The United States Mint has just released an updated final sales total for the 2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set. The sets were offered to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the edifice that houses the West Point Mint and contained Silver Eagles with a reverse proof and new enhanced uncirculated finish.
The US Mint accepted orders for these sets during a four week window which opened on May 9, 2013 and closed on June 7, 2013. Sales for the product were very strong out of the gate with orders exceeding 180,000 units through the opening weekend. After some ups and downs during the course of the offering, the final few days saw a boost in orders bringing the last reported sales figure to 281,310 units.
Last month I had speculated that a major reduction in the final sales total might be in store. Such a reduction has taken place.
According to the US Mint, the revised unaudited sales total for the 2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set is 235,689 units.
This represents a reduction of 45,621 or 16.21% from the previously reported total. This is an even larger adjustment than had taken place for the 2012 San Francisco Silver Eagle Set which was reduced from 251,302 to 224,981, representing a reduction of 26,321 or 10.47%.
After the reduction, the 2013 West Point Set is no longer the highest mintage of the four Silver Eagle anniversary sets.
- The lowest mintage set remains the 2011 25th Anniversary Set which contained uncirculated (S & W mint marks), proof, reverse proof, and bullion coins. This set quickly sold out of a maximum mintage of 100,000 sets. The coins which were only included in the set were the uncirculated S mint marked coin and the reverse proof.
- The next lowest mintage set is the 2012 San Francisco Silver Eagle Set, which contained proof and reverse proof coins with the S mint mark. The final adjusted unaudited sales total was 224,981 units. The reverse proof coin was unique to the set, while the proof was offered elsewhere.
- Next comes the 2013 West Point Silver Eagle set at adjusted unaudited sales of 235,689 units. Both the reverse proof and enhanced uncirculated coins were only offered within the set.
- Last is the 2006 20th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set, which contained proof, reverse proof, and uncirculated coins. The final audited mintage for the set was 248,875. Only the reverse proof coin was unique to the set.
As I mentioned in my previous article, the US Mint’s use of an ordering window for special products is showing its flaws. An increasing number of people seem to be placing orders and then further contemplating whether they want the product or evaluating the market. During the extended fulfillment period, there is plenty of time to cancel the order. The US Mint seems to have chosen the ordering window method for offering special products at least in part due to the website crashes and problems that had occurred for a number of previous limited mintage special product launches.
This week it was announced that PFSweb was awarded a contract to develop and deploy a new ecommerce solution for the US Mint, targeted to launch in Fall 2014. The new system would be able to handle order surges and speed up the fulfillment process. With the new system in place, perhaps the US Mint will consider going back to mintage limits instead of ordering windows for future special product offerings.