Joint Treasury-OMB statement on budget results for fiscal year 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney today released details of the fiscal year (FY) 2017 final budget results. The deficit in FY 2017 was $666 billion, $80 billion more than in the prior fiscal year, but $36 billion less than forecast in the FY 2018 Mid-Session Review (MSR). As a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the deficit was 3.5 percent, 0.3 percentage point higher than the previous year.[1]

Growth in spending outpaced growth in tax receipts for the second year in a row as a result of historically subpar economic growth. Rising deficits show that smart spending restraint and pursuing policies that promote economic growth, like tax reform and reductions in regulatory burden, are critically necessary to promote long-term fiscal sustainability.

“Today’s budget results underscore the importance of achieving robust and sustained economic growth. Through a combination of tax reform and regulatory relief, this country can return to higher levels of GDP growth, helping to erase our fiscal deficit,” said Secretary Mnuchin. “The Administration’s pro-growth policies will create better, higher-paying jobs, make American businesses competitive again, and bring back cash from offshore to invest here at home. This will help place the nation on a path to improved fiscal health and create prosperity for generations to come.”

“These numbers should serve as a smoke alarm for Washington, a reminder that we need to grow our economy again and get our fiscal house in order. We can do that through smart spending restraint, tax reform, and cutting red tape,” said Director Mulvaney.

Summary of Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Results

Year-end data from the September 2017 Monthly Treasury Statement of Receipts and Outlays of the United States Government show that the deficit for FY 2017 was $666 billion, $80 billion higher than the prior year’s deficit. As a percentage of GDP, the deficit was 3.5 percent, an increase from 3.2 percent in FY 2016 and above the average of 3.1 percent over the last 40 years.

The FY 2017 deficit of $666 billion was $63 billion greater than the estimate in the FY 2018 Budget (Budget), and $36 billion less than estimated in the MSR, a supplemental update to the Budget published in July.

Table 1. Total Receipts, Outlays, and Deficit (in billions of dollars)
Receipts Outlays Deficit
FY 2016 Actual 3,267 3,852 -586

    Percentage of GDP

17.7% 20.9% 3.2%
FY 2017 Estimates:
    2018 Budget 3,460 4,062 -603
    2018 Mid-Session Review 3,344 4,045 -702
FY 2017 Actual 3,315 3,981 -666
    Percentage of GDP 17.3% 20.7% 3.5%
Note: Detail may not add to totals due to rounding.

Government receipts totaled $3,315 billion in FY 2017. This was $48 billion higher than in FY 2016, an increase of 1.5 percent, below expectations from both the Budget and the MSR. As a percentage of GDP, receipts equaled 17.3 percent, 0.4 percentage point lower than in FY 2016 and 0.1 percentage point below the average over the last 40 years. The dollar increase in receipts for FY 2017 can be attributed to higher social insurance and retirement receipts and net individual income taxes, partially offset by lower deposits of earnings by the Federal Reserve.

Outlays grew in FY 2017, but by less than expected in the Budget and the MSR, and decreased slightly as a percentage of GDP. Outlays were $3,981 billion, $128 billion above those in FY 2016, a 3.3 percent increase. As a percentage of GDP, outlays were 20.7 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than in the prior year, but above the 40-year average of 20.5 percent. Contributing to the dollar increase over FY 2016 were higher outlays for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and interest on the public debt. In addition, one-time upward revisions in estimates of credit subsidy for outstanding Federal loans and loan guarantees, primarily in the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, increased outlays relative to FY 2016 by $55 billion. Lower spectrum auction receipts and higher spending by the Federal Emergency Management Administration for hurricane relief and recovery also contributed to the increase.

Total Federal borrowing from the public increased by $498 billion during FY 2017 to $14,667 billion. The increase in borrowing included $666 billion in borrowing to finance the deficit, partly offset by $167 billion related to other transactions that on net reduced the Government’s financing requirements, such as changes in cash balances and net disbursements for Federal credit programs. As a percentage of GDP, borrowing from the public declined from 76.7 percent of GDP at the end of FY 2016 to 76.3 percent of GDP at the end of FY 2017.

Below are explanations of the differences between estimates in the MSR and the year-end actual amounts for receipts and agency outlays.

Fiscal Year 2017 Receipts

Total receipts for FY 2017 were $3,314.9 billion, $28.7 billion lower than the MSR estimate of $3,343.6 billion. This net decrease in receipts was primarily attributable to lower-than-estimated collections of deposits of earnings by the Federal Reserve, other miscellaneous receipts, and corporation income tax receipts.  Table 2 displays actual receipts and estimates from the Budget and the MSR by source.

