US Mint Last Opportunity for 2009 Products
Today, the United States Mint announced the upcoming discontinuation of sales for certain 2009 products. A "Last Opportunity" section has been added to the US Mint's online product catalog to showcase these products in their final days.
On June 15, 2010, sales will end for the following products:
2009 Proof Set
2009 Silver Proof Set
2009 Mint Set
2009 "Professional Life" Lincoln Cent Two Roll Set
2009 "Presidency" Lincoln Cent Two Roll Set
The end of sales for the 2009 Proof Set, 2009 Silver Proof Set, and 2009 Mint Set may come as somewhat of a surprise. Generally, unless there is an early sell out, these annual sets have remained on sale until the release date for the current year version of the set. The 2010 Proof Set and Mint Set are currently scheduled to go on sale on July 15 and 22; and the 2010 Silver Proof Set is scheduled to go on sale in August/September.
I believe that the reason behind the "early" end of sales for these sets is the inclusion of the 2009 Lincoln Cents struck in 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. The use of this special composition was originally authorized by the Presidential $1 Coin Act, which stated: "The Secretary of the Treasury shall issue 1-cent coins in 2009 with the exact metallic content as the 1-cent coin contained in 1909..."
Someone must have realized that the wording "in 2009" would have meant that the US Mint could not "issue" (i.e. sell) any of the annual sets containing the special 2009 Lincoln Cents after December 31, 2009.
A technical amendment was slipped into the Girl Scouts USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, which provided "the Secretary of the Treasury may continue to issue numismatic items that contain 1-cent coins minted in 2009 after December 31, 2009, until not later than June 30, 2010." This bill was signed into law on October 29, 2009, allowing the sets to be offered for an additional six months into the new year.
Notably, the 2009 Mint Set originally went on sale October 1, 2009, following a delay related to tarnish issues. With sales ending on June 15, 2010, the set will have only been available for sale for nine and a half months.
On June 30, 2010, sales will end for the following products:
2009 District of Columbia Quarter First Day Coin Cover
2009 Puerto Rico Quarter First Day Coin Cover
2009 Guam Quarter First Day Coin Cover
2009 American Samoa Quarter First Day Coin Cover
2009 U.S. Virgin Islands Quarter First Day Coin Cover
2009 Northern Mariana Islands Quarter First Day Coin Cover
These six First Day Coin Covers will actually represent the last appearance of the product for quarters for the foreseeable future. The US Mint has stated that they will not be offering the covers for the new America the Beautiful Quarters series.
Frequent commenter on this site Lasloo has actually created his own First Day Coin Cover for the Hot Springs National Park Quarter and plans to create additional covers for the remaining America the Beautiful Quarters. I have received a few of these and can attest that they are very well done. I previously wrote an article about the Hot Springs First Day Covers on Coin Update or you can find some of the covers listed for sale on eBay.
As the end of sales draws closer for the products included in the US Mint's Last Opportunity sale, I will revisit some of them with additional thoughts, stats, and comparisons.
Labels: US Mint