Mint’s weekly sales figures fall flat

Philadelphia-Mint-FB

The U.S. Mint’s numismatic sales figures for the week ending April 23, 2017, are probably giving the Mint’s accountants a giant collective headache—but they do make for an interesting discussion of buyer behavior. Much of the excitement (for lack of a better word) seems to be an ongoing ripple effect that started with the April 4 release of the 2017 Congratulations Set. Mint News Blog readers will remember it well, with its surprise S-mintmarked American Eagle silver Proof coin. The Mint’s entire supply sold out in under two minutes, leaving a great many customers frustrated and angry.

Looking at the Mint’s weekly sales data for 2017 to date shows that retail buying patterns got interesting the week before the 2017 Congratulations Set was released. Consumers had been purchasing roughly 10 to 25 of the 2016 Congratulations Sets (16RF) per week since the first report of 2017. The week ending April 2, however, sales jumped to 462. Were the Mint’s customers worried that the 2016 sets would no longer be available after April 4? Or were they being trigger-happy as the news spread about the special ASE coin in the 2017 set?

April 4 came and went, and the 2017 Congratulations Sets, as noted, sold out in under two minutes. The Mint issued a statement that a few more of the sets would be made available as returns, order cancelations, and credit-card cancelations were processed.

The Mint skipped its next numismatic sales report, which would have covered the week ending April 9. When the April 16 report was released, we learned that a net 3,130 of the 2016 Congrats Sets sold during those two weeks. It seemed pretty clear this time that excited customers were hastily buying the 2016 sets, thinking they were getting a few of the 2017’s that could still be available.

On the current report (week ending April 23), the 2016 Congratulations Sets are newly listed as “unavailable.” No doubt the returns will be rolling in on the April 30 report, or perhaps the May 7.

This week’s report is interesting for other reasons as well, one of those being the volume of downward adjustments:

  • 2016 American Eagle 1-oz. silver Proof coins (16EA), -2,522
  • 2016 American Eagle 1-oz. silver Uncirculated coins (16EG), -2,699
  • 2017 American Eagle 1-oz. silver Proof coins (17EA), -18,820

Were these returns related to erroneous purchases during the Congratulations frenzy? Or did it just happen that the Mint chose this report to process adjustments related to ASEs? In any case, the Mint removed a total of 24,041 unit sales from the books. Given that only 18,205 items were sold, the net unit sales figure for the week was actually a negative number: -5,836. It would take a bit of digging to find the last time this happened; certainly, it’s the first time this year.

The Mint’s top-10 sellers the past week were also at a record low for 2017. For the first time this year, only one item in the entire numismatic catalog sold 1,000 or more units: the 2017 U.S. Mint Proof Set (17RG), released March 29, which sold 6,547 units for the period.

To compare the current sales report with those earlier in the year:

 Week Ending No. Products with +1k Units Sold No. of Units Sold
In Top 10 Overall
Jan. 8 5 10,892 50,065
Jan. 15 5 10,503 22,023
Jan. 22 6 39,837 46,295
Jan. 29 10 35,213 42,267
Feb. 5 5 15,898 19,955
Feb. 12 6 17,338 44,837
Feb. 19 7 58,876 65,513
Feb. 26 8 31,395 38,627
Mar. 5 11 35,339 47,346
Mar. 12 12 61,355 76,029
Mar. 19 9 20,917 26,175
Mar. 26 7 249,815 257,910
Apr. 2 9 221,654 233,031
Apr. 16* 20 168,743 203,889
Apr. 23 1 11,806 -5,836
* Report covers two weeks’ worth of sales.

The question now is whether this week’s sales figures are at a normal low point in the cycle, or much of the Mint’s customer base really is exasperated enough to give up on Mint products. To be fair, there were no new releases at all last week, and the previous week, only one item—the 2017 ATB Uncirculated Set (17AA), released April 10—debuted. The period ending March 19 had no new products that week, but it benefited from the ongoing sales of the 2017 Boys Town commemoratives from the week prior.

The Mint’s next release, the moderately priced ATB Frederick Douglass 5-ounce silver Uncirculated coin (17AK), rolls out May 2, but sales for the series haven’t been strong for a while. The current net figure for the previous 5-ounce coin, Effigy Mounds, is exactly 10 units more than it was on its first week’s sales report (March 12), when it came in at 14,363. The 1-ounce Proof gold Buffalo coin (17EL) debuts May 11, but last year’s version got off to a relatively slow start, and sales puttered on at a steady but unremarkable couple hundred a week for most of 2016.

Whatever the cause of the current malaise, it seems unlikely to lift for at least the next two or three weeks.   ❑

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Comments

  1. cagcrisp says

    @Gary Not Dave , “Yeah, made to order..that will be great for the coin hobby..flood the market with every offering. That way ALL the coins we buy will be worth half or less than what we paid for them. Smart!

    Pretty sure that will be the bullet to the head of a lot of Coin Collectors. We think we don’t have enough collectors in the hobby now. Just wait until the Mint starts making everything to order.”

    Agree. Agree. Agree…

    Currently I see 271 Mint offerings. There has been ONE mint offering this year that has Sold Out in Rapid order vs. being arbitrarily pulled by the Mint.

    1 out of 271. That’s = .00369

    …SO…For my money upper upper 90s % of Mint offerings are Currently Mint To Demand.

    Nobody screams about the 270 offerings that go Begging for whatever reason. All concentrated efforts are on the ONE item that Sold Out in rapid fashion and the Reason it is So sought after NOW, is because of the secondary market pricing.

    IF there had been a HHL of 1 for the “S” the secondary market wouldn’t even be CLOSE to the artificially inflated prices that you are Currently seeing.

