Updated Final Sales for 2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set

Enhanced Uncirculated Silver EagleThe 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.

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Comments

  1. stephen m says

    I have noticed that some major sellers, such as MCM, have reduced their price on the WP 70 sets as much as $50. Seems there are plenty of sets to go around at the revised lower sales from the mint for everyone that desires a set.

  2. says

    Any way you slice it, the Mint surely knows it has a ready steady buyer audience for all the P-D-S-W Proof, Burnished, Reverse Proof concoctions they come up with in connection with the American Silver eagle series in any calendar year. Now that a Reverse Proof gold buffalo flavor had such wide appeal, I’d expect more mint mark and finish variations to proliferate with that coin series. It’s time to dust off the worn out American Gold Eagle series and infuse some new life to that series with a reverse proof or two and maybe a P, D, S, and W mint mark set. All that’s needed is to get a load of fully dried wooden boxes (that nobody wants) in time to fulfill the orders.

  3. Ikaika says

    What I am curious to know is how many collectors purchased this set vs the number of dealers/flippers. Could it be possible that less than 20% represents the collector base?

  4. oaulg says

    I THINK THAT LARGE EARLY PURCHASES BY THE MAJOR COIN SELLING COMPANIES MAY HAVE SOAKED UP THE INVENTORY OF COINS INITIALLY PRODUCED AT THE MINT, CREATING A BACKLOG OF ORDERS WHICH IMPEDED AND DELAYED THE NORMAL DELIVERY PROCESS, CAUSING SOME COLLECTORS TO CANCEL MINT ODERS IN FAVOR OF PURCHASING COINS FROM THE MAJOR COMPANIES. IF THE MINT GOES WITH A POLICY OF MINTAGE LIMITS, IT SHOULD PLACE LIMITS ON THE NUMBER PER ORDER TO PROHIBIT THE LARGE COMPANIES FROM CORNERING THE MARKET.

  5. MarkInFlorida says

    A limited ordering window is a great way to get the product to all interested collectors as opposed to a mintage limit that lets flippers beat out collectors. The problem with the system is that the coins weren’t ready to ship for months, giving people time to cancel. If there was a limited window and coins were shipped within a day or two, there would not be the cancellations.

  6. stephen m says

    Ikaika, I have often wondered the same thing.The 25th anniversary set, at 100,000 sets is still available on eBay and dealer web sites,of course at a premium. But i would think since they are still so readily available your 20% estimate could be possible. A lot of the four silver eagle sets that the mint sold, i think, were purchased by profiteers in hopes of a nice profit. On the other hand i wouldn’t be surprised if another 10%, on top of your 20% estimate, were purchased by collectors who put them away for investment and family heirlooms or gifts. The mint relies, or assumes high sales numbers, on silver eagle proof, ms w’s and anniversary SF & WP sets sales, for automatic high profits. The repeat of these ASE’s offerings for the mints profit may have been overdone and may actually hurt sales in the future sales.

  7. Jeff says

    “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”. Here’s the simple fix HOUSEHOLD LIMITS not all this other kabookie hoopla. LOL

  8. MarkInFlorida says

    OT- APMEX has the Rushmore pucks available for order for 11/13 shipping. Provident lists them as a future product not yet orderable, but at $5 less than APMEX. I’ll probably get a couple from each since you don’t know who will have better quality.

  9. says

    Instead of an ordering window, the Mint could employ an ordering limit of ONE per household for the first month or two the coins are released, then go to unlimited orders. The Mint should also use a maximum 12 months from date of release to absolute end of the offerings. Their release of the 5 oz. ATB program was so late and botched up that bullion and P Mint offerings came out piled up on one another. Underminted in 2010, Overminted in 2011, Underminted in 2012 plus sudden early and unwarranted issue ending, to 2013 where there is some balance of mintages to demand. Only took four years and a real shame because the ATB program is probably THE most original & beautiful offering made by the Mint. (Too bad the redundant Washington portrait and ridiculous 25 cent nominal value had to be the same… could it not at least been a five dollar nominal value coin???) But No. The Congressional leaders who author these bills seem to have the same attention to oversight and detail as they do with many critical national issues.

