Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quick US Mint News Updates


There are a number of recent developments related to US Mint numismatic products that I wanted to cover. As in the past, I will provide a quick update of various items within a single post.

Numismatic Gold Product Price Increase

Based on the average London Fix prices since last Thursday, it is likely that the prices for US Mint numismatic gold products will be increased on tomorrow. This excludes the commemorative gold coins, which are not subject to the pricing policy that allows weekly adjustments.

The price of the 2010 Proof Gold Buffalo would be increased from $1,660 to $1,710 per coin. The prices for available First Spouse Gold Coins would be increased from $854 to $879 for proof coins and from $841 to $866 for uncirculated coins. These will represent the highest prices on record for each of the offerings.

A price increase would be avoided if the Wednesday PM London Fix price of gold is below $1,400 per ounce.

2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set

In a recent post, I provided figures on the silver content and values of US Mint products, highlighting the fact that for certain products the melt value was approaching the issue price.

Based on the current market price of silver, the silver value of the five 90% silver quarters included in the 2010 ATB Quarters Silver Proof Set is now $31.37. This compares to the last available product price of $32.95.

A reader reported on Sunday evening that the US Mint had changed the status of the 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set to "This product is temporarily unavailable."

In all likelihood, the US Mint has suspended sales in order to adjust the product price. Annual sets and commemorative coins are not covered by the US Mint's pricing policy, which allows weekly adjustments to be made. Rather new prices are established through publication within the Federal Register, which can take several weeks to occur.

Eliza Johnson First Spouse Gold Coin

Before the end of the last year, the US Mint provided release dates for nearly all 2011 numismatic products. The Eliza Johnson First Spouse Gold Coin was listed with a release date of March 3, 2011. The product schedule currently on the US Mint's website shows the coins listed as "TBD".

Release dates provided on the US Mint's scheduled product listing are always subject to change. In several prior instances the release dates for First Spouse Gold Coins have been delayed with no explanation provided.

For this situation, the delay might be due to the fact that the US Mint provided a second set of design candidates to the CFA and CCAC, following criticism of the initial candidates. This extended period of time needed for the design selection stage may have delayed subsequent steps.

It is very disheartening for collectors of the series to endure the delay, while prices move upwards.

Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Sales

The new weekly US Mint numismatic sales report contains the debut figures for the 2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative coins, as well as several other newly released products.

From February 25 to February 27, 2011, the US Mint sold 4,699 proof $5 gold coins and 1,890 uncirculated gold coins, for a total of 6,589. Sales of the silver dollars were 25,156 proof coins and 10,346 uncirculated coins for a total of 35,502.

These numbers are below the initial sales levels of the 2011 U.S. Army Commemorative Coins. This may be due to the fact that the initial sales period for the Army coin program covered nearly a full week, while the Medal of Honor coin sales cover just two days.

Sales figures for both of these program will bear watching throughout the rest of the year. The authorizing legislation for each program allows the coins to be issued only during the 1-year period beginning January 1, 2011 (or until the maximum authorized mintage has been sold). The US Mint typically pre-announces a sales ending date in mid-December to allow time for order processing and delivery before year-end.

View the numismatic product sales report on Coin Update News.

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33 Comments:

At March 1, 2011 at 3:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what's so frustrating about the Mint...would it kill them to come out and say what's happening? Why all the mystery?

If they publish a release date, then withdraw it...don't they think they owe their customers an explaination?

 
At March 1, 2011 at 3:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made a comment a few articles ago about how the 2010 Silver Proof set would be a Sell Out.

That was based on the prices remaining the same. If the Mint raises prices, I don't see how they will sell more than 600,000 sets total.

I collect the silver Halves and Dimes...the annual silver proof set is the only place to find them. A mintage under 600,000 would be amazing!

 
At March 1, 2011 at 5:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 2011 Silver Proof Set may also be sold out before the end of this year.

I put that as my prediction in this blog's poll in January.

My reasoning then was the 2011 Set's much earlier release than in previous recent years.

Now my reasoning is the ever-rising price of Silver!

 
At March 1, 2011 at 5:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to this blog I purchased six additional 2010 ATB Quarters Silver Proof Sets which landed on my door step this past Saturday morning. I chuckled to myself when I read this update tonight. With a continued run on silver, logic dictates that then next run at the mint will be the 2010 United States Mint Silver Proof Sets. If gold continues to rise, then sales of those gold commemorative should increase with their stagnant prices.

 
At March 1, 2011 at 5:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

THAT'S IT - I'm ordering ten 2010 United States Mint Silver Proof Sets tonight when I get home.

Any predictions as to at what silver price the mint will suspend sales of the 2010 Mint Silver Set? $35? $37? $40?

 
At March 1, 2011 at 5:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any predictions on the price of the 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set, when it becomes available again.
My guess is around $44.00

 
At March 2, 2011 at 1:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm about ready to call it quits with coins.

