Last Chance for 2010 Annual Sets

The US Mint has scheduled to conclude sales for various 2010 annual sets on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 5:00 PM ET. Although the sets have been available for more than a year, some are poised to have historically low mintages.

The products scheduled to conclude sales are shown below with current pricing:

2010 Proof Set 31.95
2010 Silver Proof Set 64.95
2010 Uncirculated Mint Set 31.95
2010 Presidential Dollar Proof Set 15.95
2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Proof Set 14.95
2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set 39.95

 

It is interesting to note that the US Mint has not scheduled to conclude sales for the 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Uncirculated Coin Set and the 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Circulating Coin Set.

The 2010 Presidential Dollar Uncirculated Coin Set previously sold out.

Of greatest interest among the sets scheduled to conclude sales are the 2010 Proof Set and 2010 Uncirculated Mint Set. These are core product offerings of the United States Mint that have been offered for more than five decades (with just a few years of interruption). Sales figures for the products grew at a rapid rate during the 1950’s and 1960’s, eventually stretching far into the millions.

In more recent years, sales figures for these traditional sets have fallen, as the US Mint has offered a much broader array of other numismatic products, offered various component versions of the annual sets, and the Mint’s overall customer base has experienced a decline.

As of the most recent sales report, the 2010 Proof Set has sold 1,102,698 units. This may become the lowest mintage proof set since 1958 when 875,652 sets were sold. The 2010-dated set will also be significantly below recently issued sets. The mintage for the 2007 Proof Set was 1,702,116; the mintage for the 2008 Proof Set was 1,405,674; and the mintage for the 2009 Proof Set was 1,477,967.

The 2010 Uncirculated Mint Set has sold 582,539 units. This may become the lowest mintage mint set since 1962 when 385,285 sets were sold. Once again, the 2010-dated set will be significantly below recently issued sets. The mintage for the 2007 Mint Set was 895,628; the mintage for the 2008 Mint Set was 745,464; and the mintage for the 2009 Mint Set was 774,844.

Adding some additional intrigue to the 2010 Mint Set, it is the last to feature satin finish coins. This special finish was utilized by the US Mint for these annual sets and certain other numismatic products from 2005 to 2010. From 2011 onwards, the US Mint is using a brilliant finish, which is generally not differentiated from the finish used for circulating coins.

As always, it is possible that in future years sales of proof sets and mint sets will continue to dwindle lower, making this year’s sets less impressive.

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Comments

  1. simon says

    The other small “factor” in play for rarity is that some of these proof and uncirc sets are broken up and housed in plastic caskets of TPGs. So the actual number of complete sets in OGP is probably lesser.

  2. Falcon says

    It’s a shame to see the satin finish go. I have assembled several dansco holders with the full satin series. Now that they can’t be differeniated from the circulating coins how will we be able to tell if they are from mint sets?

  3. Brad says

    It seems no one really cares much about these sets anymore. The issue prices are too high and secondary market prices (with very few exceptions) seem to trend below issue prices. I didn’t bother buying any of these sets for 2010 or 2011. I bought a few 2009’s, but now I’m stuck with them if I don’t want to eat several dollars per set if I sell them. The copper pennies were supposed to be big winners, but it turned out no one really cares about them despite the mintage of just under 775,000. You’d think with a number like that (very low for Lincoln cents), collectors would be pursuing them. Not really it seems.

    I’ll not be tying up any more money in sets like these, no matter how low the mintage gets. It will probably always be enough to satisfy whatever demand does exist.

  4. Matt L. DeTectre says

    I quit collecting these sets after a few years of seeing the presidential dollars included which devalue the sets due to their pot metal composition. I think they are still great sets for kids or for gifts but as not so much as collectables. Even the “silver” proof set is a misnomer due to the inclusion of so many pot metal dollar coins. If the mint made a true all silver set with 90% silver presidential coins and maybe even a silver penny I believe it would rejuvenate this item but probably be over a hunerd dollas a set. Nonetheless, it would become the mother of all silver coin sets.
    “If printing money is the way to economic prosperity, where did Zimbabwe go wrong.” from James G. Rickards

