As of late morning on July 21, 17XC has been restored to its original August 1 place on the Mint’s calendar page.
Updated at 8:45 on July 21 to correct the statement that the set was removed from the calendar page. It was actually given a new “date” and location on the page; see the second paragraph.—Editor
The Mint has set a price of $29.95 for its 225th Anniversary Enhanced Uncirculated Set (17XC), which is scheduled for release on August 1. Although that may seem a lot for 10 coins with a total face value of $2.91, it’s far more reasonable than some have been expecting.
Shortly after posting a price, the webmaster changed the availability date on the calendar page to “Summer 01” and moved the listing above the June 1 listing. (The main product page remains in place, and the availability date there remains “August 1.”) Items have vanished from the product page before, only to be restored soon afterward. It’s unclear whether this is a glitch in the website, an oversight, or some mysterious bit of Mint housekeeping. This particular change is a new one, however, and seems likely to be a clerical error. I’ve contacted the Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications about the change and will post the reply here.
The new date and placement:
The Mint has struck Enhanced Uncirculated coins on special occasions since 2013. The selective application of “enhancements” has varied, depending on the design of the coin. The 2013-W American Silver Eagles were struck with a soft, matte field and frosted devices, except where certain areas were carefully polished: on the obverse, the “blue” field behind the stars of the flag, the “red” stripes, the straps of Liberty’s sandals, the suggestion of the ground she walks on, and the date; on the reverse, the olive branch and arrows, the stripes and trim on the shield, and the ribbon in the eagle’s beak.
One of the several 50th-anniversary Kennedy half dollars of 2014 was struck with an Enhanced Uncirculated finish. In this case, however, there are no polished areas on the obverse, and the frosted devices are set off against a soft, matte field. on the reverse, the devices are frosted except for the stars and the details on the shield, which have a polished (but not mirrorlike) finish.
The obverses of the 2014-D and 2015-W Native American dollars that were included in those years’ Coin & Currency Sets had frosty fields with a smoother, Uncirculated finish in the areas of the skin and hair and in the stripes on Sacagawea’s sleeve. The reverse of the 2014-D coin has a frosty field, while the devices have a finer, matte finish. The 2015-W reverse has generally Uncirculated devices, with the flattest of these—the steel beam, the raised denomination, and the incused legend—reflecting more brightly than the detailed areas.
For the 225th Anniversary Enhanced Uncirculated Set, the product page states that the coins have “laser frosted areas and an unpolished field that accentuates design details, creating a unique contrast distinctly different from the mirror-like finish of proof coins.” Sadly, the catalog images don’t capture the finish, so collectors will have to wait to get the product in hand—or for unboxing photos to be posted online—to see what the enhancements look like. ❑