When I was a child, collecting coins was fun. One could search for coins with certain mint marks from change, coin rolls, etc. It was much fun hunting for the state quarters... Now that was coin collecting!

More and more, there does not appear to be coin collectors out there -- only coin investors. And the price of coins has gotten to be so high, that it's taken the fun out of coin collecting.

 
At March 2, 2011 at 1:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When both the annual silver proof set and the ATB silver set are approaching their scrap value, why doesn't the Mint try to raise the price of both instead of just one?

 
At March 2, 2011 at 2:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few eBay sellers sell the silver quarter set without box/coa. Does anyone know why's that? Is it as simple as they sell box/coa and the coin set separately to make more money or is there a lesser-known reason?

 
At March 2, 2011 at 4:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was told the ATB silver set is "sold out" by the Mint ordering line, so not sure why they are using "temporarily unavailable".

 
At March 2, 2011 at 4:16 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thinking about picking up some Fillmores this morning before the price increase. Both the UNC and proof look like super low mintages.
Anyone know how long they will be available?

 
At March 2, 2011 at 4:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, hunting for state quarters as a child! You must be pretty young. I think most of us would hunt for silver coins as a child!

 
At March 2, 2011 at 4:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is my Question...Where do all you collectors/investors store your mint purchases? With space a premium do you store your packaging ie wood boxes seperately? just wondering?...please weigh in

 
At March 2, 2011 at 6:11 AM , Blogger Tim said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few eBay sellers sell the silver quarter set without box/coa. Does anyone know why's that? Is it as simple as they sell box/coa and the coin set separately to make more money or is there a lesser-known reason?

March 2, 2011 2:12 AM

They are breaking complete silver sets apart.

 
At March 2, 2011 at 6:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:23: well, it's more like the popularity of coin collecting has become the hobbies own demise. More collectors create demand which increases prices. Collectors will have to find their own niche and the hobby will be broken down into sub sectors, circulating coin collecting, non-circulated coin collecting, precious metals coin collecting, etc. It is what it is, good, bad or indifferent.

 
At March 2, 2011 at 6:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Numismatic value used to be related to populations/ grade and "eye appeal". Now you need to add spot prices for PM coins. This adds a whole new dimension.

If you bought gold or silver bullion a few years ago, you would have been better off than almost all PM nusmismatic coins offered from the Mint.

 
At March 2, 2011 at 7:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I am a collector, not a flipper, if you plan on flipping based on rising silver and gold, you are better off with bullion since you can sell to any local dealer for close to spot without the hassle of negotiating the value of say a 1/2 oz overproduced Adams or even Jefferson gold spouse. Paying tons more than spot for an Army or MOH gold coin really is a big gamble (you may end up a winner if super low mintages occur for these and the gold spouse coins).

 
At March 2, 2011 at 8:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been a collector for quite some time. Received us army half this morning. When did mint start cleaning coins with 80 grit sandpaper? Can't take anymore mint or investor games. Guess its time to quit.

 
At March 2, 2011 at 9:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a new record high for all gold products! Enjoy.

 
At March 2, 2011 at 10:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"More and more, there does not appear to be coin collectors out there -- only coin investors. And the price of coins has gotten to be so high, that it's taken the fun out of coin collecting."

It's not some slabbed graded numismatic piece we're talking about which rarity, demand, etc... that sets the price at auction. We're talking about buying from the mint which establishes the prices. So it's not the purchaser from the mint driving up the prices.

I'm sorry, if the mint continues to sell the 2010 ATB silver quarter set at near spot, then I'm buying to add to my precious metals position knowing that I barely paid a premium for them.

So yeah, it is an investment for me as well as a hobby. What a way to combine something that you enjoy while making money at that same time.

 
At March 2, 2011 at 10:23 AM , Anonymous VABEACHBUM said...

8:09 AM - Interesting observation. Some of my Army dollars and half-dollars are supposed to arrive today, so I'll be sure to inspect and compare.

Two Mint process changes have had a noticeable impact in the last couple of years:

1) The Mint has migrated to computer aided design, 3-dimensional surface scans, and CNC / laser etch finishing of tooling and coin dies. There have been several instances where, depending on the size of the coin, the surface contour and the final finish (MS or PR), the coin presented specific - sometimes very noticeable - lines of directionality associated with the CNC / laser cutting process.

2) The newest process, which I have seen mentioned 2-3 times very recently and only in association with the Numismatic ATB 5 oz Coins, is a water-vapor blasting process that is intended to deliver a consistent, final surface treatment to MS type coins. I do not know if this process has been in place for some time and we simply have not heard of it, or if these ATB coins are the test bed for what is intended to become the manufacturing standard.

Thoughts anyone??

 
At March 2, 2011 at 1:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

VABEACHBUM,

I definitely prefer the true cameo appearance over the laser-frosted profiles we have seen recently. However, the laser-frosted images are definitely more appealing than the non-cameo proofs. I guess it just will take some time to get used to the new process.

