I’ll Wait for the Numismatic Version


Earlier this week, the US Mint revealed the release date and details of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins. The news of significantly reduced mintages was exciting, but for me some of this excitement has fizzled.

The bullion version of the coins will not be available directly from the US Mint, but rather they will be distributed through the US Mint’s authorized purchaser network. As with other bullion programs, only a small group of primary distributors are able to buy the coins directly from the US Mint based on the market price of the metal plus a mark up. They are then responsible for distributing these coins to the public, as well as facilitating two way market for the coins.

The premium paid by the primary distributors for the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion coins is $9.75 per coin. Recently, many readers have noted one of the primary distributors offering complete five coin sets for sale, priced at $1,395. This works out to $279 per coin, or about $130 per coin over metal value.

As I have explained in this Coin Update News article, the US Mint asked their primary distributors to market the coins “in a manner which ensures that they will be available, accessible, and affordable to all members of the public.” They also note, per the authorized purchaser agreement, the “premiums are to be competitive with those charged for other bullion coins.”

Is a 90% premium above the market price of silver affordable and accessible? So far there seem to be plenty of buyers willing to pay the premium, as sales have been going swiftly. With one primary distributor setting a high bar for the price, others will probably follow. At subsequent levels of distribution, prices might spiral even higher.

Personally, I will not be buying the bullion coins.

I am aware that many readers have purchased the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins at the available prices. For what it’s worth, I think prices will likely increase from this point, but to what extent, time will tell. It’s also uncertain how much of the appreciation has already been captured by the primary distributors through the high initial pricing.

I will be awaiting the release of the numismatic versions of the coin. The US Mint will have available 27,000 units of each design, with an uncirculated finish and the “P” mint mark. The coins are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2011.

Pricing has not yet been announced, but I think it will be lower than the $279 being charged for the bullion versions. Even if the coins are priced at 5 times the cost of the 2010 Proof Silver Eagle, that would still be $230. (It may actually happen that the announcement of the pricing for the lower mintage numismatic versions of the coin will serve to deflate market premiums for the bullion version.)

Since numismatic products are sold directly by the US Mint to the public, they would like impose household ordering limits or other procedures to ensure broad and fair distribution.

Sales of the numismatic America the Beautiful 5 ounce silver coins might proceed in a manner similar to the Lincoln Coin & Chronicles Set. It was almost universally understood that the product would become a secondary market winner. The US Mint imposed a one per household ordering limit. Most people who wanted a set were able to purchase it at the initial price during a 30 hour window of availability. There were few complaints and most people seemed happy to be able to get a low production, well conceived set at a reasonable price.

So far, the US Mint has not offered much explanation for the significantly reduced mintage levels of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins.

Congress mandated that they create a new bullion coin series with complicated specifications precisely when the Mint was having trouble keeping up with the existing bullion programs. The low production for the bullion coins might be attributable to inadequate planchet supplies, the limited production time frame, or the allocation of some planchets to the numismatic versions of the coin.

It’s probably safe to assume that the US Mint was not seeking to create a low mintage product on purpose. Recently, the Mint has exhibited a strong preference against this type of product.

At one point, the Mint stated that they could have produced a small quantity of 2009 Proof Silver Eagles, but instead they chose to cancel the offering, since the amount they could make would not fulfill all collector demand. Rather than creating a rarity for some, they preferred to have everyone get nothing. In the case of the ATB silver coins, they were legally required to produce the coins, so they went ahead despite the low production levels.

I am completely in favor of the US Mint creating collectible products with production below demand levels, but this should only take place when the coins are available to the public in a fair manner, which allows everyone to have an opportunity to buy at the reasonable offering price.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Thanks for the post, Michael. The US Mint needs to take a close look at this situation and figure out how to prevent it in the future. It seems the bullion distributors took advantage of their exclusive relationship with the Mint and decided to become profiteers. If the Mint can impose sanctions against these distibutors, they should do it to the max.

  2. astroguy says

    Yep, when I got the e-mail from APMEX with that price, I thought, "Okay, so much for that idea!

  3. Anonymous says

    When the dust settles, folks may have a hard time trying to sell $56/oz silver bullion IMHO.

  4. Anonymous says

    I WANT EDMUND MOY TO PUNISH ALL EVERY SINGLE AUTHORIZED PURCHASER WHO PULLS A STUNT LIKE APMEX.

    IT IS THE DUTY OF THE MINT AND THE AUTHORIZED PURCHASERS TO KEEP THINGS FAIR, AND THIS CASE REQUIRES FOR THE MINT TO SHOW THE AUTHORIZED PURCHASERS THAT THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES FOR ABUSING THE MONOPOLY THE ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE BY PRICE GOUGING!

    IF A BIG DEALER SELLS THE MINT'S PROOF/MINT SETS UNDER THE MINTS PRICE, THE MINT DOES NOT ALLOW THAT… SO IF THEY LET A DEALER WHO IS REQUIRED TO CHARGE FAIR PRICES DO A 100% MARK UP WITHOUT PUNISHMENT, THEN MOY NEEDS TO BE RELIEVED OF DUTY.

    WHAT APMEX IS DOING IS AGAINST THE RULES!

  5. Anonymous says

    APMEX should donate it's profit to the mint to reinburse them for the 2 million dollar "press", We the tax payers bought.

  6. Anonymous says

    The mint should have established a maximum amount that could be charged by distributes or else they lose their privileges. Handing out these coins to a select group of ten companies to make them instant millionaires stinks and they should all be ashamed of this.

    The mint should force these companies to give partial refunds for the amount they gouged the consumers.

