Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Army Commemorative Sales Figures

The United States Mint's 2011 Army Commemorative Coins have now been on sale for a little more than two weeks. This post will examine the latest sales figures for the $5 gold, silver dollar, and half dollar coins.

It has generally been the case that the largest rush of sales for US Mint products occurs during the first few days of availability. After that point, the pace of sales diminishes until settling into somewhat of a consistent range. Thus, the extent of the initial sales provides an early indicator of how many coins the US Mint might eventually sell.

The total sales for each of the 2011 U.S. Army Commemorative Coins from the start of sales on January 31, 2011 to February 13, 2011 are shown below.

2011 Army Commemorative Sales

Proof Unc Total Max
$5 Gold 9,969 3,803 13,772 100,000
Silver Dollar 61,436 26,218 87,654 500,000
Half Dollar 39,463 23,820 63,283 750,000

So far, sales of the Army Commemoratives are running far below the levels experienced by the 2008 Bald Eagle Commemorative Coins. This was the last program to feature three different coins.

For comparison purposes, I managed to find sales figures for the Bald Eagle coins from the start of sales on January 15, 2008 through February 1, 2008. The second number column indicates the final audited sales numbers.

2008 Bald Eagle Commemorative Sales

Feb 1 Final
$5 Gold Pr 42,815 59,269
$5 Gold Unc 9,610 15,009
$1 Silver Pr 108,522 294,601
$1 Silver Unc 63,428 119,204
50c Pr 77,242 220,577
50c Unc 59,527 120,180

The lower sales for this year's program can be attributed to a few factors. For the Bald Eagle coins, the US Mint offered several different collectible product options, which served to bolster sales. Products included the 3 Coin Proof Set, Young Collector's Set, Coin and Medal Set, and later in the year, the American Legacy Collection. This year's Army Commemorative Coins will only be offered individually and not within any special sets.

Second, the pricing for commemorative coins has increased significantly since 2008. Some of this is related to the increased market prices of gold and silver, although the price of the clad half dollars was also increased by 80% for the proof and 100% for the uncirculated coin.

Third, the US Mint has experienced an overall decline in their customer base during the past few years.

The silver lining for current collectors is that the lower sales will translate into lower mintages, which may eventually translate into higher secondary market prices. Commemoratives which have been unpopular or experienced poor sales during their period of availability have often appreciated on the secondary market after their low mintages became more widely recognized.

With this in mind, I think the coins to watch from the available 2011 Army Commemorative Coins are the uncirculated version of the $5 gold and perhaps the uncirculated half dollar.

Every modern $5 gold commemorative coin with a final mintage of less than 10,000 has carried a premium on the secondary market. The five coins which currently fall into this category are the uncirculated versions of the two 1996 $5 gold Olympic coins, the Smithsonian $5 Gold, the Jackie Robinson $5 Gold, and the 2001 Capitol Visitor Center $5 Gold.

As for commemorative half dollars, these have been offered as part of relatively few modern commemorative coin programs. The two issues that sell for the most significant premiums are the uncirculated versions of the 1996 Olympic Soccer and Swimming half dollars. These coins had mintages of 52,836 and 49,533, respectively. It doesn't seem too far outside of the realm of possibility that final sales of the uncirculated version of the 2011 Army Half Dollar will be around this level.

It is obviously very early in the offering for the 2011 Army Commemoratives, so the ongoing sales reports will bear watching throughout the rest of the year.

America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins

Louis Golino has written an update on the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins for Coin Update News. He provides information on the authorized purchaser distribution so far- there are several who have not yet distributed their coins. He also provides clarification on certain issues related to grading, after contacting PCGS and NGC.

Read his article on Coin Update News

I still have not received any information on the United States Mint's offering of the numismatic versions of the 2010 ATB 5 oz. Silver Coins. The last information stated that they had all been struck before the close of last year, and would be available in the first quarter.



At February 16, 2011 at 1:23 PM , Anonymous Brad said...

Great post! I was just thinking about possible final sales levels for those Army coins. I did notice the potential for the $5 gold uncirculated coin after the latest sales report. I recognized it as a potential winner in the making. I just might pick one of those up.

I wonder how much of the year the coins will actually be offered for sale, taking into account possible future suspensions for price adjustments? If the price of gold keeps rising like it did last year, they WILL be suspended. Sometimes those suspensions lasted for 6 weeks or more!

