Last week, the United States Mint sold out of the numismatic version of the White Mountain National Park Five Ounce Silver Coin. Meanwhile, the bullion version of the same design had also apparently sold out and other designs for this year are nearing sell out levels.
As a brief recap, the US Mint offers the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins in both bullion and numismatic versions. The bullion versions are sold through a network of authorized purchasers who acquire the coins directly from the US Mint based on the market price of silver plus a fixed mark up and distribute them to the broader market. These coins carry a brilliant finish and do not have a mint mark.
The numismatic versions are sold by the US Mint directly to the public at a fixed price, which may be adjusted after a significant movement in precious metals prices. The coins carry an uncirculated finish created through a vapor blasting technique and include the “P” mint mark on the obverse.
The latest sales figures for the bullion versions of the 2013 ATB Five Ounce Silver Coins are shown below. These amounts represent the number of coins sold to authorized purchasers.
According to Dave Harper, the US Mint has set maximum mintages of 35,000 coins each for the White Mountain and Mount Rushmore designs and maximum mintages of 30,000 coins each for the Perry’s Victory, Great Basin, and Fort McHenry designs.
Based on the levels indicated, the White Mountain design has already sold out at the authorized purchaser level. The next three designs are approaching sell out levels. The Mount Rushmore design is scheduled for release on November 4 and may see stronger sales due to the popularity of the site.
The sales levels for this year’s ATB bullion coins represent a step higher compared to the 2012 releases, which marked the lows for the bullion series to date. The Hawaii Volcanoes and Denali designs had mintages of 20,000 pieces each. The remaining three issues had final mintages ranging from 24,000 to 25,4000 pieces each.
Despite the rise for the 2013 bullion issues, in the scheme of things mintages still seem quite low. When the series launched at the end of 2010, mintage levels of 33,000 pieces for each of the designs set off a speculative frenzy, which had forced the US Mint to take some drastic steps to control the distribution of the coins.
The peak bullion mintage for the series reached 126,700 pieces for both the Gettysburg and Glacier National Park issues. For the past two years, mintages have remained well below these levels despite rising silver bullion sales.
Finally, compared to the American Silver Eagle bullion coins, which are on track to sell more than 40 million for this year, the ATB sales are absolutely miniscule.
If mintage levels continue to move higher for future years of the ATB bullion series, this will leave further room for lower mintage earlier issues to be differentiated and command premiums. There are already premiums attached to last year’s lower mintage issues such as the Hawaii Volcanoes and Denali designs.