  7. Anonymous says

    The US Mint needs to make some serious money not some lunch money of $9 and change over the spot price.
    Why does the US Government give away a potential 100% profit to some damn private organization known as their Primary Dealer Network.
    Maybe Mr Moy should take a course on Business Fundamentals. They could have recoup a good part of the Cost of this new Press they imported from Germany to make these 5 oz coins, instead they let their Primary dealer network make the Money.

    Something STINKS here

  8. Anonymous says

    I think the pricing is reflecting the fact that the term 'bullion' is a misnomer in this case. The final mintage across all options ('bullion' and 'numismatic') is low for these… let's call them coins. Who cares if one is a 'bullion' coin or a 'numismatic' coin because they will be collectible as type only product. Period.

    Look at the price of the one year only silver buffalo. They would still carry a premium if they were only classified as 'bullion.'

    And all pre-1933 coins also used to be just called 'money'.

  9. Anonymous says

    As far as ordering the numismatic version, I sure hope the Mint will have a single item containing the complete set of all five coins. I do not look forward to trying to put five individual items in my shopping cart when these go on sale. It's hard enough trying to put just one item when the website is swamped.

  10. Anonymous says

    APMEX shows their ATB pucks as "Out of Stock." So 15,000 people decided to pay the extra price. I'm guessing that the rest of the distributors will be hard pressed to sell them for any less without intervention from the Mint, which won't happen.

  11. Anonymous says

    From this blog and commenters it sounds like the mint is releasing all five of the numismatic ATB 5 oz. coins in one fell swoop next year. I initially thought they would be released over the course of the year like the spouse coins.

    I normally don't mind what a business charges for something as no one is forced to buy their product. But in this case the gooberMINT has effectively created a semi-monopoly with their AP program for these bullion coins. I say shame on the gooberMINT and shame on these AP's for gouging. The gooberMINT should put a maximum markup premium somewhere around 20% on initial bullion releases. After that let market forces take over.

  12. Anonymous says

    Gouging can only occur on an essential good or service. There is no such thing as gouging on a hobby product. If you don't like the price, don't buy. No one is twisting your arm.

  13. Anonymous says

    I think the Mint will release the 2010 ATB numismatic coasters on the same day. The release of the 2011 ATB coasters will likely be staggered.

  14. HBGuy says

    I'm one of the APMEX customers who purchased some of their ATB sets.

    Was it cheap? Not exactly, but if the price relative to melt is compared to recent proof 5-ounce coins available from the Royal Canadian Mint, e.g., the 2010 "Look of the Games" or "75th Anniversary Canadian Banknotes", both of which went for $379/each, the $279/coin price APMEX charged is hardly unreasonable.

    Personally, the USM could learn a lot from the marketing practices of the RCM and Perth Mint in terms of mintages. The RCM supports its customers by keeping mintages low, prices at or above issue price and focuses on creating excellent designs. The latter is sadly lacking in most US coins, the ASE, ATB and Gold Buffalo notable exceptions.

    As is frequently stated here, if you don't like it, don't buy it. I'm pleased APMEX made it easy for me to buy the coins in one set (it wasn't clear for a long time if I'd have had to buy each separately at different times and pay multiple shipping charges). I only hope they'll arrive before Christmas, so that I can compare them with my kilo RCM Banff National Park coin, also a beautiful design.

  15. Anonymous says

    In the distribution agreement these companies signed it states they can not gouge, so it can occur.

  16. Anonymous says

    "I do not look forward to trying to put five individual items in my shopping cart when these go on sale."

    AMEN brother! hahaha. I'll be a work sweating bullets.

  17. Anonymous says

    Define gouge. How can a product that is not needed be gouged? You simply don't buy it as a customer, if you feel its priced too high. If its water, gas, food, or another essential good, that is different because you don't have a choice. Are you suggesting that the Mint uses the word "gouge" in their contract with distributors?

  18. HBGuy says

    There's already a bid of $1,737.97 (item 190476005577) on ebay for an ATB set. Oh, those evil speculators! :-)))))))

  19. Anonymous says

    I notice a key word in the commenter above about the Canadian 5 oz. coins. They are PROOF. These ATB's are only friggin' bullion. These authorized purchasers are defininitely streching the limit on "reasonable." Of course no one is forced to buy them but this ain't a free market issue. It was inadvertantly rigged into a semi monopoly buy a bungling mint as the government usually bungles stuff. The Three Stooges could run the program just as well.

  20. Anonymous says

    It's okay to make a profit and even a huge profit. The problem is that APMEX and other distributors agreed to be reasonable. Unfortunately they are not.

    If APMEX, etal are not disciplined for their gouging, then someone in at the US Mint is likely getting kickbacks from the distributors.

    I for one will never buy another product from APMEX…they are showing their true ethical colors!

  21. Anonymous says

    I bought a set from APMEX because I want them. I will also try to buy a numismatic set from the mint and keep the best.
    I don't know how this can not be considered price gouging and honestly think it will be looked into. If it stands as is at least I got mine. I guess that makes me part of the problem.

  22. Anonymous says

    Personally, the USM could learn a lot from the marketing practices of the RCM and Perth Mint in terms of mintages.

    What? I thought the RCM was the laughing stock of the numismatic world, killing their market just like the baseball card manufacturers did theirs with too much product.

  23. vaughnster says

    It is what it is. I'm not happy about what APMEX charged for the ATB set even though I could afford it, I didn't buy any. It's a choice. We sound kind of silly screaming about price gouging when 1,000 sets sold for $1395 in 19hours! Do you think APMEX is concerned about our complaints with that kind of sell-out? I'm sure they're mad they didn't charge more with that kind of quick sell. I bet they'll sell more for $1595 a set and have no problem getting it. Money talks and B.S. walks. They have deep pockets and control the game and that's the way it will always be. Maybe they'll be other authorized dealers who'll sell cheaper, but I doubt it. I'll wait for the numismatic set from the Mint and hope for a better price.