Individual income taxes were $1,587.1 billion, $3.2 billion higher than the MSR estimate. This increase is the net effect of higher withheld payments of individual income tax liability of $2.7 billion, lower nonwithheld payments of $1.7 billion, and lower-than-estimated refunds of $2.2 billion.

Corporation income taxes were $297.0 billion, $5.4 billion below the MSR estimate.  This difference reflects lower-than-expected payments of 2017 corporation income tax liability of $3.2 billion and higher-than-estimated refunds of $2.2 billion.

Social insurance and retirement receipts were $1,161.9 billion, $1.0 billion lower than the MSR estimate. This reduction is the result of lower-than-estimated deposits by States to the unemployment insurance trust fund of $1.0 billion.

Excise taxes were $83.8 billion, $3.7 billion below the MSR estimate.

Estate and gift taxes were $22.8 billion, $0.4 billion below the MSR estimate.

Customs duties were $34.6 billion, roughly equal to the MSR estimate.

Miscellaneous receipts were $127.7 billion, $21.5 billion below the MSR estimate. Lower-than-expected deposits of earnings by the Federal Reserve accounted for $10.3 billion of this decrease relative to the MSR. The remaining decrease was attributable to lower-than-expected collections of various fees, penalties, forfeitures, and fines.

Fiscal Year 2017 Outlays

Total outlays were $3,980.6 billion for FY 2017, $64.7 billion below the MSR estimate. Table 3 displays actual outlays by agency and major program as well as estimates from the Budget and the MSR. The largest changes in outlays from the MSR were in the following areas:

Department of Defense — Outlays for the Department of Defense were $568.9 billion, $9.9 billion lower than the MSR estimate. This difference is mostly due to lower-than-expected outlays for operation and maintenance, which were $7.8 billion less than the MSR estimate. Operation and maintenance disbursements were less than anticipated for Army contracts from FY 2016 and prior years, reimbursements from the Coalition Support Fund, and Defense Health Program and counter-ISIL “train and equip” contracts. Additionally, outlays were lower than expected by $1.5 billion for Army military personnel, $1.4 billion for revolving and management funds due to lower-than-expected fuel costs, and $1.0 billion for disbursements against aircraft procurement contracts. These differences were partially offset by $2.2 billion of higher-than-expected outlays for research, development, test, and evaluation.

Department of Education — Outlays for the Department of Education were $111.7 billion, $1.8 billion higher than the MSR estimate. This difference was driven by outlays for higher education programs. In the Pell Grant program, outlays were $0.9 billion higher than projected in the MSR, due to faster-than-expected disbursement patterns. For the Federal Direct Student Loan program, because of changes in the mix of activity in direct student loans, $0.7 billion more in positive subsidy outlays for the FY 2017 loan cohort were recorded in FY 2017 than estimated in the MSR.

Department of Health and Human Services — Outlays for the Department of Health and Human Services were $1,116.8 billion, $11.8 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Outlays for Medicaid spending were $3.8 billion less than projected at MSR, driven primarily by lower benefit expenditures than was anticipated during the second half of the year. National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s outlays were $1.5 billion lower than projected, due in part to lower-than-expected disbursement for research grants in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year. The Service and Supply Fund (SSF) outlaid $0.9 billion less than expected at MSR. SSF expected higher outlays in FY 2017 mainly due to an anticipated increase in contracts serviced; however many of these contracts will be outlaid starting in FY 2018 instead. Outlays for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) were lower than expected due to procurements that occurred much later in the fiscal year than originally planned.

Department of Homeland Security — Outlays for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) were $50.5 billion, $2.2 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Outlays in a number of DHS components were below the MSR estimates. Outlays for Customs and Border Protection were $1.4 billion below the MSR estimates, due to slower-than-expected spending for procurements and construction for customs enforcement and border protection infrastructure projects. Outlays for the National Protection and Programs Directorate were $1.2 billion lower than the MSR estimate, due to slower-than-expected outlays of the agency’s cyber budget. Outlays for the Transportation Security Administration were $0.9 billion lower than the MSR estimate, due to slower-than-expected outlays from obligations for airport security construction projects. Partially offsetting these decreases, outlays for the Federal Emergency Management Agency were $2.0 billion higher than the MSR estimates because of response activities related to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Department of Justice — Outlays for the Department of Justice were $31.0 billion, $3.4 billion lower than the MSR estimate. This difference is primarily due to payments from the Assets Forfeiture Program being $2.3 billion less than estimated in the MSR. Also contributing to the overall difference was higher-than-expected receipts from fines and penalties, which were $0.7 billion higher than the MSR estimate. Outlays were $0.5 billion lower than the MSR for programs within the Office of Justice Programs partially due to pending litigation. Outlays were also lower across many other programs due to delayed action on FY 2017 appropriations.

