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|
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.