  24. Anonymous says

    "(Sold Out 1,000 sets on 19 Hours) Please set an alert Me for when we are able to sell more…" – from Apmex site. Now, if their allocation was 3000, why can't they sell all of them? Unless, it's another one of the AP's turn to sell 1,000 now…collusion? Maybe Apmex was forced to be the guinea pig and go first and take the heat for the other AP's since Apmex is the new kid on the block (June 2010 is when they joined as an AP, wasn't it?). Hazing for the new AP to join the collusion club?

  25. Anonymous says

    I don't think these will ever be considered just bullion. They are unique coins with a design that will not be duplicated on another coin. The uncirculated coins will always sell for more though. The interesting thing will be how the Mint prices these on release. If they are less than 1395 that will drive the bullion coins down in the very short term, but the uncirculated coins would be a steal at anything less than 1395. They would probably quickly resell higher than whatever the bullion coins ever previously sold. The big winners will be those that acquire the numismatic version, but I don't think anyone will lose on the bullion coins that were bought at 1395 unless silver itself seriously tanks.

  26. Anonymous says

    Short of silver tanking, I think the only downside is when the Mint announces pricing on the numismatic version. Let's say it's $210-$240, the price on the bullions may come down to that level, but they'll shoot right back up when the price for the numismatic version takes off.

  27. Anonymous says

    Well, unless the mint charges 1000 bucks per coin it looks like a 5 hour sell out when the mint version is released. Better plan on taking a sick day from work or being situated where no one can interrupt your purchase activity. If allowed maybe a person should order two sets each one hour apart just in case of another boondoggle cancellation by the mint.

  28. Anonymous says

    How can anyone actually be suprised how this turned out? Seriously.. A select few get the bullion coins at a small mark up.. and you expected the dealers to be nice guys and sell them at a small mark up above theirs? Remember.. this is the mighty USA.. where money talks and thats that. I never expected to get any of these coins.. because I knew I would never be able to afford the markups. Greed prevails!

  29. Anonymous says

    Why is it "unreasonable" or "gouging" for APs to charge what the market will bear? Given the prompt sell out, I bet they wish they'd charged more.

    A better question, put by another poster, is why the mint couldn't have distributed this itself? It does seem like a government give away to sell these coins to an AP who can immediately turn around and make their money back, half again.

    But the real losers will be the purchasers of these coins, because they are going to totally fizzle out. Remember when a roll of Delaware state quarters was a steal at $60? As the series ages, enthusiasm will be lost, and the price will tumble. The effect will be exaggerated with such an expensive set.

  30. Anonymous says

    One of the biggest reasons I don't think this set will fizzle is I do believe these will be without a doubt the lowest mintages of this series. Let's face it this whole rushed, poorly thought out process led to this low mintage. I do think the future designs will be in greater demand than some think. Our parks are special to many people. It's a shame such popular parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon are in this first under-produced bunch. The coin designs I've seen for Glacier, and Olympic, coming out next year are beautiful.

    I can see a lot of people buying these as true keepsakes whether or not they were coin collectors before. Only more and more people will become aware of them. I got my set ordered from APMEX, (and without a doubt they abused they're agreement with the mint) and I will try to get the numismatic set as well. this first years will be winners no matter what comes along in the future.

  31. Anonymous says

    It doesn't state that these companies are allowed to offer these coins at whatever the market will bear, they are suppose to sell that at comparable bullion prices.

    Comparable to the silver eagle coins these would have sold at $800 a set.

  32. Anonymous says

    I bought one set from APMEX as I intend to collect the entire series. I'm disappointed at the huge premium but I'm confident I'll see silver prices rise enough to recover my investment. It might take a few years though. The downside will come when silver eventually loses value. That alone makes investing in this series a difficult choice.

    I'm betting that these coins will always command a premium due to low mintage. I'll also try to buy the series from the Mint.

    There are millions of coins in this world I cannot afford. These I can. I just hope the condition is nice.

  33. Anonymous says

    I bet the mint prices these low to get back at the AP's and allow the common folk a chance at the series. The only problem is that the mint website will be clogged on the day of and with just 27000 of each coin, there will be just as many people dissapointed. Do you really think that everyone will get their 5 coin set even if the limit is one set per household. I think the mint is screwed at this point when it comes to public opinion. You'd better have a couple of computers, a phone, and already logged on on the day of the numis sale. Even then…..good luck.

  34. Anonymous says

    Apmex would have had to place a limit on how many sets could be bought per household. If they had just lowered the price to a "reasonable bullion price", then I would have bought 50 sets. Can you imagine if they sold these sets for $900. They would have been sold out in the first hour. All the other APs would have sold out as well. I don't think it is the responsibility of the AP to ensure fair distribution to all collectors. Sure it would have been great to get these around spot, but my guess is that many of us would have missed the boat anyway due to selling out extremely fast. Anyway, I love all the hype and checking blogs and ebay prices and AP websites. Its all so much fun.

  35. Anonymous says

    You bring up a good point. I certainly was planning on buying two sets if the price was around 1,000. Instead I got only one.

  36. Anonymous says

    Give Apmex some credit. They could choose to sell all their sets to secondary or third tier dealers at the same price or even higher. Insead they chose to offer some of their allowance directly to the public, and all the complains… Imagine if all the AP's sell their sets to smaller dealers, what price we'll get? Check Ebay and you'll find out.