Despite reduced availability time, that very scenario might actually HURT the low-mintage potential for the $5 gold. In past years when the sales price was barely above the gold value, lots of extra coins were sold until the suspension started. We just can't seem to resist buying a gold coin from the Mint for near bullion value!

At February 16, 2011 at 2:17 PM , Blogger TimLeeBark said...

Very interesting indeed, Michael. I purchased 2 half proofs, didn't care that much for the others. My attention is toward the MOH coins.

At February 16, 2011 at 3:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like the Army designs
...especially the gold coins!

I plan to purchase a set sometime this year, but the lousy economy is tapping me out...that, and trying to keep up with the First Spouse series.

Something's gotta give!!!

At February 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM , Anonymous Steve said...

I may actually purchase my first gold coin from this set. The design is really nice. Hopefully they'll remain on sale until summer time where I'll have some free funds to purchase one. Maybe tax refund could be used towards this. =)

At February 16, 2011 at 6:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

One modern commemorative set that had a very low mintgage(someone please help me with the final sales) and remains a loser is the 2009 Braille Education Set. The most current sale on ebay was for $34.99 plus $3.00 shipping...I'm sure that was below the issue price.

However, I agree that the unc gold Army coin has potential.
I doubt I will buy this though. I'm leaning towards the $5 gold Medal of Honor coin...I love the reverse...I think it may have higher sales than the Army commem...what do you guys/girls think?

At February 16, 2011 at 6:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought 3 sets of 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins from different AP and planing to buy from apmex and cntofma another 2 sets. I will buy from the Mint at least 2 sets when they become available. 2010 5oz silver ATB will be the winner. This year will be hard for me to get what I want. I will try to get all First Spouse coins , 2011 proof Buffalo, and all 4 MOH coins.

At February 16, 2011 at 11:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to A Mark's website to place an order for the 5 oz ATB coins. When I first went to the link, it was just a page that gave info on the coin program. No price was given, no info was given as to how to order, not even information about whether any was available. At the top of the page, I saw a link for registration. It didn't say specifically why I needed to register or what the registration was for! After I decided to register, I was able to see what the price was for the set, but that was all. There was still no way to place an order!
I then called the phone number listed for customer service and asked her about how to order and got a very rude attitude from the female customer rep saying that by registering, I was placed on a waiting list and would be contacted if any became available.
The question is: why wasn't this little piece of information not listed on that website when I registered?

At February 17, 2011 at 6:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have been frustrated by the difficult ordering process and attitude received when calling about ATBs with some of the APs. I understand that selling direct to the public may be a new model for them, but if the APs are so put out by selling these coins then why did they put themselves in this position by buying them from the Mint for resale? They could have just opted out. I wonder if there were pressured in anyway by the Mint to distribute them? Maybe the APs felt they would be treated differently on other bullion products if they opted out from selling these?

At February 17, 2011 at 6:44 AM , Blogger Mint News Blog said...

Re: 2009 Braille Education Set

This had low sales when considering the product packaging option. Sometimes this has resulted in premiums, sometimes not.

The mintage for the Unc Braille Silver Dollar across all packaging options was about 82,000. This is within the upper middle range for a modern commemorative silver dollar.

At February 17, 2011 at 7:48 AM , Anonymous JA said...

I suppose with the prices of everything going up at the mint, despite something having a good potential, my decision is made that I cannot afford to go after every single offering like I might have been able to in the past.

The army coins are pretty but my budget for coins did not go up according to the mint's price increases.

At February 17, 2011 at 9:47 AM , Anonymous Brad said...

Yeah, it looks like the only thing that will save the 2009 Braille Education Set will be the price of silver getting high enough to make the silver in the coin worth the issue price! :)

I have one that I'm forced to hold until that day. I can't wait to get rid of it. I took a chance on it, and I was wrong. It happens.

At February 17, 2011 at 10:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lincoln coin and chronicles sets having been slowly inching down over time too. It looks like they are averaging about $120 or so now. The used to go for $150+. Maybe it's time to unload while the getting is still good?

At February 17, 2011 at 11:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think people are holding out for the M.O.H. coins, and if this is the case, the Army coins final mintages could be stay very low.

At February 17, 2011 at 12:23 PM , Anonymous The Dude said...

I plan on keeping my 2009 Lincoln Chronicles sets. These are likely to appreciate in value with only 50K sets produced dudes!