Department of Labor — Outlays for the Department of Labor were $40.1 billion, $3.6 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Nearly $2 billion of this difference is attributable to lower-than-projected unemployment insurance benefit outlays because the actual unemployment rate was lower than assumed in the MSR economic forecast. Another $1.5 billion of the difference is attributable to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), due to both gross outlays being less than expected and offsetting receipts being greater than expected. The majority of the change in outlays is related to lower-than-expected payouts in the single employer program. PBGC also anticipated a substantial investment loss in FY 2017, but experienced a profit, leading to much higher offsetting receipts than anticipated in the MSR.

Department of State — Outlays for the Department of State were $27.1 billion, $3.0 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Outlays were lower than expected for Department of State foreign assistance programs by $1.6 billion, mostly due to lower-than-anticipated spending for Global Health Programs, which was driven primarily by a delay in lump sum payments to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The delay was necessary due to a shortfall in confirmed statutorily required matching payments from other donors. In addition, lower-than-expected outlays for capital-intensive programs such as new overseas facility construction and delayed payments for contributions to international organizations and peacekeeping were primarily responsible for the remaining difference of $1.3 billion from the MSR estimate.

Department of Transportation — Outlays for the Department of Transportation were $79.4 billion, $2.2 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Nearly $0.9 billion of this difference is due to lower-than-expected outlays for highways and transit programs. Most of the remaining difference is an accumulation of lower-than-expected spending across a number of programs.  Late-year congressional action on FY 2017 appropriations delayed grant-making and hiring activity across the agency.

Department of the Treasury — Outlays for the Department of the Treasury were $546.4 billion, $17.3 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Virtually all of the difference is due to interest on the public debt, which was $16.4 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Interest on the public debt is paid to the public and to trust funds and other Government accounts. The difference is the result of lower-than-projected interest paid to the public on inflation-indexed securities and other marketable Treasury securities, as well as lower-than-projected interest paid to Government accounts.

International Assistance Programs — Outlays for International Assistance Programs were $18.9 billion, $4.1 billion lower than the MSR estimate. This difference is largely due to net outlays for Department of State Foreign Military Sales that were more than $3 billion lower than the MSR estimate due to higher-than-anticipated receipts received from foreign governments for weapons purchases.

Social Security Administration — Outlays for the Social Security Administration were $1,000.8 billion, $1.7 billion lower than the MSR estimate. The difference, which is relatively small in comparison to total program outlays, is primarily attributable to lower-than-expected outlays for the Disability Insurance Trust Fund and Supplemental Security Income programs.

United States Postal Service — Net outlays for the United States Postal Service were -$2.2 billion, $5.5 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Outlays were lower than the MSR estimate due largely to the failure of the Postal Service to make required payments for health and pension contributions.

Railroad Retirement Board — Outlays for the Railroad Retirement Board were $5.2 billion, $1.7 billion lower than the MSR estimate, due largely to the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust’s unrealized gains and losses on investments. Actual returns to the Trust were much higher than projected in the MSR due to favorable market conditions in the last few months of FY 2017.

Undistributed Offsetting Receipts — Undistributed Offsetting Receipts were -$236.9 billion, $6.6 billion higher than the MSR estimate. Net outlays for interest received by trust funds were $3.0 billion higher than the MSR estimate (lower net collections). The difference is due largely to the interest earnings of the Military Retirement Fund, which were $4.2 billion lower than the MSR estimate, partly offset by higher-than-projected interest earnings in some other programs. This intragovernmental interest is paid out of the Department of the Treasury account for interest on the public debt and has no net impact on total Federal Government outlays. In addition, receipts for employer share, employee retirement were $2.5 billion higher than MSR estimates (lower net collections) primarily due to the failure of the Postal Service to make required accrual payments to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefit Fund.


[1] The estimates of GDP used in the calculations of the deficit and borrowing relative to GDP reflect the revisions to historical data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in July 2017. GDP for FY 2017 is based on the economic forecast for the President’s 2018 Budget, adjusted for the BEA revisions.

Press release courtesy of the United States Department of the Treasury

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  1. KEITHSTER says

    Leave the coins alone the are our good will ambassadors /gateway drugs for this hobby!!! Pick on something else please?And Good Luck With That :>:>:><:<:<:

  2. Mattarch says

    Does the Report identify how much the U.S. Mint contributed through seigniorage to the Treasury? Or is that only available in the Mint Annual Report.

