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News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Monday, January 11, 2010

Survey Results: Favorite 2009 US Mint Product and Biggest Disappointment

Just before the end of 2009, I created a survey for Mint News Blog readers. The survey allowed readers to share their thoughts and opinions on US Mint products from 2009 and for the coming year. Some of the questions covered broader topics, asked for predictions, or allowed open ended responses. Almost 800 readers completed the survey with many providing detailed responses.

For the next week or so, I will be publishing the results of the survey in multiple parts. These posts will be in addition to the regular ongoing coverage on US Mint product news and information.

What was your favorite US Mint product for 2009?


Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set 43.47%
2009 Ultra High Relief Gold Coin 36.44%
2009 Proof Gold Buffalo 8.46%
Other 8.03%
2009 Proof Platinum Eagle 3.59%

The favorite product of readers was the Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set with 43.47% of the vote. This was followed by the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin which received 36.44% of the vote.

From the readers who selected "other," the top three responses in order were the 2009 Proof Set, one or more of the First Spouse Gold Coins, and the 2009 Lincoln Commemorative Silver Dollar.

My personal favorite product was the Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set. The price was set at a bargain level, mostly due to the premiums which had already developed for the 2009 Lincoln Silver Dollar. The set was extremely well put together in terms of packaging and content. The limited production run for a product with obvious broad appeal added an element of excitement to the release. The set was shipped promptly and looked even better in hand, to complete the experience.

What was the biggest disappointment of 2009?


2009 Proof Silver Eagle Cancellation 57.25%
Coin Design Selections 14.78%
Other 9.90%
Decreased Number of Products 9.76%
2009 Proof Gold Eagle Cancellation 8.32%

The biggest disappointment was overwhelmingly the cancellation of the 2009 Proof Silver Eagle. Coming in second was disappointment about the coin designs selected for new or upcoming coins. Nearly 10% of readers selected the other category and provided a combination of choices or different options.

From the readers who selected "other," the top three responses in order were "all of the above" or a combination of the included options, the cancellation of collectible uncirculated (burnished) Gold and/or Silver Eagles, and the unavailability of 2009 dated circulating coins (mostly mentioning nickels and dimes).

Additional disappointments provided by one or more readers included the lack of smaller denomination precious metals coins for collectors, quality control and shipping issues, product prices that were too high, the unlimited mintage for the UHR Double Eagle, and the new finish used for proof coinage.

Personally, I was most disappointed by the cancellation of the 2009 Proof Silver Eagle. When my wife and I had our first son in 2008, I immediately bought him the 2008 Proof Silver Eagle. Among the other coins I would regularly add to my son's collection, I decided that every year I would buy the Proof Silver Eagle for him. When the US Mint broke with their tradition, I was forced to break with mine.

This was a core product of the US Mint that has been offered for more than 20 years. I do not believe that all avenues were explored before the decision was made to cancel Proof Silver Eagle and other products. I think that it will take several years of regularly issuing the Proof Silver Eagle and providing other well executed collector products to win back the goodwill and trust that the US Mint lost this year.

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28 Comments:

At January 11, 2010 at 4:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

will the 2009 proof and unc. sets see the same types of premiums the 2008 sets did?

 
At January 11, 2010 at 5:19 PM , Anonymous Brad said...

It's really unknown at this point. However, the longer the sets remain available for sale on the Mint's website, the less they will likely be "worth" later. Perceived scarcity seems to be key when it comes to future potential for these sets. A pre-Christmas sellout would have worked wonders.

One factor that may work in favor of the Uncirculated Coin Set is the number that have been cut up for the pennies. A quick look on eBay will give you a feel for just how widespread the destruction of these sets is. I've seen sellers offering rolls of 50 of each penny design in the copper composition, and each set of four rolls of those designs equals 50 broken sets. It could help sets that are still sealed in the brown boxes command a higher premium than they would otherwise.

 
At January 11, 2010 at 5:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the Mint just put the James K. Polk Dollar Coin Rolls out of their misery already? There's no way I'll EVER be able to recover the $114.45 premium I paid for my 10 rolls. I was the stupid one for buying them in the first place. I figured if I didn't buy them, the Mint would cut them off at 20,000 each and they would sell for $500 each.