    Yep…”Collectors” would have their 1 and secondary prices would reflect that very fact…

  2. Gary Not Dave says

    I would think most collectors enjoy the chase. If they just do everything made to order, that pretty much ends the chase and pretty much kills the modern coin collectors. IMHO

    But, if I can pull out a positive of the future of “made to order”, although I am saddened by the loss of modern coin collecting, It will drive up prices on vintage coins.

    @cagcrisp
    Out of the 271 offerings…I wonder why it would be so hard to cap just a few items a year? And some items don’t have to be real low mintages…Example..cap the mintage on the SIlver Proof Set at 200k.

    @Louis G and all……look at the total mintages of the SIlver Proof Sets Since 1999…..even that products is dying. That’s just an example.

    And on another note…I am curious to why the US Mint hasn’t figured out when they release a low mintage item just do a 1 per household?

    Also, little bit about me…I am a nobody…just a collector on a budget..i don’t work in the coin industry. I collect modern and vintage. I do flip some items on occasion. I enjoy the highs and lows of the chase…whether that’s at a coin auction or ebay or trying to get through on the US website. Although I do have a small claim to fame. I made it on the cover of Numismatic News standing in line freezing my butt off in Springfield for the first set of 5 ounce pucks! Ha..Good Times!

  3. Dustyroads says

    Louis, It felt good reading your statement. I’ve tried to say the same thing, but wonder if anyone really wants to read anything that I had to say, even if it is on a positive note. It seems obvious to me that the coin hobby is in transition. Why it’s in transition is probably what gets most people hung up though. It’s easy to simply say that people are getting older and have left the hobby, but there’s a much larger factor still. I’ve mentioned a “rethinking” of the hobby before, which is why I have from time to time mentioned a “floor” for PM’s. I am even beginning to be ridiculed for thinking there is a possible place. I don’t know what needs to be said to better express that there needs to be an acceptable price for gold in the minds of collectors. Eventually people will come around to believing a certain price is not too high, but I just don’t think we’re there yet. However, I do think we’re very close. Or maybe I’m just just full of it, in which case everyone can go back to whatever you were doing before opening your browsers. Gary Not Dave and I will hang out and be nobodies together. Peace ya’ll, or 안녕

  4. Joe M says

    I also agree that mint to demand will kill the hobby of future products.
    How about any “high-demand” product below a 50,000 mintage have a HHL of one.
    50,000-75,000 two, 75,000-100,000 three. 100,000 or more no limit.
    The mint should be well aware of a product that will be in high demand…they’ve proven it this year with the 2017 Congratulations set and the 2017 225th Anniversary High Relief…hehehehehe
    😉
    Ok, joking aside. There will always be winners and losers. I’ve lost money, I’ve made money. I got shut out of some sales, I’ve made good purchases. I collect, I invest.
    Overall, I enjoy this HOBBY. I’ve been COLLECTING since 1994 and plan on COLLECTING for another 10 years…at least. I found this blog about 3 years ago and LOVE the comments, sour or positive. Without this blog, I would’ve missed out on around $4,000+ profit from the purchases I made that I would not even considered puchasing…ie Coin and Chronicles containing the reverse proof dollars, ANY SILVER EAGLE PRODUCT, because I sold my entire collection when silver hit $40 on the way down from $49 in 2011, and the 50th Ann Kennedy 4-pc set(I found 7 of the rare DMPL out of 55 sets).
    So, HHL or not, I will buy what I like. If the mint produces coins “made to order”, I’ll hunt the low mintage, but I doubt I’ll buy from the mint because there won’t be a demand. The people who do buy from the mint will more than likely be selling the same offering on FEEBAY for less 🙂

  5. So Krates says

    @ Joe M – on the silver Kennedys, are you referring to the Enhanced coin in DMPL? Did you submit yours? which TPG? Any advice? .I think I might have one. For a while now I’ve been setting all my possible PL coins aside for attribution but in my limited submission experience I have never requested it before. They don’t do it automatically, do they? I have a few ’89 ASEs that look PL and some 95 AGEs, too Thanks.

  6. Louis Golino, Author says

    Thanks, Dusty. Never let anyone make you feel like your views don’t count. Those of us who go against the grain often turn out to be right in the long run.

  7. Gary Not Dave says

    @Joe M
    I don’t believe NGC will designate any other years PL other than 1986…..I believe they use the star designation.

  8. says

    Mike – Erik was using it figuratively as he believes the secondary market price for the S will be coming down in either the near future or with the release of the LESPS.

    I believe the ‘S’ will take a hit within the next 4 weeks as all the BO orders are shipping.

    Less than 1,000 orders for 75,000 items is unbelievable, what that means is that a few BIG BOYS placed some very large orders and will be offloading., or in the case of Texasge.., dumping

  9. says

    Mike –

    PL – Proof Like – a term Third Party Graders (TPG) give to an UNC or Enhanced coin that exhibits Proof-Like qualities.

    They are rare among Moderns and usually fetch a very high premium.

    PL’s are most likely caused by either worn dies or over polished dies.., so it’s really a defect IMO, but go figure.., everyone wants a PL

  10. Dustyroads says

    Mike the Greek, cagcrisp who first mentioned shorting the 2017-S used it in a way that would suggest the coin has become a traded commodity, somewhat like a stock, but with the belief the value will most certainly be headed down. Shorting a particular stock is only considered when the stock is losing value. When the stock eventually comes out of it’s fall, covering the short prevents the buyer from losing money. Hope this helps.

  11. Erik H says

    Dusty, I was just going to give cagcrisp the credit he deserves for his “shorting” the coin comment. I did enjoy it and that why I used it.

    It will now be part of the official MNB vernacular.

  12. Xena says

    Louis, Dusty – good comments.

    The blog is made up of seriouos collectors and PM investors. I’d argue this is not your average collector. A lot of folks just want proof/mint sets &/or Eagles, maybe commemoratives and circulation coins. Maybe you guys don’t consider them collectors, but that was me for about 50 years. The thought of collecting as an investment never occured to me when I started collecting, and for the most part I still don’t think about that (except you can’t get away from it here). I just wanted to fill the holes in my Whitman books. Remember the fun of those days?!

