Revisiting the US Mint’s 2010 Annual Sets

I wanted to take a post to revisit the United States Mint’s 2010 Uncirculated Mint Set, 2010 Proof Set, and 2010 Silver Proof Set. Each of these products has been on sale for more than a year and experiences relatively slow sales, as most collectors pursue the 2011-dated sets or the US Mint’s other new offerings.

The unusually long sales period for the 2010 annual sets is a result of the earlier release of the 2011-dated sets. In recent years, the Mint has often concluded sales of the previous year set to coincide with the start of sales for the current year set. When the 2011-dated sets were released this January, sales of the 2010-dated sets continued.

Previous inquiries to the US Mint have indicated that the 2010-dated sets will remain available for sale until December 31, 2011. Although not specifically indicated, earlier sell outs may be possible, depending on inventory levels.

The 2010 Uncirculated Mint Set went on sale July 15, 2010. Each set includes a total of 28 different coins with a special satin finish. The original price of $31.95 per set has remained unchanged.

Sales have reached 576,654 units, as of the latest US Mint numismatic sales report. The sales for the most recent weekly period were 251 units. Barring anything unforeseen, the total sales will likely end up as the lowest for an uncirculated mint set since 1963, when 606,612 sets were sold. The most recent low after this date was for the 2008 Mint Set at 745,464.

Besides having a historically low production, the 2010 Mint Set is also notable as the last year of the satin finish. Starting in 2011, the US Mint reverted to the brilliant finish. The satin finish was used from 2005 to 2010.

The 2010 Proof Set went on sale July 22, 2010. The sets contain 14 proof coins struck at the San Francisco Mint. The price for each set remains at $31.95 each.

Total sales have reached 1,092,068 units, with 352 units sold in the latest week. Once again, this seems to be setting up for a historical low. In all likelihood, the 2010 Proof Set will end up with the lowest mintage for a proof set since 1958 when 875,652 units were sold. The most recent low after this date was the 2008 Proof Set at 1,405,674.

As an aside, I wanted to provide the counterpoint that low mintages might not necessary make these sets worth more in the long run. For the past several years, the US Mint’s annual sets have sold considerably fewer units than typical, and even before that sales were well off the highs seen in earlier decades. It could be that these products time in the spotlight has passed, and it could be the case that annual sales figures will continue to move lower, making the 2010-sets less exceptional.

Another factor to consider is that many of the annual sets that have gained a secondary market premiums have been sets that unexpectedly sell out. With the 2010-dated sets lingering for more than a year, the end of sales won’t really seem too unexpected.

The 2010 Silver Proof Set went on sale August 26, 2010. Each set contains 14 proof coins, including 7 coins struck in 90% silver. The total silver content of the set is 1.33823 troy ounces, plus $5.06 in other face value.

Initially, the sets were priced at $56.95 each. The price was increased to $64.95 in April. Sales were suspended numerous times as silver market prices moved higher. Most recently sales were suspended following a decline in the price of silver. The suspension continues, pending a price decrease.

The US Mint has sold 573,269 sets to date. This might be the third lowest mintage Silver Proof Set, after the 1995 (549,878) and the 1993 (570,213). It will likely be the lowest mintage of the rotating quarter designs era of 1999-present. The current low is 694,406 for the 2009 Silver Proof Set, although the 1999 Silver Proof Set with a mintage of 804,565 commands the biggest premium.

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Comments

  1. simon says

    Seems like mint purchases are zillions of bullion. The mint sets are of interest mainly to coin collectors who number a few compared to investors. I will continue purchasing them mainly because the sets are direct USMint issues of regular circulating coins in various finishes. They also make great gifts, and spur the collection gene in our youth who see them as pieces of pride in the nation.

  2. says

    I imagine that the coin collectors and gift-givers who wanted a 2010 set have long since acquired one. At this point I think sales of the sets are driven by people who are looking for silver products for sale close to spot price, and the 2010 set has hit that point several times this year. A couple of people in the group I buy with have made mass purchases of the 2010 and 2011 silver sets and have been breaking open the Mint holders and putting the quarters in tubes.

  3. Brad says

    I think the Uncirculated Mint Coin Sets have lost their luster, and the lower mintages don’t really matter anymore. If the 2009 set that contains 8 unique copper composition Lincoln Cents with mintages of only around 750,000 each (I forget the exact number) don’t command a premium over issue price, then the 2010 set is probably doomed to fail.

