Revisiting the US Mint’s 2013 Annual Sets

Some of the big secondary winners from last year’s numismatic product line up were the core annual sets. The annual proof set and mint set had long been a staple of many collections, but sales have taken a sharp decline in recent years due to a number of factors which I had explored in this previous article.

With the 2012-dated sets, a combination of low sales and perhaps earlier than expected sell outs propelled secondary market prices higher. A review of recently completed eBay auctions shows the clad composition 14-coin 2012 Proof Set selling for prices ranging from $80 to $100 compared to the original issue price of $31.95. The 14-coin 2012 Silver Proof Set has sold for prices ranging from $160 to $180 compared to the issue price of $67.95. The 28-coin 2012 Uncirculated Coin Set has sold for prices around $50 to $60 per set compared to an issue price of $27.95.

As the end of the year approaches, are sales of the 2013-dated annual sets poised to undercut the prior year lows? Or will they end up higher, solidifying the key status of the prior year sets.

clad-set

The 2013 Proof Set went on sale March 28, 2013, which was about five weeks earlier than the start of sales for last year’s set. The most recent sales report shows that 612,748 sets have been sold for the year to date.

At roughly the same time last year, the 2012 Proof Set had reached sales of 591,014 units. A sell out would eventually occur on January 3, 2013 with last reported sales of 794,002.

proof-set

The 2013 Silver Proof Set went on sale May 2, 2013, which was four weeks earlier than the start of sales for the prior year set. The 2013-dated set was originally priced at $67.95 per set, but this was reduced to $60.95 per set in late May and reduced again to $53.95 in mid-July. The most recent sales report shows cumulative sales at 341,386 units.

At roughly the same point in time last year, the 2012 Silver Proof Set had reached sales of 318,374 units. The sets sold out on January 2, 2013 with last reported sales of 395,443 units.

mint-set2

The 2013 Uncirculated Coin Set went on sale June 4, 2013, about two weeks later than the start of sales for the prior year set. As of the latest sales report, the US Mint has sold 279,247 units.

Going back to roughly the same point last year, the 2012 Uncirculated Coin Set had sold 312,224 units. The sets would eventually sell out on January 29, 2013 with last reported sales of 392,224 units.

Looking at the sales figures year over year, both the clad and silver 2013 Proof Sets are showing slightly stronger sales compared to the prior year, although the higher sales may just be a result of the earlier release. The 2013 Uncirculated Coin Set is showing weaker sales by a somewhat significant margin.

The sales trends should play a role in determining how many sets the United States Mint has produced for this year, suggesting that perhaps proof set sales will end up roughly flat or higher this year while mint set sales may be lower.

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Comments

  1. fmtransmitter says

    IMHO we have seen just about 200,000 the magic number for a popular release. Any mintage’s higher seems to mean there is plenty to go around therefore hindering increase in value but still ANY increase is good. This hobby is only growing.

  2. David says

    I have not been buying the annual sets. There are too many coins in them that I am not interested in. Sets would be much cheaper if it weren’t for the multiple dollar coins. Those are ugly looking token-like coins.

  3. says

    Some of the coins are good designs, some are O.K. but boring, and some are real trinkety looking junk but only 4 denominations really circulate as money, with the cent tossed in the trash when received. The half dollar and dollar coins don’t circulate so it is a fast & easy way to acquire those tokens to obtain a year set for coins you won’t see in circulation I would guess that most of the 200k or so buyers are real collectors and the price of the sets won’t take food out of the mouth. The clad half dollar should be utilized more often to create commemorative issues that can be at a price point to invite new and young collectors into the hobby. My only complaint about the year sets is that there should be a defined end to sales for them, such as a firm 12 months from initial release date.

  4. says

    Looks like another price hike on gold & platinum may be in the offing today. I just hope my subscribed Mt. Rushmore 5 oz. gets in accepted at the $154.95. My last purchase for the year.

  5. VARich says

    Gary – previous thread, agree with your points, though the 2013 Plat with the gears and the FS series seem to indicate that sales figures can point to what makes for good designs (or not), imo.

    VABB – & to think that was a hailed as a bomb for Spielberg, geez…, I need to find it on HD DVD, I still come to tears when I hear “Lemme hear your guns!”

    FMx – yeah, Au has been quite jumpy lately. I’m really hoping the the Mint does a better job in releases the Atb’s in ’14, as in earlier and not waiting until April like they did this year. Anxious to see the proposed release schedule when Michael posts it in early December.

  6. says

    VARich, the herd generally buys gold coins and the Platinum came out same time as the RP Buffalo that everyone wanted to pile on first. Given the fact that the platinum coins are now known to stay available for over a year what would be the driving force, besides platinum price appreciation, to warrant fast sales of them? The FS? Doomed from the get go on an expensive gold coin, few really noteworthy first spouses, tied in now with a limping Presidential coin program. Many of the FS coin’s designs ARE in fact very well executed portraits (and the Presidents) and some of the FS reverse designs are very notable and fitting. The greatest designs won’t rescue any long winded multi year program when little brain power is used in conceiving the bills that spawn these programs. As I said, what looks good or bad to anyone is purely subjective but when if a coin series should tank I think the blame is more on the conception of the series in the first place. Buying a year set of FS coins is a sizeable chunk of change for the average collector to sink money into a metal that directionally is heading south.

