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.
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.
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.