Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Friday, March 19, 2010

Still More Price Increases for US Mint Products


The United States Mint has just provided notice for another batch of price increases for upcoming products. In previous posts, I had covered the price increases for this year's commemorative coins, nearly all of the annual sets, and the America the Beautiful Quarter 100-coin bags.

The products impacted by the latest round of increases are the US Mint's bronze medals and some Presidential Dollar related products. The new prices for each product are shown below, followed by last year's price for comparison.

2010 Price Last Year Price
First Spouse Bronze Medals 5.50 3.50
First Spouse Bronze Medal Annual Set 15.95 15.95
Presidential Dollar Coin & First Spouse Medal Set 11.95 8.95
Presidential Dollar Coin Cover 15.95 14.95
Presidential Dollar Uncirculated Set 18.95 15.95
3 inch Bronze Medals 42.00 38.00
1-5/16 inch Bronze Medals 5.50 3.50
1-1/2 inch Bronze Medals 6.00 3.75

In the case of the First Spouse Bronze Medals, the price increase applies not only to the recently released Abigail Fillmore medal, but also to the remaining available medals from last year. The prices for the Julia Tyler, Sarah Polk, and Margaret Taylor medals were increased to $5.50 some time yesterday.

The price increases implemented this year have been for core offerings, like the annual Mint Set and Proof Set, and some of the US Mint's lowest priced offerings, like the bronze medals and Presidential Dollar Coin & First Spouse Medal Set. As a percentage, the increases have ranged from 6.69% (Presidential Dollar Covers) to 60.00% (1-1/2 inch Bronze Medals).

Under the new pricing, I expect that many collectors will be reevaluating which products they continue to collect and the number of each item that the purchase.

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60 Comments:

At March 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

Michael,

I think you have the prices for the 3 inch medals and the 1-5/16 inch medals switched.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 10:20 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

It looks to me that the price of 'copper' has doubled in the last year which might explain why all the prices are going up.

Most of our coins including the medals are made up of mostly copper.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not know that the US mint would be required to pay for Health Care Reform!

 
At March 19, 2010 at 10:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The price of copper did not double last year, please check your facts!

 
At March 19, 2010 at 10:32 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

I'm basing my statement on what I see on this site:
http://www.metalprices.com/FreeSite/metals/cu/cu.asp

From the 1-year graph on the far right, it looks like it went from about $1.75 to $3.50 a pound... though its gone down since then, but has spiked back up.

If this is not accurate, I apologize. But I do know from watching the metallic value of different coins (per http://www.coinflation.com/) copper has, in general, been rising a lot for the past year or so.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 10:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, about the price of copper. You are right!

 
At March 19, 2010 at 10:37 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

For more than a year now, I save all 1982 and below pennies since they are made mostly out of copper. I then organize them in tubes by year and mint mark (because I'm crazy that way and it makes it easier to fill in Lincoln penny albums for my kids this way!)

Can't legally melt copper coins yet... but, when they open the floodgates, I'll be ready! :-)

 
At March 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM , Blogger Michael said...

Thanks, I fixed the 3 inch and 1-5/16 inch prices.

Although the price of copper went up, I am not sure if that is the main driver of the price increase.

I can't find any specifications for the medals, but the smaller sized ones probably weigh less than an ounce. So the material cost might have gone from 15 cents to 30 cents.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was hoping the price of the Presidential Dollar Coin Covers would be left alone, as $14.95 is plenty for those. They were already overpriced as it was. I might just bail on those things.

I wonder if enough people reduce their purchases or stop buying entirely if the Mint will put the old prices back in place next year. Probably not, I know.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

They could be spreading the rise in cost over all the products based on some algorithm dealing with popularity of the item and how much of a rise would negatively affect the purchase of the item.

All the price increases range on average from about $2 to $4, and the increases don't seem to be linear to the old price of the product or how much actual copper is in that particular product.

That speaks to me that the rise in copper prices is being spread across the product line rather than having each individual item increase accordingly. This, of course, affects the smaller priced items more substantially than the higher priced ones.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 11:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

More price increases? Just more gas on the fire of inflation as I see it. It is stunning that the Mint seems to thrive on cutting their wrists. Along the line, the backbone of collecting, the little people, will simply stop buying certain of the miserable offerings due to costs vs. worth. The Mint won't make their target numbers, and re-increase prices over and over again. Most formerly thriving businesses who eventually found their product sales dwindling when that way and are now mere footnotes in the history books. What a pity.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 12:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lasloo,

Good to know that I'm not the only crazy person out there collecting, sorting, and rolling pre-1982 pennies. At the rate things are going, copper will be at silver prices soon. ;-)

 
At March 19, 2010 at 12:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As they raise prices fewer people will collect them.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 1:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, something will have to give here. They can't put themselves out of business by continually raising prices to try to meet lofty goals. They would be better off setting realistic goals and keeping prices at least the same as 2009, or more modest increases than what we've seen so far. We're still in a recession here, so raising prices at this time doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 2:38 PM , Anonymous vaughnster said...

