ATB 5 oz. Bullion vs. Numismatic Sales

For the latest design of the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins, the numismatic version is currently outselling the bullion version. This is the opposite of the typical situation.

Bullion versions of US Mint coins are sold in bulk quantities to authorized purchasers based on prevailing precious metals prices plus a small mark up. These coins are resold to other dealers or the public, once again based on the precious metals price plus a mark up. Typically, sales take place in larger quantities to customers who are primarily interested in the metal content. As precious metals investment products, these bullion coins experience broader demand and higher sales.

Numismatic versions of US Mint coins are sold individually or within small sets directly to the public. The coins may have a different finish or other distinguishing characteristics from the bullion versions, sometimes carry limited mintages, and are always priced at a higher mark up. Since the coins are marketed as collectibles, these numismatic coins usually experience lower sales than bullion.

Based on the most recent sales information, the El Yunque Five Ounce Silver Coins have sold 7,900 of the bullion version and 8,957 of the numismatic version. For all prior releases, the situation has always been the opposite. (Figures in italics are still available for sale.)

ATB 5 oz. Bullion vs. Numismatic Sales

Bullion Numismatic
Hot Springs 33,000 27,000
Yellowstone 33,000 27,000
Yosemite 33,000 27,000
Grand Canyon 33,000 26,019
Mount Hood 33,000 26,928
Gettysburg 126,700 21,974
Glacier 126,700 18,470
Olympic 85,200 16,117
Vicksburg 38,600 16,168
Chickasaw 28,900 14,433
El Yunque 7,900 8,957

While this might change over the course of the year, it leads to a few observations.

1.) As a bullion program, the ATB 5 oz. coins have not been very successful. From the beginning, the ATB bullion coins have always seemed to attract greater interest from coin collectors than bullion investors. It was likely the high level of interest from collectors that caused the US Mint to boost production and authorized purchasers to place heavy orders for the initial 2011-dated releases. After collector demand subsided, the demand from precious metals investors proved to be minimal.

For the current year through the end of May, the US Mint had sold 13,600 of the five ounce ATB bullion coins compared to 14,534,000 of the one ounce American Silver Eagles. This works out to sales of 1 five ounce coin for every 1,069 one ounce coins. As a comparison, for the Perth Mint’s 2011 Silver Lunar releases, sales included 8,030 five ounce coins and 300,000 one ounce coins. This works out to 1 five ounce coin for every 37 one ounce coins.

2. ) Collectors who are pursuing the numismatic versions of the ATB 5 oz. coins may also want to acquire the bullion versions starting with the 2012 releases. Unlike the situation for last year when the US Mint struck each design with a high initial mintage, this year the US Mint has indicated that they will produce the coins to demand. If demand continues to be low, mintages could be low.

3.) If sales continue at very low levels, it becomes a possibility that the US Mint may suspend or curtail the program. Under Public Law 110-456, it is not specifically mandated that the bullion coins must be minted for every year. The exact wording is: “The Secretary shall strike and make available for sale such number of bullion coins as the Secretary determines to be appropriate that are exact duplicates of the quarter dollars…” The US Mint and Treasury Department have come up with some interesting interpretations of the law in other situations, and zero is technically a number…

With regards to the numismatic versions, these coins are produced under authority 31 U.S.C. §5111(a) (3), which provides the Secretary of the Treasury with broad authority to design, produce and sell numismatic items. As such, there is no requirement or guarantee that the numismatic versions will continue to be produced.

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  1. Brad says

    The Mint paid a lot of money for that special coin press needed to make these coins. It seems they would want to use it as much as possible.

    I wonder if a situation would ever arise in future years where only the numismatic versions were struck and sold? Those are the real money-makers for the Mint.

    I abandoned the 5 oz. coins entirely. I haven’t bought any numismatic versions from 2011 forward, and I only bought one design of 2011 bullion coins. I was effectively “suckered” into buying a full tube of the Chickasaw bullion coins when it appeared the mintage would be very low at the end of the year. That was before the Mint’s creative interpretation of the law came into play and it became known that they intend to sell the prior year coins for an indefinite period of time! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!

  2. says

    This is a nice review of the problems the program has been having. I think at this point sales will probably never recover, and it’s a shame because the AtBs are probably my favorite US Mint products at the moment.

    I hammered on certain issues last year when I discussed this, and I’ll take the opportunity to hammer on them again here. First, the mint desperately needs to advertise these products if they want to salvage the series. I never see the numismatic AtBs advertised in the mailers the mint sends out, and I think the mint is also doing a terrible job of advertising the bullion coins to investors, and investors buying these coins in large quantities is what the five ounce silver coin program really needs to succeed.

    They could also produce more of the circulating quarters as well. If enough AtB quarters are circulated, average precious metals investors who aren’t coin fans might start to recognize the AtB bullion and consider buying.

    Secondly I’ve thought for awhile the Mint ought to end sales of the numismatic releases. That would help drive collector dollars into the bullion portion of the program and provide some help in propping up sales. I want to be clear I’m making this suggestion with the assumption the Mint’s main goal is to support the bullion program. At this point, though, sales of the El Yunque coins are so dismal I’m not sure it would be worthwhile to take this action anymore.

    Possibly the Mint could also consider reducing the mintage of the numismatic varieties to 5,000-7,500. That might cause quick, Perth-style sellouts and generate a little buzz.

    As it is, though, I think this series may be headed straight into the first spouse abyss. Perhaps if the Mint wants to try making a future five ounce product they could try for a five ounce silver eagle.

  3. Shawn Irish says

    I’ve been a collector of the numismatic versions since the series began. I love the low mintage. wont these be worth a fortune in 50 years?

  4. george glazener says

    They’ll be worth their weight in silver, that’s for sure..!!

    But seriously, yes, I’m very tempted to get an El Yunque Bullion just to compare the finish with all the others I have.

    Who else has one? Are they pretty nice looking?

  5. says


    I think the older issues will probably not be worth much due to the relatively high mintages. The 2011 bullion releases, especially Gettysburg, Glacier, and Olympic are as common as dirt.

    However, the last issues in the series might be a different story. In spite of the relatively low price, sales of these coins are imploding. It’s not impossible that we’ll be around 5,000 sales for the final 2012 coin. So I think there’s a good chance very high premiums could develop on the final issues in the AtB series. I am hoping to be able to buy the entire numismatic AtB five ounce series.

    Another place one might find some value is in graded AtB bullion coins. While most of the imperfections in the AtBs are wiped out via the vapor blasting technique used for the numismatic releases, they do not employ the technique for the bullion releases. I believe many of the AtB bullion coins have some level of flaws and imperfections, so graded examples in these cases might actually be worthwhile.

  6. george glazener says

    Good point on the low vs. high mintages. Conversely, however, wouldn’t you think that the subject locations of the coins themselves would counterbalance the effect of low vs. high mintages? I mean, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon are among the most popular and well known of all our National Parks. Nothing against Chaco Culture or El Yunque, but they just don’t have the widespread recognition or appeal in my opinion. Bottom line: Do you think collectors 20 years from now will gravitate towards the bigger name parks or the shortest mintage coins?

  7. fosnock says

    Well if the mint wants to increase bullion sale they need to drop the premium which is the same as the eagles ($2 per ounce). People tend to get small denominations of silver in case they have to barter (which is why silver junk dimes tend to be sold on a premium to other junk silver) and having a 5 oz silver “coaster” is not really on their agenda, unless it is cheaper than the eagles once per ounce


    I have two of the El Yunque Bullion coins I think they look nice, but I’m biased.

  8. fosnock says


    Your question was towards CO but I think the lower mintages would be more important to collectors. I think collectors are interested in coins that there are just enough of to make it collectable, but not so many as to flood the market. The early ATB seem to have flooded the market. Also do not forget that some of the big name parks have still not been released, and if they have low mintages.

  9. jeff72 says

    The mint should hire one of us as a “collector consultant”…or read more of this forum.

    If they had come up with a more unique design other than a giant quarter -they could have kept the insterest going…..

    I’ve not seen any timeless new designs in years -so, why not go back in time ….way back…like to the beginning of US coinage and reproduce some of the old classics in 5oz silver …some folks might think that’s as unimaginative as making a big quarter…..but classics sell.

    Look at Detroit: The Mustang, the Camaro, the Challenger ….who doesn’t oogle over those (if your a car guy…or gal that is)

  10. says


    I agree and would logically expect that the locations on the coins would affect sales (along with the art quality) but for the most part, if you look at Michael’s sales chart above, the coins have proceeded inexorably downward, starting with Grand Canyon. Gettysburg and Vicksburg in particular underperformed last year, I thought.

    I think at this point the flippers and probably most of the dealers have given up on these coins, and the people still buying it are basically a small core of collectors or fans of the series. The continuing slippage of sales probably indicates people growing disillusioned and walking away or financially having trouble keeping up with the releases.