  5. ClevelandRocks says

    Coin collecting officially sucks. Get burned if you collect clad, or get burned if you collect silver, gold or platinum. Clad sets have pretty much always been a bad investment. Some of us unwisely continue to collect “for our kids”. The large steady fall in PMs right after most of us plunked down a bunch of dough on big pieces of silver and some other PM products (FS anyone?) puts the dagger in coin collecting. Maybe the mint should have a 1/2 off sale for the 2010 sets to screw over those that collected them at stated Mint prices like they did for the ATBs. Mint policies (and lack of policy as in silver products) have turned me away, but I’m sure they don’t care about the “common folk” like me anyway.

  6. Larry says

    Watching HSN. Gotta love em! They are selling 2012 American Eagles, and as we all know it is NOT 2012 yet. What is interesting is they are showing the ANACS slab that clearly says 2012, but they cleverly hide the date on the coin. Do they have a time machine?

  7. Hidalgo says

    Michael,

    I think another factor that has played a role in the low sales is the price of the sets. Further, long-term appreciation of sets for the past few years has been low. When was the last time that we have seen a proof set that had a signicant increase in market value? The last one I can think of was the 2001 Silver Proof Set — which was sold 10 years ago….. Not a winner since then.

  8. says

    Brad,

    Unfortunately, the PM craze has pushed all non-PM coins onto the backburner, even those which ought to be considered moderately rare (see: the first 9 AtB quarters). Once PMs calm down, investors may take a second look at clad. However, Matt’s attitude is a pretty good example of how most investors these days look at clad coins. I actually have a harder time finding some older clad coins these days than I do PM coins.

  9. Michael says

    Hidalgo, Yes, the US Mint’s price increases also likely played a role in the declining sales.

    The 2008 (clad) Proof Set and 2008 Mint Set have had decent increases in value.

  10. Brad says

    There were some winners in clad sets since 2001. The 2004 Mint Set saw nice increases after the unexpected November sellout, and the 2008 sets were similar. It’s just that now the issue prices are too high to allow for any real price appreciation. I could be wrong, but as I recall the 2004 Mint Set issue price was only $16.95, and immediately after sellout it was selling for $40-$50+. That set even had around 850,000 units sold too. The 2009 set included eight 95% copper Lincoln cents that could not be obtained anywhere else and sold “only” around 775,000 units. It usually sells now for $20-$22, while the issue price was $27.95. Collector sentiment has definitely changed over the past few years. Using the 2004 mindset, the 2009 set should be fetching $75+ today.

  11. Falcon says

    Wow who is selling 2009 mint sets for $20-$22? I just checked ebay and there were no full sets going for that price.
    I think alot of the poor sales are because of the economy. People have to deceide whether to spend money on food or bills. With all of the homes foreclosed and lack of work there is not the excess of spending money for hobbies.
    Those of you who can afford to buy gold coins count yourselfs blessed. Those of you who are crying because you can’t sell for a profit the excess of coins you bought thank the economy.Those of you who can afford to buy some coins for the enjoyment of collecting enjoy them.

  12. Hidalgo says

    Falcon, there are likely several factors playing a role in the lower sales numbers for US Mint proof and uncirculated sets.

    Price – if proof and uncirculated sets are twice as high as a few years ago, then I would think folks would buy fewer of them than if they were 1/2 the price as years ago. To simplify things, if the 2011 price for a given item was $20 and the 2007 price was $10, then buyers would likely buy more of the given item at the lower price since they can afford it. (Note: I see that some bloggers have decided to buy fewer gold FS coins with the increase in gold prices…)

    Economy – plays a role since some folks who previously collected may be out of a job, may be earning less money, may be in greater debt, etc.

    Multiple versions of the same products. Michael refers to this in his blog.

    Preference for PMs. With the recent emphasis and focus on coins made of PMs, proof and mint sets have lost some of the attention (and demand) they previously commanded.

    There likely are other reasons as well.

  13. says

    Agree with your analysis, Hidalgo. I’d add that the Mint really needs to reconsider its pricing policies for clad products – with sales of clad products trending lower, the Mint ought to consider at least stopping the constant price increases to try to lure some of these buyers back. Even people buying for the kids are more likely now to snag a silver quarters set as opposed to just random rolls of clad AtBs. The silver is a much better bang for your buck.

