The United States Mint’s 2011 Army Commemorative Coins have now been on sale for a little more than two weeks. This post will examine the latest sales figures for the $5 gold, silver dollar, and half dollar coins.
It has generally been the case that the largest rush of sales for US Mint products occurs during the first few days of availability. After that point, the pace of sales diminishes until settling into somewhat of a consistent range. Thus, the extent of the initial sales provides an early indicator of how many coins the US Mint might eventually sell.
The total sales for each of the 2011 U.S. Army Commemorative Coins from the start of sales on January 31, 2011 to February 13, 2011 are shown below.
2011 Army Commemorative Sales
So far, sales of the Army Commemoratives are running far below the levels experienced by the 2008 Bald Eagle Commemorative Coins. This was the last program to feature three different coins.
For comparison purposes, I managed to find sales figures for the Bald Eagle coins from the start of sales on January 15, 2008 through February 1, 2008. The second number column indicates the final audited sales numbers.
2008 Bald Eagle Commemorative Sales
|$5 Gold Pr||42,815||59,269|
|$5 Gold Unc||9,610||15,009|
|$1 Silver Pr||108,522||294,601|
|$1 Silver Unc||63,428||119,204|
The lower sales for this year’s program can be attributed to a few factors. For the Bald Eagle coins, the US Mint offered several different collectible product options, which served to bolster sales. Products included the 3 Coin Proof Set, Young Collector’s Set, Coin and Medal Set, and later in the year, the American Legacy Collection. This year’s Army Commemorative Coins will only be offered individually and not within any special sets.
Second, the pricing for commemorative coins has increased significantly since 2008. Some of this is related to the increased market prices of gold and silver, although the price of the clad half dollars was also increased by 80% for the proof and 100% for the uncirculated coin.
Third, the US Mint has experienced an overall decline in their customer base during the past few years.
The silver lining for current collectors is that the lower sales will translate into lower mintages, which may eventually translate into higher secondary market prices. Commemoratives which have been unpopular or experienced poor sales during their period of availability have often appreciated on the secondary market after their low mintages became more widely recognized.
With this in mind, I think the coins to watch from the available 2011 Army Commemorative Coins are the uncirculated version of the $5 gold and perhaps the uncirculated half dollar.
Every modern $5 gold commemorative coin with a final mintage of less than 10,000 has carried a premium on the secondary market. The five coins which currently fall into this category are the uncirculated versions of the two 1996 $5 gold Olympic coins, the Smithsonian $5 Gold, the Jackie Robinson $5 Gold, and the 2001 Capitol Visitor Center $5 Gold.
As for commemorative half dollars, these have been offered as part of relatively few modern commemorative coin programs. The two issues that sell for the most significant premiums are the uncirculated versions of the 1996 Olympic Soccer and Swimming half dollars. These coins had mintages of 52,836 and 49,533, respectively. It doesn’t seem too far outside of the realm of possibility that final sales of the uncirculated version of the 2011 Army Half Dollar will be around this level.
It is obviously very early in the offering for the 2011 Army Commemoratives, so the ongoing sales reports will bear watching throughout the rest of the year.
America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins
Louis Golino has written an update on the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins for Coin Update News. He provides information on the authorized purchaser distribution so far- there are several who have not yet distributed their coins. He also provides clarification on certain issues related to grading, after contacting PCGS and NGC.
Read his article on Coin Update News
I still have not received any information on the United States Mint’s offering of the numismatic versions of the 2010 ATB 5 oz. Silver Coins. The last information stated that they had all been struck before the close of last year, and would be available in the first quarter.