Tomorrow, March 25, 2014 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2014 Proof Set. This represents one of the Mint’s top numismatic products by sales volume and is a staple of many collections.
Each set contains the following 14 proof quality coins struck in their standard composition at the San Francisco Mint:
- 2014-S Proof Lincoln Cent
- 2014-S Proof Jefferson Nickel
- 2014-S Proof Roosevelt Dime
- 2014-S Proof Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter
- 2014-S Proof Shenandoah National Park Quarter
- 2014-S Proof Arches National Park Quarter
- 2014-S Proof Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarter
- 2014-S Proof Everglades National Park Quarter
- 2014-S Proof Kennedy Half Dollar
- 2014-S Proof Native American Dollar
- 2014-S Proof Warren G. Harding Presidential Dollar
- 2014-S Proof Calvin Coolidge Presidential Dollar
- 2014-S Proof Herbert Hoover Presidential Dollar
- 2014-S Proof Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Dollar
Although this will be the first time these 14 proof coins are offered together, the US Mint has previously released 13 of the proof coins in other numismatic products. The proof cent, nickel, dime, and half dollar were included in the 2014 Birth Set and 2014 Happy Birthday Coin Set. The five proof quarters were included in the 2014 America the Beautiful Quarters Proof Set with the first and last quarter also included in the two occasion-themed gift sets. The four proof Presidential Dollars were included in the 2014 Presidential $1 Coin Proof Set. Only the proof 2014 Native American Dollar is yet to be released in any product.
The coins of the 2014 Proof Set are packaged in three protective lenses placed within an illustrated outer box. The box contains an image of the Washington Monument at sunset on the front, and images of the five national parks and four Presidents featured on this year’s coins on the back. A certificate of authenticity is also included.
Each set is priced at $31.95. Orders placed through the US Mint’s Online Subscription Program are eligible to receive the sets at the discounted price of $28.75 per set. The standard price level is the same as the prior year. This is the first time that the discounted price has been offered for subscriptions.
The US Mint has not established a maximum mintage for the product offering and there are no household ordering limits in place. The Mint indicates that the product will remain available until sold out or December 2015, whichever comes first.
In a post from last year, I had discussed the broad trend of declining sales for the annual proof set. At peak popularity, sales for the offering had exceeded four million units. Sales recently hit a 50-year low when the 2012 Proof Set sold out with last reported sales of 794,002 units. The unexpected nature of the sell out and the historic low sales have generated excitement among collectors with secondary market prices rising to about triple the original price.
Last year’s 2013 Proof Set still remains available for sale at the US Mint with the most recent sales report showing 789,595 units sold to date. The sets are indicated as available until sold out or December 2014, whichever comes first.
Waiting Room for National Baseball Hall of Fame Coins
Later this week on Thursday, March 27, the US Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. This program has received a great deal of coverage from both numismatic and mainstream media sources which, combined with the popular theme and innovate shape of the coins, should make for a frenzied launch.
For past launches of highly popular products, the US Mint’s website had routinely encountered problems with shutdowns and crashes preventing collectors from placing their orders. In order to address these problems, the US Mint developed a “waiting room” for times when the website is experiencing high traffic.
The US Mint will be using the waiting room for the Baseball Hall of Fame coins launch. Customers will be able to enter the waiting room to “get in line” to enter the website and make their purchase. The customer will be informed how long they will have to wait before entering the catalog website.
The US Mint has used the waiting room for some other recent product launches, but this will be the highest profile and highest traffic launch to date under the new system.