  11. george glazener says

    Yep, you guys make a lot of sense. I just wish I hadn’t invested so heavily in the early ones at $279 a pop. I hope the same logic holds true on the Lucy Hayes Gold UNC. I chose that one over a Martha Washington on eBay, despite the urge to go with a “big name” First Lady.

    Might be wise to unload a couple of the 2010s and get a couple of the El Yunque. Thanks Gents..!!

  12. says


    If you’re looking for reproductions of classic coins, my thought is the Mint should do a special ultra-high relief version of the peace dollar similar to the way they did a UHR double eagle.

    They are bringing back the mercury dime design and putting it on the palladium eagle. The buffalo has been honored many times and of course the walking liberty is on our silver eagles. There are also the “liberty” depictions done on the first spouse series. The eagle on the back of the Morgan silver dollar was honored on the San Francisco Old Mint commemorative gold coin.

    I think I’d like to see something done to honor the indian head penny and the flying eagle cent one of these days. The old seated liberty might be nice too. There’s a lot of classic designs out there the mint has to choose from.

  13. jeff72 says

    Captain….I agree with you. And the very fact that these ‘ole classics have done well as new releases with collectors is proof of their longevity as desirable designs.

    I am reeeeeally looking forward to that palladium eagle…..guess they’re pretty smart to build up anticipation …..I have my wallet in hand ready!

  14. billy says

    The thing I love most about the 5 oz ATB coins is that you can show them to anyone who doesn’t know anything about coin collecting and they will give the funniest looks seeing such a gigantic coin…. it’s not easy to convince them it’s real.

  15. says


    I’ve had the same reactions from a lot of people who don’t know much about coins. My grandfather loves them, though, because he has poor vision, but can make out the details on a five ounce coin easily with no trouble.

  16. george glazener says

    Just don’t tell them that it’s actually worth 25 cents. They might want to borrow it to go buy a pack of bubble gum

  17. fosnock says


    I have a Panama 20 Balboas Silver Coin (4.25 oz , but 3.8 oz of silver, minted at the SF mint), that use to be my shocker

    Does anyone know when the Chaco Culture bullion is due out?

  18. John says

    2. ) Collectors who are pursuing the numismatic versions of the ATB 5 oz. coins may also want to acquire the bullion versions starting with the 2012 releases.

    I was thinking about doing that with the ATBs that I like (I only own “P” versions that I like right now).

    Thanks for this update, I’ll watch the numbers closely!

    For those watching the SF Eagle Sets on a daily basis, today’s “daily” numbers have slipped below 3K. If people get too busy around the 4th of July holiday this set will end up around 190K, it could still be a winner.

  19. guama says

    I bought the first year of the nummie verson of the atb. Didn’t really care for them to much.

    @jeff72…ah yes..the camaro & the challenger..this gal’s favorite cars:)

  20. says


    I did notice today’s number. I’m expecting the numbers to continue sliding every day until we get close to the end. At this point I’m thinking maybe 175K assuming the “final rush” on the last day isn’t outrageously huge.

  21. ClevelandRocks says

    Anyone know who has the El Yunque in a graded slab in stock? (Other than ebay)

  22. Louis says

    How are the prices for the 2010 bullion sets doing? When I see dealer listings they usually price the 2010 coins higher. Is that what others have found? Some of the slabbed DMPL ones from 2010 still bring good money, but lower grades and ungraded are probably all only worth a little over melt now.

  23. says


    You’re correct. Prices on the ungraded 2010 bullion coins have been sliding steadily. APMEX is selling them for about $220 which is ridiculous, but I’ve seen places sell them for around $200 or lower. There’s still a small premium attached to them but I expect that to continue eroding as interest in the series fades. The DMPL 70s are probably worth a decent premium, but I think that’s true of all the AtB bullion coins with that grade.

  24. Val says

    I really like the 5 oz ATB and have a complete set and I hope the mint expands it’s program for collectors. I haven’t bought any bullion ATB yet, but the Captain’s take on low mintage levels and the possibility of buying a bullion coin that could receive a high grade are making me think twice about their potential.

  25. VA Bob says

    Hey, I like the 5oz. ATB. That said, I don’t believe the US Mint, in it’s effort to emulate other world mints, should have even made them. When a mint ventures beyond mere commemoratives, and mints which boils down to “circus” coins, what can one expect? Now I’m not putting down “circus” coins, many are attractive, nor anyone that collects them.

    In the past, it was both the circulating aspect in addition to any PM in a coin that made them collectible. A piece of “real” history… where has this coin been, who may have held it, etc. Even if many coins were minted, perhaps few in good condition survived. Few folks could “collect” the money they need to survive.

    Today, we’re making coins by the 10’s of thousands that will rarely see the light of day. Many are hoping someone will see some sort of future value in these pampered coins. The worst single thing to hurt the hobby was for PM to be removed from circulating coinage. Should have kept even the smallest amounts of silver (or even gold) in circulating coinage.

    What I don’t like about the 5oz. ATB is the 25 cent denomination (should have been $5). I also which they sharpened the details, not just make the quarter size larger. A canvas that large, it;s a shame not to use it to it;s full extent. These will always mostly be a novelty. When you have such a small number of anything, it typically means fewer people will be interested in collecting it. Better for most to collect something they have a better change at collecting, preferably at a reasonable price.

  26. george glazener says

    Well that was a depressing synopsis of the hobby today. makes me want to dump my whole collection on ebay…..:(

  27. Hidalgo says

    2012 American Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Silver Proof Set.

    Cumulative sets sold as of June 15, 2012: 131,512.

  28. Dave in CT. says

    Goerge @ Captain;

    Yes guys, you both mention the awe you get showing these 5 ouncers.
    Again, reminds me of my 2011 HR I carry in my pocket. I understand that
    the $930 cost for my 2010 bullion ATB’s was a decent price. I think the S@H
    was another $30 or so. People around here and my work have offered me $1200 for this complete set (never opened the small box), and some do not collect coins. So, for around my area and the people I know, they want the first set. And from what I perceive, they do not care to get it online or at collectors store. Maybe, because it is unopened. I will not sell this. Kind of special for me, because it is the like having the first few 1986 ASE’s.
    I’m still wondering if I should trade some of my 2011 W-unc AGE’s that I have
    (currently i own 22, all ordered separately and unopened) for the Spouse series that I’m missing. Which is 90% missing and I only collect the UNC’s.
    I do not see these hockey pucks being not minted as some have suggested,
    as my coworkers and friends seem to be only interested in the first 5.
    I was at one of my banks where I keep a large safe deposit box today.
    How embarrassing, I dropped the box on the tiled floor and the box just broke into a hundred pieces. Panda sheets going here and there, Morgans
    everywhere, my metal piece from the USS Arizona, my very large caliber bullet from the Enola Gay bomber, just all of my private items that everyone saw in the bank. When the box dropped/slipped (i think it weighs around 70/80 pounds) it sounded like a shotgun going off, so everyone came running to see what happened, not the other way around (they know who i am and i usually give silver eagles out as presents from time to time). They helped me secure the area and then the manager got me a new box. Not like i was hiding anything from them. They all kind of get excited when they see me coming in. Probably taking bets on who will get an Eagle today. I do have fun and you only live once. Does this make me Eccentric ? I just feel sorry for these employees, the branch manager has told me most make about $10 and no benefits. Just doing my part and bringing some smiles to people there. From now on, I am only getting the pucks that have a really special design to me. So the Hawaiian one is next for me. When does that one come out ? Or has it already.

  29. ClevelandRocks says

    Captain, there are no DMPL 70s for the 5 oz ATBs.
    Anyone help me find a graded slabbed El Yunque from a dealer?

  30. Dave in CT. says

    It might be to soon to get one, did you try Ebay and the ads in the major mags ?

  31. says

    These will always mostly be a novelty. When you have such a small number of anything, it typically means fewer people will be interested in collecting it. Better for most to collect something they have a better change at collecting, preferably at a reasonable price.

    I would disagree with you rather strongly on at least the bullion portion of the AtB program. As presently constituted, the bullion coins are actually slightly cheaper in terms of premiums than five silver eagles, and they give more bang for the buck for people who just want to stack raw metal. If the mint would advertise these things, you would probably see sales start to pick up. I think the AtB bullion program is a fair idea that is suffering from poor management. Had these coins been available when I started stacking silver bullion, I can say without a doubt the majority of my bullion collection would be five ounce AtBs.

  32. says

    I’m still wondering if I should trade some of my 2011 W-unc AGE’s that I have
    (currently i own 22, all ordered separately and unopened) for the Spouse series that I’m missing. Which is 90% missing and I only collect the UNC’s.