  37. Anonymous says

    Is the mint required to sell to "authorized purchasers" by law, or do they just enjoy being such a prick about it?

  38. Anonymous says

    Whoa , and they will even buy the set back from you for 1250.00 (subject to certain minimums) , what a great company!!

  39. Anonymous says

    The Mint is required to sell ALL bullion through the authorized purchaser program.

    The Mint has sold bullion to the public by striking the coins twice instead of once, adding a plastic holder and a pretty box, and giving it a mintmark. This treatment gets you a 40% mark-up over spot prices and the label "numismatic" version.

    The Law requiring this coin did not require the Mint to provide these coins to the public, only to the bullion network.

    And to anyone thinking the Mint will price these anywhere near spot, note that they admit in the annual report that they require a 15% profit on "numismatic" coins above and beyond their extraordinarily bloated cost of production.

  40. Anonymous says

    I count at least 15 sets that sold on eBay today for $1700-1800. Looks like APMEX underpriced the 1,000 sets they've sold so far and left money on the table for buyers.

  41. Anonymous says

    It's unfortunate about the law. However, the mint still comes across as very careless and greedy. I'll be spending my money on classic coins instead. The designs, quality, and composition are all generally of higher standards than coins today.

  42. Anonymous says

    The cost of the sets to APMEX and other dealers was only $800 a set, and we got charged $1400? What a ripoff.

  43. Anonymous says

    If you look at the list of authorized dealers very few went from the dealer directly to the public. From what i've read, the authorized dealers sell them to the next dealers and then the coins are offered to the public. A lot of the dealers are securities dealers like MTB,Prudential and Fidelity. These firms store silver in allocated accounts and then deliver to upon request of the account holder (scotia maccata comes to mind). These were meant to be just bullion but are taking on a life of their own. My guess is Apmex was getting a lot of bids from tertiary dealers. I wouldnt be suprised if that was EVERYTHING they had as a lot the 3300 was already reserved from these major coin dealers. Even if they all somehow make it to the coin market at large it's going to be a while ,And places like gainsville coins and the like will have to mark up from the dealer prices. This could get ugly fast. In the short term these look like they will do good. Long term is anybody's guess.

  44. Anonymous says

    Helloooo.

    Ummmm, no one is forcing you to buy these bullion coins. Since you cannot make a profit, stop whining.

  45. Anonymous says

    I did buy 1 set, and I shall not make a profit. Maybe my children or grandchildren may 50 years from now….

  46. Anonymous says

    Okay, enough of the "no one is forced to buy these." Thats a nice slogan in a mostly free market. But the mint set up an artificial monopoly in allowing only a few businesses (AP's) to control the sales on an exceptionally limited bullion product which was known in advance to be limited. The AP's violated the spirit of the contract with the mint and the mint was asleep at the wheel as are most government agencies. The mint can pull out obscure policies and regulations for about everything else they do. It appears to me there are grounds for formal complaints against these AP's. The mint was stupid so no grounds for complaint there.

  47. Anonymous says

    APMEX is sold out. I hope the mint undercuts these prices or at least the secondary markets prices.

  48. Anonymous says

    Don't hold your breath that the U.S. Mint will have lower prices…this was a test. I do see a quick rise of Silver to $50.00 an ounce. Each year the price of Gold has caught up to the Spousal coins selling price from the previous year…Silver will do the same.

  49. Anonymous says

    To all posters saying "you don't have to buy it" are missing the point. Even though the market bears the rip off pricing by APMEX, it is an injustice and abuse.

    Either produce quantities of bullion for resellers (in the millions) or if you produce lower volume products, sell directly from the Mint.

  50. Anonymous says

    APMEX is not sold out, they still have 2000 sets to sell to their buddies or have slabbed and make even more with.

  51. Anonymous says

    I can't believe how much whining there is about this! You flippers don't seem to mind making giant profits from mint errors or other issues which wind up popular for whatever reason. Give APMEX a break – you don't have to buy them if you think the price is to high!! get over it!!

  52. Anonymous says

    I wouldn't dare pay a premium for any of these unless they had already been graded PCGS MS70.

  53. Anonymous says

    If you want to invest in silver and make Money. Just go buy silver rolls of quarters 1964 and below. there are 7.2 ounces per roll. Then when silver go's to $100 and ounce you will be the real winner. BUY SILVER NOW BEFORE IT'S TO LATE! Any commets on this? have a great holiday season!

  54. Anonymous says

    Ha, you really think some of these will grade MS70 with that much surface area and them being dropped into tubes? I think you'll be lucky to see an MS67.

  55. Anonymous says

    The Mint needs to halt all sales and deliveries by their distributors on Monday and come up with a different way of distributing these, maybe selling them directly instead.

  56. Anonymous says

    I agree that these coins are no longer considered Bullion. The second that they knew that they couldn't produce very many of these, they should have just made all of them "bullion" or all of them "numismatic". Think how many blanks the mint messed up on while trying to press these to rediculous specs. They must have had 500000 blanks at one point, but I bet they screwed most of them up trying to get the process right. I'm sure these will have many imperfections, but they had to throw something out there due to the law. With my luck, they are scrambling to make another half million of these before the end of 2010 to be release in 2011. Im sure that would deflate what is happening.

  57. Anonymous says

    One thing is for sure, if the mint doesn't make any more of these for 2010, it will surely be the lowest mintage of all of them. Key date for sure.

  58. Anonymous says

    The mintages for the 2010 coasters have already been announced. They won't be making more. I expect the 2011 coasters will be minted to demand, likely at least 100K. Who knows what the demand will be further on into the program, but I think these will be the keys for a very long time.