At February 17, 2011 at 4:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If A-Mark still has 2010 sets for sale you have to visit their ATB website few times a day. I was checking at 12 pm ET, 9 pm ET and few times between those hours. One day they made them available without notice at 8:55 pm ET and this lasted to 12:01 pm ET next day. Dont wait for any email from them. Just check their website. Call MTB and ask them. Last week they had them available. Also call Fidelitrade . My friend mail them form 01/31/11 and 2 days ago he got email with order acceptance. Check Apmex few times a day and check this website and

Good Luck!!

At February 17, 2011 at 8:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone else get a survey request from the US MINT today? I received today from . Anyway, I am not sure if it is legit, but if you haven't ordered anything from the mint in the last 30 days it kicks you out of the survey.

At February 18, 2011 at 5:25 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think ATB 5 oz and regular quarter coins are great designs on par with the buffalo nickel, lincoln cent and indian cent. I hope to purchase the Gettysburg ATB when it comes out.

At February 18, 2011 at 9:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the design of the Army gold commems - and presently low mintages, but am wrestling with the price. At 8.359 grams and 90/10 gold/silver, I believe it works out to about $1818/oz for the gold content. The low mintage First Spouse coins seem like a bargain in comparison.

At February 18, 2011 at 9:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy thw ATB Silver proof sets from the mint. The price of the silver is almost as much as the price. The silver will be worth more in the next few days. Get them now while you can. I did.

At February 18, 2011 at 9:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 2000 10 coin (5 silver quarters plus silver dime and silver Kennedy half plus clad dollar, nickel and penny) can be found on ebay for under $35!
According to my calculations, this is the best value for any collector in terms of price per silver content. Total mintage was not particularly high either.

At February 18, 2011 at 10:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment of 9:27 a.m. If the ATB Silver Proof set contains .9042 ounces of silver (not sure if that amount is correct or not), then at a spot silver price of $32.50, the silver content alone would be worth about $29.38. Is that about right? Can anyone verify the actual amount of silver that is contained in the ATB quarters Silver Proof set? Am I close in my estimate of .9042 ounces of silver for the five quarters or is it something else? Thanks.


At February 18, 2011 at 12:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, 5 silver quarters total .9042 oz of pure silver.
A silver proof set with 5 quaters, half and dime has 1.33823 oz of pure silver.

At February 18, 2011 at 1:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brown Ikes too. Worth $10.27 but some being sold for sub $10 on Feebay.

At February 18, 2011 at 6:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I would attribute slow sales for the army commems to the poor designs! Cluttered and not particularly artisitc or elegant. The MOH coins looks nicer, except that the tear on the pants leg of the soldier looks like Australia, which is kind of distracting.

Anyway, does anyone know whether or not the Mint will offer the ATB 5oz coins individually if/when they actually offer numismtic versions straight to the public? I just want to buy Mt. Hood!


At February 19, 2011 at 4:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: "Brown Ikes too. Worth $10.27 but some being sold for sub $10 on Feebay." @ 1:05 p.m.

How much silver is in a Brown Ike? Are there particular years for the Ikes with silver or will any year Ike do? Are there both clad Ikes and Ikes with actual silver? Thanks.

New Collector

At February 19, 2011 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most Ike dollars are copper nickel clad, but from 1971 to 1976 there were some special collector versions minted that were 40% silver like the 1965-1970 Kennedy Halves.

At February 20, 2011 at 11:34 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That means the numismatic versions of the 2010 ATB 5 oz. Silver Coins will be available March or April. I'm too busy from work now to worry about it.
BTW, bought 2 ATBs for $600 apiece in late Dec. Now prices have gone down 50%, they are selling on eBay for $290-$300 cheapest. OMG! If you wait a little, you might find them even cheaper if you trust buying coins on the internet.

At February 20, 2011 at 3:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this BU $5 gold mintage comes in finally under the Capitol Visitor's Center mintage, what will that do to the market price of the CVC? I have long thought that coin was overvalued. What a BORING subject matter and design.

At February 21, 2011 at 7:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to see how they will appreciate much if mintage goes above 10,000. All complaining aside, the mint is doing a much better job at delivering flawless/near flawless coins in the commem and spouse series. Given a very high level of survivorship,a high pop of 69/70-grade coins (eventually - note how the Tennis proofs have jumped in 70), and the high price to gold content, I don't see much future (10-20 years) upside after the initial excitement dies down.


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