This amount represents the highest initial unit sales for any US Mint product released this year. The next highest opening was the 2011 Proof Set at 253,144 units.
The amount exceeds the opening numbers reported for the 2010 Proof Silver Eagle by almost 100,000. However, it should be noted that there was some speculation (by me) that the initial sales of 273,212 for last year’s Proof Silver Eagle were under-reported. A few days later, the US Mint confirmed that some customer orders had been deleted in error. The next sales report issued two weeks later showed that sales had more than doubled to reach 707,704.
On a longer term perspective, the mintage of the 2011 Proof Silver Eagle will almost certainly fall at the higher end of the spectrum for the series. The lowest mintage for a regular issue Proof Silver Eagle is 372,168 (1994). There are seven different dates with a mintage above 800,000, and of those two different dates with a mintage above 1 million. Last year’s 2010 Proof Silver Eagle had last reported sales of 860,000.
Not included on the latest US Mint sales report were the initial figures for the Grand Canyon National Park Five Ounce Silver Coins. I am currently confirming the figures, but it seems that sales might be 24,896 out of the 27,000 maximum mintage. This figure was included on what looked like an incorrectly labeled line of the report. Please treat this figure as preliminary until I confirm here.
If correct, this would be the strongest start for a numismatic version of the ATB 5 ounce silver coins since Hot Springs. It would exceed the initial sales of the previous Yosemite release by more than 4,000 units. Many collectors may have chosen to order the ATB coin along with 2011 Proof Silver Eagle to save on shipping costs, accelerating the pace of sales.
Update: The confirmed initial sales figures for the Grand Canyon National Park Five Ounce Silver Coins is 19,300. This is lower than the previous release featuring Yosemite National Park, which debuted at 20,511.
Coin Update: Full US Mint Sales Report