    Dave, a question. What are you holding these for? I’d personally be inclined to let most of them go and get the spouses, definitely, unless you have some specific attachment to them. I’ve been entertaining the idea of dumping a good chunk of my silver bullion to “trade up” for gold recently. The problem is I don’t really want to sell at this low level.

  33. george glazener says

    Dave, your post cheered me up. Instead of selling all this stuff on ebay, I should give it away to my nieces and nephews….little by little until its all gone

  34. ClevelandRocks says

    FS will likely live and die by spot gold. The ’07 FS have a premium (over purchase price) since gold is a lot higher now, but if gold ever falls bleow $1500, the entire FS series will likely not do well even with micro-mintages.

  35. Kevin says

    “The DMPL 70s are probably worth a decent premium”. If you have one, the premium would be large. They don’t exist. Which begs the question.. Why not? What is it that keeps the 69s from being 70s?

  36. Dave in CT. says

    Captain, Not sure what you mean as far why I don’t let them go. I only have an attachment as far as keeping one coin. That is it. As far as the FS’ gold coins, isn’t it about the same, that is as far as the premiums going up/down at this point ? I do not have enough knowledge at this point. I see the FS has lower overall numbers, but who collects them. Who will pay that extra for this coin ? Then on the other side of the coin, you have the lowest mintage AGE’s made in this series. That is the 1-ounce, W mint mark, at I think 8900/change. So Cptn, in your thoughts, you would dump the AGE’s for the FS ? That is a tough call. Much more chance for the 1 ouncer in my opinion.

    George, would you like a 94 to 97 set of raw ASE’s ?
    Meet me at the bank next week and when I drop my new box and I break it,
    whatever you pick up before me, you keep. Now, its about time I start giving these to the loyal bank customers, right ! It’s all or duty to be good citizens of the community and start giving back to our banks as they have given to us.
    REMEMBER, I an eccentric now.

  37. Dave in CT. says

    Captain, Just wanted to know you told me your opinion, just wanted some more input on your thoughts.

  38. VABEACHBUM says

    Dave – you always share the best stories. Definitely made me smile. Thanks!!

    So far, I have picked up one each of ungraded Bullion and P’s. While I agree, in theory, with the principles of grading, it is not a priority for most of the series that I collect.

    Each of my El Yunque pieces arrived last week. The bullion was in great shape; good eye appeal and no noticeable defects. The “P” was sharp; definitely a keeper.

    Like most of our readers, I also agree that one of the Mint’s biggest failings is their (lack of) marketing for their entire product line. As C.O. commented early on, the Mint has not developed any packaging inserts for the ATB P’s. More to the point, the only people who see any of those inserts are the same ol’ Current Mint Customers. And we Ol’ customers are continuing to get Ol’er!!

    People will not purchase what they do not know is available. The Mint must get better about identifying – and increasing the number of – new customers, while they also struggle to retain the ol’ customers they currently have.

  39. Dave in CT. says

    VABEACHBUM, Thank you, I’m in one of those moods again. This is what happens when I keep missing the annual JIM JONES get together. No kool aid left over and those damn stripped Mopar lug nuts that keep holding me up. I should have never put those 22 inch rims on my Dodge bolt pattern and then torque them down at 250 lbs.

  40. Dave in CT. says

    I ma signed up on the mints mailing list. Hardly ever get anything. Agree with you. If they don’t know they won’t buy it.

    “If you build it, he will come”

    In this case, if you don’t advertise, no one will order !


  41. Dave in CT. says

    Of Course not, like me, all the employees at the mint this weekend
    are heading to that Jones Party !

  42. says

    Captain, Not sure what you mean as far why I don’t let them go. I only have an attachment as far as keeping one coin. That is it. As far as the FS’ gold coins, isn’t it about the same, that is as far as the premiums going up/down at this point ? I do not have enough knowledge at this point. I see the FS has lower overall numbers, but who collects them. Who will pay that extra for this coin ? Then on the other side of the coin, you have the lowest mintage AGE’s made in this series. That is the 1-ounce, W mint mark, at I think 8900/change. So Cptn, in your thoughts, you would dump the AGE’s for the FS ? That is a tough call. Much more chance for the 1 ouncer in my opinion.

    I understand where you’re coming from better now.

    My question had more to do with why you’d been collecting extra 2011-W eagles in the first place, it just seemed to me to be an odd choice of coin to “stack.”

    In general I regard gold as a more stable investment than silver. It’s less prone to volatility and wild swings up and down. This is why I’d like to get go of some of my own silver eagles and such and just pick up a one ounce gold coin or two.

    In all honesty, I am not too excited about the performance of some of the more recent numismatic gold products from the Mint. I’m tempted to tell you to buy the lowest-premium gold bullion coins you can, such as the gold Australian kangaroo or the Canadian Maple.

    As for numismatic pieces, I have not done a lot of research on the first spouse series, but it would seem to me to be the most likely place to go if you’re looking for premium growth, the low mintages would seem to make it likely some of the later issues in the series could become very valuable. I was not terribly impressed with the 2011-W AGE though and it was one of the big underperformers.

    Since I can’t really offer a good suggestion on US Mint gold products, my suggestion to you is… buy normal gold eagles or US $5 commemorative gold coins (dirt cheap premiums) or something like the kangaroos or maples like I mentioned above.

    Sorry I was not of much help.

  43. Dave in CT. says

    Captain, On the contrary, you helped me again as before, like the last 2 years I was off and not posting. You know why. I have always followed your advice. I stocked up in the middle of last year when everyone was talking this might be a sleeper. It kind of was. Then MZ said, this might be the new norm. I agree with this too. Thanks to all, I am still ignorant on most coin issues and tend to buy what is said here and hope for the best. I know that is not very smart. I do collect the coins I like now and that is it. I do hope in the years to come (10/20 years) that the 2011 AGE’s will rise in value and not just the PM value.


  44. Dave in CT. says

    Excuse me, I should have said,”thanks for all for your advice, it has helped me,
    and at the same time, I am still ignorant on coins” I hope nobody takes my last post in the wrong way. I really should proof read my thoughts. Excuse me fella’s.

  45. Shutter says

    Another place one might find some value is in graded AtB bullion coins.

    And if the price of silver plummets, you can always use NGC holders to serve hors d’oeuvre on.

    I believe many of the AtB bullion coins have some level of flaws and imperfections, so graded examples in these cases might actually be worthwhile.

    NGC graded something like 65% of bullion coins in the highest grade (MS69), but only 47% of numismatics (SP70). For Bullion, that’s just MS. MSPL and MSDPL were over 80%. Granted that a lot fewer 2011 coins got graded than 2010 and there are many thousands of Glacier and Gettysburg out there (quiet a few on dealer shelves).

  46. Louis says

    That’s a useful and surprising stat. I would have expected more numismatic versions to get 70 than bullions to get 69 from what I have seen.
    @Dave in CT- I would say you do not need to hold on to all of your 2011-W AGE’s. Keep some, and sell sell some, that’s what I would do. But I would wait to see what gold does and what the mintage of the 2012 looks to be. We are in for some very rocky months for gold, guys and gals!

  47. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    @Dave in CT, you are not the only one that gains good insight from reading the threads here. I have no circle of people that are “coin collectors” with which to compare thoughts and share ideas on coins. Lots of good information here from people that have been around long enough to have some good insights.

    As to the 5oz ABTs, I’m still collecting the numismatic versions with only a couple that I had to pick up in a slabbed bullion version. I still like ’em all and likely will stick with the series until it croaks (if that happens). I was just going through all of them last night and enjoying the large artwork. It may say 25 cents on the face, but I still know it’s 5oz of Silver, so even if it said $10, that would not be correct either for the true weight/value. I just like them and they are a novelty, but in a good way for me.

