 5, 2009 at 12:59 PM , Blogger Lasloo said...

But didn't these backorders occur AFTER "Last Chance" type sales that the Mint does? Even so, I think its probably a small population (read: the people who read this blog) who were even in that pool of backorders.

None the less, who knows, its quite possible... say 10 years from now... these could be sleeper hits.

At August 5, 2009 at 2:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, actually the Coin & Spouse Medal Sets were never offered as part of a "last chance" sale. No one really knew why the Jackson and Van Buren sets were on backorder so long, only eventually to be cancelled. What I do know is that orders for the Van Buren set that were placed after only 6 weeks or so after they went on sale were eventually cancelled. Fortunately for me, my order was fulfilled. It must have been placed just before the cut-off.

I DO think these sets will be sleeper hits down the road. There aren't that many of them to be had, and they will look pretty neat all assembled together by the time the series is over. Another plus side to them is that you can actually SEE the product you have, versus others that come in non-transparent containers that once opened will shave off at least 50-60% of the item's value (such as the white cardboard envelopes the first-day coin covers are in.) I also love the first-day coin covers, and have faith in them to be sleeper hits down the road as well. The U.S. Territories series has nice-looking covers, and no more than 25,000 of each will be made. I doubt that the last three designs will even sell anywhere NEAR that many, because they will most likely be taken off-sale on June 30, 2010. The later designs will each have a shorter sales period than the one before it. The Northern Mariana Islands cover will end up being sold for only a little over 6 months, as opposed to over 15 months for Washington D.C. It's something to think about when trying to pick out potential winners.

At August 5, 2009 at 2:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like those sets. I ordered at least 10 for each of the latest sets. I didn't order the 2007 ones so I am planning to buy the 2007 sets on Ebay. I just checked my 15 John and Letitia Tyler sets, but no luck finding Julia.

At August 5, 2009 at 3:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have all the sets issued by the Mint so far (10 in total I believe). I am interested in the error set. It is neat. Seems mintage is very low. I am tinking about bidding on one of the sets on Ebay.

At August 7, 2009 at 2:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that because of this, there will likely be a handful of John and Julia Tyler sets that will be packaged on the LETITIA card. When the time comes, keep your eyes peeled for those, too.

At August 8, 2009 at 9:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody know what happen to the 2008 Spouse 4 medal set????
I can not find it anywhere at the US MINT website,
Is it SOLD OUT ???????
If anybody can provide additional information, it will be great.
Thank you.

At August 8, 2009 at 9:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy sold one of the error sets for $249. Seems there are two sellers have the error sets on Ebay.

At August 8, 2009 at 9:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster above,

Yes, the 2008 First Spouse 4-Medal Set is sold out. After doing a little digging, I found it. Below is the link:

At September 19, 2009 at 1:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Anyone can open a Tyler presidential / spouse medal set, remove the Julia medal from the air tight package and put Letitia in her place or vice versa. It is very simple - takes about 1 minute to do.

Unscrupulous people could claim that these manipulated sets were mint packaging errors but they are not.

Now I'm not claiming that the mint did not make any packaging errors with these medal sets. I'm only saying that a purchaser can not know for sure that the set they are viewing truly was a mint packaging error or someone's "switcheroo".

At September 21, 2009 at 11:36 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

I would believe that you're probably correct once it's out of the see-through Mint bag it comes in. Definitely an easy error to fake.

However, is it as easy to replicate that bag or open the bag in such a way as to be able to re-seal it without it being obvious?


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