I might as well break them open and spend them as $250 right now and be done with it. Simply chalk it up as a lesson learned. GRRRRRR!

 
At January 11, 2010 at 6:20 PM , Blogger John said...

Michael,

Thanks for your time and effort putting this together. It will be fun to follow the future post to see the results.

 
At January 11, 2010 at 6:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

MZ - this blog has more value to plain everyday collectors, ebay jockies, long & short term investors, and a host of others than many people realize. To say you had to sort thru 800 survey responses is quite telling. You have a rather substantial following as one has to wonder how many more readers there are who did not participate. That said, to find that a clear majority were visibly upset when the "Mint" stopped the long running Proof & Unc. Eagle offering and then read the mealy-mouthed response to citizen outrage by Mr. Moy as published in Coin World, was no surprise. You gently suggested that it will take years to regain collector's trust. That was most charitable. It might be more accurate to say many long time "customers" of the Mint have rightfully decided to boycott many of the current & future planned offerings in silent protest. The Mint (Mr. Moy) shot himself in the foot in careless disregard. I say let his foot bleed. ~Grandpa.

 
At January 11, 2010 at 6:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good grief, check out the link below! When the heck did these silly things get so valuable? Didn't they originally cost something like $15.95? Man, I wish I had bought some of those instead of the dogs I bought!

http://cgi.ebay.com/2008-US-Mint-Presidential-1-Coin-Uncirculated-Set-P-D_W0QQitemZ200424520870QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCoins_US_Individual?hash=item2eaa3b7ca6

 
At January 11, 2010 at 7:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only was it a rediculous bid, the item was not even sealed. I've often wondered about newbies placing bids. Are they really that stupid or are they really dealers acting as decoy's to drive prices higher.

 
At January 11, 2010 at 8:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very disappointed with the unlimited minting of the UHR by expanding it from one per household to 2; to 10; to unlimited at the end. I paid a premium for this work of art and feel that the Mint ruined its collectibility and future value.

Also, does anyone out there know something about an UHR "Error" graded coin by NGC? (the reverse appears to have Liberty's knee protruding slightly over the middle to back tail feathers of the Eagle in flight) I'm just wondering how common this error is? I saw the coin on ebay back in March and haven't seen anything since. I have two UHR's and one appears to have the "Error."

Thanks for your GREAT website, Michael.

 
At January 12, 2010 at 6:34 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I never heard anything about that kind of error. Maybe you should send yours in to NGC and see if they grade it the same way?

 
At January 12, 2010 at 7:31 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

Normally, I can figure out the reasoning for something going high on Ebay... but the 2008 presidential set fluxoms me. I don't understand the demand part of the equation?
What makes this any more valuable than the 2008 presidential proof set? Aren't the ones in this set satin finish as well?

I remember buying a couple back in 2008 and breaking them out to put in airtites. Ugh.

 
At January 12, 2010 at 7:33 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

with the Polk dollar coin rolls, you never know. The Van Buren took forever to finally sell out (though most of the other 2008 rolls are still selling)... and boom... the D roll, I think, is going for $120 or so on Ebay.

 
At January 12, 2010 at 7:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please submit the survey and the results to the mint.

Maybe it will provide them with a fresh perspective from the point of view of collectors...

It would certainly be doing everyone a service.

Good job Michael.

Goldfinger

 
At January 12, 2010 at 7:36 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

Totally agree Brad. I'm amazed at the amount of 2009 uncirculated sets that have been broken up on Ebay. If the Mint discontinues it sooner rather than later, you may ALSO have one of the lowest recent mintages for uncirculated sets as well.

Give this one time, I think its a winner long-term.

 
At January 12, 2010 at 8:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow it's a shame to see all the Batting cage token talk take over the results of the survey.But I guess anything is possible.I personally wouldn't give a plug nickel for one of those over rated presidential pieces of junk.But to each his own.

