After a few days of waiting, we have a resolution to the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins situation. In short, the premium that the US Mint’s primary distributors can charge will be limited to a maximum of 10%, all coins must be sold to the public, and limits of one coin per design per household will be imposed.
These requirements are outlined in a new set of terms and conditions for authorized purchasers who wish to participate in the distribution of America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins.
These terms would accomplish the intended purpose of making the coins as widely available to the public as possible at affordable premiums. However, in practice, things might become a bit complicated.
As mentioned in some previous articles, there is a small group of 11 primary distributors who will be able to purchase the ATB Silver Bullion Coins directly from the US Mint. Each one has an allocation of 3,000 coins per design, which they will be eligible to order.
Now, the coins can only be ordered if the new terms and conditions are followed. Any distributors who order their allocation would be required to sell all coins directly to the public, at a limited premium, with household limits imposed.
To my knowledge, only one of the distributors has a well established retail level business. The others might might have a difficult time setting up the procedures or infrastructure to deal in relatively small retail level transactions with very specific requirements.
Perhaps realizing this situation, the US Mint has indicated that in the event that one or more primary distributors does not purchase their allocations, any remaining amounts would be available to active sellers on an allocated basis on December 20, 2010.
Ironically, this may result in much of the supply going to the primary distributor whose pricing started this entire chain of events. If it does, at least they would be bound by the new terms and conditions, which will result in widespread distribution at a reasonable premium.
For readers who might want to contact the US Mint’s other primary distributors to see whether they plan to purchase their allocation and make it available to the public, I have a listing of all 11 below.
A-Mark Precious Metals (Los Angeles)
Coins ‘N Things Inc. (Massachusetts)
MTB (New York)
Scotia Mocatta (New York)
American Precious Metals Exchange, Inc. (APMEX) (Oklahoma)
Dillon Gage Incorporated of Dallas (Texas)
Prudential Securities Inc. (New York)
The Gold Center (Illinois)
Commerzbank (New York)
Jack Hunt Coin Broker (New York)
List updated 12/14/2010