  59. Anonymous says

    There is another type of fly buzzing around now. Its the "noh1forcdU2by1" fly. They are another misguided little fly whose sense of smell went haywire. They too, like the bubble pop fly think they are on high ground at a picnic but are in reality just landing on doggy doo in a ditch.

  60. Anonymous says

    Wanna get rich quickly? Buy US Savings Bonds. Invest in America. It's the way to go.

    God bless America.

  61. Anonymous says

    PCGS MS70/69 FS or forget it. The grades will more than likely be all over the place. To order blindly (raw) in this case is a crap shoot.

  62. Anonymous says

    WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT? The coins don't even look that nice. A 1/4 oz proof gold ATB would be nice for the same price as these nicked up, bullion finished circus coins that you can't store or display. I was never planning on buying this junk at any price. What fools! Chasing somthing bacause of demand without actually seeing a product will make you a fool!

  63. Anonymous says

    Don't be so angry. There are no fools here. Some people like the coin design, some like the theme, some like the potential for making money. You may think they are fools, but it is just your opinion. Focus on the fact and reasoning and contribute to this forum and benefit others…

  64. Anonymous says

    Why just pick out one listing. There are about 40…most for the 5 coin set between $1700-1750 and some for the individual coins $300-399.

  65. Anonymous says

    If the distributors had sold them for a fair amount them they wouldn't be going for those prices on Ebay. These companies inflated the prices to make more money and have passed that cost on to everyone else.

  66. Anonymous says

    Great job Michael, with another timely article. As usual there are many differing opinions. U DA MAN !

  67. Anonymous says

    The mint screwed up and didn't follow the law to make a bullion coin. It made a rare coin.

    I think there is a good chance of a class action lawsuit against APMEX for violating the mint's rules. So maybe all APMEX buyers will get a refund eventually.

  68. Anonymous says

    the mint should produce more 2010 5 oz bullion. there is no such thing as maximum mintage for bullion coin.

    never buy anything coins from the dealers. buy direct from u.s. mint. you have more change to win than buying from the dealers. buying from the dealers. you will always be the loser. and you will never get any proof 70 or MS 70 either.

  69. Anonymous says

    The mint did created a rarity with the LP1 design lincoln cent rolls. They charged 8.95 plus 4.95 shipping for $1 face value zinc pennies. They sold out of the LP1 early simply to create demand to sell more of the remaining lincoln cent designs…LP2, 3 and 4. It worked perfectly. I venture to guess that all the contraversy surrounding the 5 oz bullion coins was designed by the US Mint to gain free publicity and creat artificial demand for the remaining 10 years worth of product. They are the masters at making a profit.

  70. Anonymous says

    I'm sure everyone is glad your happy, but in my opinion I would not call everyone whiners. If you like the coins that is one thing (not sure how as they are sight unseen except for a few images) but if you expect them to appreciate and they need to appreciate quite a bit for you to break even, you need a secondary market, and that will not happen if people shun the coins. Just take the First Spouse Gold Coin Series, it had all the hall marks of a winner but it would seem that people are not interested anymore. The same could happen here.

  71. Anonymous says

    I never expected to collect these coins anyway with the price of silver going up I would not be able to afford to complete the collection, but I would have liked to get one of them just to say I got one. I will also "Wait for the Numismatic Version" or until next year I'm sure the hype will be gone by then and prices will be reasonable.

  72. Anonymous says

    APMEX had an alert me feature for the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins then apparently they eliminated it without warning. Did they alert their friends first? How did people on this blog find out about the sale?

  73. Anonymous says

    the rise and fall of apmex. i think apmex got a very serious problem. overnight. apmex gain $600,000.00 easily. just like stealing. the mint should have earn that.

    never buy from dealers again. just the u.s. mint.

  74. Anonymous says

    I think APMEX violated the mint rules to sell at a reasonable markup. Maybe they will lose their ability to buy from the mint if they don't rebate the overcharge to all buyers. We should raise hell with the mint and contact the congressmen who put this law in.

  75. Anonymous says

    Right on!
    Besides, I don't buy that "market" crap either.
    The "market" had tons of buyers for financial products backed on "no doc" loans, that didn't mean it was an OK thing to do! In the end many folks got scre#%$d.
    APMEX should be held accountable by Ed Moy!

  76. Anonymous says

    Looks like I missed the party, having been without the internet over the weekend. So 1,000 sets of these coins have been sold prior to the December 6 date and now that it is actually December 6, the advertised date that they are supposed to be available, no one has any for sale even at the APMEX price. Is that it in a nutshell?

  77. Anonymous says

    Yes, that's it. You either bought one and your happy OR you didn't get one and are bitter and upset and claiming how unfair it all is.

  78. Anonymous says

    I didn't even get my alert from APMEX that I signed up for. I owe getting my coins to the comment left on this blog.

  79. Anonymous says

    The sign up problem for alerts I think could have stemmed from them listing each product individually for months and then at the last minute switching to a new product listing for a set of five. I got one email, but not five separate ones. I did not get an email to my secondary email or text message to my phone.

  80. Anonymous says

    Good Morning!

    It's finally December 6th!

    I'm ready to place my order for the 5 ounce ATB coins. Too bad silver is over $29/oz. That means the mint will charge close to $750/set…with $5/oz mark-up I guess they actually should be closer to $850/set. Actually AMPEX and other authorized re-sellers may possibly mark my long awaited set for even more than the $850/set…

    Well, at least December 6th is finally here. Thanks Congress and Mr. Moy for me to finally get my long awaited opportunity!

    Can someone tell me where I can order my set from today and what the final price will be (I heard it will be above the $850 price calculated above).

    Thanks!

    -JBL

  81. Anonymous says

    I've got some sets that I will sell you at $850 each…right after you buy my beach front property in Arizona!

