United States Mint Circulating Coin Bulk Purchase Program
Back in June, the United States Mint announced the America the Beautiful Quarters Bulk Purchase Program. Recently, the Mint has added bulk purchase options for Presidential Dollars and Native American Dollars.
The America the Beautiful Quarters have been available in bulk bags of 200,000 coins ($50,000 face value). These bulk bags come on steel pallets measuring 41.5 inches long, 27.5 inches wide, and 19.5 inches high, with a weight of 2,615 pounds for the coins and pallet. The cost of the bulk bag is the face value of $50,000 plus a 3% handling charge of $1,500. Additionally, the purchaser must arrange for pick up at either the Philadelphia or Denver Mint by a properly licensed carrier.
Orders for bulk bags of new releases can be placed up to one week before the circulation release date. Orders may also be placed for previously released quarters to be fulfilled with available inventory. The US Mint may also restart production of previous designs from the current year, if time and resources permit. The latest coin production figures showed that the US Mint did restart production of the Hot Springs Quarter, with 5 million more coins struck at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints.
Presidential Dollars and Native American Dollars are available through the Bulk Purchase Program in bags of 140,000 coins ($140,000 face value). The cost is face value plus a 1% handling charge of $1,400. The pallets and bags have the same measurement and weight as for the quarters.
For Presidential Dollars, only prior year coins are available for ordering. Specific designs are not mentioned. For Native American Dollars, current year dated coins are available from the first business day of the year.
A Q&A document from the US Mint states the purpose of the program (specifically for the quarters) as follows: "Recent economic conditions have led to an oversupply of prior year-dated quarters in the banking system. As a result, businesses relying solely on the banking system may be unable to obtain large quantities of America the Beautiful Quarters coins on a regular basis. This program provides an option to those interested in obtaining America the Beautiful Quarters in volume."
More information on the bulk purchase program can be found on the US Mint's website here.
The dollar value for the bulk bags puts them out of reach for nearly all collectors and individuals. To me, it seems that the ones most able to utilize the program would be mass marketers reselling America the Beautiful Quarters to the public, large coin dealers, and possibly businesses seeking the coins for promotional purposes.
Collectors are left with only a few options for buying relatively small numbers of America the Beautiful Quarters at much higher premiums. Current products with circulation strike quarters include 100-coin bags ($25 face value) priced at $35.95, two roll sets ($20 face value) priced at $32.95, and the circulating coin set ($2.50 face value) priced at $9.95. These products represent premiums to face value of 43.80%, 64.75%, and 298.00%. This does not take into account shipping and handling charges.
If the US Mint is going to accommodate mass marketers with a special program, shouldn't they offer better options for collectors and average individuals?
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Labels: US Mint