Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Friday, January 21, 2011

Quick US Mint Updates

There are a few recent developments related to US Mint coins that I wanted to briefly write about before resuming coverage of the survey. The sales figures for the US Mint's first 2011 numismatic product have been published, silver bullion sales have started the year on a record pace, and another 2010 product has sold out.

2011 Proof Set Sales

The US Mint began sales of the 2011 Proof Set on January 11, 2011. This was more than six months earlier than the start of sales for last year's annual proof set and before the offering of any separate component sets. The product price was $31.95 per set, the same price as last year.

Through January 16, the US Mint recorded sales of 253,144 sets. This represents a drop of about 15% from the opening sales figures for the 2010 Proof Set, and a drop of more than 40% from the opening figures for the 2009 Proof Set.

See the US Mint's full weekly numismatic sales report.

Silver Eagle Bullion Sales

For the month to date, the US Mint has already sold 4,588,000 ounces worth of American Silver Eagle bullion coins. This amount already exceeds the previous record monthly sales total of 4,260,000 set in November 2010. The amount also happens to exceed the annual sales totals for three separate years of the program.

The US Mint began accepting orders for 2011 Silver Eagle bullion coins on January 3, 2011. At this time, 2010-dated coins remained within inventory, so AP's were required to take one 2010 coin for every four 2011 coins ordered. Orders were initially and continue to be subject to the US Mint's allocation (rationing) program.

2010 Kennedy Half Dollar Bags

The US Mint has now sold out of the 2010 Kennedy Half Dollar 200-coin bags. These bags contain 100 coins each from the Philadelphia and Denver Mints and originally went on sale January 29, 2010.

The two roll sets, containing one 20-coin roll from each mint, still remain available for sale.

Since the half dollar is not minted for circulation, the US Mint's numismatic bags and rolls are the only way to get circulation strike 2010 Kennedy Half Dollars. Based on US Mint production figures, there were 1.7 million haves struck at the Denver Mint and 1.8 million struck at the Philadelphia Mint.

Bags and rolls of 2011 Kennedy Half Dollars will go on sale February 15, 2011.

A New Contributor for Coin Update News

Lastly, I wanted to mention a new contributor for Coin Update News. Erik Schefler will be conducting interviews with various dealers and figures in numismatics. His first interview with Daniel Carr, designer of the New York and Rhode Island State Quarters was published today.
Coin Update News: Daniel Carr Interview



At January 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the timely update Michael. I'm sure you will agree that seeing drops of 15 & 40% from previous sales totals is no great surprise. Collectors unfortunately are fed up with ever increasing boosts in sales prices. I think you will see major drops for other Mint offerings along the way and its all collector cost related. Hopefully an authority figure will review the full yearly sales reports for numismatic items and question the fall off. An independent audit team ought to pin point the root cause in a heart beat. The answer is not to raise prices to make up for flagging sales, but it appears that is what the Mint is being advised to do. The dog is chasing his tail and the result is very predictable. Pretty sad state of affairs. The hobby (and business)is being hurt badly.

At January 21, 2011 at 11:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think will happen next week when the 2011 Silver Proof sets go on sale? Will the 2010 Silver proof set stay at the same price ($56.95) or increase to $67.95 to match the 2011 sets?

At January 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM , Blogger Mint News Blog said...

In similar situations for annual sets, the US Mint has left prior year sets at the original price.

The US Mint is required to publish any pricing changes in the Federal Register. They specifically announced the $67.95 price for the 2011 Silver Proof Set. No change was published for the 2010 set.

At January 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

They will find out their folly soon enough when the high priced silver set sells are flat. And no I don't care if it makes them rare with say 100,000 sets sold. I don't care.

At January 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I will look backwards and pick up a few 2004 Lewis and Clark coin/currency sets. Can still be had for very reasonable prices and look at all the neat stuff the Grandkids will get with them. Ahhh, the days of new mint stuff are over. Ha Ha

At January 22, 2011 at 6:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it's fine to post our displeasure and rejection of increased prices on this blog site, but other than reading each others comments and intentions, it falls on deaf ears. The Mint is not aware of the backlash and as with most Government entities, doesn't seem to care.

The only thing that might illuminate the thinking light bulb will be a review at some point and revelation that anticipated sales and expected numismatic profit will have cratered. However, by that time, further destruction of a once great hobby will have turned off collectors, many of whom will turn their attentions to other forms of involvement elsewhere. The biggest and greatest private American corporations have turned back the clocks many times with real price rollbacks, it was successful, and they moved forward. Why cannot the Mint act in like fashion? Too bad there's no real forum where the Mint can respond to correct a big problem on their end. No one seems to care.

At January 22, 2011 at 8:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to think some of their employees (mint) keep up with this blog. I would not put it past Moy coming on here when he was still top cat. Anyway Michael White is another that probably has been here, Timothy G is the only one who could demand a new direction but with the fed and financial crisis on-going this will stay the same.