  82. JA says

    That price was totally bogus. I got the alert from APMEX and decided to skip the offer.

    Michael's advice is sound, the numismatic version will be the version to get.

  83. Anonymous says

    So is there any dealers that have any left? I really do not want to buy from ebay. Thanks in advance

  84. Anonymous says

    I haven't seen these actually for sale anywhere other than the 1000 sets sold on apmex and the ones on ebay that are probably the ones that sold on apmex. You would think that we will see them on other web sites pretty soon, but you can bet that they will be higher than 1395 a set. Ebay might be the best price out there right now. Suck, but that's the way its shaping up.

  85. Anonymous says

    Atfer APMEX, I don't think the rest know what they can get away with from the mint. Their waiting for the big OK on pricing from Moy.

  86. Anonymous says

    The remaining 32,000 bullion coin sets are being recalled by the Mint and will be auctioned off one at a time at Christie’s. (joke)

  87. Anonymous says

    I doubt the other companies want to get called by the Mint and Congress over these prices.

  88. Anonymous says

    Guys if you have the time please contact The Mint Office of Legal Council @ 202-354-7280 concerning specific dealers such as APMEX charging exhorbitant prices on these coins.

    Something needs to be done and the mint needs to be aware of this issue

  89. Anonymous says

    The next step will be to let the APs sell all the mint issues at what ever the market will bare.

  90. Anonymous says

    Do you have to call gainesvillecoins to get that price because I don't see it on their website

  91. Anonymous says

    Gainesville coins will only sell to you if you have a preorder, I just got shot down twice.

  92. Anonymous says

    I can't believe there is a waiting list of suckers who want to pay over $60 an ounce for bullion silver…I really can't believe I am one of those suckers. One dealer I called said $3,000 for a set!!!! I am on the list for at least 5 dealers though, hopefully I can get a price around the Apmex price.

  93. Anonymous says

    "Guys if you have the time please contact The Mint Office of Legal Council @ 202-354-7280 concerning specific dealers such as APMEX charging exhorbitant prices on these coins."

    Ask talk to the "bullion department" and if busy they WILL call you back.

  94. Anonymous says

    "Guys if you have the time please contact The Mint Office of Legal Council @ 202-354-7280 concerning specific dealers such as APMEX charging exhorbitant prices on these coins."

    Ask talk to the "bullion department" and if busy they WILL call you back.

    You may want to mention that
    1-Today is the Mint stated day Dec 6 for availability and they are NOT available.

    2-Mark up to $56/oz for bullion not reasonable

    3-"Low" mintages should always be sold directly from the mint.

    IMHO

  95. Anonymous says

    michael… can you start a new thread…this one is a bit long…a lot of scrolling, thanks

  96. Anonymous says

    1395 vs. 3000… You mean apex sold them for less than 50% of the market price? There are a lot of fortunate people out there that bought at 1395 instead of complaining.

  97. Anonymous says

    APMEX reduced their "buy back" price to $1,200 per set. It was $1,250 before. Both are rip-offs, considering what they sold them for. Maybe they did that to prevent buyer's remorse cancellations. They will most likely tell anyone wanting to cancel that they owe them the difference between the selling price and the buy back price, plus a $35 cancellation fee!

  98. Anonymous says

    "Guys if you have the time please contact The Mint Office of Legal Council @ 202-354-7280 concerning specific dealers such as APMEX charging exhorbitant prices on these coins."

    The more calls the more they will listen.

  99. Anonymous says

    Off topic:

    Spot gold and platinum prices are narrowing this year. Anyone think gold will overtake platinum in 2011?

  100. Anonymous says

    No other AP has sold directly to the public like APMEX has. It appears they are going to sell their stock to other dealers who will sell them at 1700+. What does that tell you about APMEX? They appear to have PASSED up profits by selling to dealers in order to sell some of their stock directly to the public at a lower price than they would be able to get elsewhere. Seems like the wrath should be placed on other APs and not the one that has sold at lower prices than they could have gotten elsewhere.

  101. Anonymous says

    The reason they have to sell at $1700 a set is because these 11 dealers stuck them for $1400+.

    If these 11 dealers had sold them for $900 or $1000 a set like other coins then the others could have sold for much less too. Welcome to America.

  102. Anonymous says

    Apmex paid $800 a set and sold for $1400 a set for $600 profit. I wish I could pass that much up too.

  103. Anonymous says

    The Mint has a real disaster on its hands. It was told by Congress to make bullion coins but instead it made instant rarities. Whoever ran this program at the Mint is incompetent (or was not given enough support so someone higher up is incompetent).

    Might be some Congressional hearings to find out why the Mint did not do what it was told to do.

    Besides people who are mad no longer buying from APMEX or Gainesville coins, when the Mint tries to make up for it next year by having an abundant supply of the 2011s, people who couldn't buy this year won't want them and they'll probably end up like the Spouses, with fewer sold each year.

  104. Anonymous says

    The wholesale price to other dealers was already set BEFORE apmex sold to the public at less than that price. How the wholesale price to other dealers got set that high is an unknown, but it's likely because they were bid up that high by the resellers buying from the APs. That price was set by what the market was willing to pay. It's all supply and demand.

  105. Anonymous says

    11:22AM
    Maybe Michael could take up a collect on this blog to help APMEX with their short comings do to their kindness and money savings for their customers.

  106. Anonymous says

    "The Mint has a real disaster on its hands. It was told by Congress to make bullion coins but instead it made instant rarities. Whoever ran this program at the Mint is incompetent (or was not given enough support so someone higher up is incompetent)."