  7. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    I like the annual sets best. Packaging is small and not wasted, 2012S will be the key date bar that the 2012 Birth set doesn’t sell another 400,000.
    1c 2012S (~1,250,000 rarest since the 1931S at 866,000)
    5c 2012S (~1,250,000 rarest since the 1931S at 1,200,000)
    10c silver (445,000 rarer than the 1921 and 1921D, and 1995 and 1996W
    rarest since 1916D at 254,000)
    50c silver (445,000 rarer than the 1938D, and 1995, rarest since the 1921)
    $1 Trade Routes (1,190,000) great design.
    You won’t find any 2012S silver dime or 50c rolls on eBay.

  8. simon says

    There is something about a rare low mintage silver dime which I find very appealing. I have a similar sense for the 3-cent silvers – all great coins !

  9. VARich says

    tPhelps – over the summer, I believe you kiddingly commented that you would wait and pick up an Enhanced 70 for $72…, well, your wait may almost be over – MCM has it $96

    FM – they got your Retro for $219

  10. fmtransmitter says

    They are out there no doubt, dealers snatched them up and buy/sell amongst themselves…When the dust settles the enhanced and RP will be key to that series. Again, hope we don’t see anymore enhanced and were good.

  11. thePhelps says

    Rich… the thing is with the WP set… there were way more 70 graded coins than anyone expected. I am done with the set though… I got a 70 set early on as well as several in OGP. I probably over paid.. but that seems to be typical of coin buying this year for me.

  12. VARich says

    Provident is offering free shipping again, though you have to add a silver round from their select list to you order and it all ships for free.., yeah, twist my arm!

  13. MarkInFlorida says

    I missed the 2004 mint set due to an early sellout, so I quit collecting mint sets. The 2004 set was expensive for a while but now I see it on ebay below issue price!

  14. Ray says

    I feel like anything non-silver or non-PM are never going to worth much in the long term. Ive bought the mint set and proof set on impulse. But it was a one and done type arrangement between me and the mint. I wish they would sell rolls of silver proof halfs, quarters and dines. speaking of silver coins. when is the limited edition set going on sale? and what happened to the silver Teddy coinage?

  15. VARich says

    Ray – any other business with declining sales would be far more communicative with their core customer base and attempt to build some degree of enthusiasm around new and exciting offerings.., but nope, not the Mint. I’m not into Gov bashing, but when you think about, the core group of posters out here built the enthusiasm and excitement around the WP ASE and RP Buff.., not the Mint, which offered very little in marketing or communication.

    Do you remember us reporting on our assessment of the RP Buff when we received it ’cause none of us had actually really seen it? The lack of information of the TR set is totally unfounded and pathetic. And, I have to ask the question, who is at the helm?

  16. Ray says

    Rich, totally agree. They could use some lessons in marketing.

    All in all, its been a fun year for me. It was the first full calendar year since I got into this hobby. I learned a lot along the way, and I continue to expand my knowledge. Still a newb for the most part. I am looking forward to next years AtBs mostly, and the Kennedy set (as long as that actually happens).

  17. MarkInFlorida says

    How dumb for a family to give a safe to a scrap dealer! He didn’t need a will just be sure family knew to look in the safe and where to find the combination.

  18. jhawk92 says

    Very OT, but I got this set delivered from the RCM today.

    http://www.mint.ca/store/coin/fine-silver-fractional-set-maple-leaf-mintage-9999-2014-prod1720024#.UnHi5iRcS70

    I opened it up and what an amazing set! I recently began collecting the SML bullion coins to complement my Silver Eagle collection, and have picked up a few of the fractional SML sets. This one tops them all and the gold plating on the maple leaf and the coin edges is beautiful.

    I’d never really been impressed by plated coins, but this set changed my mind. I wonder if the US Mint could do something similar with the ASE?

  19. VARich says

    Ray – ditto on your sentiments, well said! On the TR Silver medal, looks like we’re gonna get the trick.., hopefully these FS collectors will get some treats with lower gold prices. Enhanced AtBs would be a very nice surprise for next year!

  20. stephen m says

    jhawk92, I have never been a fan of gold plated coins either. I saw this set on Coin Vault, i know don’t buy from the TV folks, and they appeared to be quite nice and an attractive looking set.

  21. Eddie says

    Wes I agree with you but I think they should make an all silver set. By that I mean all of the coins would be silver I guess it would take an act of congress for that to come true.

  22. says

    I’m too much of a coin purist to care about plated coins. They look too cartoonish to me. That said though, I do believe that the RCM has i general made some very well designed and artistically excellent coins over the years. The additions of color plating, holograms & other colorized stick-on things don’t float my boat. Individually some of them are sometimes curiously interesting but nothing I’d ever what to buy or consider collecting. Northwest Territorial Mint has a gadzillion items that are selectively plated, colorized etc.you can get by the bagful or pick up at flea markets and yard sales.

