Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2009 Lincoln Commemorative Sales Figures

The first sales figures for the 2009 Lincoln Commemorative Coins are now available. While sales are off to a strong start, many were expected bigger numbers.

The following sales figures are published by Numismaster, and report US Mint sales through February 16, 2009. Since the coins went on sale February 12, this means the numbers represent about four days of sales.
2009 Lincoln Commemorative Sales Figures

Uncirculated 61,164
Proof 116,558
Total 177,722

In a previous post, I reviewed the initial results of a survey asking collectors whether they believed the coin would sell out. The majority of respondents believed that a sell out would take place, with the greatest number of votes going towards a sell out within the first week or the first month. While a sell out still seems likely, it might take longer than anticipated.

Since I explored some of the reasons in favor of a sell out in my last post, I will explore some of the factors which may have worked against a quick sell out in this post.

Lack of promotion. While the mainstream press picked up the story about the launch of the new 2009 Lincoln Cent designs, I saw very few mentions of the commemorative coin launched on the same day. It seems like more could have been done to promote the launch of this important commemorative to the general public.

The reverse design. Most collectors seem to like the obverse design, but have seen mixed reactions about the reverse. Some feel that it is an appropriate tribute since Lincoln's words were one of his most valuable tools. Others feel that using text for the main design element is a poor choice, no matter how significant the words.

The economy. Undoubtedly, a portion of the demand for any new US Mint issue is speculative. With the current economic uncertainty, this portion of the overall demand may have pulled back, unwilling to assume the risk. Even average collectors might be rethinking how they allocate funds available for coin purchases.

At any rate, even if the sales figures were a bit slower than expected, on a relative basis they were strong. By comparison, last year's 2008 Bald Eagle Silver Dollar Commemorative did not reach this level of sales for about six weeks. An archived post of Mint News Blog has the combined sales figure at 187,060 for sales from January 15, 2008 to February 28, 2008. The Lincoln Commemorative probably reached this level by the fifth day of sales.

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At February 19, 2009 at 10:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

50,000 Proof coins are allocated for the Limited Edition Dollar/Cents set.In addition to this 50,000 Proofs will probably be reserved for the annual Legacy Proof Set.
So,116,000 Proof Dollars are sold+ 100,000 reserved for sets (as I mentioned above) which results in 216,000 for Proofs already.As I remember,the total for 2001 Silver Buffalo Proof dollar was 272,000,so if the US Mint will do the same allocation this time, then there are 56,000 proofs left to buy.The sell out will probably occur in 1 week.
Correct me if I am wrong.

At February 19, 2009 at 4:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 10:24

You are wrong.

500,000 is the maximum mintage.

Let say 100,000 are reserved for sets, that leaves 400,000 for single sales.

We arent even half way to a sold out.

At February 20, 2009 at 8:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 4:46PM
There is a preset ratio for Proof and Uncirculated coins to be minted.The ration in this program is NOT based on the customers' demand,otherwise it would have been clearly said on the order page(First Spouse Gold coins mintage ratio is based on customers' demand).
This means that if US Mint have preset Proofs for 270,000 or slightly more,then 116,00 sold already+ 100,000 reserved for sets=216,000.
Anyway,proof coins will sell out first,but UNCs will take some time to be sold out.

At February 20, 2009 at 6:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mint should have synched the upcoming release of the Lincoln presidential golden dollar with the anniversary of his birth and subsequent dollar commem. With the minting of the Lincoln reverse design cents, it would have been all Lincoln, all the time. At least for a time anyway. Then they could have gotten some self-cross-pollinated marketing working, and maybe they sell more commems. Or maybe people are just tapped out and trying to hold on in these times. Which makes it a great opportunity for the rest of us, moo-aaha-ha-ha!!

At February 27, 2009 at 5:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently called PCGS and found out they do not offer "first strike" certification on commemorative coins, including the Lincoln silver dollar. Can anyone tell me why not?

At March 5, 2009 at 2:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone else get a proof coin with multiple scratches and and hazing?

At March 7, 2009 at 4:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just took delivery of my box o' 5 of each proof and unc. Let's just hope things work out, what with the discontinuation of the SAEs for the time being. Looks like this issue will be a sell-out; there's only a little more than 100K copies left according to Numismaster. The special set, possibly of the Legend type, will sell out PDQ.


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