  3. Jerry Diekmann says

    At least the Treasury building is nice looking. Can’t say the same for anything else.

    Anything to the fact that the Treasury building blocks the view from the White House to the Capitol? Which means the Treasury building has an unobstructed view od both of the other buildings. Maybe it means that money literally stands in the way of the executive and legislative functions of this country.

    Why was the Mint so remiss in not honoring Alexander Hamilton on the 225th anniversary of the Mint? Five silver medals of the same “Lady Liberty” and not one coin or medal for Hamilton, who to my knowledge has never appeared on a U.S. coin. Shame on Congress and the Mint! What are they thinking – or not thinking? I’ll pass on all five medals this year and probably all the WW I medals next year, e4specially if I would have to buy the ugly coin to get just a slightly better looking medal.

  4. Dustyroads says

    Louis, I can say the same for the Pd. Liberty I picked up today at my post office. Absolutely gorgeous.

  5. Erik H says

    Dusty & Louis, were your Pd Eagles graded or raw. I picked up my raw eagle and it’s really banged up. I should have just paid the extra $20 for a MS69 but I planned on cracking it out so I just bought it raw. Big mistake as I’m sure my dealer did what everybody’s doing, selling rejected bullion as semi-numismatic BU coins for high premiums even if they are scratched, dinged, etc.

  6. Old Big Bird says

    I have been off the blog for a week or so, is this has come up I apologize.

    I happened to look at the US Mint product Schedule and saw I could pull down 2018

    They are showing for the Summer of 2018 a San Francisco REVERSE proof set!

  7. Dustyroads says

    EH, I had planned on just buying a raw coin, but as luck would have it they sold out at Provident as I was sitting there thinking about it. I coin that I decided to buy was from APMEX and it is graded. I typically don’t care about graded coins, but since I was having to buy one I took the label that I thought does best in the after market, the PCGS FS flag label SP70. There are no marks at all on the coin. The rim is the only area with evidence of contact, but that can’t be avoided. The difference in suffice refection between the Pd and Ag is very nice. Much softer. I think the USM did a good job executing this project.

  8. Dustyroads says

    Yes Old Big Bird, I noticed that you haven’t been commenting lately. Good to have you back.

  9. datadave says

    I like the idea of a reverse proof set for 2018. I still think the 2017 EU set will eventually sell out.

  10. joe#2 says

    Hopefully no nasty correction in PD…. “2 far 2 fast”… Will it recover if a steep downfall??
    Not familiar with this metal like PLAT or GOLD… Good luck for whomever purchased.

  11. Erik H says

    Dustyroads, thanks.

    I just received my two Liberty 4 medal sets. Both sets the Rev. Proof’s capsules were open with a lot of foreign particles (lint, plastic) on the medals.

    The Enhanced is my favorite and looked the best IMO. Both Unc. we’re rejects. One proof had a nick on the reverse in the field. I will return one set for quality issues.

    If you just want one medal for your collection get the Enhanced.

  12. cagcrisp says

    16AN 2016 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – FT MLTR 17,617 + 23
    17AJ 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – EFF MNDS 16,015 + 47
    17AK 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – DOUGLASS 16,067 + 82
    17AL 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – OZARK 15,471 + 87
    17AM 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – ELLIS ISLAND 16,226 +227

  13. cagcrisp says

    17XA 2017 AM LIBERTY 24K GOLD 1 OZ 25,405 +368
    17XB 2017 AM LIBERTY SILVER MEDAL (P) 48,394 +1,432
    17XC 2017 225TH ANN ENHANCED UNC SET 204,785 + 6,066

  14. cagcrisp says

    16XA 2016 WALKING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .5OZ 64,541 + 90
    16XC 2016 STANDING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .25OZ 90,440 +65

  15. cagcrisp says

    16EA 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 574,361 +623
    16EB 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 23,775 +12
    16EC 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 5,769 + 2

    16EG 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 208,523 +1,182

  16. cagcrisp says

    17EA 2017 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 323,637 + 3,395

    17EB 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 6,820 + 74
    17EC 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 1,737 +18
    17ED 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/4 OZ 2,781 +46
    17EE 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/10 OZ 10,917 +259
    17EF 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 4-COIN SET 8,892 + 125

    17EG 2017 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 126,995 +801

    17EH 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD UNC 1 OZ 5,852 +84

    17EL 2017 AM BUFFALO GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 13,917 +164