It would be a little different if this year's coins were super popular and the designs were breathtaking. It's like other people have stated: A government entity thinks that raising prices will fill a shortfall, as if there's no negative consequence. We all know that lowering or at least holding the line will increase sales and revenue. This is going to be a really long year as far as mint products go. Hurry up Abe!!

 
At March 19, 2010 at 4:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whats all the hubbub. Price increases during an economic downturn by a government agency. It makes perfect sense. It's a government agency. They are immune to economic downturns. The federal gov't is one of the fastest growing if not the fastest and highest paying employer on average in the U.S.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 4:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that the mint imagines that they are the only game in town, and that as coin values are in an uptrend, it is time to demand ever growing profits. The mint makes lots of profit as a result of our paying prices far above all costs. IT WOULD SEEM OUR RESPONSIBILITY to NOT FACILITATE nor encourage their bad behavior, thus, we might consider investing in metals outside of the control of the mint.
If we stand together, we consumers have power in our wallets, boycotts do affect things. Maybe a year of zero sales would help them practice a little bit of restraint. They must think the average coin purchaser is making profits across the board. Perhaps they should buy their own product and sit on overpriced items in hope of a future profit...

 
At March 19, 2010 at 5:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to agree with the personal boycott concept. This is March 19th, I haven't ordered or bought a thing from the Mint so far in 2010. Nothing so far offered for sale was worthwhile in my opinion to justify any price increase whatso ever. I might stand semi-alone in this thinking, others can do what they choose. I will not get screwed over for a hobby endeavor, the Gov't does that just fine with taxes on everything except air......so far. They even tax water in a bottle. Water, next it's air. Atrocious.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 6:16 PM , Anonymous Falcon said...

They installed a new press to produce the 5OZ bullion coins. They have to preserve thier profits and pay for the machine, manhours of instillation, training and increased material cost. The fastest way to do that is to raise prices across the board. I would bet when the 5OZ bullion coins go on sale they will be in the $150 range.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 6:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm definitely going to leave the 5 oz silver quarters alone. Some of them a few years from now will most likely have extremely low mintages due to lack of demand, but I don't care. I can't sink that kind of money into that project, since I already spend more than I should.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 7:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for all of your work.

Why does the mint keep offering this non-precious metal junk that none of us want and start offering what we all really want: SILVER and GOLD eagles and buffalos!! The mint has become so meaningless.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 7:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Michael, for all of your work. I enjoy reading your blog.

Why does the mint keep offering this non-precious metal junk that none of us want and start offering what we all really want: SILVER and GOLD eagles and buffalos!! The mint has become so meaningless.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 7:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call myself a boycotter its just that the mint doesn't have anything that really interests me with what I can afford. The proof eagles are gone so far, no more fractionals except bullion. Maybe I'll start collecting fractional bullion eagles and look for past mint products in the aftermarket. A nice set of walking liberty half dollars has my interest and collecting over several years is a possibility for me. But there is something about getting that nice new package from the mint with a new coin that will be missed and that feeling can't be replaced.

 
At March 19, 2010 at 8:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I have said previously, my fifty years of buying/collecting mint products is over. It's all about principles. We can change alot in November if we vote everyone out. The Dukester.......

 
At March 19, 2010 at 9:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 5 ounce silver quarter rounds will not be low mintage, since they are selling them through the dealer network they will have a minimum quantity that each dealer must purchase and that will ensure that they are high mintage.

Had they sold them through the mint website with their standard 35% markup then they might have been lower mintage.

However since the dealer prices will be less than 10% over spot they should sell enough to make them stay close to bullion value and not much more.

 
At March 20, 2010 at 3:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael again for the info, for the last 2 months I have been thinking about making my purchases "North of the Border". They have a 2.2 pound eagle that I can't afford, but they are at least producing things of beauty, not junk........

 
At March 20, 2010 at 3:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

After leaving the previous post I went to check out our northern neighbors mint site. It is unbelievable compared to ours. What has happened to us. Our mint director and staff should be ashamed.

 
At March 20, 2010 at 5:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people are complaining about not being able to buy the gold and silver eagles, because the mint has suspended production of them.

Why? Because the gov't wants to tell you what to buy, so PC coins are the answer to that.

The eagles inspire true democracy and freedom. Themes our current leadership dislikes.

 
At March 20, 2010 at 6:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Careful all!

Rumor has it that our socialist government is going to require that you pay for all your upcoming healthcare visits using their new (crappy) presidential dollar coins. It's in the new law...that way they can force us to use their ugly coinage AND determine whether we live or die through their incompetent bureaucratic healthcare system.

