Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

2011-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle Scheduled

The US Mint has added a release date of September 29, 2011 for the 2011-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle.

Previously, the coin had been listed as "TBD" on the scheduled product listing and "early fall" on the tentative product page. Although an exact date has now been published, it still remains subject to potential change.

The product is an additional collectible version of the American Silver Eagle, following the proof coin released on June 30. The uncirculated version carries a finish similar to the bullion coin and is struck on specially burnished blanks. The coins also carry the "W" mint mark to denote production at the West point Mint. As with other Silver Eagles, the coins are struck in .999 fine silver with a weight of one troy ounce.

The last collectible uncirculated silver eagle was released back in 2008. The product was canceled for the following two years, as the US Mint struggled to meet demand for bullion versions of the coin. Under previous law, the US Mint was required to produce the bullion coins in quantities sufficient to meet public demand. Since they were not meeting full demand, they sourced all silver planchets to the production of more bullion coins and canceled some collector versions of the coins. The law has since been changed to allow some flexibility for the production of collector coins.

Pricing and ordering limits for the 2011-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle have not yet been published.

When last available in 2008, the collectible uncirculated Silver Eagles were priced at $25.95 each. The same year, the proof version was priced at $31.95. During the year, the market price of silver ranged from a low of $8.88 per ounce to a high of $20.92. The cumulative average for the year was $14.99.

The currently available 2011 Proof Silver Eagle is priced at $59.95 based on a market silver price of $37.50 per ounce.
Coin Update News: 2011 ATB Silver Bullion Sales


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2010-P Mount Hood Five Ounce Silver Coin Sales at 14,759

From the start of sales on July 28 through August 1, 2011, the US Mint has recorded sales of 14,759 of the 2010-P Mount Hood National Forest Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins. This is a dramatic slowdown compared to previous releases of the series.

With a mintage of 27,000 per design and a special vapor blasted finish, the five ounce silver coins found a stampede of buyers when the first design featuring Hot Springs National Park was released. The pace of orders was so fast, that it took down the US Mint's website for about 45 minutes. Even with the down time, sales had reached approximately 19,000 after 9 hours of availability. By the time of the first regular sales report was issued, sales had reached approximately 25,000. A complete sell out was achieved after about 15 days of availability.

The second release featuring Yellowstone National Park saw sales progress at roughly the same pace, with first reported sales of 24,626 and a sell out after 15 days of availability.

The pace of sales started to noticeably diminish with the next two releases. The Yosemite National Park design had initial sales of 20,511 and did not sell out for about six weeks. The Grand Canyon design had initial sales of 19,200 and remains available for sale. An ordering limit of one per household continues to be in place.

Is the even bigger slowdown for the latest Mount Hood design, an ominous sign for the series?

In a past article, I used the term "ATB fatigue". In the course of three months, the US Mint has now released five separate five ounce numismatic coins. According to the latest information available, at least some of the 2011 designs will also be released during the current year, continuing to stretch collector budgets. The exact release dates and maximum production limits for the 2011 designs have not yet been determined.

The ongoing commitment necessary to continue the collection will be significant, particularly if the price of silver continues to rise.

An interesting point of comparison: If a collector were to purchase all of the numismatic ATB five ounce silver coins for 2010 and 2011, the total silver content would be 50 troy ounces. This amount is greater than the silver content of all proof commemorative silver dollars that have been issued by the US Mint from 1983 to 2011. At 0.7736 troy ounces of silver content for 63 different coins, the total reaches only 48.7368 troy ounces.
Coin Update News: Complete US Mint Sales Report


Monday, August 1, 2011

San Francisco 2011 Silver Eagles Update

According to a recent article from Numismatic News, the United States Mint has temporarily suspended production of American Silver Eagle bullion coins at the San Francisco Mint. The total number of coins produced so far has reached 2,305,000 with almost a million still remaining in inventory. Production may resume later in the year as needed.

For the year to date, the total number of Silver Eagle bullion coins sold has reached 25,271,500, including those struck at West Point and San Francisco. This is well on the way to achieving another annual sales record. The current record was achieved last year with sales of 34,662,500 of the one ounce silver coins.

Despite some earlier skepticism about how the San Francisco Mint's Silver Eagle bullion coin production would play out on the secondary market, pricing for coins identified to this origin has been reasonable from most channels. As expected, the major third party grading companies are providing special encapsulation for the coins minted at San Francisco, identifying the origin. In general, it has been necessary to submit an entire sealed Green Monster Box to have the coins identified as such.

On the secondary market, there are many examples of 2011 San Francisco Silver Eagles available in individual PCGS or NGC holders graded MS69 or MS70. A general price level for MS69 grades is about $50, while MS70 coins are around $100. These prices are not much different than other 2011 Silver Eagles not identified by mint origin. Some channels also sell sealed Monster Boxes of 500 coins with the identifying markings from San Francisco or 20-coin tubes, sealed and identified by PCGS.