  13. Xena says

    And speaking of filling holes, was an exciting day at Xena’s house yesterday! My LCS had an 1892O Barber half and gave me a great deal on it. Last one! The partial set my Dad left me is now complete. Not sure if he’d be glad about that or shocked that I would pay that much for one coin. Probably both, I admit I have trouble spending that much ($200) on a single coin. I will donate some extra money this month so I feel less guilty about my first world problems…

  14. Xena says

    For those who didn’t get their S or that want more, recommend checking at 0730 tomorrow…

    KCSO says
    APRIL 30, 2017 AT 6:41 PM
    This is Odd..,
    Congratulations Set 2017 was listed as Sold Out..,
    Now CU..

  15. Xena says

    Ryan says
    APRIL 28, 2017 AT 2:41 PM
    Just bought the Canadian mint Star Trek captains coin.

    Ryan – I am also a Star Trek fan. I’m not a big fan of most of the ST coins (I don’t have any colorized coins), but I did splurge on the 50th anniversary silver delta coin – love it.

  16. Louis Golino, Author says

    Xena- Congrats on the Barber set. You were a true collector back then and you are still one now.

    See, I am not hung up on who is a collector, an investor, or whatever. And I have read that the greatest collectors of all time like Louis Eliasberg never gave a thought to future value when putting together their collections, which I realize would be impossible today.

    Live and let live!

  17. Dustyroads says

    Xena, You’re a great guy, I can tell by your comments. In fact, when I see your name before a comment, I know I’m going to enjoy reading it.
    I hope I didn’t press too hard here. I do tend to focus on some of the more expensive coins the USM releases. I am interested in a few bread and butter pieces, of which I don’t consider investments at all, but absolutely consider the value factor when planning a high dollar purchase. Am I a precious metals investor? NO, but I will avoid loosing money if I can when buying gold or silver.
    My earlier point was meant to address those collectors who at one time would buy the silver proof sets, or gold commemoratives, but who are still saying no to high prices until they come down. I contend that prices are close to as cheap as they will ever be going forward. When it’s finally taken for granted that this is for real, I believe a base can begin to build in and a new normal form, if there is going to ever be one.

  18. Joe M. says

    @ So Krates
    I submitted them to PCGS without the request for the DMPL. I didn’t even know(at the time of submission) that they existed. I bought 55 sets, took the top 30 of each Kennedy that I felt had a chance at 70, and submitted them to Bulk. Seven of the 2014-s came back MS69DMPL( I wish I would’ve got a 70. Saw one sell for $3,000+).
    Here is an item # on Ebay…It’s not mine.
    2014 S Enhanced Kennedy Silver half dollar PCGS MS69 DMPL Item #181718926994

  19. Gary Not Dave says

    I guess I am at a loss of what a true collector is…What I gather here from our True Collectors is:
    A true collector buys a coin because he just likes it not because its an investment and doesn’t concern themselves about any potential the coin might have. I would surmise true collectors have a lot of disposable income. I would also be a true collector if money wasn’t an issue.

    We will call these guys the “true collectors”

    What I do as a collector is try to buy and sell coins to collect what I like, I try to build my collection without spending my money..ie. flipping. No..i am not always successful but I sure enjoy trying.

    We will call these guys(myself) the “untrue collectors”

    I think that sums it up? @Louis G

  20. Joe M. says

    For those wondering if you might have one of the RARE 2014s Enhanced Silver in DMPL instead of the normal PL, both sides have to have the nice “dark” look to it instead of the “light”, sandy appearance. I had several that die pairs would not allow for the DMPL because one side wasn’t “dark” enough.
    The “dark” appearance is the die that is more like the regular DCam proofs, instead of the “light”, almost SP(satin) look.
    DMPL is Deep Mirror Proof-Like
    PL is Proof-like
    PR or PF is for Proof

  21. gatortreke says

    Re: the changing nature of the coin hobby, I’ve been working on my now 11 year old daughter to get her interested in the coin collection. She’s been pretty much uninterested except for one series, the 1 oz (now 30g) China Panda series. She likes the changing Panda design. She also likes the colorized Olaf coin from the movie Frozen put out by the New Zealand Mint for Niue. That’s been it. However, today I pulled out my 3 coin Canadian colorized set featuring the aircraft of WWI. I told her I was thinking of selling it and she told me not to, that she likes it. Perhaps a little glimmer of hope in her yet but this also illustrates that her interests are not the traditional interests.

    To Xena, I haven’t purchased the new Star Trek 5 captains coin even though I’m a pretty big Star Trek fan. I do have a number of the Tuvalu 1 oz RP 50th anniversary USS-Enterprise coins plus the original Tuvalu colorized USS Enterprise coins minus the fancy transporter holder A lot of the others have been designs that havent’ really appealed to me that much. I debated the delta coin but budgetary issues at the time kept me away from it.

    I also read cag’s comments about shorting the coin and wondered to myself, how can you possibly to that. I understand the mechanics of shorting stocks but an actual coin,, that’s another matter. I finally decided he was speaking figuratively.

  22. David Barton says

    Their sales are down…wonder why?
    The mint keeps taking advantage of the collector… NO limits on a set with a key coin in it? They are either idiots or they are taking care of a few dealers.

    The gold baseball coin was the same fiasco.

    I am done. No more direct from mint purchases. There are better coins to collect.

  23. Joe M. says

    @ Gary Not Dave
    You’re welcome. I hope you have one…or more 🙂
    I sold 6 and only have one left. I averaged about $240 for the six($295 for the high and $195 for the low), but the one listed is much higher. Maybe I should’ve held a little longer 🙁

  24. jayjaspersgarage on ebay says

    Somehow coin collecting skipped a generation in our family. I got the bug from my grandfather who was born in 1895. He left 8,200 coins to my Dad in 1978. Dad never looked at them and gave them to me in 2010 on Christmas Day.