  17. cagcrisp says

    17CA 2017 BOYS TOWN GOLD PROOF 1,429 +7
    17CB 2017 BOYS TOWN GOLD UNC 2,177 +74

    17CC 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER PROOF 23,853 +105
    17CD 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER UNC 10,009 + 56
    17CE 2017 BOYS TOWN CLAD PROOF 16,455 + 66
    17CF 2017 BOYS TOWN CLAD UNC 14,331 +49
    17CG 2017 BOYS TOWN 3-COIN SET 5,153 +22

    17CH 2017 LIONS CLUBS SILVER PROOF 65,526 +108
    17CJ 2017 LIONS CLUBS SILVER UNC 16,579 +29

  18. cagcrisp says

    JQ1 2015 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 2,716 +2
    JQ2 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 1,913 +3
    JQ4 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – EISENHWR 2,061 +3
    JQ6 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – KENNEDY 6,771 –
    JQ8 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – JOHNSON 1,852 + 6

    16SA 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – NIXON 2,603 + 4
    16SB 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – NIXON 1,692 +4
    16SC 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – FORD 2,421 +7
    16SD 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – FORD 1,672 +2
    16SE 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 3,460 +6
    16SF 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 1,933 +5

  19. cagcrisp says

    I’ve done my Fair Share of criticizing the Mint

    That being said

    I think the Mint has done a Marvelous job of Marketing the Liberty Gold and Silver series…

    Single Gold Liberty 25,405 ~ $41,893,050.00
    Single Liberty Silver Medal 48,394 x $59.95 = $2,901,220.30
    4 Medal set 22,648 x $199.95 = $4,528,467.60

  20. smalltimecollector says

    My Pd has machine damage both sides, loss of luster in a spot, and struck off-center both sides.
    Seller represented it as Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) prior to selling graded specimens. I’m returning it as I think it’s worth melt, or slightly above. BU should never have machine marks or damage, the luster should be there and if it were only off-center struck I’d keep it. Can’t stand to think the shop would do this sort of thing. Being disabled I have a limited amount of budget to collect coins. I doubt I will be able to add one to my collection at this point since the price has gone up steeply.
    I cannot believe there are dealers that stoop to this level. Feeling sick about this and can only imagine they will simply recycle it to another buyer as their cost to refund is less than what they can sell it for. I also wonder how many of their customers end up with this sort of junk. As a retired engineer my integrity will not allow me to accept this, nor re-sell it to another collector/investor.

  21. Daveinswfl says

    “Lower than expected deposits of earnings by the Federal Reserve” shows up in the statement frequently! ONLY $10.3 billion UNDER expectations… THIS market, the Fed can’t make their numbers???
    Time to remove Yellen

  22. Louis says

    @smalltime- Sorry to hear about your experience. I’m curious if you bought from a major dealer since I have never received such a sub-par coin from one of them.

  23. Erik H says

    smalltimecollector, I agree my Pd coin is a reject IMO. I called the dealer and they agreed to take it back less a restocking fee. They also tried to explain that it’s a bullion coin and I should expect that quality. I told them it was advertised as BU and sold at a premium to other bullion items.

    I was on my way to return it when I found a local buyer. This saved me return shipping & 5% restocking fee.
    If you can try to flip it fast, wait for prices to come down or wait and buy the 2018 Pd PROOF Eagle. That’s what I’m doing.

    Also, fining is once again a big problem with these coins. NGC doesn’t grade the rim so many 70’s will have fining. I don’t know about PCGS but with the amount of 70’s they’ve graded my guess is the don’t grade the rims either.

  24. Erik H says

    I don’t believe that the 2017 Pd Eagles will be long term winners (5+ years). I think the mint will over produce next year then over time interest will slow and so will the mintages (Platinum Eagles, First Spouse & 5 Oz ATB are perfect examples). The Mint’s own study shows that interest will drop and with Pd prices all over the place I believe that this will also hamper future sales.

    The Pd Eagle is a great looking coin and I can’t wait to see next year’s proof.

  25. johnaz says

    HSN mike at it again today show, Proof silver set only 50,000 -S silver proof eagle what about the 75,000 sold dumd ass.

  26. earthling says

    Gold bid 1276.30

    Palladium 1540.00

    Take a rocket ride?

    Next stop? Somewhere over the rainbow.

  27. earthling says

    From what I understand, Rhodium is alloyed with Platinum and Palladium to harden them up . The recent jump in Palladium has apparently sparked the recent surge in Rhodium.

  28. earthling says

    I dont think anyone has ever struck Rhodium into Coin form. From what I understand it’s a very hard and brittle element. It seems to be a challenge to get it into bar form.

