The Flood of US Mint Silver Numismatic Products
The pendulum of US Mint product offerings always seems to swing from way too little, to way too much. This year collectors seem to be facing "way too much," particularly for silver numismatic products.
For many years, there had typically been two to four different silver numismatic products offered by the US Mint. These have included one or two different commemorative silver dollars and the annual Proof Silver Eagle. Starting in 2006, an uncirculated version of the Silver Eagle was added to the mix.
Most recently, for 2009, both of the collectible Silver Eagles were canceled, resulting in just two silver products. For 2010, the proof Silver Eagle returned, making for three silver products. This year, due to some unusual circumstances, there are fifteen different silver numismatic products that have been released or are expected to be released.
To make matters worse, the flood of silver products occurs during a year when the market price of silver has reached 30 year high. So not only are their more products for collectors to buy, the price levels are significantly higher.
For each of these product counts, I am not including annual sets struck in silver or various packaging types or versions of the same coin. The specific silver products for each year are listed below.
2009 Silver Products
Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Silver Dollars
Louis Braille Commemorative Silver Dollars
2010 Silver Products
2010 Boy Scouts Commemorative Silver Dollars
2010 American Veterans Disabled for Life Silver Dollars
2010 Proof Silver Eagle
2011 Silver Products
2011 Army Commemorative Silver Dollars
2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative Silver Dollars
2011 September 11 National Medals
2011 Proof Silver Eagle
2011-W Unc Silver Eagle
2010 Hot Springs 5 oz Unc Silver
2010 Yellowstone 5 oz Unc Silver
2010 Yosemite 5 oz Unc Silver
2010 Grand Canyon 5 oz Unc Silver
2010 Mount Hood 5 oz Unc Silver
2011 Gettysburg 5 oz Unc Silver
2011 Glacier 5 oz Unc Silver
2011 Olympic 5 oz Unc Silver
2011 Vicksburg 5 oz Unc Silver
2011 Chickasaw 5 oz Unc Silver
Any way you look at it, this year will represent a historic high in terms of the number of silver numismatic products released, going back many years. In 1995 and 1996, there had been seven silver products released per year, due to an outpouring of commemorative issues. This situation actually led to legislation which limited the number of commemorative programs that could be approved for each year.
To find a higher number of silver numismatic products than 2011, I believe you have to go all the way back to 1936, when early commemorative coin issuance had gotten out of control.
There is a potential "silver lining" in the current situation. In the past, at the end of a cycle there have typically been several products that remain overlooked, under ordered, or otherwise low in mintage. The circumstances and specifics are always different, but these types of products have gone on to relatively swift and enduring high price levels on the secondary market.
In 2008, the US Mint reached the peak of an aggressive expansion in the number of numismatic gold and platinum products. For that year, they had offered proof and uncirculated versions, fractional weight coins, and four coin sets across three different programs. Near the end of the year, the US Mint announced the cancellation of the vast majority of the products types, setting off a rapid sell out of remaining inventories. When the dust settled, there were significant winners in the 2008-W Proof and Uncirculated Gold Buffalo coins, 2008-W Uncirculated $10 Gold Eagle, and to a lesser extent some of the low mintage platinum coins.
I see the potential for another batch of winners occurring at the end of the current cycle.
Stay tuned. It's going to be an interesting year.
Coin Update News: US Mint Sales Report
Labels: US Mint