As just reported on Coin Update News, the US Mint has released some preliminary information on the 2011-dated America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins. They have also provided a strong incentive for slow moving authorized purchasers to distribute their 2010-dated coins.
This series of over-sized silver bullion coins features the same designs as the current circulating quarter dollars. The ATB silver bullion coins have been the subject of much controversy due to the nature of last year’s release.
On December 1, 2010, the US Mint provided details of the 2010-dated releases. All five designs would be released at the same time and have mintages of 33,000 units each. This unexpectedly low number generated excitement with many collectors. Just before the US Mint was scheduled to begin sales, one of their authorized purchasers began accepting pre-orders at a price reflecting a high premium above the acquisition cost. Customers complained and the US Mint halted the offering.
When the program relaunched, the AP’s were required to agree to terms and conditions in order to receive their distributions. They would be required to distribute all coins directly to the public, limit to one coin per design per household, and could not charge premiums in excess of 10% of the acquisition cost.
Nine of the AP’s agreed to the terms and ordered their allocations from the Mint. In the following weeks and months, the sales procedures utilized by many of the AP’s left much to be desired. Several have still not finished selling their allocations. To my knowledge the AP’s who have not sold all of their 2010 ATB Silver Bullion Coins are: Jack Hunt Coin Brokers, APMEX, and Coins N Things.
This year, the circumstances of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins should be much different. The US Mint has indicated that they intend to issue the coins in “substantially higher” quantities. Hopefully, this will allow the coins to be viewed more like bullion coins (as intended) rather than numismatic rarities.
In line with the higher mintages, the US Mint will not be imposing terms and conditions similar to those used for the 2010-dated releases.
The first design of the year featuring Gettysburg National Military Park is anticipated to be released in late April. This suggests that each design will be released individually during the year, rather than all at once.
Authorized purchasers who wish to participate in the distribution of these coins must certify that they have sold all 2010-dated coins in compliance with the terms and conditions imposed. Once they have certified that all of their original allocation has sold, they can then buy and sell 2010-dated coins under normal procedures and receive allocations of 2011-dated coins.