  4. DCDave says

    I hope the mint sets do NOT come back at lower prices or I will be annoyed. Silver is not really that much lower than it was when they priced the sets. I hope they are just “suspending” orders so folks don’t buy them and then return them when silver goes down a dollar. IF they re-start sales, they should be at the price they were when sales were suspended.
    They NEVER had a price grid for annual sets, and bumping pricing up seems fair when PMs climb high, but lowering pricing seems NOT fair. They need to sell out something. The 2010 sets need to stop, please.
    The Mint should sell out some PM product to generate some interest in buying Mint products.

  5. Fosnock says

    DCDave: They will lower the price even if it is only to reissue them at their original lower prices, of course based on price movements that will not last long. Its just reasonable, if the mint suspend products to adjust prices after silver moves $10 up in price they need to do the same when it moves down in price. The bigger picture here is that the 25th anniversary sets will be cheaper than I first thought they would be, maybe I can now pickup a extra set

  6. Louis says

    If you collect or invest in coins, you need to be prepared to sometimes lose money or break even.

  7. DCDave says

    I’ve never sold a coin in over 20 years of collecting (I’m not an investor or “evil flipper”), but the Mint has never lowered a price without letting me know ahead of time it could happen like they do with gold products.

    Some products I buy from subscriptions, and will be annoyed if a subscription price for say UNC ASEs gets lowered months after I buy mine without them telling me this is possible (they have not EVER done this in the 20+ years I have been collecting).

  8. stephen m. says

    Brad, the unique 8 copper composition Lincoln cents from all the different 2009 sets are sleepers. I would’t give up on them as of yet.

  9. Wylson says

    $250. I don’t think so. The mint wants to profit on these. We will be lucky for anything under $350.

  10. says

    Samuel,

    This is much worse than the Hot Spring “fight.” Perth’s site won’t let you hit the back button on your browser – you have to start checkout from scratch over and over, and some of my friends have been randomly logged out of the site. The checkout process is also seven steps and there is no “quick checkout” like at the Mint. I thought the US Mint’s ordering system was bad, but frankly, it can’t even compared to this mess. This is an epic disaster, and Perth really deserves to be raked over the coals for botching this.

    Also, the dragon typesets are now unavailable, which presumably means sold out. I can’t imagine how anyone got through to the site in the first place.

  11. Hidalgo says

    I was very lucky and was able to place one order for the Australian Lunar Silver Coin Series II 2012 Year of the Dragon Typeset Collection. Orders could be placed at 8:30 PM EDT. It took almost 30 minutes to go though multiple web pages to place my order. I wonder how long it took for the set of 1,500 to sell out. I just visited the site, and not to my surprise, orders can no longer be placed for the typeset.

  12. Hidalgo says

    By the way, according to the Perth Mint website, limited stocks of the 2012 dragon typeset may be available for sale over the phone. You check it out by calling 1 800 098 817.

  13. says

    You really are lucky, Hidalgo. Myself and three friends spent two and a half hours trying to get through the checkout process to order. We just couldn’t make it.

  14. simon says

    I just went to the Perth Mint website to check out the hoopla. I am amazed at the premiums they are charging for their coins and that folks are jumping all over these “gems.”

  15. Fosnock says

    DCDave
    I agree with you but what can you do. If you were smart\lucky enough to get the ASE proof or any of the silver sets before they raised the prices you lucked out…the reverse could happen. I personally did not think they would do it because of the backlash they had when they use to have closeout sales, but then we know the mint is not run by the sharpest tools in the shed, but atter reading about the dragon coin maybe it is the norm

  16. Fosnock says

    Michael

    Do you happen to know when the 2011 silver sets are suppose to be withdrawn? Is it also in December?

  17. Michael says

    There has not been a specific ending date provided for the 2011 annual sets. I’ll post any information if I get it.

  18. G says

    The dragon situation was amazing. An hour trying to check out, finally broke down and got a calling card and called Australia and spent 20 minutes redialing, and then 45 minutes on hold. The result? Got one! So, if time is money- mine is already way up!! Excited for it- got the 1/2 proof, colorized proof, and the gildeds also. These look beautiful.

  19. MarkInFlorida says

    I used to buy 6 mint sets for Christmas gifts each year until 2004 when they went off sale suddenly before I could get them. Haven’t bought them since except for one my son’s 2009 birth year. Won’t buy them again.

  20. Yakpoo says

    2011 Silver proof sets should go off sale by the end of January 2012…when the 2012 sets go on sale.

    The coins can only be minted during the calendar year inscribed on the coin. It’s much easier to control inventory now that the schedule has moved to January. The Mint no longer has to estimate future sales 7-8 months in advance.

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