  10. Zaz says

    @gary: for inheritance taxation purposes, the 25-cent face value is a great way to bequeath PMs to your loved ones. A monster box is worth exactly $25.00 in face value, but there is 500oz of silver…at current rates it’ll be like giving someone more than $10,000+ practically tax free. The “quarter dollar” face is a great loophole, a way to cheat the tax man from double dipping. Just sayin’.

  11. says

    Ikaika,

    I think this is basically correct. My attitude is that it is more likely a coin will develop a premium when it unexpectedly sells out, when some ordinary collectors don’t have a chance to get one. With a situation like the ordering window, every collector who wants to get one of these special silver eagle sets can get one. This is why flippers may not be making much money off it.

    Where flippers prosper is with products like the 2011 silver eagle set or with products like the Hawaii AtB, both of which sold out unexpectedly.

  12. Erik H says

    MarkInFlorida says:
    October 26, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    My thoughts exactly! Also you could have a house hold limit for the first 7 days, dealers would get around this but not by a 1,000+++++ per order.

  13. B.P. says

    A lot of orders were cancelled due to the Mint taking FOREVER to send out these sets. I almost cancelled mine after waiting 3 months. I am glad I didn’t, but jeez, the mint could have done a better job.

  14. Ray says

    I think that’s how they should do it. Ordering limits for first 2 weeks. That was nobody is waiting for multi thousand set orders to be fulfilled. Then have no ordering limits the last 2 weeks. Same 4 week ordering period. That would seem to alleviate a lot of the issues. As long as they already have the packaging on hand first before taking orders. They should also start shipping right away. No 6 week initial wait for the first set being shipped.

  15. DNA says

    Late last August, one local dealer had ten WP Sets in the case for $160 each.
    I had received my WP Sets by then, but many people had not.
    Each of that dealer’s Sets were probably sold to persons who cancelled their orders.
    Can I blame them, with many customers having shipping dates for two months+ after the ordering window closed?

  16. Jerry Diekmann says

    Some good suggestions on these posts on how the Mint could do a better job in selling these special sets. Does anyone know if any of this information ever gets back to the Mint, or if the Mint even cares what we think? The Mint seems to lurch around from one idea to another and you have to wonder if they know what they’re doing.

  17. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    The packaging boxes for the special coin sets are way too large! When I rec’d Enhanced proof ASE, the box was a blooming 9 in long. Now come on. This has got to stop!!! This is terrible for the environment and how many trees do we need to cut down to ship two 2.5 in silver dollars. And why do we need a bloody 5 in wooden box for one FS coin??? Wev have increasing, increasing global warming, climate change, hurricane Sandy, superstorms, earthquakes, tornadoes, heat waves, cold waves, droughts, floods, the ocean is literally a hot dirty bath filled with garbage, no fish or birds to speak of on my friend’s sailing trip… Let’s scale down the packaging, Mint, and take care of our environment. I’m just a part-time grunt. I should be manager of the Mint and we can set this straight.

  18. Hidalgo says

    @Ikaika – I can only speculate that the bulk of the purchases were made by coin dealers, investors, and speculators. Most of them buy in huge quantities (e.g., Modern Coin Mart, APMEX, Silver Towne, etc.) and send their coins to the third party graders (e.g., PCGS and NGC). Why not? If a coin comes back as a MS70/PR70, the coins can be sold, as a set, for a significant premium. That’s how the coin companies make huge profits to stay in business.

  19. Hidalgo says

    @Captain – I totally agree with you about unexpected sellouts. It’s what I have been saying for months. When a coin unexpected sells out — with little warning — it prevents many dealers, speculators and collectors from amassing an inventory of a given coin. So the reduced supply leads to those who put off on buying the coin (like the Hawaii 5 ounce silver P coin) to pay higher prices as they search for it.

