Although the sell out occurred much sooner than is usually the case, many collectors may have been expecting it. Many 2008 US Mint products have sold out early or unexpectedly, even some of the US Mint’s “core offerings” like the 2008 Proof Silver Eagle which has been sold out since mid-August 2008, and the 2008 Proof Set which has been sold out since mid-December 2008.
The 2008 Mint Set first went on sale July 30, 2008 priced at $22.95 per set. Each set contains a total of 28 coins, comprised of 14 coins each from the Denver and Philadelphia Mints. The coins feature a special “satin finish” which is different than coins produced for circulation. This finish has been used for US Mint issued Mint Sets since 2005.
According to the latest stats, 745,464 of the sets had been sold as of February 22, 2009. As long as there was not an enormous jump in the past few days, this will mark the lowest mintage for a Mint Set since 1963 when 606,612 Mint Sets were produced.
For comparison to some recently issued low mintage sets, the 2004 Mint Set had a mintage of 842,507 and the 2006 Mint Set had a mintage of 847,361. These number come from the 2009 Red Book. It should be noted that both of these sets briefly went back on sale at the US Mint’s Last Chance Sale. Any sets sold during the sale would increase the final mintages.
Late last year, I included the 2008 Mint Set in my list of potential Sleeper Hits. It’s still too early to gauge how the 2008 Mint Set will work out. The other coins mentioned included the 2008 Sacagawea Rolls and 2008 Kennedy Half Dollar Rolls. Both of these have sold out and seem to be selling for higher prices now. In a few months, I will revisit the full list and examine the performance.
The last three 2008 dated annual sets which remain on sale at the US Mint are the 2008 Silver Proof Set, the 2008 State Quarters Silver Proof Set, and the 2008 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set.