  29. smalltimecollector says

    I’m currently negotiating with the seller on an exchange/replacement with BU, or refund. This is the first time I’ve gone to this seller and I want to give them the opportunity to make it right. I feel I should hold off divulging the company until after resolution as it may be a favorable review. I have a small budget every year for nice coins and pending resolution of this may continue to buy their products. I will say they were very late delivering this pre-sale and they recently asked me to pay for return shipping, yet I paid with pay-pal linked credit card on ebay and have every protection as they did not ship what was advertised. Asking for me to pay for their shipping is not in compliance with ebay policies, nor would be a restocking fee. They simply pulled the wrong coin from the stack. I just wonder how many of their customers (of the same or other products) may have similar issues but not know how, or want to spend the time, to deal with it.

  30. So Krates says

    “They also tried to explain that it’s a bullion coin and I should expect that quality. I told them it was advertised as BU…”

    “I’m currently negotiating with the seller on an exchange/replacement with BU…they did not ship what was advertised”

    I know the customer is always right but IMO you guys are being unreasonable. It is a bullion coin. It’s reason for existence is to track the spot price of palladium in coin form. Nobody promised anything more.

    BU is an abbreviation for Brilliant Uncirculated. Has it circulated? No? then the second part is fulfilled. Is it tarnished, heavily toned, spotted or hazy? No? Then it’s Brilliant, first part checked off. It is BU. A small area of impaired luster from minting does NOT throw it out of the BU class. BU is generally used to describe Mint State coins graded as low as MS60 to MS63. I’m sure your coin will grade higher and PCGS and NGC will be happy to holder your coin with a label that has no grade at all but simply reads Brilliant Uncirculated, because that’s what it is.

    If you want perfect bullion coins, the MS69 and MS70 coins are tailor made to satisfy your desires. That is what you need to purchase. The dealers don’t mint the coins, they just distribute them. What do you want them to do with these MS67-MS68 “reject” coins you guys are fretting over? Melt them down?

  31. So Krates says

    “I dont think anyone has ever struck Rhodium into Coin form.”

    “In 2009, the Cohen Mint was the first to produce .999 fine investment grade rhodium in the form of rhodium bullion rounds and bars. Since rhodium is extremely hard and has such a high melting point, it is extremely difficult to work with and special minting techniques were introduced to handle the metal.”

    I think the owner passed and they went out of business. There were reports of super long wait times and cracked bars. As noted, it’s extremely brittle and not optimal for coins. I had one of their one gram rounds years ago. More of a novelty item IMO.

  32. Joe M. says

    Cagcrisp posted 17RC 2017 LIMITED EDITION SILVER PROOF SET 49,979 + 26
    21 available???
    I ordered 5.
    4:45 still available.

  33. Joe M. says

    4:55 Pacific Time…still available.
    I hope one reader here is able to get one who didn’t get it before it went unavailable.

  34. Buzz Killington says

    @SK —

    I was thinking the exact same thing about these guys complaining about the condition of their raw bullion coins.

    If you have a small coin budget, and you want a perfect bullion specimen, either lower your expectations, or save up longer and get a graded one.

    Also, if you identify yourself as a rare customer who makes small orders, don’t expect special service. I’m sure the guys at these bullion houses, say whatever else you will about them, put up with a fair amount of BS from people trying to nibble them on the price with “imperfections”.

  35. Rob says

    These are the same people that expect nothing less than a 70 from all mint products. A 69 is complete garbage and will be returned immediately!

  36. Erik H says

    SK, are these coins tracking bullion prices? NO (maybe on day one from APMEX but that’s about it). Was my coin uncirculated, yes. Was it brilliant, NO.

    As a long time ETHICAL seller on eBay with nothing less than 100% feedback since 2009, I would never sell this coin without labeling the problems. I’ve actually sold several semi-numismatic “bullion” related items for bullion prices on eBay CLEARLY listing the problem areas to my customers with high resolution photos only to have eBay customers return them as “not advertised”. Guess what, eBay always rules in favor of the customer. I take the hit everytime! But when you deal with the Big Boys with the ability to absorb small losses and earn repeat business they don’t want to do it.

    Yes I took a gamble buying a raw coin based on the comments here on MNB. A lot of dealers and the bloggers are praising the mint on the amount of 70’s, so yeah I was expecting at least a 69 considering how strong / resistant to scratches Pd is. I have a Pd ring that I’ve worn for years and it barely has a nick. Remember when APMEX or A-Mark sold 2010 bullion ATBs slabbed by PCGS as BU? I picked them up and trust me they were a whole lot better looking than my “so called” BU Pd eagle.