    I really appreciated this article too and now am thinking about picking up an El Yunque (slabbed) when the dealers get theirs back from grading. I actually do like the bullion versions of these coins and if money were no object, I’d have a bullion version of each one to go with the numismatic versions. 🙂

  48. Dave in CT. says

    Louis, Yes, I think I will do just this. I took a huge gamble in putting a large percentage of my assets into PM’s.
    My financial adviser is telling me to take my CD monies that mature in Dec. of this year and put it into a consistent High yielding Mutual fund. From what I have been told (even during the last 4 years, it has paid DD-% gains) this is the direction I should go. I do not have the stock ticker here with me, but I am leaning to his advice. He doesn’t work on commissions, so I don’t have to worry about that. I am still long on gold reaching astronomical heights. If we have a QE3, which I think will happen within the next 12 months and probably after the election, it may start rising. They say it takes about 2 years or so for inflation to start after a QE. We have had as I say, 2 of them and where is the inflation ? Everything is just different and nothing is happening (as i see) as the experts said would happen. This makes me think when things get worse in Europe, we might just wake up to overnight inflation and have gold take those sky-high increase that I really think will happen. But your advice is completely sound and thank you for your thoughtful insight. Smart folks here. I always wanted a degree in Economics and Business. I hope the guys were not thinking I was gloating on my materials in my boxes. I have no 401, no retirement ( just 30% of my earnings and reserve pay), and otherwise, am frugal. It is not my intention to come on here and act/post that I’m well off. I worry every night as most families do concerning the retirement and will we have enough.
    I will have to make these decisions I think very soon as to the PM selling.
    I am in that “hmmmm !” stage now (what do i do ?), and sometimes feel that most can’t get ahead nowadays. I really do pray for everyone’s future. Keeps me humble. I also just do not hear this phrase anymore,
    “Everything will work out, it usually does”, because things are so bad.
    One stock I have and think about purchasing more of is, “PER”, it has been paying around 8.7% to 10%, depending on where you get your info. This is supposedly a keeper through 2015 and is presently $18.97 (?). So if you like oil stocks (?)… The dividend is great, but as far as this stock gaining in value, not sure about this one. I have 300 shares. I would like to acquire 200 more and then ride it to 2015 and see where the analyst stand at this time, just some food for thought.

  49. Dave in CT. says


    Yes, they are very nice. I’m looking forward to the
    Hawaiian specimen. As Shutter has pointed out earlier, if they tank, their
    will be no shortage of appetizer platters.

  50. SmallPotatos says

    @Dave – way off topic here – you said “… and those damn stripped Mopar lug nuts…” so, do you have a Left side Left thread Mopar?

    back on topic – i stood in line and bought the 2010 P’s thinking it was a good idea (everybody else was buying them, right?). i readjusted my thinking, and decided to purchase what i like in the AtB series, namely the Civil War park coins. Ilike the Acadia design, but nor sure if i like it well enough to buy it. so for now, i will just settle ofr the silver proof sets to collect each of the AtB quarters.

  51. Dave in CT. says

    SmallPotatos, I’m not sure. I’m so use to putting them on with a sledge hammer.

  52. SmallPotatos says

    @Dave – That would explain why they keep stripping. I have a 1970 plymouth, and it was originally Left thread. even tho i would explain that to the tire people, they would invariably turn them to the right to take them off resulting is several broken studs. i gave up, and converted them all to right hand thread. The car judges will never know.

  53. stephen m. says

    Dave in CT. Don’t know what the lug nut problem may be as it sounds you are putting the wheel and lugs on correctly and i too am only getting the 5oz. P that the design appeals to me. I, like so many others, purchased the first five and have held there. I hope the ATB 5oz program sales will get better for the mint and keep the program alive.

  54. Hidalgo says

    From the US Mint:

    2012 American Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Silver Proof Set

    Cumulative total units ordered: 131,512

  55. Shutter says

    I would have expected more numismatic versions to get 70 than bullions to get 69 from what I have seen.

    I would have thought so too. But then, that’s why we need to look at facts instead of only trusting our gut feelings. My first clue was when in late December, APMEX was selling Glacier in PCGS MS69 DMPL for $3/oz over spot. It was actually the same price for top grade as raw. As it turns out, nearly 75% of bullion Glaciers got 69 from NGC. I don’t have access to PCGS, but I assume that many received the highest grade there as well.

  56. ClevelandRocks says

    I still prefer the NGC slabs over the PCGS for the 5 ozers.
    Has anyone else noticed the new PCGS slabs (clear material with open spaces for rim reveal) and the new NGC slab (white opaque with open spaces for rim reveal) grade easier (higher ms than you would think) than the older slabs?

  57. ClevelandRocks says

    Also I’ve noticed that CAC loves toning and will sticker a coin with “cool toning” even with a lot of surface marks or a poor strike for grade. Makes me wonder how they got so toned, and what they will look like in 25 years.

    Collectors recently seem to be drawn to a coin for toning over the actual quality of the coin (original luster, mark-free, good strike etc.).

  58. ROS says

    Every time there is an extended conversation about the merits of the 5 oz coin,
    I am amazed that no one mentions the most obvious move the Mint could make.
    Just like Perth does, make a 5oz Silver American Eagle bullion coin.
    It would set the collecting world on fire and raise all 5 oz boats.

    The other problem with ATBs is the Washington .25 side. It should have
    been an image of the state and included the Year of the parks creation.

    That being said, lets not forget some big parks are comping up soon that
    may spark interest:
    2012 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
    2013 Mount Rushmore
    2014 Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  59. says


    I mentioned it earlier but I don’t think anyone liked the idea! 🙂

    I think if the AtB program totally fails, and is ended, a five ounce silver eagle will be the next thing they try. Given the money they paid for the press, I imagine they will want to use it some way. A five ounce silver eagle is the next logical step.

  60. Shutter says

    if you’re going to follow Perth’s example, go all the way. Change reverse design annually, and make it a smaller diameter. Then take it a step further and make it high relief.

  61. Dave in CT. says

    Ahhhh !, so that’s the trick when you have a No.#1 car and it moves you into that coveted No.#1 spot. Darn it, I knew I was missing something !

    stephen m.; As far as those goofy Dodge/Plymouth.Chrystler lugs go,
    that was just some inside kidding on the subject. If you ever owned
    one of those muscle cars or anything they put out in the 60 and 70’s from that manufacturer, people that were not familiar with their reverse threaded lugs, and any motorist that got a flat tire, or did a brake job, and never worked on these, more often than not, could not get them off. or turned them the incorrect direction and tightened them, and if they had a wrench/air gun, they broke the lug nut. On Mopars, you have to loosen the bolts from left to right and not the other way that one would think. Another issue you see Stephen, Mopars (dodge auto’s, Mopar=more original parts) had the reputation of tin foil electronics. Always keep an extra alternator, ballast resistor,ignition relay in your trunk. on my 68 Chargers, I always had to keep replacing my push rods/rocker arms, this from driving at high speeds in 2nd gear ! My mother always knew when i was in the area ! Fans of the muscle cars in the 60/70’s could not get enough of the Hemi engines.Bumble Bee stripes,6 Packs, and the famous Pistol Grip 4speed handle from Hurst ! Some favorite GM muscle that I owned were the 70 Olds Cutlass W-32, the W-31 (hi-perf. 350), 72 Olds 442, the70 442 W-30, and my beloved Buick GS Stage 1 (which was slightly faster than the Hemi Cuda). Mopar Muscle car fans were always special in my opinion because or the loyalty that we had and the constant irritation these cars caused us. Always got a kick out of my buddy that would complain to me that he had to replace his mufflers again. Anyone that ever had a Hemi (4×2= 2 four barrels=dual quads as they were called), knew the mufflers only lasted 3 months or so, this because of the ridiculous compression they had and the basically required 103-107 pump gas they drank (if you could find it), anything less, you would not get the performance out of her. This is one reason (not having kids obtain insurance might have been another-lol) why so few were sold. And do not get me started on those 440-6 pack Super Bees/Road Runners or the Dodge Demon’s ! I need to go out to my garage and see my dismantled 71 Cuda, and pray to the Mopar God.


  62. Dave in CT. says

    Guys, some of my Mopars included, a Dodge 1972 and a 1973 Challenger, 71 Road Runner, 74 Dart, 1969 Coronet, 2 1968 Chargers, 1967 Plymouth Fury,
    1969 Plymouth GTX (440 c.i.) etc. Oh ! did I mention I was famous among my friends for Reverse Neutral Drops ? This you would get up to about 20 or 30
    miles per hour, drop the console shifter from “D” to “R” and floor it. I was known
    to have dropped my share of U-joints and on occasion, the Drive shaft. But
    mom always knew when I was around, and would always come with the checkbook and tell me, “This is the last time” !

  63. SmallPotatos says

    yes, i agree, i need to go service my Mopar too! Time for an oil change.

    back on target, does anyone think there will be demand for the AtB-P coins that had the finish problems? i am guessing the mint fixed this for the 2011 and 2012 coins.

  64. VA Bob says

    “These will always mostly be a novelty. When you have such a small number of anything, it typically means fewer people will be interested in collecting it. Better for most to collect something they have a better change at collecting, preferably at a reasonable price.”

    “I would disagree with you rather strongly on at least the bullion portion of the AtB program. As presently constituted, the bullion coins are actually slightly cheaper in terms of premiums than five silver eagles, and they give more bang for the buck for people who just want to stack raw metal.”

