The 2012 San Francisco Silver Eagle Set was one of the United States Mint’s most anticipated product releases of the year. Each set contained one 2012-S Proof Silver Eagle and one 2012-S Reverse Proof Silver Eagle.
Product sales began on June 7, 2012 at 12:00 Noon ET with pricing of $149.95 per set. Rather than establishing a maximum product limit, as had been done for similar products in the past, the US Mint would accept orders during a four week ordering window and produce the sets to meet the total demand. A sales odometer which was updated daily gave collectors an indication of the progress of the offering. Sales officially closed on July 5, 2012 at 5:00 PM ET. The last indicated sales total was 251,302 sets.
Less than two weeks later, the US Mint revealed the Making American History Coin and Currency Set, which would contain the 2012-S Proof Silver Eagle. Many customers were upset since they felt it had been strongly implied that the coins within the San Francisco Set were exclusive to the offering.
The US Mint responded to concerns with statements that included the following: “In retrospect, it may have been appropriate to announce our intentions to produce the coin and currency set earlier in the year or perhaps simultaneously with the two-coin set.” At the same time, the US Mint assured customers that the 2012-S Reverse Proof Silver Eagle would not be offered within other products.
The first of the 2012 San Francisco Silver Eagle Sets started to ship to customers on July 27, 2012, with arrivals reported shortly thereafter. In response to a recent inquiry the United States Mint has indicated that they have now shipped nearly 150,000 sets, and that all shipments are to be completed by the end of October.
There have been some anecdotal reports of order cancellations for the San Francisco Sets, especially following the revelation that one of the two coins would not be exclusive to the set. The US Mint was not willing to provide an updated or adjusted sales total or provide specific information on the number of order cancellations. However, they will release the final number of products issued when the program closes in October.
On the secondary market, prices for the sets remain above the issue price. A quick survey of eBay auctions completed within the past few days show the prices realized for raw sets mostly falling into a range of $180 to $190, compared to the issue price of $149.95.
Sets which have been graded by PCGS or NGC and received the top grade of Proof-70 have sold for premiums above raw sets. Sets with the two coins graded PCGS PR70DCAM and PR70 have recently sold for prices around $425 to $450. Sets with the two coins graded NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo and PF 70 have sold for prices around $300 to $325.
Compared to past special sets, a lower proportion of coins seem to be receiving the top grades. Data available from PCGS shows that approximately 35% of coins graded from the sets have received Proof 70 grades. By comparison, more than 50% of the reverse proof Silver Eagles included in last year’s 25th Anniversary Set received the top grade from PCGS. Data for NGC graded coins was not readily available.