    The Mint didn't have a choice and was legally bound to release the supply they had. Congress passed a law without understanding the complexity of the coin manufacturing process. Then congress failed to change the specs or amend the law until it was too late in the year. I am not happy about the situation, but do not entirely place the blame on the Mint. If Congress does an investigation the finding should place the blame on themselves.

  107. Anonymous says

    Frankly, I think Congress has better and more important things to do than worry about the way a HOBBY coin was passed.

  108. Anonymous says

    "The Mint didn't have a choice and was legally bound to release the supply they had."

    Well, if they were effectively run, they would have found a way to successfully release the coins on time in qualtities, no matter what it took, or how much money or manpower it took.

    The Mint is run by government employees, probably union thugs who are more interested in a long coffee break, quitting time, and what they are not allowed to do than in getting the job done right. We saw how unions ground GM and Chrysler into the ground. Our government is full of similar union employees.

    Private enterprise with a flexible work force would have gotten it done on time and in sufficient quantities.

  109. Anonymous says

    I read on another blog that Gainesvillecoins is now selling at $2200 a set…this is rediculous.

  110. Anonymous says

    As for Gainesville , I'm not sure on exact price yet , but I was told I'm one of the first 50 people on their waiting list .More info as I get it .

  111. Anonymous says

    I commend the Mint for the reduced mintages. This is a step in the right direction. However, giving the reins to the AP network proved to be an unforeseen misfortune for us all.

  112. Anonymous says

    Reduced mintages are NOT a step in the right direction for anyone except for a few coin dealers who have an inside line on getting them and can rip off everyone else.

    The Mint should have an open window of a certain time in which they sell to all comers, and then stop and let the market take over. They killed the First Spouse program by not having enough of the first 4. I would have bought the whole set if I got those first ones, but I haven't bought any.

    I quit buying mint sets after 20 years because they shut the window prematurely in 2004.

    The Mint's job is not to make rarities for a few coin dealers, it is to fill the needs of collectors.

  113. Anonymous says

    Apparently the mint is hopping mad over this, let's see what they do. One of the dealers actually has the gall to horde all of the 3000 sets for himself.

  114. Anonymous says

    "They killed the First Spouse program by not having enough of the first 4. I would have bought the whole set if I got those first ones, but I haven't bought any."

    I agree with this concept and this is one fear I have about the sustainability of prices on these 5 ounce coins. What if the fact so many collectors will never be able to have a complete set because of the first year reduced mintage that it reduces demand for the entire series??

    What kind of premiums did the first four spouse coins command at release in year one?

  115. Anonymous says

    "Guys if you have the time please contact The Mint Office of Legal Council @ 202-354-7280 concerning specific dealers such as APMEX charging exhorbitant prices on these coins."

    Ask talk to the "bullion department" and if busy they WILL call you back.

    You may want to mention that
    1-Today is the Mint stated day Dec 6 for availability and they are NOT available.

    2-Mark up to $56/oz for bullion not reasonable

    3-"Low" mintages should always be sold directly from the mint.

    Quick, call before they close!

  116. Anonymous says

    Any updated sales data?

    Platinum now has less than $300 premium over gold. Gold may pass platinum in 2011.

  117. chris says

    Ok guys this just in from one of the online dealers who was planning on selling the sets for $1330. This came straight from one of the tradeers who got the notice right now…

    The mint has STOPPED all deliveries to authorized dealers of the 5 oz Coins until further notice which means even those people who pre-ordered will not get them since the Authorized Mint distributors do not have them in hand.

    All moneys will now have to be reinbursed.

    Take that to the bank APMEX and the Auth Distributors

  118. Anonymous says

    "I wonder how much APMEX will sell the next wave of sets for? They still have 2,000 left."

    Since APMEX is a wholesaler they probably are required to distribute some to downline dealers. So they probably had only 1000 for themselves.

  119. Anonymous says

    Folks keep mentioning about the incompetence of the US Mint.

    An adjunct to this and I do not know if the US Mint is responsible for printing the new $100 Note, but they have a problem with $100B of the new notes see story
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/40521684

    What a JOKE, it is so SAD

  120. Anonymous says

    A lot of misinfromation and propaganda. I don't believe the mint is halting anything. One guy writes this crap and now all the blogs are jumping on his one post alone. No other confirmation at all.

  121. vaughnster says

    I know it's off base a little but just to let you all know that the Mint isn't alone in big blunders. It was revealed today that the Treasury Department has realized that $110 BILLION (that's 1.1 BILLION $100 bills) will probably all have to be burned because of a printing error. Seems that some sheets were creased when printed on the presses. It would take 20-30years to sort through all the sheets by hand to find the bad ones. The kicker is that this was the first $100 bill to have Litty Timmy (tax cheater) Geithner's signature on it. They are going back to printing the current bill with Hank Paulsen's signature on it. It's not just the Mint, it's the Government!!!

  122. Anonymous says

    Is there anywhere that claim about the Mint halting shipments can be verified? That had better not be true, because who knows how long it will take to get the money I mailed to APMEX today refunded.

    I think it's baloney, since there is no mention of any such thing on the APMEX site or the U.S. Mint site in the press release section.

  123. Anonymous says

    They only found the mistake on those bills after printing $110 billion of them? I can hardly wait for them to run our health care system that good.

  124. Anonymous says

    I spoke to one of the traders from an online dealer and that is the notice they received. I would suggest those that ordered from APMEX give them a call and notify them of this and see how true it is. I believe it is only a short time before their marketing department puts notice out.

    FYI…Gainesville coins is one of the dealers

  125. Anonymous says

    So what happens now? When you order from APMEX is says you are stuck at that price, and so they have to fill those orders.