    CO – You’ll notice I was speaking of collecting. Now I realize some “collect” bullion (even have it graded) rather than accumulate it. Me, I have no collectable attachments to any non-numismatic bullion I own. It was purchased for its PM value (stacking), not collectability. I will be happy to get a good spot price when it comes time to sell it, but wouldn’t turn down a premium from someone that wants to collect it and part with their additional dollars. My thoughts on the 5 oz. ATB (and other circus coinage) were from what I consider a collectable view, i.e. numismatic. Not so much a bulk bullion stand point. IMO when one associates a numismatic value to a bullion item, they take on an additional risk. Dealers will gladly sell people bullion ASE’s slabed by “third party grading system here”, all while telling one how low the “population” report is. They might not hype the fact that, especially in recent years, 10’s of millions where struck.

    As for the bullion 5oz. ATB’s, of course speculators will flock to them if they perceive a low mintage. It’s still bullion. Why would I “collect” it now if I didn’t like it when they were making more? That’s only suggests grasping for some perceived or real profit. Since I don’t flip, and I’m not a speculator, what’s the point? Even if they make a 1000 what kind of interest will there be in say 20 years? We don’t know, but if they are so rare, I doubt there will be a huge following. That maybe good news to the speculator. That’s not me. I feel some folks here don’t realize what they really are collector, flipper, speculator, or some combination of the mix. Nothing inherently wrong with any of those groups (I like to hear other views, too). As I have never sold one piece that I’ve acquired in my life to date, I know where I stand in the heap. I hear a lot of talk about future prospects for a coin from folks here, and I have to wonder, if one worries if they will make money on a coin purchase, are they in the right hobby? Nobody wants to lose money, or spend unwisely, and I suspect we all hope to at least break even when we do sell, but if you’re buying what you like within your means, there should be no remorse. That’s the direction my comments are derived from. Hope that helps clarify my comment.

  65. VA Bob says

    “does anyone think there will be demand for the AtB-P coins that had the finish problems?”

    No. Their are plenty of those. The problem is will there be enough demand for the 5oz. ATB’s in general.

  66. SmallPotatos says

    “The problem is will there be enough demand for the 5oz. ATB’s in general.”

    well, maybe in 50 years……

  67. Auxmike says

    My Dad had dodge darts Plymouth swingers and scamps I think they called them. Also a brown duster. The slant 6 was a great little engine but I think the distributor sat kinda low. Oh. I had three 5ozers and dumped them all for cash and some 1oz silver eagles. A guy I’m work gives
    me $40 each for them periodically when he needs to give a family member a gift. I sell them in black guardhouse holders for a nice presentation…

  68. MarkInFlorida says

    I really love these hockey pucks! Anyone can see all the details without a magnifying glass. They have heft.

    Show a non-collector a 1909-s VDB penny and he sees a penny. Hand him one of these, and he feels 5 troy ounces of pure silver, an element that went from $4 an ounce to $50 an ounce in a few years, and while it has fallen back, may go to $100 an ounce if some people are right.

    I’m beting that once they are off sale people will realize how neat they are, wish they had gotten in early and bid them way up. Well, I’m hoping anyway. The other possibility is high inflation makes all silver skyrocket in price.

  69. Dave in CT. says

    I have the first 5 ATB’s, then nothing until the Chickasaw. My 5 ounce Panda consist of 2008 thru 2011. These are very nice and would not part with them. China has the best 5 ounce coin presentation boxes-hands down. I treasure these, but stopped at the 2012’s. I think they increased the mintage to 20,000. I overpaid for mine. Apmex sold them to me. I recently saw that they reduced prices on some of the ones I purchased and told them i wasn’t happy about this. They offered me HALF for what I paid. Disgusting ! I will not buy from them again. I was told that they were not selling and hence, the reduction in price. Just make sure you fellas take note what their BUYBACK price is before you buy ( if they don’t have one- buyer beware). They didn’t have a buyback for these Panda 5’s. That should have been a red flag. But, I didn’t know any better back then. I think for the 4, I paid around $3600.00, but I do enjoy them and they are so pretty.

  70. Dave in CT. says

    Auxmike; The slant 6 was the best 6 cylinder engine of its time.

    The ATB’s were in my opinion, were always a sideshow. these will never go anywhere. You will not get any respect with these, they’re just too big to be taken seriously. An oddity at best, for me I’ll keep my 2010 set and my set of
    Panda 5’s. In the distant future, just “Angel Halo’s” to me and will always hover around spot. To bad. If they ever make a 5 ounce ASE,( they won’t blemish the reputation with spinoffs) here is hoping it is a HR. Then it will be smaller and I think in a annual series, the US mint will get a decent profit.

  71. says


    I’d like to ask you guys for your thoughts as to what makes one coin a “bullion” coin and another a “numismatic” coin.

    Take the ATB 5 oz coins for example. The “numismatic” version is 5 oz’s of silver as is the ” bullion” version, but it has a mintmark and comes in OGP…so does that now make it a “numismatic” coin?…and it has a different finish.

    Recently on ebay, a 2010 bullion 5 oz set graded MS69 DMPL sold for almost $1700…almost double it’s bullion value. A 2010-P numismatic set sold for $1250.

    So, my question is should the 2010 bullion set be considered as a numismatic set as the sales price was not based on it’s bullion value? Shouldn’t a set labeled as a bullion set sell for it’s bullion value?

    When I think of my bullion holdings, I think of 100 oz silver bars, and rolls of silver and gold eagles.

    But again, for example, the value of my roll of silver eagles will go up and down based on spot silver price. But suppose I had these 20 silver eagles graded and all were MS70’s (not likely, but just for discussions purposes)….now I could sell these bullion silver eagles for almost 3 times their silver value. My question…did this bullion roll of silver eagles now become a numismatic set of 20 MS70 silver eagles? I always think of bullion as bullion, but if a coin sells for 3 times it’s bullion value, is it still considered to be bullion and not numismatic?

    Personally, I sorta lean toward the opinion that all modern day gold and silver US Mint coins as bullion. When I think of numismatic coins, I think of pre-1933 gold and Morgan & Peace silver dollars, etc.

    Of course, I also wonder about the balance one should have between true bullion(coins, bars, etc) and numismatic coins that sell for a premium

    Suppose all world markets fail and we barter with gold and silver…it wouldn’t make any difference when you say…”but this is a rare 1893-s Morgan dollar…worth a lot of money”….and they place it on the scale and say…well, you’ve got about .77/oz of silver, here’s your money, move on

    What do you guys think?

    ps…I’d also like to publicly apologize to Shutter…I was out of line the other night. You provide a lot of useful insight on this blog and I look forward to your comments.

  72. ClevelandRocks says

    Bostonmoderncoins ebay store has the El Yunque NGC ER MS69 for $250. Is it worth the premium?

  73. simon says

    Clev : IMHO it is not. I would rather have a unit in OGP, grade notwithstanding, than a 69 sealed “for time immemorial” in a cheap TPG casket. But the choice is yours regardless…

    Also in re to the Bull. vs. Numis. : I prefer the numismatic version simply because it is a unique and original USMint offering in OGP. The bullion version is simply that. In the short term flippers may generate profit by virtue of hype spilled on unknowing customers. In the long run it will simply be Ag. Given this, one must also keep in mind that there were many mint releases in the 19th and 20th century which had lower pops, and command virtually no premium. I collect the numismatic 5 Oz quarters simply because I like them and prefer them even to all the foreign 5 Oz units popularized in some of these comments. They are a great deal and I will buy American !

  74. Moi says

    I love these coins, but I think it was a big blunder to produce a five ounce silver coin with a fact value of only 25 cents. They could have used the ATB reverse designs as the quarters but with a different obverse. Whatever design they chose, whether a classic or a new design, they could have given the coins a $5 or $10 face value. People would take the coins more seriously.

  75. Shutter says


    By definition, all coins are numismatic. With that out of the way, I think you’re really asking what is the difference between numismatic and bullion issues (also circulating). I think the difference is the intended use and method of distribution. US Mint sells numismatic products directly to customers, bullion to Authorized Purchasers, and circulating coins to the Fed. Most of the times numismatic issues are physically different in some way and are handled differently by the mint. But not always. Circulating coins sold on the mint’s website are numismatic products intended for collectors, but there is no difference between them and the stuff sent to the Fed. Similarly, 25th Anniversary set included a no mint mark eagle. Not one bit of difference between it and millions of other eagles sold last year. However it was a numismatic release and was handled a bit more carefully. As the result, when graded, higher proportion received the top grade and it sells for a bit more in the same grade.

    When I think of numismatic coins, I think of pre-1933 gold and Morgan & Peace silver dollars, etc.

    When issued, those weren’t meant for collectors. People used them to pay bills, buy land, bribe public officials. Stuff like that. Over time, many of them were damaged, destroyed, lost, or simply hoarded. Relatively few superb examples remained and became numismatics, i.e. of interest to coin collectors. Take a look at at 1879 S Morgan. Original mintage 9MM. Most can be had for $30-40. A very small number sells in 4 or even 5 figures. Or 1964 Kennedy. Original mintage around 500MM. Most sell for melt or so. But if you find one worthy of MS67 grade, it might be a mortgage payment.