    A true collector leaves more coins for his or her survivors to enjoy than they ever sold.

    A true collector picks up a coin in the parking lot no matter how dirty it looks.

    A true collector usually can tell a story about when and where they acquired all the key date coins in their collection.

    A true collector will feel his pulse increase when he spots coin books at a garage sale.

    A true collector will look over the change in her pocket; twice, just to be sure she did not miss that elusive Buffalo nickel roaming through commerce.

    I have two of the 2017 Congratulations S Silver Eagles. Very nice. Had to write something to be near topic.

    That’s all I have this morning. Add to the list if you wish.

    Jay

  25. RSF says

    Great list of truisms Jay. I enjoy loitering in LCSs, to talk coins of course, but also to see coin collections being un-closeted by heirs. Some seeking information, some looking to liquidate. It’s fascinating to see the way the collections were stored and the methods devised for display. I imagine the joy that was felt as some of the better holes were filled and the hunt that it used to take to acquire them.

    As to the essence of the current discussion of acquiring moderns, I feel that if you consider your collection to be a coin collection, then you are a collector. If you consider them to be inventory, then you are a dealer/investor/flipper. Many here appear to consider themselves a bit of both.

  26. Old Big Bird says

    Well silly me, I figured that since it is May 1st, the USM would add to the product release schedule.
    Here it is 11am on Monday the 1st and we still only have items listed up to May 17th.
    What else is new.
    How can collectors plan what they are going to need to spend in the upcoming month or two.

  27. cagcrisp says

    @Louis Golino, Author , The demographic that I refer to is not only an aging demographic. It’s a Financial demographic.

    Study after study show that a Current 40 year old’s will Not have the disposable income their parents did. This is a trend that has been going on for years. Year after year, 40 year olds are Not financially as well off as their parents.

    69% of Americans have Less than $1,000 in Savings. The Millennials being the worst. Seniors (65+) by contrast show that 23% have Over $10,000 in Savings and even Seniors show that 62% have Less than $1,000 in Savings…

  28. cagcrisp says

    @Old Big Bird, I Think the schedule that you are seeing is the Entire schedule for May 2017. In 2016 the Mint only had 3 offerings in May and Currently we have 3 offerings for May.

    I Think that’s it…

  29. johnaz says

    My order of 2017-S set is still on back order. My cc was hit 10 days ago.and the bank said was paid.I call mint today they said will be ship in afew days.The guy a the mint said none left.

  30. sharks2th says

    The Live Chat on the Mint site seems to work well. A live chat screen popped up so I decided to use it. Here is my conversation asking about the upcoming schedule:

    Thank you for shopping with the United States Mint! Is there anything I can assist you with?

    12‎:‎53‎ ‎PM
    Visitor
    When will the schedule be updated? It should provide a yearly schedule instead of just a few weeks ahead in time. It is hard to budget purchases and plan vacation time when you don’t know when items will be released.

    12‎:‎53‎ ‎PM
    Rachel K.
    I’ll be happy to answer your product question.

    12‎:‎53‎ ‎PM
    Rachel K.
    Sadly, we do not have any additional information other than what is released on the product schedule.

    12‎:‎53‎ ‎PM
    Rachel K.
    We also were not told why they decided to release the schedule one month at a time instead of yearly.

    12‎:‎53‎ ‎PM
    Visitor
    Thanks.

    12‎:‎54‎ ‎PM
    Rachel K.
    I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you.

    12‎:‎54‎ ‎PM
    Rachel K.
    It’s my pleasure! Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

    12‎:‎54‎ ‎PM
    Visitor
    Will the update for June be up any time soon?

    12‎:‎56‎ ‎PM
    Rachel K.
    We do not have information on when exactly it will be updated, it should be updated at some point before June. My apologies.

    12‎:‎56‎ ‎PM
    Visitor
    Thank you for the information.

    12‎:‎56‎ ‎PM
    Rachel K.
    Thank you for shopping with the United States Mint, we’re happy to assist you today and in the future. For additional information on our products please visit our website at http://www.catalog.usmint.gov. Should you need further assistance from the United States Mint, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). For your convenience, we are available seven days a week between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 12 midnight, Eastern Standard Time.
    The operator has ended the chat. Thanks for contacting us.

  31. CoinMark says

    My son 12 yr old wants to collect coins – he’s wired for it. He went so far as to save up money to buy a beat up old wooden Gerstner chest, restored it himself with the goal of putting interesting coins in all those little drawers. He found some stuff on his limited budget and spends time on PCGS and the US Mint looking up stuff but the latest Congrats thing turned him off. He tried to get one while he was home “sick” at his moms house (I doubt he was really sick). He didn’t get one given how fast things moved. I didn’t either but that was my error. He said he was done with “official” coin collecting. US Mint turned him off.

    I asked him what it would take to get into and stay into it.
    His wish: “sneak in enough coins into circ that they are different/interesting/unusual but affordable and findable with hard work – regularly. And…if the Mint offers something cool make it so kids have a chance to get them instead of the websites who buy them all up & charge crazy money. I can’t disagree with his wish.

  32. Old Big Bird says

    @sharks2th says – What you did is a hoot. I had all I could not to fall on the floor laughing.
    The problem that is so like the USM that is it not funny

    cagcrisp says – I was looking for part of June. The May 17th items have been through for almost 2 months.
    Of course I know it is too much to ask for the balance of the year.

  33. CoinMark says

    Nice article Louis. It inspires a few thoughts.
    The focus seems to have changed from digging into the coins and history to making a buck from a macro standpoint. That shift moves the center from one group to another. Are the profit driven folks “collectors” or merely day traders? I don’t have the research facts but maybe more coins are being acquired today than back in the collecting heyday but it seems to be not for collection/curation. Over generalization here but that means the spirt of the coin is heading to meaningless-ness. Except for the shrinking number of collectors who really care.