At January 22, 2011 at 11:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's hope those in charge come on here...Be fair, be constructive and demand excellence!

At January 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to post...the new quarters offered by the U.S. Mint. Way too many minted to ever have collector value, worthless metal value, an over done idea - made redundant and they want to call for $40.00 for a $20.00 value. "A sucker born every minute." The U.S. Mint's cornerstone slogan?

At January 22, 2011 at 2:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use the "Snicker's Bar" rule to determine how much value money has. When I was six (1964), you could buy a Snicker's Bar (well, any candy bar for that matter...but Snicker's was my favorite) for 5¢.

I was at the checkout the other day and a regular sized Snicker's Bar was 99¢...on sale! That's a 20 fold increase.

If you apply that to money, a 1964 penny is bought 20¢ worth of goods by today's standards. Similarly, a 1962 Dime would buy $2.00 worth of goods today...shocking, but true.

This means that in 1964 there was no denomination of coin that the value of today's coins. In fact, the closet coin we have to the 1964 penny is today's quarter!

Given the huge annual debt, the quarter will be worth much less than a 1964 penny when the ATB quarter program ends.

The whole purpose of the US Mint is to produce coins for commerce. If they're not doing that (which they are NOT!), why are they still operating.

I say, replace the penny, nickel, and dime with $5, $10, and $20 silver coins. That will make the US Mint relevant again and renew interest in our hobby.

At January 22, 2011 at 2:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Mint News Blog said...
In similar situations for annual sets, the US Mint has left prior year sets at the original price.

The US Mint is required to publish any pricing changes in the Federal Register. They specifically announced the $67.95 price for the 2011 Silver Proof Set. No change was published for the 2010 set.

January 21, 2011 11:56 AM"

Coin World magazine reports that the Mint plans to continue selling 2010 Silver Proof sets throughout 2011.

It will be interesting to see how sales of the two sets (at significantly different price points) pan out over the next 11 months.

I suspect what the Mint "really" means is that there is a fixed number of 2010 silver proof sets already produced (at lower bullion prices) and they will be available at $56.95 throughout 2011 "or until they sell out"...whichever comes first.

If that's true, it would be intesting to know how many sets remain!

At January 22, 2011 at 2:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would it be possible to discover where the coins produced by the U.S. Mint are stored.

No Doubt, many are distributed to Banks each year to address the "needs of commerce"...however I am guessing that the Mint is also storing large hoards of coin. I would like to know how many coins are stored on average each year and where these coins are stored.

Does the mint ever melt new coins that are not used? How long do they wait before they recycle these newly minted coins?


At January 22, 2011 at 3:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mint exists to manufacture coins. Like all government entities it is reluctant to pare down it's employee roster, since if they did, they would diminish their "worth" and lose budget funding.

Ergo, they keep minting coins we don't need, store them, and keep their mouths shut. No one is going to say or admit; "Hey we got way more coins than we need or could ever use, so let's downsize our facility." In the past they could show profits from sales of numismatic like items, and that was a way to show their "sustainability". Now that they raised prices again, this time in ridiculous percentages, the backlash will decimate profit sales to a point where is will be noticed. Some congressman will pick up the gauntlet and start with a big stink. As it should be. Meanwhile there are hundreds of millions of un-needed minor coins stored on pallets going nowhere. Nice cover job Mint.

At January 22, 2011 at 10:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any word on a new Mint director yet? Has current state of event politics made our government forget that they have a director vacancy and the need for a major improvement concerning the future of our US Mint? I sincerely hope that someone is chosen that has enough knowledge to know that the US Mint is in major need of changes concerning the numismatic customers and seeks to ad a new dimension to the AP status and non- monopoly provisions concerning high price fixing. An over all assessment is needed to also correct quality control issues.

The major price increases are definitely NOT a step in the right direction and can not be justified when measured against current silver and gold spot prices. Dealers are all wondering how they can sell these products when they are still sitting on 09 and 2010 products that are all considered to high at those prices by most customers.

I am pretty sure at this time a record number of canceled subscriptions should give them enough reason to believe that the US Mint is not headed in the right Direction.

At January 23, 2011 at 4:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Kennedy half dollar, to this day, is one of the most beautiful profile coins featuring a real person.

It's a pity that the coin is not minted for general circulation....

At January 24, 2011 at 10:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's difficult to believe now that at one time, the Half-Dollar was the "workhorse" coin of the economy!

It was the hoarding of the 1964 Kennedy Halves that started the coins' decline in usage and hence, need.

At January 24, 2011 at 7:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to see the Kennedy Half Dollar retired. Mainly because the Mint does such a horribly poor job of minting the coins they sell in the clad BU collector rolls. I feel this gross act of poor quality is a complete and utter insult to everyone - especially the Kennedy Family. 2014 marks the 50 year mark for the series and a Matte SMS Gold Kennedy Half would be a great tribute to a great man and a great coin design.


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