    So after a coin leaves the Mint any coin might acquire numismatic importance. On a personal level, any coin you collect, study, and admire is numismatic. Any coin you buy with a serious premium to it’s melt or face value is numismatic.

    P.S. Apology accepted, but was not necessary. I didn’t take offense.

  76. KEITHSTER says

    I tried to post this then hit some button and it was gone. So here it goes.I love the 5oz ATBp’s a true copy of a real coin.You can hold a real quarter in one hand and it’s BIG BIG Brother in the other and say WOW look at that. That’s what coin collectings all about.As for the bullion version don’t know don’t own any.Wish the the mint would wise up and drop these and save the numismatic’s for the true collectors.The bullion stackers have more stuff to choose from then they will ever need.But if you must MINT make 5oz copy’s of all the early US coins I’d buy these can’t afford the real one’s.As for the 5ozASE somebody already made them a couple of years ago I seen one in a pawnshop. The box did not look right and no COA so I don’t know who made it. It was dated 1989 I think and was big maybe even 10oz. SO THERE OUT IF YOU NEED THEM. I DON’T GOOD LUCK TO ALL.

  77. Shutter says

    El Yunque NGC ER MS69 for $250. Is it worth the premium?

    So far NGC Pop report shows that they graded 149 of them and all MS 69 PL. 149 isn’t a high enough sample to judge on, but it doesn’t look like that grade is going to be very rare.

    Also look at the auctions for the same thing (NGC & PCGS). Final price between $192 and $241. So $250 is a tad high. $200 would be better.

  78. Zaz says

    See the FS gold: 3,000 uncirculated/4,000 proof coins of a “total” allocation of 15K each of the four 2011 designs. The is the first series that the Mint (likely) made to order for a twelfth month or so window of availability. The 2012 ATBs, bullion and collector, may begin to start trending as made to order pieces during the calendar year only (bullion) and perhaps a twelve month made to order window for the collector pieces. The main problem the Mint has is how best to dispose of the unwanted oversupply of 2011 pieces in both finishes. There is interest in the bullion revolving design as the sales of El Yunque attests. There might be some surprising numbers at the end of the year for the 2012 bullion pucks, since it seems only a few dedicated collectors are buying these for now, everyone else, flippers, speculators, and casual collectors have moved on to other things, deeming this series to be unworthy of short term potential. Now that the Mint has begun to understand how similar the ATB5s are the FS program, they will be smarter about allocating resources and mint the coins in runs of 5,000 and 10,000 instead of minting to the artificial maximum they created from the frenzy of the 2010 pucks.

  79. ClevelandRocks says

    Thanks Shutter. I know the “Early Release” means nothing about the quality of the coin, but the El Yunque MS69s I was asking about have the ER designation on them. Is there a date on a monster box that would qualify it for ER in the future, or will it be difficult to find an ER in the future (for those that care about this silliness). Just wanted to understand how ER works for “bullion” (I understand how it works for the Mint numismatic products). Any insight appreciated.

  80. vaughnster says

    Early Release means that the coin was sent in for grading within 30 days of when the coins first shipped from the Mint. The coins can be sent in after opening and inspecting them. After 30 days, only sealed shipping boxes that fall within the early release dates can be graded with that designation. Many people on this blog think it’s a silly designation, as do I, but the secondary market has proven that people gladly pay for the “First Strike” or “Early Release” label.

  81. says

    NGC post the cut-off dates on their website. For the El Yunque bullion version, NGC must receive them by June 28 for the ER desiqnation. It doesn’t matter what date a sealed monster box might have.
    PCGS might allow the FS designation on a sealed monster box if it has a qualifying date, but NGC will not….any El Yunque 5 oz bullion coins they receive after 6/28/12 will not qualify fo ER.

    Also, if anyone is interested, the ER cut-ff date for the “P” version is 7/2/12

  82. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    I’d like to see a 4-coin set of ASE $1 (1 oz), 50c (1/2 oz), 25c (1/4 oz), and 10c (1/10 oz) for the 30th Anniv. 1986-2016. I would buy immediately. In addition, it is less than 2 oz silver, so the sale price would be about $100, I think. This set would definitely look great and sell well.

  83. Samuel says

    since u talked abt 5oz panda, i m not sure you are aware of the 5oz singapore coin show panda or not. mintage 2500, cheaper than previous yrs 5oz panda. that day in the morning i decided to order one from an us dealer, when i tried to order in the afternoon, the price was up $100. wasnt that bad?

  84. ClevelandRocks says

    Thanks Steve. So, why does NGC have “First Release” and “Early Release” if they have the exact same requirement? Is one considered more desirable?

    Maybe they could label “phone order early release” since the “internet order early release” will have higher numbers…

  85. Dave in CT. says

    Samuel, Thanks for the tip, but I am done buying except the HR’s and some
    special coin/s/sets.

    For that fella that said, HE ONLY BUYS AMERICAN, WOW !
    That is so sad. Then your missing out on many fine coins. What happened that you would make a comment like this ? I buy as much American as I can, but, with the global economy, it’s very hard to do so. I always have driven American made cars (Big 3). I finally woke up to the fact that in the past, these Chevy’s that I had so loyally owned. kept breaking down. It was putting a hardship on my family and I didn’t see our Big 3 offering to help me with the constant repairs, or giving me a discount for my 20 years of loyalty. Yeah Right !, buy American. That is so BS !. Like I said, I will buy American as much as I can. This is one of the reasons our country has declined. If American businesses would build better products, then I would buy those and support those American jobs/products. Why should my family be stuck with buying inferior manufactured items just for the sake of “Buy American” ?, and be stuck with the repair bills, over and over again… My last 7 cars have been Honda Accords/Civics. Not one problem, not one ! No more taking our cars to the dealership for worn out parts or defective ones. That loyalty line, my friend only goes so far. I’ll tell you another thing too, you have the company, Caterpillar, they have been making record profits globally. They have been screwing their American workers since the 90’s. Saying they can’t compete, they have to cut wages/benefits. BS. All about greed. How many of those employee would like to buy American and this American co. doesn’t/ won’t pay the wages for them to do so. I feel very strongly on this issue. I get really worked up over this type of ignorant and unthoughtful post.
    If you knew better, you would not have posted this. You obviously care about our great country and this hurts you, fine, I feel the same way. But their is more to this old topic than you think. I have to stop now, and get a hi-ball.

  86. Shutter says

    So, why does NGC have “First Release” and “Early Release” if they have the exact same requirement?
    Because the dealers sending stuff to NGC wanted to have more labels to push. When 2012 Silver eagle first appeared, Modern coin Mart was selling something like 14 different labels from NGC for it. Not just separately, but also as a package of 14 coins. Some of the labels can conceivably make sense. For example, you may want to have a coin from both San Francisco and West Point. The only real way to have that validated is to buy a graded coin with that pedigree on the label. But does it really matter if TPG label has a picture of the bridge on it or picture of Liberty.

    Also try this mental exercise. Pretend that First Strike is not a scam. Pretend that they can guaranty that First Strike label indicates that this particular silver eagle is from the first 10% of the coins struck. Would you have one of the 4,000,000 First Strikes of 2011 graded MS69, or one of the remaining 36,000,000 graded MS70. Repeat for all the other super special label variations.

  87. Dave in CT. says

    I just read an older post from you about your not buying ASE’s(except bullion), and now you are just getting the reverse proofs.
    I feel the same, more or less. I will buy 2, I said recently only 1. The extra set
    will be if I ever change my mind and decide to get/try for a 70 and this way, one will still be in OGP.
    I have decided to take Louis/and the Captian’s advice and part with some of my 2011-W- AGE’s. Although, I am going to wait until after the election and also to see if/when the QE3 takes place. So maybe early next year.
    On the size of the ATB’s, I never read the specifications, and some of my OGP’s are down in the basement. Are these really only 3
    inches in diameter ? I always thought they were like 4, or 4.5′. Only 3 ?

  88. Dave in CT. says

    At this time,(2012-w unc.) I really do not care and expect future AGE’s
    to have same or lower figures. Just burned out on this and the state of our hobby. Looking and hoping a miracle happens and we get 50k new members every year, starting with this one. Of course this year would be prorated !

  89. says


    That was a nice explanation of the difference (or lack thereof) between bullion and numismatic coins.


    It’s almost certain to be another low. For that to change there would need to be a major collapse in the price of gold.

  90. ClevelandRocks says

    So assuming Greece votes to stay in the EU, what will this stability do for PMs?
    In the recent past the fear of instability has driven PMs lower even though that was opposite of what I would have guessed would happen.