    Last note, the dealer I bought from wanted to also charge me for “market loss” even when they are now charging over $150 more than when I purchased the coin. The Pd price is about $15-20 more than the time of purchase (no market loss). So you can’t have it both ways (they agreed). Either it’s bullion or not, today it’s not (a few years from now, probably will be).

  37. Buzz Killington says

    @Eric —

    In my view, you can’t buy a raw coin “expecting it to be a 69”. I don’t think that is fair.

    But since that coin has gone up, I agree with you that it is not fair to charge you for market loss, if you can otherwise return it according to their rules.

  38. Erik H says

    Rob & Buzz, I would have love to receive a 69 Pd eagle. Most 69 coins I buy are better that the 70s I’ve seen. I just bought an under graded PR69 2017 S Eagle for less than issue price plus grading fees.

    I love to buy 69 coins at the right price and crack them from their tombs. I’ve seen a lot of 70 coins with issues. 3-5 second’s isn’t enough time to grade a coin. Buy the coin not the holder, just look at the crazy prices for 2016 Congratulations Set Eagles. Obviously to some, the packaging matters more than the coin. I wish I would have speculated on the madness.

  39. Erik H says

    In my view, you can’t buy a raw coin “expecting it to be a 69”. I don’t think that is fair.

    All coins are RAW until they aren’t. So it’s not unreasonable to expect quality. Big boys have budgets to buy mass amounts of the same coin to create a “conditional” rarity” then try pawn the rest as better than they truly are. I don’t seel junk, I have a buyer waiting for my extra Liberty 4 medal set but I won’t sell it to him. It’s going back to the mint for quality issues (I guess it’s just me).

  40. Buzz Killington says

    @Erik —

    I like them better raw, too, and have cracked out many a modern from its useless slab. — 69 or 70. (Less storage space.)

    Even if a “70” on a label guaranteed “perfection” (which it doesn’t, as you observe), it wouldn’t matter to me. Some kind of distracting marks can be deal-breakers for me, but if I have to use a 10x loupe to see a small nick in a field, I really don’t see why I should care. I don’t want to task my heirs with the job of convincing some future buyer that the absence of such a nick adds a lot of value to a coin of which many thousands of Mint State examples exist.

  41. Buzz Killington says

    @Erik, I still fundamentally disagree that selling a bullion coin as “BU” is trying to represent something as “better than it is.” As @SK observed, what should happen to non-perfect coins, are the dealers required to melt them all, or be branded as crooks?

  42. Erik H says

    Buzz, If bullion sell for bullion. Are low mintage gold or silver Libertads bullion or numismatic items? They sell for bullion until the numbers are release then the price shots up. Same question for the Pd eagle. I know dealers who will buy a Pd eagle at a premium because they know there are others waiting to buy at a premium. Then there are dealers that don’t touch moderns, to them everything is bullion.

    The business model is flawed if you represent an item as numismatic with a premium then say it’s bullion immediately after.

    No different than telling a little old lady that her late husband’s rare CC Morgan is only worth melt then turn around and sells it to a waiting buyer for a huge profit.

  43. So Krates says

    This pd Mercury is bullion because it was:

    — sold through the authorized purchasers network, not through the mint with the generous return/exchange policy.

    — initially priced at a non-numismatic premium.

    — packaged in tubes packed in contact with other coins- not in individual capsules with box and COA

    The change in price after initial release can’t be the defining aspect. No matter how high speculation in the aftermarket pushes up this coin, you can’t go back in time and reclassify it as a numismatic product. Just as you couldn’t really call a proof gold FS a bullion coin – even though it might sell below spot.
    As with many things in life, it seems to be all about expectations. When they are not met we are not satisfied. However when we go in with slightly lowered expectations we are sometimes pleasantly surprised.

  44. samuel says

    When you buy BU you also buy a possibility of getting a perfect bullion. But for some big dealers, this possibility is ZERO. Thats why I never buy BU from a dealer who sells graded bullion at the same time.

  45. So Krates says

    But enough of this OT coin stuff, let’s get back ON TOPIC

    Despite all the snake oil peddling (grow our way to greater revenue crap) in the press release, I find it interesting they doesn’t use the word trillion . They need to slant the message even in the way they write out the numbers.

    Does the author have a case of meganumerophobia ?

    I realize in chart form that thousands of billions works better, but in the prose it looks silly to write out “$3,981 billion”

    It is $3.981 trillion in outlays. Say it, Munchkin Man. Say my name…..trillions. Sounds too much like zillions.

