In late 2011, the Treasury Department announced that the production of Presidential Dollars for circulation would be suspended. This decision followed the build up of a surplus of more than 1.4 billion dollar coins held in storage, which prompted media scrutiny of the program and six separate bills introduced in Congress which sought to limit, modify, or abolish the program altogether.
Starting in 2012, the new releases of the Presidential Dollar program were no longer distributed through the channels of circulation, but were only available within products sold by the United States Mint. To coincide with the change, the product offerings for circulating $1 coins were revamped to include more bulk options and new lower pricing was established.
Sales figures for circulating quality Presidential Dollar products were strong following the change. The release featuring Chester Arthur recorded initial sales which were more than triple the initial level for the previous release of the series. Within two weeks, sales had accounted for more than 6 million of the $1 coins, which exceeded the US Mint’s anticipated demand and initial production level. As of the most recent sales report, Chester Arthur Dollar sales have now swelled to more than 8.7 million and counting.
The table below shows the most recent sales figures for each of the circulating quality 2012-2013 Presidential Dollar products and a calculation of the total number of coins sold.
|2012 CHESTER ARTHUR||Units||Coins|
|2012 GROVER CLEVELAND (FIRST)|
|2012 BENJAMIN HARRISON|
|2012 GROVER CLEVELAND (SECOND)|
|2013 WILLIAM MCKINLEY|
|2013 THEODORE ROOSEVELT|
|2013 WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT|
Although part of it has to do with the duration of each sales period, there has seemingly been a declining trend in sales for the circulating quality Presidential Dollars since the switch in the status of the program. With the exception of the Theodore Roosevelt Dollars, each subsequent release shows lower sales than the previous release.
This actually mirrors the trend in mintage levels, which had occurred when the coins were produced for circulation from 2007 to 2011. The first issues of the series saw production in the hundreds of millions, which dissipated as the series continued, eventually settling around the mid-70 million range for most releases, with the exception of a jump in production for the Abraham Lincoln issue due to his popularity.
As the Presidential Dollar Program enters its final years, I think there may be some continued moderation in demand until a base level is reached. Then, demand and sales may jump as the more familiar recent Presidents are honored.
The 2012-2013 Native American Dollar sales levels are also interesting to examine. When the production of Presidential Dollars for circulation was suspended, Native American Dollar production was also sharply curtailed. By law, the production for this series is supposed to represent at least 20% of annual production for all $1 coins. (The US Mint has not achieved this requirement in recent years.).
Sales levels for the Native American Dollars have been far below the levels of the Presidential Dollars. The 2012-dated products have all sold out at the US Mint. The 2013-dated products continue to remain available. The table below shows the last reported sales figures and a calculation of the total coins included.
|2012 NATIVE AMERICAN $1 COIN ROLLS||Units||Coins|
|2013 NATIVE AMERICAN $1 COIN ROLLS|
While collector attention seems to have been focused primarily on the Presidential Dollars, the Native American Dollars may present an opportunity. The series offers much greater variety in terms of design and mintage levels seem like they will be half or less. Since the 2012-dated rolls are no longer available from the US Mint, they seem to trade for a healthy premium on the secondary market.
For the 2013 Native American Dollars, the US Mint has indicated production to date of 1.82 million coins each at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. It is always possible that additional production may occur prior to the end of the year, but if the figures hold, they would be lower than the prior year. If the series is considered a continuation of the Sacagawea Dollar series, this would represent a tie for the lowest mintage with the 2008-P and 2008-D issues, which seem to sell for two to three times face value.