  14. simon says

    for all you PM pundits :

    > Spot gold in London fell to $1,523 a troy ounce, the weakest since July and down almost $400 from a nominal record reached this year. The reversal has spooked investors searching for havens. The largest gold exchange-traded fund, held by individual investors and the biggest hedge funds alike, has unloaded 44 tonnes, or 3 per cent of its hoard, this month.

    > John Paulson, the hedge fund manager, sold more than a third of his fund’s holdings in the SPDR Gold Shares exchange-traded fund in the third quarter, equivalent to about 34 tonnes. His firm was still the largest single owner of the shares as of September.

  15. Zaz says

    Let’s see what the numbers are next week when the sales reports come out. The interest in PMs have really pushed these sets to the back burner. Partly to blame is the economy and the unemployment numbers. If you have the cash to spend on coins, why buy base metal coins, when silver will always retain its intrinsic value? The proof and uncirculated base metal coins are superfluous luxuries in times of economic need, and the Mint ought to roll back the prices for the 2012 sets just to get collectors interested again.

  16. says

    Simon,

    PM prices have gone up and down in the last few years (just look at how big a chunk was bitten off in 2008) but in general gold and silver have been trending upward for the last decade. The main reason we are seeing a decline in PM prices is due to short term strength in the dollar brought on by the collapse of the Euro. Should the attention of the “bears” shift away from Europe and back to the United States, we will see the dollar decline and PM prices shoot back upwards.

    I view the decrease in silver and gold prices as great opportunities to pick up PM coins at cheaper prices.

    And really, let’s be honest. Even if this fall is permanent, as someone who likes to buy Mint products (PM and otherwise), I’m not going to be too sad if a long-term plunge in gold prices causes me to be able to afford gold eagles/buffaloes again. Had this plunge happened a bit earlier in the year, I might have been able to pick up two proof platinum eagles instead of just one.

  17. Matt L. DeTectre says

    Hey, I’m all for big drops in PM’s. It might allow me to get into collecting the small yellow coins. Thousand dolla an oz for yellow would be fine by me. Plats might be the deal of the year. Too much fiat being created in Europe and here for metal prices to stay down for long. Personally I think prices have just about bottomed but if they keep goin’ down thats just as other commenters have stated would be a superb buying opportunity.

    “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – zero.” Voltaire

  18. pl.mark says

    Sometimes the themes on the coins can also have an effect on sales. I stopped collecting the annual sets when the ATB series began because the series did not stick to one theme like national parks but included other sites which, in my view, did not compare to the caliber of a national park. For PM coins, the platinum series lost its appeal to me when the current theme began in 2009. The mint should consider the fact the some people will not collect coins just to keep a series complete. What is the point of collecting something which you really do not want to look at with pleasure?

  19. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    This phenomenon, of proliferating coin sets year after year, is parallel to the situation in Japan and is a result of diminishing economic factors and a Mint’s strategy for profit in these trying economic climates. Take for instance, the Japanese cupro-nickel 50 yen coin of Showa 62 (1987) only available in mint and proof sets with a total mintage of only 750,000; commanded a premium of almost $300 for many years. This was THE most sought after coin of the entire modern Japanese circulated coin series. However, in 2009 Japan’s GDP decreased 25% (yes, 25%) in two quarters. They have been in in the “Heisei recession”, which actually began around 1990 when the “bubble economy” burst with the housing crisis and unbacked loan crisis here (ring a bell?) and the Nikkei dropped from 39,000 to 11,000. Every year since then, the Japan Mint offered increasing varieties of coin sets. In fact, last year which had 2 or 3 contracting quarters they only minted 510,000 50 yen pieces. Now the S62 50 yen piece is only about $100. The Japanese only mint as many coins as needed.

    However, now, with the devastating one-in-1000-year earthquake and tsunami, that occurred on 03-11-11, Japan is in the throes of an economic and spirtual Depression and hardly anyone is interested in the coins.

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