Today, the US Mint announced the details for the long awaited America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins. There are some changes from previously reported information.
The 5 ounce silver bullion coins will be available for sale on December 6, 2010. As with other bullion programs, the coins will be sold through the authorized purchaser network, who will in turn make the coins available to the secondary market. The premium that the AP’s will need to pay above the market value of the silver content will be $9.75 per coin. Premiums charged for secondary market sales will obviously be higher.
Maximum mintages for each of the five releases will be only 33,000 units each. This is one-third the mintage level that had been previously reported in some print publications. As opposed to American Silver Eagle bullion coins, which must be produced in quantities sufficient to meet public demand, the America the Beautiful 5 oz silver coins are produced in quantities that are determined appropriate by the Secretary of the Treasury.
Numismatic versions of the coins will also be made available during the first quarter of 2011. The possibility had been mentioned by the US Mint Director, although nothing had been confirmed until now. The numismatic versions will be uncirculated versions that carry the “P” mint mark. (No mint mark will be used on the bullion versions of the coins.) The maximum mintage had been set at only 27,000 units for each of the five releases.
The US Mint is either seriously underestimating the demand for the new coins, or they are simply unable to devote additional silver supplies to the product line. As posted yesterday, Silver Eagle bullion coins recently broke a long standing record for monthly sales and are in record territory for annual sales.
Based on the constant stream of inquiries and comments about the America the Beautiful 5 oz. Silver Bullion coins, it’s not that difficult to predict that the limited number of coins available will quickly sell out and start trading for significant premiums on the secondary market.