On another note I totally agree with Grampa and perhaps the US Mint should take a good long look at the results of this survey.I predicted a lack luster year for the 2010 US Mint products.And I do believe this survey proves my point.

I'm wondering if anyone knows about the new 2010 Lincoln ceremony launch on Feb 11th for the new 2010 cent design.If the turn out for the LP4 design is any indication of this ceremony.This one may be well worth going to.The LP4 design has faded out as far as availability due to the lowest turn out of all four designs.These stamp cancelled rolls have become extremely scarce now and may be picking up in price very soon as a result.

Michael, can you please look into the 2010 Lincoln cent ceremony launch and post information on the location.I believe it is to take place on Feb 11th at the capital building in Lincoln,ILL.

I knew the overwhelming pick for disappointment would be the 2009 cancellation of the Proof and burnished silver eagles.Wake up US Mint, it is not to late to loose everyone.Just do away with the 5oz piece of junk and give the collectors what they really want.Stop catering to the bullion buyers and start recognizing the people who have truly shown the US Mint what real profit is all about.

 
At January 12, 2010 at 8:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live pretty close to Springfield, and I just might take a day off work to go to this event like I did last August. It will definitely be a cold wait, though! I wonder what possible snow or ice on that day could do to the Mint's plans?

 
At January 12, 2010 at 4:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if it was not for the high mintage of the UHR's, this would have been by far the most popular product last year or in the last couple of years. I think many of us were extremely disappointed at the over mintage.

 
At January 12, 2010 at 5:10 PM , Anonymous EJL said...

Thanks, Michael, for all the time and effort you invest to maintain this blog.

The U.S. Mint would have paid thousands to obtain the survey results you generated. 800 responses is worth a second look.

If we in the modern coin collectors community are patient, reasonable and not greedy, these results just might drive changes we seek.

Again, thanks for doing what you do.

 
At January 12, 2010 at 5:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, check out the link below. It looks like the Presidential Dollar Coin & First Spouse Medal Sets are back on the rise!

http://cgi.ebay.com/JEFFERSON-PRESIDENTIAL-1-COIN-FIRST-SPOUSE-MEDAL-SET_W0QQitemZ390139772747QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCoins_US_Individual?hash=item5ad6247f4b

There was also a couple of George & Martha Washington sets that sold for $106.99 and $98 today as well.

How much longer do you think before the much lower mintage 2009 sold out sets start to see some appreciation?

 
At January 12, 2010 at 8:33 PM , Blogger John said...

I'm sitting on a large quantity of 2009 spouse medal sets and Tyler dollar rolls. Logic would dictate that they should rise, but I'm not really counting on it. There are people on this board who are going to preach the supply and demand 101 economics. I understand supply and demand and yet for some reason I feel there is some x factor out there that is decreasing the demand on these specific products. I just do not believe that there is some crazy Harrison dollar collector out there who is willing to buy those rolls at such a crazy premium. I guess I can almost understand why the 2007 first spouse sets are more popular than the 2009 sets due to the popularity of the first four presidents versus the 8th through 12th. But was Harrison that much more interesting than Tyler? The supply is identical so therefore it has to be the demand side. Harrison was president for exactly one month and then died in office. Tyler had a much more interesting life.I would be curious if anyone reading this has any guess as to what the x factor is?

 
At January 12, 2010 at 9:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other than Washington, Lincoln, Bush, and Obama and maybe Clinton I'll bet most people don't even know who the other presidents are. That could be the "X" factor mentioned right above along with the fact the coins are made of scrap metal. Imagine a roll of presidential dollars about the same size on 90% silver or even just a set of 4 silver proof and unc. for the collector. What a great opportunity missed by the mint for a magnificent collectable instead they have got people drooling over carnival tokens. That is a shame.

 
At January 12, 2010 at 9:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm missing something but with strict limits the UHR quickly sold over 40000 and many months later final mintage EVER is under 120000. Seems like the total mintage was kept way down due to the record high price of gold. Assuming gold will not tank (everyone suspects the Chinese will make gold continue to rise) the UHR will command a big premium in the next few years for its scarce beauty. I would never buy an un-slabbed original double eagle St. G. but I really believe new "fresh from the mint" with packaging will prove to be more desirable than slabbing!