    Having an open window where folks can buy as many as they want by a specified cut off date significantly reduces demand and thus, secondary market values.

    If you look at prices for those coins / sets that were sold through the “open window” method, you’ll see that the ungraded coins have appreciated somewhat, but not significantly.

  20. says

    The Mint could also offer the option of receiving the coin or coin sets in the original government wooden boxes or without it and reduce the weight & cost of shipping to at least give free shipping for those collectors who will send them out for slabs. The land fills in and around where the third party graders do their thing must be filled with OGP by the ton since the third party graders seem to charge an additional fee just to get back what you sent them(!)
    I still think that a one or two month 1 per household limit would greatly ameliorate the big boy bulk buys and garden variety flippers to a greater extent. Yes I know they are a clever lot and will do whatever they can to do an end around on the limitation but it will at least permit the real collectors of coins (who in the end are the intended end-users and price supporters of a coin product) their deserved first dibs.

  21. Matt says

    My son had a great find while in Colorado Springs yesterday on his way to the Bronco game (GO BRONCOS). He stopped at a pawn shop. The shop had ATB 5 ozers. Four of five 2010s, and three of the five 2011s. All Philadelphia’s with original mint packaging. He got them for bullion prices or $130 a piece. Good job son…

  22. simon says

    Matt : great find – one never thinks of going to a pawn shop for the recent releases of the 5 Oz ATB. I think these 5 Oz ATBs are going to have a great future once the series wraps up.

  23. wylson says

    Yes, they will have a great future. Smelters will have a hard time purchasing all this swill below melt to smelt.

  24. Buzz Killington says

    I agree with the idea that this fancy packaging needs to be scaled WAY back. A capsule and a simple small cardboard box is more than enough.

  25. Ray says

    Anyone else wondering how close we are from not being the world reserve currency? And what implications come with that change? I just read what happened to Britain when they went through this drastic change. Keep stackin!! Its going to happen sooner than everyone thinks.

  26. hawkster says

    Buzz,

    Agreed. The ultimate in deluxe, oversized Mint packaging is that of the Ultra High Relief Gold Eagle. I’m sure most owners of this coin have removed it from the original packaging to either slab it or have simply placed the encapsulated coin itself, sans packaging, in a safe or safety deposit box. The Mint packaging for this product, impressive as it might be, takes up way too much valuable storage space.

  27. MarkInFlorida says

    I’d rather pay less and get a lot less packaging. I keep the packaging in boxes in the closet and the coins in the bank.

  28. high low silver says

    Those blue boxes remind me of a coffin. It would be better if they were the size of 2 proof silver eagle boxes.

  29. fmtransmitter says

    I love the reduction amount for this set and am glad I had a chance to get a few. I, in no doubt, see this set being a future winner and the enhanced a key to the series. To all who stuck out all the drama and acquired this set, congrats. Like it says, it takes 5 to 10 years for coins to go up in value. This is a marathon, not a race. Ready for the Rushmore puck then I think I am done for the year. Notice I said “think”. lol

  30. fmtransmitter says

    Heyyy, good morning HLS! Good to see you thinking about coffins on this brisk October day and Halloween around the corner. Have a great day!

  31. high low silver says

    Good morning fm! Didn’t even think about the connection with halloween. Just got my invite to the Balt Expo Nov 7-10….maybe the 2nd TR offering will be released there.

  32. JD says

    This revised count should help with “future values” …prices should start to climb now that this set has a lower “sold” mintage than the 2012 SF set selling near the $200 point on the secondary market…

    First issue of it’s kind….75th Anniversary Set for WP…. coupled with a RP.

    Should be a winner for the investor/collector or visa-versa…

  33. larry says

    It is lower mintage than SF set, the 2013 West Point set offerings are unique to itself.

    Think I am going to get another AGE 1oz proof before prices go up again. Have a feeling that market pricing will floor at 1,350 for the next 12months.