I also heard that Moy is going to be the healthcare Czar since he's done such an incredible job at the mint.

 
At March 20, 2010 at 6:46 AM , Anonymous Falcon said...

To the 3:36 and 3:56 posters. I have been complaining about the lack of quality and art for awhile on these posts. I have been asking why our mint doesn't do bi-metal, holographic or embedded coins for the collector. Now you can see what I mean. Some of those coins are works of art on metal. Some people have stated that I have been expecting too much from our mint. With our tech knowledge we haven't gotten enough from it. All we were promised from Moy were improved bumps. Some of those coins I would gladly pay the premium for. Instead the US Mint collector is given a large price increase for less.

 
At March 20, 2010 at 8:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whats really sad... I went to the royal canadian mint after all of the talk on here. I must say.. Their site.. their coin designs etc blow the us mint out of the water. What happened to this country? Greed apparently is all we teach and learn anymore. Cheaply made crap designs for premium prices... Welcome to america.

 
At March 20, 2010 at 9:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our country is now owned by China...what do you expect?

 
At March 20, 2010 at 9:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Royal (British) mint has also expanded its gold coin offerings much like the Canadian mint. Each has an impressive selection unlike this years US Mint.

 
At March 20, 2010 at 10:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

On their main page what a cool scene of a rock strewn steam, I bet there is gold in there.

 
At March 20, 2010 at 6:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

royal canadian mint collection is impressive. I fed up with the same boring bullions produced by the US mint. May be they ( canadians )should add a letter W on some coins to make it worth more.. You know what I mean.

 
At March 20, 2010 at 6:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, China has raken over and owns the USA. The only way to re-take our country is to STOP buying everything made in China! Very simple and will work. Our people need jobs and stuff that is not made of sub-par material.

 
At March 20, 2010 at 7:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Stop buying everything made in China". Hmmm...let me try to find something not made there. I still can buy a car or shop for food.

 
At March 20, 2010 at 7:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

if "dumbed down" America buys Chinese crap at Walmart and has no clue that we are individually buying the downfall of our country then they win. If we demand products made in USA (or at least not from communist ant-American countries) we will get our country back. God bless America!

 
At March 21, 2010 at 1:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good news for first spouse, UHR, and other current holders of gold coins. Gold will skyrocket when our dollar plumments after Obama sneeks his "health care reform" by our idiot congresspeople. Price increases from the Mint are only in the infancy. Obama's health plan will trigger inflation. The fool thinks doctors will accept some government formed crappy plan with crappy reimbursements for the doctors. More and more doctors aren't accepting bad medical plans. Few accept Medicaid. Price of Obama plan will make govenment spending out of control and it won't solve anything. Obama thinks the government can provide health care. They can't! They will provide health cards doctors won't take and they will print a lot of money!
Your first spouse collection may be worth more than your bank account.

 
At March 21, 2010 at 9:22 AM , Anonymous John said...

Can't we keep political ramblings out of here. I know people have feelings for what is happening but my feeling here are just for coins. Go to a political blog to rant please

 
At March 21, 2010 at 10:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks US Mint for cutting such a huge amount of products, and what you might or might not issue this year. Don't want my money, don't want to take care of your collector base? Fine, I just placed an order for 2 items from the Royal Canadian Mint. That is 100 clams going to our good neighbor to the north. Michael your blog is positively awesome and much appreciated, our mint is not.

 
At March 21, 2010 at 11:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just ordered ten more First Spouse Bronze Medal Annual Sets. d This seems like a bargain, at $15.95 for 5 meadals (2009 set), considering indivdual medals are $5.50 each.

 
At March 21, 2010 at 12:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you go to have a doctors visit in the future you will have to pay for it with a gold spouse coin. If you want tests done that is a few more coins, if you need surgery many more.

This is health care for the spouse coins.

 
At March 21, 2010 at 3:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The obamanation healthcare plan is going to make it illegal for doctors to fulfill their Hippocratic oath and help people unless they have '666' stamped on their foreheads
or are a card carrying member of the democratic party...6 of one, half dozen of the other. Also, the law requires that you use the new dollar coins to pay for your healthcare. Better stock up so you can get your government mandated swineflu shot this fall.

 
At March 21, 2010 at 8:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There goes another ranter who can't go anywhere else.

 
At March 21, 2010 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reality check John,
The economy, value of the dollar and associated politics very much influence the numismatic industry.
Its like telling a NASCAR driver to only talk about his car and not the track conditions.

 
At March 22, 2010 at 6:39 AM , Anonymous John said...