  91. says


    What’s happened with the Greek elections is probably the least desirable outcome for anybody. The two main parties duking it out were New Democracy (pro-EU, pro-bailout) and SYRIZA (anti-bailout). New Democracy has won, but they may not be able to form a government. Had they been able to win convincingly and hit the 150 seats needed to form a government without a coalition partner, the reaction probably would have been euphoria from the markets sending everything higher as the Euro recovered, including gold prices.

    Likewise had SYRIZA won, we’d have probably seen a big crash in prices in gold and silver followed by furious printing from the central banks to keep the EU afloat.

    What appears likely to happen, though, is that New Democracy won’t be able to find a coalition partner, which will cause another round of elections. In other words, more of these brief surges and dips and uncertainty.

    Of course, this changes if New Democracy is able to form a government and push the current bailout program forward. That will buy the EU some more time and will probably cause a market surge. But I don’t think this is going to happen; I think we are going to see paralysis again and another election soon.

  92. Samuel says

    my SF set and 5oz atb is “in process”, and the cancel box disapeared. they are going to ship the 5oz?

  93. ClevelandRocks says

    Thanks Captain.
    I think the ATBs will end up as winners if silver trends up to $40 again and will be a losing proposition if silver falls to the low 20s. Since silver has reached close to $50, I think it will get there again, just don’t know when…
    The fact that the left-wing group in Greece lost is a good thing and chances are much better now that they will never win.

  94. says


    I’m not a fan of SYRIZA, its policies, or its leader Alexei Tsipras, but I don’t think Greece can be saved, either. I’d almost rather SYRIZA have won, and taken Greece out of the Eurozone, because I think it’ll happen soon regardless of who is in power, and to tell you the truth I’d just as soon get it over with. It’s an issue of the national debt being too large, and they can’t pay it back at this point even with a big austerity program, IMO. Spain is probably in the same boat too, they’re just a few months to a year behind where Greece presently is.

    I wrote a pretty lengthy post on the situation with the AtB silver coins if anyone wants to read it.

  95. VA Bob says

    @ Steve – Shutter gave a great synopsis of the Bullion and Numismatic differences. I’ll go one step further. If a person has one bullion ASE it’s pretty much treated as a numismatic coin. If they have a 1000 it’s bullion. All perception of course lol. The purpose behind the US Bullion program is to put silver or gold (or at least make the offer) availability to the average person. The coin form (as opposed to bars, etc) is its own “seal of authentic” with a nominal face value. If you took an ASE to Walmart you can spend it for a $1 worth of merchandise (and make a cashiers day). It’s however designed to hold or trade at silver prices.

    The average person would not buy 1000 proof ASE’s (same year and mint mark), just a few for their collection or as gifts. For that reason proof ASE’s, AGE’s, APE’s, and Buffalo’s, which carry an additional premium for production, handling and packaging, have widely varying future potential, while bullion is (almost) always tied to spot. You should be able to buy 100 bullion ASE’s from a reputable dealer sight unseen, and not have any worries because you shouldn’t be so concerned with condition (as long as they are 1 full oz. and identifiable). If you’re buying a proof or unc numismatic product, condition is MOST important. IMO it is the poorly informed public that have created a boon for flippers, speculators, and dealers as the lines are pretty blurred now from when the program started in 1986 (every US coin prior is numismatic). All US commemorative coins are numismatic, that is one area that is still clear today.

    You asked a great question. I believe we can all get caught in the hype from time to time, even the old salts. The only advice I could provide to slabbed bullion buyers is be careful. You’re probably buying an item that has thousands of brothers and sisters in similar condition salted away their monster boxes, waiting to be opened and slabbed. That could affect your bottom line. I say let bullion be bullion and will only pay the spot prices + small premium. You’d be surprised how many of these slabs could be had for raw coin prices. For dealers holding out… I’m sure a noob will be along soon to pay the markup. If a dealer wants you to pay more for slabbed bullion, tell them you’ll take the coin they can keep the plastic.

  96. Dan says

    I too think that the 5 ounce ATB products are a novelty item destined to sell around the price of it’s precious metal content. This series is basically out of reach for most collectors especially if they want to build an entire set, as are the first spouse and gold/platinum eagles. Even proof platinum eagles don’t sell for very much over it’s intrinsic value.

  97. Shutter says

    If a person has one bullion ASE it’s pretty much treated as a numismatic coin. If they have a 1000 it’s bullion.
    Excellent point!

    the lines are pretty blurred now from when the program started in 1986 (every US coin prior is numismatic). All US commemorative coins are numismatic, that is one area that is still clear today.
    The current commemorative program started in 1982 with Washington half. Also, technically, all current US circulation coins are commemoratives. That is they commemorate some person, place, thing, or event. That is Franklin and Kennedy halves are commemorative, while Walking Liberty are not. Lincoln pennies are, Indian Heads aren’t. Of course when most people talk about commemoratives, they refer to the special issues with limited mintage (even if limits are hardly ever reached nowdays).

    If a dealer wants you to pay more for slabbed bullion
    I think that if you’re collecting a set of bullion coins and want a slabbed coin for each year in a certain condition, it’s probably ok to pay a premium for that particular coin. Or if there is a mint error or variety. If you just want to invest in silver, buy a tube of them and keep it.

    As far as noobs are concerned. Earlier this year, some enterprising fellow got a hold of empty 25th Anniversary boxes and capsules and stuffed them with plain old bullion 2011 eagles. Amazingly in at least a couple of cases he got over $250.

  98. vaughnster says

    Just got notice that the Chester Arthur rolls I ordered in April are now backordered until July 3rd.They were supposed to ship June 15th. Wonder what the problem is……

  99. says


    The Mint is probably having trouble keeping up with demand for the coins. In general, too, we’ve been seeing product delays all year that don’t make any sense (see: first spouse coins, and also AtBs only being recently released).

  100. VA Bob says

    Shutter – The 1986 I was referring to was the start of the Mint’s Bullion program (minting ASE’s), not the Modern Commemorative era. Funny you should mention the 1982 Washington commems. I have a proof and an UNC. The Mint made a load of these. When I bought them, years after their issue date, I paid just under $7, which was a bit much at the time. Today’s silver prices taken into account, I was surprise to see a large distributer hawking them for $25 in OGP. I don’t recall the mintages, but I’m pretty sure it was over 1 million. This bodes well for folks concerned about the San Fran 75. Keep your common PM coins long enough and you’ll see some return, at some point.

  101. KC says

    Change the topic to S-ASE set for one moment. Only <4,000 set sold over the weekend. Can't wait for the last week of mad dash for pushing the final order to over 250,000 sets.

  102. simon says

    Re : I Buy American !

    Let’s take look at the numbers : assume there are 100 E6 fully employed workers at any given time in the US. For each 1 E12 (trillion) USD of debt, each of these workers owe now or later 10k USD. For example China alone hols roughly 1.75 E12 USD cash reserves. This eventually has to be returned to the US. So each worker would have to give up approximately 17.5 k (not including interest) over say ten years to China to pay off the debt. For us collectors this is approximately 1 Oz of Au (i.e. one Oz Au Eagle or Buffalo) at current prices per year for ten years. To this humble citizen this is quite a lot of coins and money to give up for nothing. In my assessment my numisbudget is best spent on US coins. Any dragons I purchase may well turn around and bite me or definitely our descendants in the axx. So, I will only buy American.

  103. Shutter says

    Funny you should mention the 1982 Washington commems. I have a proof and an UNC. The Mint made a load of these. When I bought them, years after their issue date, I paid just under $7, which was a bit much at the time. Today’s silver prices taken into account, I was surprise to see a large distributer hawking them for $25 in OGP. I don’t recall the mintages, but I’m pretty sure it was over 1 million.

    Way, way over 1 million. something like 2 million uncirculated and almost 5 million proof. They were on sale for several years. The original prices were $10.50 and $12.50, if memory serves. So, as investment, total loser. But for my money, the proof is the most beautiful modern half. They guy asking $25 for it is dreaming. They sell for $10-$15 raw. Because uncirculated Washingons were handled just like circulating coins, very few of them graded very high, and MS69 example may be worth $140 or so.

  104. Brad says


    Yeah, it’s played out pretty much like I figured it would so far. There will be some days that don’t even register 1,000+ new orders since the previous day. The update this Friday might be for a few thousand sets more than usual, from anyone who waited to order the SF set with the “S” El Yunque quarter bags and rolls to save a shipping charge.

    I don’t think the orders during most of the final week will be any larger than they have been so far. Only the final day will have a big increase, but again it won’t be as high as the first day. And, there are no guarantees that all of the last minute orders will stand, anyway. They could always be cancelled prior to fulfillment if sales spike too high the final day to make some would-be gamblers want to bother with the set. I assume the Mint will provide at least one more update on July 6 to show where sales ended up during the full ordering period. Whether or not they’ll continue to update the sales odometer on the product page for future cancellations after that remains to be seen, but even if they don’t an updated figure should be provided in the weekly sales report.