 
At January 12, 2010 at 9:57 PM , Anonymous Brad said...

John,

I understand what you're saying. I've been puzzled too about the Harrison/Tyler discrepancy. Some have said that despite identical production, many of the Harrison special U.S. Mint rolls were opened up by those who bought them to search for higher quality singles than those which could be found in bank rolls. That is a complete false line of thinking, but that did not stop folks from trying. However, after the Harrison sellout and the value shot through the roof, many jumped on the Tyler rolls and hoarded them, hoping for a repeat of the Harrison scenario. It didn't happen, and now it's very likely that nearly the entire production run of Tyler rolls still exist sealed in their original white mailer boxes. I personally believe that this must be the true scenario, since if the Harrison rolls were still around in quantities near 30,000 rolls each, more of them would be available for sale. I know I would unload any I had in a heartbeat for the insane prices that they bring! Unfortunately, I did not buy a single one, not in the original offering period nor in the short-lived re-appearance of the rolls. I had no faith in them, and obviously it was a bad choice. I DID buy 10 of the Tyler rolls during their re-appearance period, and I'm still trying to get rid of 8 of them without losing money.

Maybe there IS hope for the Polk rolls after all. As a previous commenter pointed out, the Van Buren rolls, despite being on sale for many months, are now commanding nice premiums on the secondary market. There were in the neighborhood of 40,000 rolls sold for each Mint, and the pair can now bring around $175. I think the Polk rolls will be taken off-sale soon, as they are approaching 40,000 each themselves. I guess the deciding factor will be how many people went back to their "pre-Tyler" ways of opening the rolls instead of saving them. Many Van Buren rolls were likely opened up for singles themselves. I only hope that Tyler did not kill that tradition.

It could be too that one of the factors Michael mentioned in a post a few months ago is coming into play on these items: Who holds the mintage. That could be what is keeping the 2009 Presidential Dollar Coin and First Spouse Medal Sets low right now. I've noticed that despite the very low sales numbers, there does not seem to be any shortage of sets available for sale. Some buyers reported buying 99 sets of each. They're now in the process of trying to unload them, and the constant supply undoubtedly serves to keep prices at bay. It will only be after that steady supply is gone and sets offered for sale become few and far between that the values will jump. Despite much higher reported sales numbers, the 2007 sets simply don't show up for sale very often.

I wonder if eBay sellers ever thought of trying to form some sort of collusive network to keep supplies artificially low to drive prices up? The owners of rare products could agree to only list one at a time on the site, so all buyers would flock to the only one available and fight over it. They could call themselves "ORUMPO", an acronym for the Organization of Rare United States Mint Product Owners"! :)

 
At January 13, 2010 at 6:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the UHR comments. There were less than 25,000 UHR sold after limits were lifted. Considering how many months after the limits were lifted you would expect continued sales even if limits were in place. I agree that the high price of gold kept orders down (even for dealers) and the dealers probably bought them in early months anyhow.

The UHR if they do not make them again (which is what they say) will at some point be THE product to have.

I also agree that PCGS and NGC slabing of the UHR that comes in a beautiful mohogany presentation case is TOTALLY STUPID and I'm sure in years to come folks will want the original packaging (with coin in it!) from the mint. Why don't they take the coins from the Lincoln Chronicles set and slab each of them! The idea of a slab is to make sure an old coin is what is says it is without alterations/ cleaning etc.

I have no problem with lifting the UHR limits SINCE IT DIDN'T MATTER!

 
At January 13, 2010 at 1:30 PM , Blogger John said...