    How important really are collectors to the US Mint? Despite the rhetoric, it seems like collecting is a small side benefit to make extra money to the Mint. I get that their primary job is to make currency and its a government institution. Does anyone have numbers on how important or not real collectors really are to the mint beyond the PR?

    Third thought is around the future and kids. There’s a lot a kids can spend their time and money on. So to capture their interest we need something at scale and special to kids. I’ve taken my son to Coin shows and they always have a kid thing there and he’s participated but as he said after the last one – “I think this was a lot more fun for the adults than the kids, it was what an adult thought would be fun for kids, not what a kid thinks would be fun for kids.” Kids still collect things at a furious pace and spend a lot of money on it. Just not coins. Share of wallet has shrunk. Imagine if coins got just 5% of what Kids spend on collecting stuff? Resurgence down the road? I don’t have the solve but the USMint could help a lot if they really wanted to re-energize coin collecting for the future Gen (and make even more money)

  34. gatortreke says

    @ CoinMark: I have a friend who has been working hard to nurture his 8 year old son in numismatics who has shown lots of interest to date. This is the 2nd year his son has exhibited at a large coin show in the southeast. The feedback from the judging and comments with the judges has been disappointing to say the least as there appears to be a disconnect between what the judges find interesting and worthy of awards versus what kids (and the public?) find so. I don’t have time to detail right now but my friend is concerned that the experiences will drive his son out of the hobby rather than fan the flame. I can sympathize! I’ll write a more detailed description later when I have time.

  35. Louis Golino, Author says

    In that article I thought the point about new collectors no longer being kids was imp., and it ties in with bullion. There may be a big surge in bullion when the debt surges and bullion prices surge, and some of those bullion buyers will become collectors.

    The main reason I brought all this up is that I don’t see the base for ASE collectors decreasing as was suggested a couple days ago here. That is a different argument from how the 17-S will do.

  36. CoinMark says

    @gatortreke for kid that went so far as to exhibit and the commit it took to get that far – its sad story.

    I found this from an article on the guy they were considering to fill the US Mint Direct job. He was questioned in a senate hearing committee. He didnt get the job and resigned when Trump come into office as is usual when a new President comes in.

    Shelby asked Jeppson about the future of the U.S. Mint and coins. Jeppson said the U.S. Mint expects to produce and supply the Federal Reserve with 15 billion coins over the next 12 months for circulation. Jeppson said a recent decline in numismatic sales is attributable to a drop in disposable income and a change in customer demographics. Jeppson said the Mint has extended its outreach to broaden its customer base.

    I agree with the change in demo – i.e. Younger folks not into it as much. But I call malarky on the disposable income part. Speculating here but US Mint-sold-coin-disposable income is needed for Gold and Plat coins. Silver not nearly as much. And modern circ coins? No. So the priority is Gold then? Unless when Mint charges big premiums for Silver coins, then its less about disposable income and more about spending disposable income on over-priced coins. $ goes elsewhere. Do something truly interesting with the approachable circ/uncirc coins.

    “Extended its outreach to broaden its base”?? Ya mean, no HH limit to snag more flippers?

  37. Dustyroads says

    Lious, That was a timely article Mr. Schwager. And thought provoking.

  38. Dustyroads says

    Louis says: “There may be a big surge in bullion when the debt surges”

    There is way too much Volatility in PM’s to NOT think that there would be a surge in prices. Metals are still very attractive safe haven assets, much more now than they were back in the years from the late eighties to 2003 when we moved our forces into Iraq. During those years, gold was so dormant, it didn’t seem to ever mover very much up or down. Today is different. It takes very little for it to rise. There can be some good results from expanding the budget, such as a cheaper USD, but it has ended badly in the past and Trump is trying to prevent that from happening again. We will see if these coming investments will pay off. It doesn’t hurt to be aware…and prepared, so I think we’re on the right track, and being collectors at the same time is fun. Lord knows I can use the fun in my life.

  39. gatortreke says

    @ Louis: You make a good point about what’s driving new collectors into the market and how we need to rethink what is happening in the hobby. The linked Schwager article does make me rethink things. I think it is sometimes difficult to see the change that is taking place around us while we are living through it.

    Based on the article, I’d have to classify myself as a member of the Class of 2011. I was born in the last year silver circulated so I was not raised with chasing circulation finds. My dad is first generation U.S. so I haven’t been exposed to any type of historic family coin collection. I actually was attracted to the hobby in 1999 when a coworker told me I could buy the Mint;s proof and silver proof offerings and sell them to a local coin dealer for a profit. I was skeptical but I followed his advice and bought the limited number of sets I could buy and did exactly as he described, sold all but one of each, making enough to keep one set for free. It wasn’t a lot but it intrigued me and here I am today, still collecting. How many collectors today can trace their start to the 50 state quarter program. Clearly, I am one of those collectors.

  40. Dustyroads says

    gatortreke, Life just keeps getting better doesn’t it! I am a `63’er. But that didn’t stop me from looking for silver in the early seventies. My mom was an Office Education Association (OEA) teacher at the local high school. On basketball nights she would let my siblings and I look though the change she brought home from the games. There was always something to be found.

  41. Xena says

    Jay – nice list.

    I didn’t count the coins my Dad left us, but maybe I’ll estimate how many were in the 30 binders. He had a few nice sets like the Barber halves and an almost compete Morgan set (that went to my brother), but most of his coins were foreign coins, many of which he bought by the pound and sorted. He loved getting foreign coins left over after friends traveled. He was also an avid stamp collector but gave that up before they retired to Florida. Now there’s a dying hobby.

