Tomorrow, May 9, 2013 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2013 American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set. There has been a great deal of collector anticipation for the set which will contain the first ever “enhanced uncirculated” Silver Eagle.
The special set is being issued to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the edifice that houses the United States Mint facility at West Point. Prior to the official announcement, there had been indications that the set would be issued to mark the 25th anniversary of the West Point Mint gaining full mint status. The product page describes the set as following the US Mint’s tradition of offering special American Eagle coin sets, rather than mentioning a specific anniversary.
Each set will contain two American Silver Eagles, which are both struck at the West Point Mint and carry the “W” mint mark.
The first coin will feature a reverse proof finish. Background fields of the coin appear frosted and the design elements and inscriptions appear mirrored, which is the opposite of the traditional cameo proof finish.
The US Mint previously offered reverse proof Silver Eagles in 2006, 2011, and 2012.
The second coin included in the set will feature an enhanced uncirculated finish. On the obverse, the mountains, red stripes and blue field of the American flag, Liberty’s sandals, and the date carry an uncirculated finish. The remaining design elements and inscriptions carry a heavily frosted finish. On the reverse,the ribbon in the eagle’s beak, arrows, olive branch, and the alternating stripes and border of the shield carry an uncirculated finish. The remaining design elements and inscriptions carry a heavily frosted finish. The fields of both the obverse and reverse feature a new light frosted finish. Together, the three different finishes create a new impression of the well known design.
This will be the first time that the enhanced uncirculated finish has been used on the American Silver Eagle.
Both coins are placed in capsules and packaged within a single highly polished, blue lacquered hardwood presentation case with a certificate of authenticity. The packaging appears to match last year’s packaging for the San Francisco Silver Eagle Set.
The US Mint has explicitly stated that both of these coins will only be available in the special set. Last year many collectors were unpleasantly surprised when one of the coins included in the San Francisco Silver Eagle Set was later offered in the Making American History Coin and Currency Set.
The 2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set is priced at $139.95 per set. Originally, the set carried a preliminary price of $149.95, however this was reduced following a decline in the market price of silver.
The sets will be offered for sale only during a four week ordering window that extends from May 9, 2013 at 12:00 Noon ET until June 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM. There is no stated product limit, and no household ordering limits will be imposed. Customer demand will determine the number of sets to be produced. Shipping is expected to begin in mid to late June.
Last year the San Francisco Set had also been offered for sale during a four week ordering window and produced based on customer demand. A sales odometer was included on the product page and adjusted daily. It is not clear whether a similar odometer will be used for this year’s product. At the very least, the weekly figures should be reported in the numismatic sales reports released each Tuesday.
The sales numbers for the West Point Set will be closely watched by many collectors to see how they compare to other special Silver Eagle set offerings. For those tracking sales over the coming weeks, here are some reference numbers to consider.
- The 20th Anniversary Set, which contained uncirculated, proof and reverse proof coins, had a final audited mintage of 248,875.
- The 25th Anniversary Set, which contained uncirculated (S & W mint marks), proof, reverse proof, and bullion coins, sold out of the product limit of 100,000.
- The 2012 San Francisco Set, which contained proof and reverse proof coins with the S mint mark, had final unaudited sales of 224,981.
Update: At 3:35 PM ET, the United States Mint released the following statement:
Our online catalog has not stopped working. However, because of the large number of customers attempting to place orders for the American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set, you may experience delays. This product will be on sale through June 6 and there is no mintage limit, so try later when the site is not experiencing so much traffic. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.