    These sets might end up breaking 200K, but not 250K. Let’s just hope that silver spot stays low for another 2-1/2 weeks, so as not to improve the set’s perceived value in relation to the silver content!

  105. saucexx says


    An austerity program will NEVER save Greece. I also agree with your assessment that this will drag on for awhile yet. Only 40% of Greek voters voted for the bailout parties, New Democracy and PASOK. Plus by continuing down the same road I don’t see anyway they can stop the bleeding. The more they cut, the more the economy slows, the more unemployment grows, the more their debt climbs and the more they borrow. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Spain is next in line but their problem is different. The Spanish Govt is borrowing money to prop up the banking sector not the economy. Their banks took a beating from their housing bubble, while giving the bill to the Spanish people. In return for borrowed money the Spanish get austerity and all the wonders it brings; crushing unemployment, negative growth and more borrowing. At the end of the day the EU either needs to let the ECB sell “Euro” bonds or the Euro implodes.

    I’m really surprised at the overall low sales for the ASE 75th so far. If it really does sell less than 250K that makes it a better bet than the 2006 set. I just don’t see that happening but I will be plenty happy if it does.

  106. TomP says

    After ordering the El Yunque ATB-P with the SSB special sets on 6/01 to save on shipping costs, I received them a day apart last week. Why the Mint couldn’t ship them together to save money puzzles me.

    I like the suggestions to alter the ATB 5 ounce coins to the nominal 5 dollar amount. It should take a simple amendment to the law to change the wording on the coin from ‘quarter dollar’ to ‘five dollars’. Explain to your congressman that flagging interest in the series could jeopardize the sizable investment in a special press. This denomination would correspond with the one dollar pure silver Liberty coin. Not changing George’s countenance would avoid charges of dissing G.W. and avoiding controversy to obtain rare bi-partisan support.

    After this amendment is passed, contact the media to complain the US government is inflating the value of existing coins to control the deficit artificially. After the media runs with the story with their usual accuracy, your congressman will get welcomed ‘air time’ to explain that enhanced interest due to the change will increase revenue voluntarily without a tax change. All of this will create many dollars of free publicity for the Mint for the ATB series and increase the market value of our collection. LOL

  107. Merlin says

    Tom, I experienced a similar situation. Two shipments on a single order. I suspect it may be a risk issue, by never putting all the eggs in the same basket.

  108. Frank says

    I combined my SF set with the PR 5 Ozer-P. And the 5 Ozer shipped today and the SF set can still be cancelled. I guess the Mint will allow cancellation for the SF set up till the final shipment.

  109. Sam Baker says

    I might get kicked out of the club for saying this but I think “colorizing” the numismatic ATBs would increase sales.

  110. slipchick says

    Has anyone been able to find a vending machine that will accept these suckers? I’ve already had to mend the holes in my pockets twice because of these bad boys…

  111. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    yeah, i agree with you buddy, esp. for the 5 oz ATB the slabs take the beauty away from the coin. i prefer the round plastic holder so never buy w the slabs. cool designs in order:
    1) Yelowstone
    2) Yosemite
    3) Mt. Hood
    4) Vicksburg
    5) Gettysburg
    6) Grand Canyon
    7) Hawai’i Volcanoes

    others i have no interest, even if the Mint does delay their releases

  112. saucexx says

    @Sam Baker,

    Yikes! I like the idea of a $5 value for the coins but please no color. I don’t ever want to see a colorized coin from the US Mint.

    I’m really getting on board the HR Peace dollar though.

  113. T1 Browserman says

    Here’s my .02:

    Based on the numbers provided by Mike above you might be saying goodbye to the bullion version of the ATB 5 oz just as there is no longer platinum bullion eagles or fractionals and I believe adverstising is not the problem. If anything, say goodbye to paper advertising; in fact, say goodbye to the newspaper industry (another victim of the internet). It’s just a sign of the times; sure you can still drive your Model T down main street but that is not going to stop new Rolls, Astons, or Ferraris from being manufactured (and remember these vehicles need no adverstising to sell, they just do). The internet is your adverstising vehicle these days. Bing this, Google that, Ask this etc. My aunt rips up newspapers and its adverstising for kitty litter (and they, the cats, like it); that alone should tell you where both industries are headed.

    For the future I believe the ATB 5 oz numismatic versions will be pumped out (perhaps on a ‘meet demand’ decree as with this San Fran special set) as ‘collectors’ of the series would like to have a complete set as stipulated by public law. The mint made its killilng at $279.95 ramming the 2010’s down our throats at the end of 2011. The ramming continued in 2011 but then the big silver correction came (down $12 – $15/oz) and with it all the ‘collectors” dismay for feeling snookered by our own government’s (mis)-management. I would like to see the mint’s silver pricing guide posted on that new website when it’s unveiled later this year. (How much code can a coder code if a coder could code code ?)

    I pray the bullion version gets scrapped, sooner rather than later and leave the numismatic version in place as is being done with platinum!

    Palladium eagle……verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry innnnnnnnnteresting but not funny.

    10 4

  114. Dave in CT. says


    Are they issuing a HR Peace dollar, or are you joking ?
    I missed this.

    On the topic of raising the value on the ATB 5 oz “Angel Halo’s”,
    we paid allot of money for these and never understood the denomination amount that was applied/stamped on all of our numismatic coins since the 80’s and up until the present. If we are paying a certain amount for these collectables ($204 for the current ATB’s), and ($50 or so w/proofs) our government have recd. those monies (excluding overhead cost), then I do not
    see why these coins don’t show a more reasonable dollar value stamped on them. For instance, I would much rather see $100 pressed onto my all of my ATB’s instead of .25 cents. Yes, I know it is off a quarter, I realize this. And our ASE’s, I realize it is from a silver dollar, but at least some of our ASE/AGE’s should reflect more as to what we paid for them. As stated, our US has been compensated, and so if we all at some time had to dip into our numismatic coins for spending, we would be somewhat compensated for a figure close to what was paid for them. Maybe I am wrong on some of the coins, but not all of them. I always felt that this was a scheme to short change us if our US ever scrubbed our change system. My argument may be weak, and if our fiat money collapsed, I doubt our coinage would too. It would cost to much to bring in new medal coins and would most likely be the paper money that would be changed. I sure would like some feedback on this post. I suggest, the ATB’s change to $100 face value. AGE 1 ounce, change to $1000.00 face. 1/2 ounce to $500.00, you guys get my intentions ? Any thoughts, please post them.On the other hand, I have been up for 24 hours now, and I tend to get crabby and goofy with a lack of sleep !

  115. Jack in N.E says

    Today i recieved the summer mint catalog for 2012 in the mail.It was the first time I remember them advertising the 5oz. Atb in print.Maybe they are finally trying to expand the advertising for these products. (Granted catalog ads are far from a wider audience)

  116. saucexx says


    There are no current plans by the mint to produce a HR Peace dollar. This is something that has just been discussed by collectors.

    There’s no way the mint is going to put $100 on an AtB 5 ozer. These coins are legal tender. If silver were to fall to $10 an ounce, the coin would be worth $50 more than the PM. Nobody has a coin slot big enough to store them 😉 I don’t disagree with you in principal, It’s just not going to happen. At best you could hope for a $5 value.

  117. Dave in CT. says

    Saucexx, thanks, my point is, the US mint has already recd. the monies for the
    PM value, so it would not matter if silver fell. I know it will not happen, but should
    on some, as explained above. Thanks Saucexx, really thought more would have
    commented on this idea. My wife tells me I get some weird ideas !

  118. CQ CQ CQ DX says

    I have purchased all the 5 ounce ‘P’ numismatic versions so far, and plan on continuing to do so. My main objective is to sell the set one day to pay for my now 4 year old daughter’s college education!

  119. Dave in CT. says

    CQ, good luck to you. When that day arrives, I will give you a fantastic price
    on the Yellowstone Park that my family owns.

  120. Samuel says

    IF this series appreciates, it is going to be difficult to sell as a set just because it is too expensive. so i think it is not a good idea to collect them all just for re-sell. probably collect some of them and buy mutliples.

  121. CQ CQ CQ DX says

    I think I am going to stop purchasing into this series from now on. How can many people afford to shell out over 200 dollars a pop for these closely spaced releases? They should spread them out evenly throughout the year. Of course, we could do this ourselves, and purchase at spaced intervals, but the problem with that is if (for one reason or another) one of these 5 ounce collector’s coins sells out quickly, we won’t have an opportunity to buy later at the Mint’s prices!

  122. Arthur VanDine says

    ngc is to blame for the low sale of the 5 oz atb. If thay would have put them in a smaller holder we would buy them

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