    RSF – I also look at what folks are bringing into my LCS. Some interesting conversations.

  42. Xena says

    Cag – re disposable income, I worry about that also. Was talking to my son about college costs and trying to avoid debt. Going to be hard to get him through without some, but I am doing my best to keep it to a minimum. Considering how far in the hole some kids are when they start out, and how expensive things are – at least around here, I don’t understand how young folks are making it.

  43. Barry says

    Buying the old 90% coins at say 13 times spot is a good economics lesson and may spark some interest.. Dad / Mom why did you pay $ 130.00 for $ 10.00 worth of coins. ? They look the same as the ones today. Well let me explain …………………..

  44. Xena says

    gatortreke – GovMint just recently put the silver Delta on sale. I love the Pandas also, and there’s a bunch of Canadian coins I’ll bet your daughter would like. The 1967 series is one of my favorites. Have to watch out for the RCM though, they put out way too much.

  45. Bob Ruckle says

    I have been a previous mint buyer up until the joke of the reverse proof Presidential CC sets. I was buying the ATB P pucks since day one until 2016. Did the circus coins and all that joke.

    I did OK flipping the Truman CC and Ike’s. That was the end of my mint buying.

    Since then I have been dumping most of my modern mint stuff on the bay trying to get back my original investment. Some things are a money producer’s at times. I find it astonishing that my graded / labeled modern stuff is still selling for a premium.

    I now only invest in bullion, be it silver or gold, and stick with bars, rounds, and avoid the mint collectors junk for the suckers. I’ll buy a Swiss 1 oz .9999 gold bar for $10 to $20 over spot rather than $300 to $400 for a mint modern collector coin in a wooden box with a mint mark.

    Good luck to all.

  46. DBR says

    Just to spice things up, I want the U.S. Mint to cancel the release of the 2017 LESPS because of the same reasons they canceled it in 2015: packaging. I have the 2016 LESPS and the packaging isn’t anything to write home about.

    It’s high time the mint puts the “limited” back into the LESPS and makes this set truly special again.

    I have the 2014 LESPS and the 2016 LESPS and there is not that much difference in the packaging. To me, there is more accessibility to the actual coins in the 2016 set with removable coins in their capsules. Plus there are some aesthetic and cosmetic changes to the packaging’s look and feel.

    The LESPS should be a premier offering each year with pizazz and very desirable and collector quality coins inside. All in silver of course.

    What that looks like going forward is anyone’s guess, but we need a year off from the LESPS in order to figure that out.

    In this way too the 2017-S ASE from the Congratulations Set becomes the darling of the year and sets off a buying frenzy again!

    I like a little drama to stir things up! 😉 I’m a menace to society.

  47. jp says

    Is/are there supplier(s) of 56-quarter coin tubes for the Statehood and the America the Beautiful quarter sets? I’d thought that I’d seen them years ago for the Statehood quarters, but cannot find a supplier now.

  48. Baldwin says

    I received my Congratulations sets yesterday! I had been in back order since day 1.

  49. Jeremy says

    I think people had gotten excited about the prospects of precious metals in the recent past but it has become quite obvious that there’s something more going on here. People are walking away from the metals because there is no longer any possible positive or beneficial expectations. The government and corporations are c*ck blocking any desirable reaction that could develop for precious metals. I tell people do NOT dare touch anything precious metals related!!! as far as the US Mint goes, I hope they collapse under their own weight. They’re already lying and have been getting metal from elsewhere which is illegal, not to mention silver eagles are supposed to be made available to the public at all times to satisfy demand they failed there too!

  50. Louis Golino, Author says

    For those who buy the Queen’s Beasts- Do you think there are too many versions now, or do you like the diverse options?

  51. says

    Too many, ’cause I won’t be able to keep up.

    Just pulled the trigger on another 10’dozer and a plat

    Buy’em while the get’ns good!

  52. Louis Golino, Author says

    Well, just because they make so many does not mean you need them all, right? I am collecting the 2 oz. silver and 1/4 oz. gold and 1 oz. proofs, but I also made an exception for the 10 oz. lion given the bullion price ($197 at JM) and first of that size. The plats seem like a good deal too esp. with a lower premium than APE bullion, but I am not a high roller like KSCO!

    Now if the RM would release some mintage data, that would help. But they have a policy now of not giving out anything except for those like the proofs with set mintages.

  53. Louis Golino, Author says

    If you heard about the HR dragon and phoenix and are having trouble locating them, MCM is the exclusive dealer for the US.

  54. Dustyroads says

    Louis, No, I don’t like the over produced issues. I did start collecting the 2 oz. Beasts for evident reasons, along with the 1/4 oz gold, but that’s where I draw the line. I didn’t like seeing the extra strikes come onto the market, and they are STILL coming. If I see more of these, I guess I may rethink this series, but so far I’m good.

    BTW Louis, back to an earlier comment you wrote, the Congrats “S” stands at number 2. Please explain this to me. Are you grouping it in with the 2011 RP? Otherwise, there are no lower “S” proofs that I’m aware of.

  55. cagcrisp says

    Bullion Puck sales have inched upwards…

    Effigy Mounds 20,700
    Frederick Douglas 18,400

  56. cagcrisp says

    Those that continue to support the “P” pucks better Hope that today’s Launch Day sales for Frederick Douglas Exceeds the Dismal opening of the Effigy Mounds “P” puck.

    Lower and Lower Mintages without Demand is Not the way to go for future price appreciation…

  57. MarkInFlorida says

    Jeremy, I’m stacking silver and gold and platinum, buying more every year because the financial mess is going to hit the fan some day, and if I don’t make out well, my kids will. People also said gold was a loser in the 1990s, but I bought at $300, and am still smiling.

