Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Friday, December 31, 2010

Revisiting Mint News Blog 2010 Survey

Last year I had put together a brief survey for Mint News Blog readers, which opened on December 31, 2009 and closed on January 8, 2010. The survey included questions about US Mint numismatic products, coins, and other topics of interest to collectors.

Besides looking back over the previous year, there were also questions about the upcoming year and an opportunity for readers to make predictions. With the year almost over, I thought it would be interesting to look back at some of these questions, responses, and predictions.

Will the US Mint issue a proof version of the 2010 Silver Eagle?

With 64.85% of the vote the majority of readers responded Yes. For most of 2010, the offering remained far from certain. On March 27, 2010 at the ANA National Money Show in Texas, the Mint Director made comments about the continuing record demand for bullion coins, which raised serious doubts about the collector offerings.

As the year moved on, there were two possible avenues for minting 2010 Proof Silver Eagles. First, a change in law could allow greater flexibility in producing collector coins. Second, the US Mint could meet full demand for bullion coins, allowing production of collector coins under existing law.

Eventually, a drop in bullion demand in August and September allowed the production of proof Silver Eagles to take place, although a change in law was also later enacted. The US Mint offered the 2010 Proof Silver Eagle beginning November 19, 2010 and it sold out by December 28.

Will the overall production of circulating coins for 2010 rise or fall from the number produced in 2009?

For this question, 61.41% of readers responded Fall, while 38.59% predicted Rise. Through November 30, 2010, annual circulating coin production for 2010 has already topped 2009 production by more than 77%.

Across all denominations there have been nearly 6.3 billion circulating coins produced during 2010, compared to 3.55 billion last year. Large increases for cents, nickels, and dimes, offset moderate declines in production for quarters and dollar coins.

Gold and Silver Eagle Bullion coin production

There were two questions asking whether readers thought production of Gold Eagle and Silver Eagle bullion coins would rise or fall in 2010 compared to the prior year. Responses were split, with about half of readers predicting a fall and half predicting a rise.

Through the current date, Silver Eagle bullion coin production rose, at 34,662,500 ounces compared to 28,766,500 last year. Gold Eagle bullion coin production fell, with 1,220,500 ounces sold this year, compared to 1,425,000 last year.

Will the price of gold rise or fall during 2010?

For this question, 74.18% of readers correctly predicted that the price of gold would rise. In a follow up question, readers were asked to predict the closing price of gold on December 31, 2010. The majority of responses fell into the correct range of $1,250 - $1,500 per ounce.

Out of all responses, the average guess was $1,375.13. The price of gold is currently $1,418.00 just before the end of the year.

Bold Predictions

A final section of the survey asked readers to make a bold prediction for 2010. A decent number of these predictions turned out to be accurate. I will include some of these predictions below with my comments in italics.

"Palladium UHR!"

A bill authorizing American Palladium Eagles was recently signed into law by the President. The coins will feature Adolph A. Weinman's designs from the Mercury Dime obverse and 1907 AIA Medal reverse. Coins will be issued within one year of the submission of a marketing survey.

"I expect the 5 oz silver National Parks coins will sell out immediately . Their prices will follow the same type of curve the 1st wives coins did when first released. By the second year, the release will be a non event."

Authorized purchasers have ordered the full US Mint production of 165,000 coins. Secondary market prices have spiraled higher, even before the majority of the coins have been sold to the public. We will have to wait and see about the second half of the prediction.

"Congress will mandate Eagle Proofs be minted for collectors."

The bill H.R. 6162 was recently signed into law by the President. Among other things, this bill will allow the Secretary of the Treasury the flexibility of authorizing collector versions of the Gold and Silver Eagles, even if full demand for bullion coins is not being met.

"At least one MS first spouse gold coin will finish its production run with under 3,000 sales."

The US Mint ended sales of the Julia Tyler First Spouse Gold Coin on June 3, 2010. The last reported sales for the uncirculated version were 2,861 coins.

"A metal change for circulating coins."

The recently enacted bill H.R. 6162 requires the Secretary of the Treasury to make biennial reports to Congress about the costs and cost trends of circulating coins, as well as make recommendations about coin composition changes. This seems to open the door to future changes.

"The new quarters will be hard to find, low mintage, and banks won't order them."

The 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters have the lowest mintages for the denomination in decades. However, they are readily available from the US Mint through numismatic bags, rolls, and other products. Availability at banks is spotty at best, due to the fact that the banks are not provided with special ordering procedures for each design, like they were for the prior State Quarters Program.

For anyone interested, you can read all of the survey responses and reader comments here.

A new survey for this year will be posted later today.



At December 31, 2010 at 8:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting Sir Michael ! Tim

At December 31, 2010 at 8:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael, I know the subscription page for the Presidential UN-circulated set speaks of the 2011 coins, but it does not show up in the product schedule. Do you think it may become an subscription only? or perhaps discontinued.

The page says, "We will make every effort to ensure product availability, but cannot guarantee it, especially in cases of limited mintages". Thanks, Tim

At December 31, 2010 at 8:48 AM , Blogger Mint News Blog said...

The initial version of the US Mint's product schedule is usually missing products or has ambiguities.

Other readers have pointed out some others. I will try to get some clarification and revisit early next year.

At December 31, 2010 at 9:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prediction for gold at end of 2011 will be $1725 and Silver $38.25! I see the ratio of G:S at 1:45 by years end or maybe even lower.

At December 31, 2010 at 9:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out hsn..home shopping network....item # 117-293..selling pucks for $4800.00

At December 31, 2010 at 9:52 AM , Anonymous EvilFlipper said...

EvilFlipper says stay nimble.Volatiliy will run riot this year in all classes.Watch for the palladium coin this year. Keep a BIG eye on the PM markets and FX markets as these will usually be indicative of where the money will go. I see more public interest in precious metals this year and that will spill over to numismatic items. People (just a few but it's s start) are chasing yield. Deserved or not it will come to the numismatic arena as precious metals and their numismatic counterparts are inelastic. There is only so much to go around and set mintages will key in some big gains (especially for rarities of all flavors but especially oldie but goodies-think art)... But WATCH OUT FOR CURRENCY EVENTS> Governments can go kaput at any moment wiping out gains as broader market dislocations happen- think gold2008.

At December 31, 2010 at 12:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said... has the 5oz ATB sets ready to ship @ 2,999.99

At December 31, 2010 at 4:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:20,

I think you could be right about gold, but you're way off on silver. I see the potential for silver to be at $60 by the end of next year. Remember that this huge jump to thirty took place over 3-4 months.

And that's assuming we don't have major inflationary events take place next year!

At December 31, 2010 at 4:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see sliver at $100.00 and climbing before year end 2011. god bless to all. because you only need 3 things clothing,food, and shelter. hope you all have a good year! peace.

At December 31, 2010 at 11:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

the satin finish 2010 P,D lincoln cents will be the key dates of the shield series.

Ditto the ATB satin finish quarters.

The 2010 no mint mark BULLION ATB 5 oz silver will be key dates due to their inaccessability and high prices (eBay). however, the 2010-P version (P mint mark) sold by the mint won't command as high a premuim due to their easier availability to the public.

At January 3, 2011 at 2:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think silver will go over $25 this year or gold over $1500. I think the state quarters were produced in such numbers that they will never be collectible. However the America the Beautiful coins will likely command a significant premium if you wait a hundred years or so.


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