Sales of the coins began at the US Mint on April 28, 2011 at 12:00 Noon ET. The heavy orders placed at the start of sales took down the Mint’s website for about 45 minutes. By 9:00 PM ET, more than 19,000 orders had been accepted.
If not for the one per household ordering limit, these coins would have no doubt sold out on the opening day of availability. The US Mint has used ordering limits to ensure the broadest possible distribution to the public for products with an anticipated high demand.
There have only been a few other numismatic products released by the US Mint in recent years that have been subject to a limit of only one per household. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to examine these.
The Lincoln Coin & Chronicles Set went on sale October 15, 2009, had a maximum production of 50,000 units, was priced at $55.95 and limited of one per household. This product sold out after 30 hours of availability.
The Braille Education Set went on sale October 8, 2009, was limited to 25,000 units, priced at $44.95, and limited to one per household. The opening sales figures for the set were 2,719 units, which rose to 5,996 by the second week. At this point the ordering limit was removed.
The 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin went on sale January 22, 2009, had no maximum mintage, was initially priced at $1,189 per coin, and limited of one per household. Opening day sales were 28,173 coins. After four days, sales reached 40,727. More than six months after the start of sales, the ordering limit was increased to ten coins, later increased further, and eventually removed.
The 2007 10th Anniversary Platinum Eagle Set went on sale December 13, 2007, had a maximum production of 30,000 sets, initial price of $1,949.95, and limit of one per household. After one week, sales had reached 14,682. The US Mint re-evaluated the order limit at the 7-day mark and decided to keep it in place. The limit was eventually removed.
The 2007 Thomas Jefferson’s Liberty $10 Gold Coin went on sale August 30, 2007, had a maximum production of 40,000 coins across proof and uncirculated versions, initial pricing of $429.95 (proof) and $410.95 (uncirculated), and limit of one per option per household. A sell out occurred on the first day of sales.
The US Mint also imposed an ordering limit of one per option per household for the next releases of the First Spouse Gold Coin Program featuring Dolley Madison, Elizabeth Monroe, and Louisa Adams. None of these issues achieved a sell out. For each coin the limit was in place for at least the first seven days of sales, but eventually raised and/or removed. After the diminishing sales for the series became apparent, the US Mint imposed an initial ordering limit of ten per option per household starting with the Andrew Jackson’s Liberty release. Finally, starting with the 2010 releases, the US Mint stopped imposing an initial ordering limit for newly released First Spouse Gold Coins.
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