On the other hand, I received my 2011 US Mint Uncirculated set today. And there coins in my set truly are more "brilliant" than those found in uncirculated rolls. In fact, some of them appear "proof like," with a brilliance that more closely matches the appearance of coins in the US Mint's Special Mint Sets from 1965- 1967.

 
At March 2, 2011 at 5:06 PM , Anonymous VABEACHBUM said...

Got 'em!! I had to chase the UPS guy through the back half of my neighborhood, but I took delivery of the box that held 2 Army PR Dollars and 2 Army UNC Half-Dollars.

Both PR Dollar coins look GREAT! Nice strikes and solid finishes on both sides. The US Army Seal fits and floats nicely on the Reverse. The soldier portrait on the obverse is a little too big for the surface area, so you really don't get the full cameo effect seen with other PR coins. Still, a nice piece.

The poster at 8:09 AM was right. Both UNC half-dollars are average at best. Sadly, it doesn't look like these coins have had any surface treatment, as the Mint decided to use the "circulating coin" finish on this issue rather than the "burnished" finish used on previous Numismatic UNC issues. I compared these coins to my 2008 Bald Eagle Halfs, and the differences in appearance and eye appeal are dramatic!! If this is representative of a "new" UNC finish for all products, we have a huge problem.

One of the two UNC coins has a noticeable milk spot on the obverse, and each coin has what appear to be bag marks and rim damage on both sides. At $16 each for a numismatic commemorative, I certainly was expecting better. They will be returned in the Thursday mail. Still debating refund or replacement.

Finally, the Mint has fully implemented their rebranding into the Commemorative packaging - slip covers, coin cases, and the COA. I really don't care if they use blister packs and ship in bubble wrap envelopes, I'd like to see a percentage of these cost increases directed towards overhauling the Quality Control processes currently in place at the Mint.

 
At March 2, 2011 at 7:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: storage, I keep the coins (in their plastic capsules) in the safe deposit box in the bank, and the packages (in a storage box marked "empty boxes") in the closet. And I told my wife to put the coins back in the packaging to sell them for higher prices.

 
At March 2, 2011 at 8:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Anonymous March 2, 2011 2:12 AM
On February 7, I bought 30 sets of 2011 silver quarters from a large East Coast Coin e-bay seller. I paid $29.89 per set (this was a Buy It Now price). These sets were broken out of 2011 Silver Proof sets and came without any box or COA. I thought at the time that it was a pretty great deal – it’s looking even better now. I guess the dealer wanted the cash but I think he mispriced the item. This was a very unusual situation. I am collecting one complete set of ATB silver quarters (NGC PF 70s) but I bought these sets primarily as a bullion play.

 
At March 3, 2011 at 3:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliza Johnson still is mysteriously listed as "TBA". Shouldn't she be available? Shouldn't the Fillmore be done soon?

The big question is: are they continuing the series and what implication this has for collectors?

 
At March 3, 2011 at 4:05 AM , Blogger Mint News Blog said...

They are legally required to continue the series until its conclusion or until Congress passes a law requiring differently.

 
At March 3, 2011 at 6:34 AM , Anonymous Brad said...

That would be pretty low to pass legislation ending the First Spouse series prematurely. I know it's not outside the realm of possibility, though. Coin collectors are not first and foremost on lawmakers' minds!

 
At March 3, 2011 at 11:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No matter how hard I try, I just can't make myself care anything about coins with president's wives on them... the presidents should have been on the gold coins and their wives on the cheap brass coins!

I would have loved collecting 24kt gold coins with Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, etc. on them.

 
At March 3, 2011 at 1:54 PM , Blogger Tim said...

Amen !

 
At March 3, 2011 at 2:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No matter how hard I try, I just can't make myself care anything about coins with president's wives on them... the presidents should have been on the gold coins and their wives on the cheap brass coins!

I would have loved collecting 24kt gold coins with Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, etc. on them."

I disagree. By having the presidents on the circulating coins allows them to have a lot more public exposure than if they were on the gold coins. Having them on circulating coins also has an educational factor (like the state quarters and ATB quarters). Not a lot of people in the general public is even aware of the gold first spouse coins.

 
At March 3, 2011 at 3:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the intent of having the Presidents on the circulating coins but little good it did them. They would have been better off selling them as gold coins. Even giving them away at cost and free shipping nobody uses them

 
At March 7, 2011 at 12:07 PM , Blogger Andrew said...

"I disagree. By having the presidents on the circulating coins allows them to have a lot more public exposure than if they were on the gold coins. Having them on circulating coins also has an educational factor (like the state quarters and ATB quarters). Not a lot of people in the general public is even aware of the gold first spouse coins."




Exactly when was the last time you actually recieved ANY of the presidential dollar coins in circulation??? I sure haven't for at least a couple years and I think that was a fluke. Probably recieved them by someone like me who buys the rolls from the bank and spend them to do my part to get them into circulation. The mint could easily force people to use these by discontinuing the dollar bill. However, I don't see that happening any time soon unfortunately.

 

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