In response to a recent inquiry, the United States Mint has indicated that sales of the core 2011 annual sets will conclude at the end of December. As such, I wanted to take a post to revisit each offering and compare sales levels to the prior year.
The 2011 Proof Set went on sale January 11, 2011. This release date was more than six months earlier than the prior year. The release also took place prior to the release of the component proof sets which contained only the Presidential Dollars or America the Beautiful Quarters. If sales extend through the end of December, the 2011 Proof Sets will have remained available for sale for nearly two years.
Despite the longer period of availability, sales look like they will end up around the same level as the 2010 Proof Set, which had final sales of 1,103,950 units. As of the most recent sales report, the 2011 Proof Set has reached sales of 1,088,074.
The 2011 Silver Proof Set went on sale January 25, 2011. Once again, this was much earlier than the prior year and the release of the full annual set took place before the component set including only the silver quarters.
Each 2011 Silver Proof Set includes fourteen coins, with the dime, half dollar, and five quarters struck in 90% silver. This yields net silver content of 1.33823 troy ounces within each set, plus additional base metal coins with a face value of $5.06. For the duration of the offering, the sets have been priced at $67.95 each. On a few occasions when the market price of silver rose sharply, sales were suspended, but then resumed when the silver price fell.
The availability period has once again been longer than the prior year, but sales look like they will end up around the same place. The 2010 Silver Proof Set ended with final sales of 585,414 units. The 2011-dated set has reached sales of 568,097 as of the most recent report.
The 2011 Uncirculated Coin Set went on sale February 8, 2011. Each set included 28 coins struck at the Philadelphia and Denver Mint. This year represented the return to brilliant uncirculated finish, as opposed to the satin finish that had been used for the set from 2005 to 2010. Importantly, many collectors (and the major grading services) have considered satin finish coins to be distinct issues from the regular circulation strikes. However, the new brilliant finish is not considered to be a distinct issue from the regular circulation strikes.
Despite the longer period of availability compared to the prior year set, final sales are likely to end up lower. The 2010 Uncirculated Coin Set had final sales of 583,912. The 2011-dated set has reached sales of 528,865 as of the most recent sales report. This will establish another recent mintage low for the annual set, representing the lowest figure since 1962.
The low sales for the 2011 annual sets may not carry much significance since the 2012-dated sets are trending even lower. Year over year comparisons show the 2012 Proof Set and 2012 Silver Proof Set 34% lower and the 2012 Uncirculated Coin Set about 15% lower.