    What would you buy with $3,980,600,000,000.00?

  46. JSM says

    Does anyone know where to find audited mintage figures for burnished gold eagles after 2012 (that is where the mint site goes up to)?

  47. Erik H says

    SK, always pointing to the fact as stated but still comes up with different conclusion. Sold as bullion to AP doesn’t mean the the coin doesn’t have numismatic value (even if the value comes from speculators – see 2010 5 oz ATBs). The 2017 SA silver Krugerrand is considered by many (myself included) be an over priced bullion coin but because of distribution and marketing at this time it’s not. If I buy an damaged silver Kruegerrad today for $50 I shouldn’t be told tomorrow that it’s worth $17 just because the dealer now wants to say it’s just bullion.

    I once walked into a dealer and ask to see their junk foreign silver coins, stuff going for melt. He gave my a box full random coins .500 – .958 fineness. All circulated or damaged. I searched for a while pulling out some cool looking stuff with no regards to numismatic value (I do this often). After I asked how much he sat down with the world book, looked up each coin and came up with an inflated price, NOT MELT.

    After I told him I wasn’t interested he said “I waisted his time” (no, it was the other way around). I was also looking at a graded Saint that he had too. So his comment and trying to pull a fast one cost him more than just time. He lost a bigger sale (with a higher margin) plus now I tell others to take their business elsewhere. Junk coins / bullion coins can be numismatic. Ethical dealers don’t sell you a coin at a premium today then tell you it’s a worthless bullion coin as soon as you walk out the door.

  48. Ron says

    Erik H Says:
    As a long time ETHICAL seller on eBay with nothing less than 100% feedback since 2009, I would never sell this coin without labeling the problems. I’ve actually sold several semi-numismatic “bullion” related items for bullion prices on eBay CLEARLY listing the problem areas to my customers with high resolution photos only to have eBay customers return them as “not advertised”. Guess what, eBay always rules in favor of the customer. I take the hit every time!

    Erik, that is why I quit selling on the Bay in 2017, that and the fees. Years ago when you could leave negative feedback for a nasty buyer at least you had a way to show your displeasure. I still have my account for purchasing when I or someone in my family wants something but I’ll never sell anything again.

  49. Erik H says

    Ron, I feel you. Every year I sell less and less on eBay. I’d rather take it to a few of the local guys I sell to. Sometimes eBay is still good for a quick flip but I try to avoid them.

    It hasn’t happened to me (because I always demand the item be returned even if I know it’s “buyers remorse” and not “item not as described”) but a friend lost both his coin & the money because he thought protesting through eBay would produce favorable results.

    My last problem with eBay, they didn’t want to credit my fee’s because I opened a claim against the buyer (to long to explain). I was told that since eBay stepped in to help I wouldn’t get my fees back.

    I told the rep to look at the amount of items that I’ve sold previously then compare it to 2016 / 2017. Told them their policies are what’s driving away QUALITY mom & pop sellers. They did refund the fee but I stop selling for several months after. I don’t even buy from them much either, can’t even use a gift cards to buy coins…wake up eBay!!!

  50. smalltimecollector says

    I’ll provide an update. After thinking this all through I came to the realization the seller has the obligation to fulfill a contract entered when I purchased a coin they offered. To change any portion of the contract requires two parties to agree.
    I think anyone using on-line services for purchasing should be aware they have protection from discrepancies in what is offered and delivered (not just on coins). Somehow (some) coin vendors feel they make the rules. Fortunately auction sites, payment processors and banks all offer protection for buyer/customers.
    These shops that use customer $ (in my case a month) to buy more goods and then toss out a lesser product than paid for need to be squelched. I think it would be a good long while before I get a replacement BU coin or refund as well. At this point the seller I purchased from has failed to complete a contract. I’m continuing to seek resolution. I’m pretty sure they are agreeing to buy it back only because of price increases.

  51. Gold man says


    Thank you, but every number after 2012 is unaudited. The mint site cuts off at 2012 under their annual sales tab. 😡

  52. earthling says

    The trend is mintages is downward in Coins. As Wall St and Cryptocurrencies offer a more attractive alternative to physical Coins , look for the mass exit to continue.

    OK, so the current BU AGE lost out in the race to the bottom. Well… there’s always next year.

  53. Jerry Diekmann says

    Earthling – yes, mintages will continue downward as the Mint continues to produce unneeded and/or poorly designed coins. We seem to be going through 1936 again (when the Mint produced all kinds of commemorative half dollars that were ugly and of local or no interest only.)

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