  58. sharks2th says

    @Dusty – The Congrats Eagle is the 2nd lowest Regular Proof Silver Eagle behind the 1995 W. It will most likely be the 5th lowest of all Silver Eagle Types. (Louis, please correct any errors if you see them)

    1) 1995 W Proof – 30,125
    2) 2008 W Unc (Burnished) w/ Reverse of 2007 – 46,318
    3) 2011 P Reverse Proof – 99,882
    4) 2011 S Unc (Burnished) – 99,882
    5) 2017 S Proof – ~75,000 + possible 50k+ ~125,000+/-
    6) 2013 W Unc (Burnished) – 221,981
    7) 2015 W Unc (Burnished) – 223,879
    8) 2012 S Reverse Proof – 224,935
    9) 2012 W Unc (Burnished) – 226,120
    10) 2013 W Enhanced & – 235,689
    2013 Reverse Proof – 235,689

  59. sharks2th says

    The 2013 is a 2013 W Reverse Proof currently tied for 10th. I missed the mintmark

  60. Louis Golino, Author says

    Sharks info is right, and for me the thing to stress is that 1) even if they up the LESPS mintage quite a bit, there is such a gap until you would equal #6, that I doubt the number will change at least based on what we know now and 2) ASE series is the most popular modern one, and one that has foreign demand too.

    They would have to triple the LESPS mintage to surpass #6 and given the high price point, that seems unlikely. Now there might be a burnished in coming years that is lower, but not a proof unless they throw another curve ball at some point.

    Based on this, I think something like $125 raw and $200 for 70 longer-term makes sense and maybe higher depending on what happens in the coming years.

  61. Louis Golino, Author says

    Also, many people don’t care about the burnished and think the whole thing is contrived, but the proofs are extremely popular.

  62. Throckmorton says

    I love the burnished gold and silver. I think the W for ASE and AGE equates to the CC of yesteryear. Only have to hang on for another century to find out.

  63. cagcrisp says

    16AN 2016 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – FT MLTR 17,022 + 32

    17AJ 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – EFF MNDS 14,595 + 222

  64. Donald says

    Sharks,
    Thanks for taking the time to compile the low mintage list of the “collector” ASE’s. It’s a handy reference guide. That #1 will always remain elusive, especially since it was included in the ’95 ASE gold set. I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of these sets remain intact, essentially keeping the ’95 W ASE silver proof off the market.

  65. cagcrisp says

    Hard to believe the BT Gold is That Dismal…

    17CA 2017 BOYS TOWN GOLD PROOF 1,279 +1
    17CB 2017 BOYS TOWN GOLD UNC 1,694 –
    17CC 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER PROOF 18,686 +181
    17CD 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER UNC 8,751 + 61
    17CE 2017 BOYS TOWN CLAD PROOF 14,651 +97
    17CF 2017 BOYS TOWN CLAD UNC 13,378 +59
    17CG 2017 BOYS TOWN 3-COIN SET 4,603 +33

    17CH 2017 LIONS CLUBS SILVER PROOF 58,247 + 351
    17CJ 2017 LIONS CLUBS SILVER UNC 15,527 + 326

  66. cagcrisp says

    16XA 2016 WALKING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .5OZ 63,226 +48

    16XC 2016 STANDING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .25OZ 89,587 + 97

  67. cagcrisp says

    16EA 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 555,755 + 762

    16EB 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 23,563 (10)
    16EC 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 5,677 –
    16EF 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 4-COIN SET 17,243 –

    16EG 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 197,463 +3,814

  68. cagcrisp says

    17EA 2017 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 247,627 +3,864
    17EA042 2017 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ (BULK) 239 –

    17EB 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 4,398 +98
    17EC 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 916 + 12
    17ED 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/4 OZ 1,415 +56
    17EE 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/10 OZ 6,427 + 218
    17EF 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 4-COIN SET 6,594 +35

  69. cagcrisp says

    Returns…

    16SA 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – NIXON 2,523 + 2
    16SB 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – NIXON 1,611 (7)
    16SC 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – FORD 2,331 (1)
    16SD 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – FORD 1,607 (10)
    16SE 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 3,469 +7
    16SF 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 1,864 –

    JQ1 2015 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 2,661 +1
    JQ2 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 1,869 –
    JQ4 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – EISENHWR 1,998 + 2
    JQ6 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – KENNEDY 6,658 +5
    JQ8 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – JOHNSON 1,776 +3

  70. cagcrisp says

    There are Four items that have been Removed from this weeks sales numbers (LKS):

    16RF 2016 CONGRATULATIONS SET 5,966
    16XB 2016 MERCURY DIME 24K GOLD .1OZ 124,885
    JQ7 2015 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – JOHNSON 2,653
    KN7 2015 HALF-DOLLAR 200-COIN BAG (P&D) 13,762

  71. gatortreke says

    @ Louis: Though I’m a fan of the Queen’s Beasts designs and currently am collecting the 2 oz BU Silver , I do believe they are becoming overexposed. Is there any size or composition they haven’t appeared on yet?

  72. Dustyroads says

    Okay, I can see how the ASE has to be grouped together with all the other mint marks and surfaces, but I still am going to have that tendency to separate.

  73. cagcrisp says

    There is just no way of Understating how bad Revenue for the US Mint currently is. Without Gold, Revenue for the US Mint numismatics is in trouble.

    For the past few years Gold has been driving the bus for Revenue for the US Mint.

    Gold numismatic Revenue is off to the Worst start in the past few years.

    Just how Dismal is 2017 AGE sales vs. 2016 AGE sales?