Thanks Brad for your detailed response to my x factor question.I guess that is possible, but it seems strange that on that one particular president people decided to open up a large number of rolls. I would have to imagine that at least 5,000 rolls or more would have had to been opened to cause that kind of price increase. I buy coins as both an investor and collector. I like the coin market because I feel I have a pretty good understanding of what makes the modern coins go up and down in value. I guess in cases like these I have no idea what really justifies the current price of these items. I guess in a weird way it makes it a little fun that there may be some strange uncertain x factor that comes out every now and then just to spice things up. I am one of the hoarders of the 2009 spouse sets as I have 99 sets each of the Harrison and both Tyler sets eventually I would at least like to finish off and get the last two of the 2009 spouse sets to complete a 2009 set of 99 units. I have not sold a single set and yet the sold out Tyler still does not command any premium at all. It really seems that there is just no interest in it at all. The market is not flooded with them. Personally I find the history behind Tyler's second wife (Julia) incredibly fascinating. It is because of the history of Julia Tyler that I decided I would try to make complete 2009 spouse sets.

She was introduced to President John Tyler at a White House reception early in 1842. They began seeing each other in January 1843, a few months after the death of the First Lady, Mrs. Letitia Tyler.

Julia, her sister Margaret, and her father joined a presidential excursion on the new steam frigate Princeton. David Gardiner, along with a number of others, lost his life in the explosion of a huge naval gun. Tyler comforted Julia in her grief and won her consent to a secret engagement, proposing in 1843 at the George Washington Ball. Because of the circumstances surrounding her father's death, the couple agreed to marry with a minimum of celebration. Thus on June 26, 1844, the president slipped into New York City, where the nuptials were performed by the Reverend Benjamin Treadwell Onderdonk, fourth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, at the Church of the Ascension. President Tyler was aged 54; Julia just 24.

The bride's sister Margaret and brother Alexander were bridesmaid and best man. Only the president's son, John Tyler III, represented the groom's family. Tyler was so concerned about maintaining secrecy that he did not confide his plans to the rest of his children. Although his sons readily accepted the sudden union, the Tyler daughters were shocked and hurt. The news was then broken to the American people, who greeted it with keen interest, much publicity, and some criticism about the couple's difference in age of 30 years. It was awkward for the eldest Tyler daughter, Mary, to adjust to a new stepmother five years younger than herself. One daughter, Letitia, never made peace with the new Mrs. Tyler.
After I told my wife about this bit of history she said that would make a great movie!

 
At January 13, 2010 at 5:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In regards the 2009 proofs, and all the other crap that has been going on for the last year or so. If you have not figure it out by now, you would have to have your head buried in the sand. When it comes to the US Mint, can't you see that it is not about us, or the future of the collector that is of any importance to them. Now that they think they got us where they want us, the US Mints is only acting as you would expect a big business to act, that is in it's own best interest. Now with the tremendous influx of new coin collector, it no longer has to give thought the concern a handful of collectors especially since it has become obvious to them that there is a majority out there who would rather be exploited by the money-grubbing coin dealers out there. At this point I am all for a boycott, I figure on going back to the true roots of coin collecting, back to dealing with old rear coin, not these new fake made up and manufactured to be rare coin that are only rare because the US Mint choose them to be so especially if they know a profit can be made for them and their dealers.

 
At January 14, 2010 at 11:49 AM , Blogger Michael said...

"Michael, can you please look into the 2010 Lincoln cent ceremony launch and post information on the location.I believe it is to take place on Feb 11th at the capital building in Lincoln,ILL."

This article states that the ceremony will be held on February 11, 2010 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

http://www.sj-r.com/news/x1409370872/New-Lincoln-Penny-to-be-unveiled-in-Springfield-Feb-11

 
At January 14, 2010 at 3:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad to see I am not the only one infuriated about this Mint's total disregard for the collector. With all the gold and silver they put into their junk coinage, for those idiots to even attempt to justify their actions as reasonable, is quite unbelievable. But that is all part of the retarded people who end up in D.C. I will never have any dealings with this Mint after the silver eagle cancellation.

 
At January 27, 2010 at 5:20 PM , Blogger Davin4114 said...

Great coverage of the 2009 Mint products and the coverage of the 2009 Lincoln Release Ceremonies. I have ran across sombody selling certified complete sets of all 4 Lincoln release ceremonies MS-66 of MS-67. Google it or try Ebay.

 

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