The Mint has set its sales dates for January 2017. On January 5, the 2017 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set (17AP) will debut, with the 2017 Birth Set (17RD) and Happy Birthday Coin Set (17RE) coming available January 10.
On January 18, the Mint’s first collectible coins of the year—the Lions Club International 2017 Centennial Proof (17CH) and Uncirculated (17CJ) silver dollars—will be released. These will be followed on January 25 by the 2017 Native American dollar rolls, bags, and boxes.
Prices and images for the above items are not yet available.
Meanwhile, the Mint’s final product offerings of 2016 are set to roll out this week. The first is the 2016 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set (16RB), which will be available tomorrow (Dec. 14) at noon. Priced at $49.95, the set includes three Uncirculated 2016 Presidential $1 coins (Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, and Ronald Reagan), all from the Philadelphia Mint; one Uncirculated 2016 Native American $1 coin from the Denver Mint; and one 2016 American Eagle 1-ounce silver Uncirculated coin, from the West Point Mint.
And in a hoped-for (but not necessarily expected) move, the Mint has announced that at noon on Thursday, December 15, it will make the remaining 2016 Mercury (Winged Liberty) Dime Centennial gold coins (16XB) available for purchase. The initial supply of coins sold out almost immediately after the coins went on sale April 21. That left 8,904 strikes of the mintage limit of 125,000 in the void. Collectors who’ve been hoping the remaining coins would be released can now take another bite at the apple. This time around, the coins will cost slightly less ($200 instead of $205), but the household order limit will be much tighter: only one per household, as opposed to 10 in the initial offering.
The supply of available coins will likely be sold as fast as the Mint’s computers can process the orders. However, some collectors are asking how many of the newly available stock are returns. While Mint News Blog can’t say for sure, here are a few numbers to consider.
- The maximum number of coins reported sold was 122,510, on the April 24 Mint report.
- The sales figures were adjusted downward over the next few months as the books were audited and customers made returns. The lowest number reported, 116,096, was released on September 11, and has remained steady since then.
- The number of coin reported sold—122,510—minus the 116,096 last reported suggests that 6,414 coins were returned. This is a tricky figure, however. It doesn’t include (1) how many “sales” were never delivered due to credit-card issues, delivery-address issues, and so forth; (2) how many customers were on the waiting list and were able to get coins after the inventory was depleted; (3) how many coins were struck but withheld from sales to handle later returns; or (4) how many of the returns were due to collector disappointment in the strike, finish, size, packaging etc., as opposed to noticeable flaws.
- For the sake of argument, let’s say 5,500 coins were returned with visible flaws. Thus, of the 8,904 ostensibly remaining in the maximum mintage, about 62% would returns and about 38% would be first-time sales.
Obviously this is a very rough estimate, and leaves out a host of factors. Moreover, not all “noticeable flaws” are equal. A hairline scratch in the reverse field might be a deal-breaker for one collector, but for another, it might not matter in the least.
Another question going around is whether the new HHL is subject to previous orders—that is, if you bought any coins in the first round of sales, are you eliminated from this round? Michael White, in the Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications, writes, “The Household Order limit of 1 pertains to this re-release of the Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin.” (Italics are his.) Collectors who ordered previously “can still order one more.” ❑
Click here for Louis Golino’s U.S. Mint exclusive report on the Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin, published on Coin Update in April.