Surprisingly, the US Mint’s Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set is still on sale as of 10:00 AM ET this morning. The sets went on sale yesterday at 12:00 Noon ET, with a first day sell out expected by many.
Thanks to readers, we have a rough idea of the total number of sets ordered. (Check out the 364 comments and counting on yesterday’s post!)
The earliest order numbers from yesterday are 33159xxx. I placed an order for some 2009 Mint Sets this morning and had an order number of 33219xxx. This means that roughly 60,000 orders have been placed in the past 22 hours. Assuming that 80% or more of the orders contained one Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set, sales must be very close or have already exceeded the 50,000 production limit.
It’s possible that the 50,000 mark has already been passed. For similar situations, the US Mint has accepted orders in excess of the production limit to allow a buffer for order cancellations due to bad credit card information or cancellations for orders placed in excess of the household limit. I would be very surprised if the status of the product status is not changed to Sold Out by the end of today.
Another observation from the comments, many people ordered the Louis Braille Education Set together with the Lincoln Set to combine shipping costs. The low initial sales of the Braille Set may see a big jump next week if this practice was widespread.
Separately, a more obscure product sold out yesterday. This was the Collecting America’s Coins: Beginner Basics Set. I believe this product had actually gone on sale back in 2005. It was featured in this year’s US Mint Holiday catalog, which likely brought some renewed interest.
The set contains a 2005 Proof Kennedy Half, satin finish 2005 P&D Roosevelt Dimes, circulation strike 2005 P&D Lincoln Cents, and a one cent blank planchet. In addition to the coins, the set also contains some excellent information about the history of US coins, the process of making coins, numismatic tips, and a small glossary. I had purchased one of these sets a while back for my son. (He is still only 18 months old, but one day I think he will enjoy it.)
Update: Dave Harper is reporting that the US Mint had sales of 29,919 sets as of 5 PM ET Thursday. At that time, order numbers were around 33200xxx. A recent order number is 33226xxx, meaning about 26,000 more orders have occurred since.
Update 2: The US Mint has also posted the following message:
Unfortunately, the United States Mint Web site did not perform as expected when the popular 2009 Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set went on sale at noon Eastern Time on October 15. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and frustration many of you may have experienced while attempting to purchase this and other products using our online catalog.
We did not meet the standards of excellence we have set for serving our customers. You deserve a better online shopping experience, and we are committed to resolving these issues quickly and permanently.
Thank you for your patience and continued support.
Update 3: At 6:00 PM ET, the set went onto waiting list status. The following message was posted on the product page:
Waiting List Notice: The number of orders we have taken meets the maximum limit for the United States Mint Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set. You may still place an order for this product, which will go on a waiting list. If a product becomes available due to an order cancellation, we will fulfill orders from the waiting list on a first-in, first-served basis. We cannot provide information about your position on the waiting list.