Then talk about the coins condition, art and value. Talking about politics is going off topic. Just because you are mad about the economic condition that Bush let get out of control is no reason to spout off about in a coin blog.
Bush is the one who let the rich get richer and screwed the common man. He and his people let the rich steal our future and now people want to blame Obama. At least Obama is trying to stop the downward spirel Bush set in motion. Of course it takes money to correct the course of destruction Bush layed out for us. Too many people are blaming the doctor for the pain the desease is causing. At least Obama is trying to help the common man not just the rich cronies of Bush. I can go on and on about how people are turning a blind eye about the massive screw up Bush did.
This is my first and last blog about politics. I am here to learn about our coins not about Bush and what he started.

 
At March 22, 2010 at 8:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was constipated a couple of days ago. Its Bush's fault.

 
At March 22, 2010 at 8:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah...these morons that blame bush for everything are getting a little old. Bush was in office for less than 6 months and '911' was his fault (not clinton's of course). However, obama has been in office over a year and his poop stinks because of bush. But don't blame John for his ignorance...he is just a product of our public schools and has been brainwashed, etc. by his liberal arts professor.

 
At March 22, 2010 at 8:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its like telling a NASCAR driver to only talk about his car and not the track conditions.

Yes but the driver is not talking about the problems with health care and other political screw ups when he talks about the track condition.

 
At March 22, 2010 at 9:01 AM , Anonymous John said...

How can you say Bush was only in office for six months? I was not insulting you. I can see that you resort to name calling instead of looking at the truth. I am alot older then you imply and am not blinded by political opinion. We were hurting badly long before Obama took office. Please leave the name calling to the children and grow up and look at reality.

 
At March 22, 2010 at 9:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course it's old blaming Bush. Thats because he was screwing up for along time.

 
At March 22, 2010 at 11:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who support obama's socialist regime are the bottom-dwellers of our society. They expect others to pay their way through life instead of getting off their rear ends and working for themselves. It is human nature not to respect leaches that use politics to steal what others worked so hard for. Nobody owes you anything, so get a life.

By the way, can someone please tell me what bush did to destroy our country? Bush was a million times better than obama, pelosi and reid. Supporters of obama are nothing but socialists who hate our country and what it stands for (freedom, just in case you haven't heard of the word). Just wait until you whiny-babies go to your doctor and he's quit because he can't deal with all the bureaucracy forced onto him/her.

By the way, I don't care how old you are; that just makes you an old idiot.

 
At March 22, 2010 at 1:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on guys, enough's enough. We're supposed to be talking about coins here, not who's an old or young idiot because they do not share your opinions. Please, can we just treat each other with some respect as fellow coin collectors and leave political views out of it?

 
At March 22, 2010 at 4:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second that motion!!! Even though the Mints line up is is less than stellar this year, cant we still just talk about coins here ?

 
At March 22, 2010 at 4:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheers! At last there are people who don't want to rant and belittle people because they don't share the same opinions.
This is a COIN blog. Keep the subject on the coins themself, not politics.
Please learn common manners. What you say about others reflects on your level of maturity.

 
At March 22, 2010 at 4:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheers! At last there are people who just want to talk about coins. I was getting sick of the immature name calling. It was sounding like a preschool debate.

 
At March 22, 2010 at 7:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK speaking about the Canadian Mint, or the Perth Mint, they do make some beautiful things, but they are not without problems too.

For one, their product line is huge. That puts a lot of things out of reach of the average collector.

Another, is some of the items are just plain sales gimmicks. Come on holograms? Really? If you need something to complement your colorized silver eagles or Obama quarters, then I suppose that is for you.

Even with low mintages a lot of that stuff goes unsold or discounted. I don't collect to make a profit, but it nice when your collection does become a little more valuable than when you bought it.

I agree the mint needs to step up their designs. I wouldn't want them to go crazy, the bi-metallic idea sounds good. But collect what you like, everyone is different.

 
At March 23, 2010 at 6:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What twists my licorice most about all of the price increases this year is that they are in total opposition to the goals stated in the mint's 2008 annual report. They claim that their goal is to come as close to zero margin as possible without ever going negative and costing the taxpayers anything for numismatic products. The stated purpose of the 15% margin was to ensure that in years when things tanked, they would still show at least a small profit. Well, last year things tanked. The mint did not produce some of its biggest money making coins (the American Eagles) and the economic situation caused other sales to decline as well. Even so, net margin for 2009 was over 9%. This should have made it clear to the mint that the 15% margin is actually too high and that price reductions were in order. This is especially true of the annual coin sets, which will have fewer coins this year.

 
At March 23, 2010 at 6:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right. I won't even be buying any annual sets this year. The quality of some of the coins I've received in them hasn't always been the greatest, and the price for the value has simply gotten too high. 2009 will be my last year of collecting Proof and Uncirculated sets.

 

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