  23. jhawk92 says

    stephen m, yeah, I normally don’t go for the “glitzy” items either. Stayed away from the plated or colorized 50 state quarters as those were too tacky. But I think these are well done; not gaudy at all. The gold adds a nice accent to a fine looking coin, especially the edge reeding. I don’t buy from TV folks; I received notice of this set direct from the RCM and couldn’t pass this one up. It would be cool if our mint did a fractional set, maybe in silver or paladium?

    gary, I agree, lots of things don’t get me excited about collecting..RCM has all these crystal coins, and other mints do some really strange things. I’ll stick to things that look nice and that could be used as “real money” if it ever came down to it. I might be stepping outside that boundary on this set, but it looks really good.

  24. thePhelps says

    Well the free shipping at Provident with a silver coin purchase was easy enough. I wanted a few copper Morgue Annes and got the Mt. Rushmore 5 oz… and another bullion coin for the stack. 🙂

  25. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    Been too busy… now just checked my enhanced ASE 2013 $1 as I was finally getting some rest. I didn’t realize… As shown by the different glints of reflected light bouncing off in sparkles as the coin is turned… the design and treatments of the different textures are really done meticulously. The detail is unreal with borders accurate to maybe at least 0.1 mm. Is it done by laser? Even though it has mintage of 230,000 it is a one of a kind coin, a work of art that will definitely fetch a premuim bar no more are made in the near future.

  26. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    OT: But don’t know where else I could ask this question. For you guys that order from places like Provident, APMEX and others that have a cash price and a credit price. What method have you found best to take advantage of the Cash pricing (personal check, money order, bank-wire, etc)? Credit Card purchase is the easiest and in many ways more secure, but carries the additional cost factor. On small orders, CC is no big deal, but on larger orders can be significant.

  27. simon says

    Jus : I do a postal MO. If you are not in a hurry a personal check (if they accept) is probably the best deal. But it is a good question to see how the others chime in.

  28. JohnT58 says

    I always send a personal check. That is the most convenient way for me. I can write the check as soon as the order is placed, get it into the mailbox and I am done. No visits needed to the bank or post office in order to send funds. Yes, it takes a little longer to get the coins but I’m usually not in a big rush.

  29. vk says

    @Jus

    Personal check if you are not in a hurry. May take 3 or so weeks to see the product.

    On larger order – I do wire(most bank charges 20 for domestic). They get it instant. Most of the time, it ships the following day. With APMEX, fedex ground – should reach u in couple of days dependes on where you live. You have product within a week. It works great if your bank allows domestic wire online. Other wise its a pain to go to bank.

  30. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    Thanks for sharing what you guys are doing. Yes, I did a wire once, but it wasn’t very convenient to hafta go into the bank and fill-out the wire-transfer paperwork. I’ve considered using a check (or Bill-Pay) and then see that some of the dealers expect it to arrive within x-days (or be post-marked within 24hrs). That would seem to prevent (in some cases) ordering on a Saturday when it would not be postmarked and lose a couple days because the Post Office is closed. At least that has been a concern of mine.

    For those using personal checks, do you just wait to order and mail the check until a weekday? I don’t know how hard/fast these dealers hold to those expectations for arrival of the check. In some cases, it would not be an issue, but in others it could be close meeting their deadlines.

  31. JohnT58 says

    I order whenever the feeling strikes and then mail out the check by the next day. I have never had an issue with either Apmex or Provident accepting my funds.

  32. VARich says

    Jus – I think the requirement to have a check postmarked within one business day is to keep people honest and timely. Don’t think there would be an issue if the check is in the mail within a day or two unless there has been a large price variation in the cost of your order and the going price (not in the retailer’s favor), then they would probably use the post mark date to their advantage.

    For Provident – personnel check – 14-17 day turn around time.

  33. VARich says

    It’s Friday, 01 November and nothing is on back order or sold out…, ho hum!

    I surely thought we’d see the TR ‘upscale’ offering show yesterday.., wishful thinking!

  34. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    OK, thanks guys…it is good to hear from your actual experiences with this stuff. I’m gonna give the check route a try on orders where the savings warrants it. Appreciate everyone’s thoughts and consideration. 🙂

  35. simon says

    Jus : Another great option I have is my Credit Union offers two free certified checks per month. I use this for large payments

  36. Paddy says

    Simon, Jus,

    I have all my Banking through my Fed Credit Union, I have never been
    charged for Certified or anyother type of transfer.

  37. jhawk92 says

    I’ve ordered from both Provident and APMEX. Like others, I’m not in any rush to get my order, so I place it and pay by check (both accept checks) to get the cash price. My first order with Provident was on a Saturday of a 3 day weekend, so I talked with the online reps and they said just put the check in the mail on the Tuesday. They are flexible within reason to receiving your funds. Good luck in your purchases.

  38. David says

    If the mintage of the 2013 silver proof set is as low as the 2012 I will buy 5 sets. The 2012 set has tripled in price due to the low mintage !!!

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