  126. Anonymous says

    Sounds Serious! I'm glad the Mint is being proactive about price gouging by APMEX. What a crying shame for them!

  127. Mint News Blog says

    The US Mint has delayed the launch of the program. No AP orders have been confirmed today….

    Details to follow.

  128. Anonymous says

    I called Gainesville coins and they said that they heard the coins are not going to ship. BTW I was one of the first shipments that were going to be sent (First 1500). I hope to get mine even though I had to pay 1500!

  129. Anonymous says

    Crap? Why so? Those that got their orders in will still get them. It just may take a few days longer, but it may be for an even cheaper price. The secondary market has already spoken on ebay and there are those willing to pay over $1700.

  130. Anonymous says

    Man, I'd better still be able to get my coins for no more than the $1,395 per set that I paid to APMEX. Sure it was a high markup, but still not too bad considering what you're getting. The secondary market price for the sets is a LOT more than what APMEX was charging!

    If the Mint steps in regarding pricing and I end up entitled to a partial refund, I will just tell APMEX to give me additional coins to make up the difference. I didn't spend any more than I had planned to all along, I just ended up getting less coins for the same amount of money. I'll gladly take more coins versus a refund!

  131. Anonymous says

    No, I believe that Apmex will refund all monies and the Mint will sell all through their website. I also believe that will cause these to go down in price and to be honest, I don't want to have to spend all day on the computer trying to buy these on the US Mint Website. My opinion only…..so CRAP.

  132. Anonymous says

    Michael, I am very disappointed by this news, but you are AWESOME for being so on top of all this and being so prompt with your reporting. THANK YOU!!!

  133. Anonymous says

    APMEX states they will buy back at $1200, if the mint makes them sell them for $900,they will loose $300 and gain back customer trust.

  134. Anonymous says

    The last laugh may go to those that were willing to go to the plate and buy these coins at 1395. They still have a reservation and may get them at a lower price. The Mint might have to change the law for distributing bullion coins and may not be able to do that. What a crazy mess!

  135. Anonymous says

    I would imagine that the buy-back price would change if they were forced to sell at a lower price. But that is a nice dream.

  136. Anonymous says

    Everyone who cares already knows Apmex is a company that used to have good prices. They overcharge on everything now. The only reason I would go through them is if they had some random Kookaburra or other collectible silver I didn't mind paying through the nose for (which rarely happens).

  137. Anonymous says

    Just think of all the ones bought on a certain auction site. They wont be entitled to a refund of any type ,would they ? Glad I'm not mixed up in this mess.

  138. Anonymous says

    I pray news of this fiasco doesn't hit the mainstream. If you thought getting these was hard before, imagine if every Tom, Dick and Harry becomes aware of these and tries to buy them.

  139. vaughnster says

    Great job on more info Michael. What a tremendous response to this mess on your blog. Did everyone forget that there are still about 30,000 bullion sets of the ATB 5 oz quarters that APMEX and others haven't sold yet or have. We should all have a good chance to get these at a fair price and watch their value grow AFTER all sets are sold, not just 1,000 sets. There's a long way to go on this situation.

  140. Anonymous says

    I think APMEX is violation of the intent of the purchasing agreement that they have with the Mint. Also with the Coin Modernazation Coin law these 5 designs will be a one year type. The language in the law stats they can change the size and the design on them.

  141. Anonymous says

    "Is there anywhere that claim about the Mint halting shipments can be verified? That had better not be true, because who knows how long it will take to get the money I mailed to APMEX today refunded"

    Good luck, they held my +$5K cash refund for over 5 weeks 'due to accounting processing' and then 'due to delays caused by counting inventory'. Never again…

  142. Mint News Blog says

    "Also with the Coin Modernazation Coin law these 5 designs will be a one year type. The language in the law stats they can change the size and the design on them."

    The law gives them the option to change some of the specifications, but not the requirement.

    The required diameter becomes "no less than 2.5 inches and no greater than 3.0 inches" and the incused edge lettering requirement is removed.

    Legally, they could still continue using the old specifications, so we'll have to wait and see how it works out.

  143. Mint News Blog says

    Maybe only two or three… The others were on the 2009 Proof Silver Eagle cancellation and the Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set.

  144. Anonymous says

    I don't know if I should cancel my order with APMEX or wait it out. I don't want them to hold my money for weeks on end while waiting to see how all of this plays out.

  145. Anonymous says

    Not that I was all that gung-ho on APMEX before this happened, but this was the nail in the coffin. I will NEVER buy from them – as an AP they violated their agreement with the Mint and lost my trust as a consumer.

    Shame on you, APMEX – you reap what you sow!

  146. Anonymous says

    After following this blog for awhile, I am afraid a substantial minority of the posters are not AGAINST price gouging, they just want to be on the other side of it. Why not have AMPEX sell below market value, so I can buy them, and but them on ebay for a big profit? And the INDIGNATION that someone besides you is making money on something? It strikes me as very phony.

  147. Anonymous says

    It should not be difficult to understand that the distributors were not going to be paying “market” prices to the Mint and that they were poised to make an instant windfall when they sold to dealers or collectors. If APMEX had to bid against all other distributors, dealers, and collectors to get an initial supply of coins, then yes, no one would be upset. The distributors have signed a specific agreement that they will not be “price gougers” and to make the coins available to collectors at a reasonable markup. However, it became clear that they were not going to honor this requirement and the Mint held back the supply. The distributor’s role in this unique situation was to essentially serve as a lottery board and hand out the prizes as fairly as possible. Once the coins are in collector’s hands, then market forces determine the price. Same thing happens to other Mint issues. Once they are sold out or no longer available from the Mint, the prices go up if there is demand for the item.

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