    These sales numbers are comparing 2017 for a TOTAL of 9 weeks vs. Launch week of Gold sales for 2016:

    2017 1 oz. Proof AGE (9 weeks ) is 67% of 2016 1 oz. Proof AGE for Launch Week
    2017 1/2 oz. Proof AGE (9 weeks ) is 47% of 2016 1/2 oz. Proof AGE for Launch Week
    2017 1/4 oz. Proof AGE (9 weeks) is 66% of 2016 1/4 oz. Proof AGE for Launch Week
    2017 1/10 oz. Proof AGE (9 weeks ) is 80% of 2016 1/10 oz. Proof AGE for Launch Week
    2017 4 coin set Proof AGE (9 weeks) is 98% of 2016 4 coin set Proof AGE for Launch Week

    NOW…I’ve said before that I think 2016 was an exceptional year for Gold from the US Mint, however, these 2017 numbers don’t even come Close to sales for a comparable number of weeks for any of the past few years.

    Lower and Lower Mintages for numismatic Gold…Not a recipe for Financial success…

    I would look for More and More Gimmicks out of the Mint for the remainder of the year.

    They’ve got numbers to make and we all know the Man in Charge want’s to make America Great Again…

  74. Old Big Bird says

    @cagcrisp – Did you see the 17RG 2017 Proof Set 210,329 minus 13,177

  75. Dustyroads says

    Lower sales for the 1/2 oz AGE proof is the reason I like them. These should be watched.

  76. John Q. Coinage says

    The mint’s flip flop o’rama on the 17-s Proof ASE is bizarre as set forth above. wtf is going on @ the mint, do they have a clue.? Apparently not. I will wait for the price to fall, as it will. As to the BT gold….a Priest and a Nun walk into a bar on a Friday, the bartenders asks the Priest, what kind of meat can ytou eat on Friday? He says: None….anyway 2 commems for charities & not events, or history are Ltd. in their appeal, which based on the mint’s conduct & actions appears to be their business plan–> Ltd. plan, as they \have none….or nun, you pick!!

  77. sharks2th says

    Based the current numbers for the 2016 W Unc (Burnished) ASE, this coin will make the top 10 for all types of silver eagles once it sells out or is removed from availability.

    The ASE Proof lowest mintages :
    1) 1995 W – 30,125
    2) 2017 S – TBD
    3) 2012 S – 281,792
    4) 1994 P – 372,168
    5) 1993 P – 405,913
    6) 1995 P – 407,822
    7] 1997 P – 440,315
    8) 1998 P – 450,728
    9) 1996 P – 498,293
    10) 1992 S – 498,543

  78. says

    cagcrisp says, Hard to believe the BT Gold is That Dismal…

    Horrid week across the board.

    I presume that next week we’ll see the HR go negative for the week if cancellations across week 1 & 2 were typical.

    With an empty Product Schedule, many opportunities for gimmicks, hope they keep it interesting, ASE S was the best recent and quick start to finish surprise.., EVER.

  79. cagcrisp says

    @KCSO , “ASE S was the best recent and quick start to finish surprise.., EVER.”

    The Start was great. We haven’t seen the Finish yet…

  80. says

    I bet we get an official Director of the Mint out of this one –

    I like the fact that she came from the private sector and ran air ops, she’ll expect results. And this administration will expect results from here.

    Cag, you might just get your change you (we) seek, we’ll see if mint communication and engagement improves within the next 8 months.
    .……………

    President Trump names Jovita Carranza as 44th United States treasurer

    By Paul Gilkes , Coin World

    President Trump appointed Jovita Carranza as the 44th Treasurer of the United States. The appointment does not require Senate approval.
    Image courtesy of Wikipedia Creative Commons.

    Former U.S. Small Business Administration executive Jovita Carranza was appointed April 28 by President Trump to serve as the 44th treasurer of the United States.

    The presidential appointment does not require Senate approval. Carranza is the seventh Latina to hold the office. All U.S. treasurers since 1949 have been women.

    The Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011 — Public Law 112-166 , signed into law on Aug. 10, 2012, by President Obama — eliminates the requirement of Senate approval for 163 positions, including treasurer of the United States, allowing the president alone to appoint persons to these positions.

    Carranza fills the vacancy created by the resignation of President Obama’s appointee, Rosa “Rosie” Gumataotao Rios, who served as the 43th U.S. treasurer from July 28, 2009, through July 8, 2016. Rios was the last U.S. treasurer whose appointment required a vote of the full Senate.

    Previous to her presidential appointment, Carranza, a native of Chicago, served as president and chief executive officer of the JCR Group, a consulting firm working with global corporations and nonprofits worldwide with a focus on business development, profit and loss management, operations, logistics and systems optimization.

    Carranza served the George W. Bush administration from December 2006 to January 2009 as deputy director of the of the U.S. Small Business Administration. She joined the government from her position as vice president of air operations for United Parcel Service in Louisville, Ky.

    Numismatic Bookie tackles how an 1804 dollar appeared before coin was struck’Numismatic Bookie’ tackles how an 1804 dollar appeared in a Budapest book before any were struck: Inside Coin World: This week, we find an 1804 dollar in a book two years before any of the coins were struck, a reader questions

    Carranza was a member of President Trump’s National Hispanic Advisory Council during the presidential campaign and met with the president in December about a position in his administration.

    Treasury and White House officials have not disclosed when Carranza is expected to assume her treasurer’s responsibilities, which includes oversight of the U.S. Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

    Once Carranza assumes office, provisions will be made for Carranza’s facsimile signature to join that of President Trump’s Treasury secretary appointee, Steven Mnuchin, on United States paper money.

  81. Xena says

    “KCSO says- Queen Xena”… LOL! I do love Crowns and Sovereigns! And yes, I have been eyeing that 10 oz.

    Louis – I was wondering that same thing. I love the QB designs, but wondering if they are going to wear it out with all the different offerings. On the other hand, they are making them at different price points, metals and finished – I think they should be able to make it work.

    Dusty – I was also looking at that 1 mm. Considering the size of the Pucks, there’s no way this could be that thin.

    I am already collecting 2 oz and am going to try to get the whole series in 1/4 oz. So not sure I am going to be able to go for the whole series in 10 oz. But I am going to buy this first one and see how it looks.

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