On July 25, 2013 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2013-P Great Basin National Park Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin. This will represent the first release of the series under the recently reduced pricing.
The reverse design of the coin features a single Bristlecone pine in the rocky glacial moraines where the trees grow. These trees are believed to live longer than any other known single organism, with some aged nearly 5,000 years. The obverse of the coin carries the 1932 portrait of George Washington, which has been used in common for the series. Each coin is struck in 99.9% silver, with a weight of 5 troy ounces and diameter of 3 inches.
This product release represents the numismatic version of the coin, which follows a previously released bullion version. The numismatic version carries the “P” mint mark on the obverse and features a finish created through a vapor blasting technique applied after striking. In contrast, the bullion versions do not carry a mint mark and feature a brilliant finish.
The Great Basin Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin was originally scheduled to be released on June 27, 2013 at a price of $179.95. However, just days ahead of the anticipated release, the start date and price were removed, as the US Mint considered g a pricing adjustment for silver numismatic products. The pricing adjustment was implemented on July 11, 2013, and the release was rescheduled for July 25 at the new price of $154.95.
A maximum mintage has been established for this release at 25,000 units. This was the same limit announced for the 2012-dated releases, although sell outs had occurred with final sales at levels ranging from approximately 15,000 to 17,500. So far, the two previous 2013-dated releases have reached sales of 16,459 and 11,749.
US Mint Announces Free Shipping
Based on a banner now appearing on the US Mint website home page and online product catalog, the Mint will offer free standard shipping on domestic web orders starting Friday, July 26 at 9:00 AM ET.
Collectors will note that this promotion begins the day after the initial release of the Great Basin Five Ounce Silver Coins. To take advantage of the promotion, hold off on placing orders until at least the second day of availability.
This is the first time in the past five years or so that I can recall the US Mint offering a free shipping promotion. To my recollection, back when the US Mint first started accepting orders over the internet in 1999, shipping was free for web orders while a charge was applied to orders through other channels. This was eventually phased out, and a standard charge was applied all orders regardless of channel.
The promotion serves as a nice benefit for collectors. Hopefully, it will spur some additional sales during the typically slow summer months, so the US Mint will consider repeating or maintaining the free shipping offer. As yet, there is no ending date listed for the promotion.
Update: The free shipping promotion will end September 30, 2013, at 5 p.m. ET.
Other world mints offer free shipping under certain circumstances. The Royal Canadian Mint offers free shipping for Master’s Club Members, who also receive other benefits such as the ability to pre-order products before availability opens to the general public. The Perth Mint offers free shipping for orders over a certain threshold. The Royal British Mint has offered free shipping through a coupon code.