  34. Eddie says

    I like the window selling method. The Mint should start sending out the sets as soon as it closes. They should start minting the sets either before the window opens or when it opens and start boxing them up and sending them out right after the ordering period ends.
    The screw-up on the WP sets is the Mints fault for not being prepared and it cost them big time in sales and money.
    I really like the boxes the sets come in but as far as the shipping boxes go that is totally on the shipper. I think they try to use one box fits all. If they sent the sets out in smaller boxes people would complain about them getting dinged up during the shipping process.

  35. Eddie says

    It is going to be interesting what the Mint will put into the 2013 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set. Do you think the Mint might use the cancelled orders of the WP sets to add to this set? It would save them some money but they would have to make a new package to put anything else into it.
    Get 3 ASE’s in one set plus the other silver coins that would come in the set.

  36. hawkster says

    high low silver:

    Those blue Mint boxes remind you of a casket? I guess we’re dealing with a grave situation.

  37. stephen m says

    Eddie, I agree. I like the window selling method. Everyone who wants a coin gets one, or however many a collector desires, and.given some time it will discourage the flippers(sorry flippers), dealers and TV coin shows from purchasing an offering from the mint in large quantities because their sales will drop over time. Of course, like you said, the mint would have to be ready and start shipping as soon as the ordering period ends. Too simple to work, huh?

  38. VARich says

    Yeah, that was most likely a retailer that drove up the AGE UNC 1 OZ sales last week.., back down to 331 for the week to 7,096. Thank ya Slabber!

  39. Eddie says

    @Stephen M yeah it is just to simple to work for those that has to over think things.
    Big business and flippers has just about ruin coin collecting. There is a place for them but they take it way to far. Just my opinion.

  40. A&L Futures says

    @ VARich

    It’s not looking good for those of us who were hoping for a new “key date” coin in the Proof Gold Buffalo series. The U.S. Mint now list sales of the 2013 Proof Buffalo at 17,046. This represents an increase of 646 from last week and 1,200 since 10/13/2013. Sales are unusually high. At this rate, it will most certainly out-sell that of the 2008-W.

    Any thoughts?

  41. VARich says

    A&L – I believe you are unfortunately correct Sir.., I was watching 4-5 offerings closely and my hopes were shattered in the last two weeks. And what will put the nail in the coffin is that it’s still October and there has been no meaningful back orders. AGE PR is on backorder though sold another 1,000 and the 4 coin set is going strong. The only hope I see left is if Ag rises another $100 which looked promising yesterday though its sputtering today…

    Maybe if gold rises back to ’12 levels then we may have another shot in either ’14 or ’15. Though off topic, and I’m going to be quite honest, you guys out here with your medical already covered should feel VERY, VERY fortunate.., these new high deductible medical plans that the whole industry and corporate America is offering is seriously cutting into my coin buying next year. I’m going to have to save several thousand in a HSA on top of premiums before I start buying high end coins again which really sucks! I’m sharing this because there’s many out here in the same boat I’m sure, and between socking it away for unexpected medical expense and rising gold prices, the stage will be set for future low sales to come. Good luck to us all!

  42. Brad says

    VARich,

    Yeah, it’s not looking good for the 2013’s to end up being new keys in any of their respective series.

    Maybe the 2013 First Spouses will end up being better, though. It looks like the Mint will need to admit that sales of no more than 3,100 Proofs and 2,300 Uncs is realistic in the one-year timeframe, and that’s based on a four-coin release year. With five designs, those figures may be need to be adjusted downward a bit further, possibly resulting in some uncs with sub-2,000 sales. Something else that could tend to hurt sales of the 2013’s is if the Mint plans to leave the overproduced 2012’s on sale alongside them until they are sold out. It’s always possible that those will be put out of their misery in a “last chance” sale ending in December, but there’s no guarantee. If the Alice Paul figures are any indication, it would seem that there are quite a few unsold coins remaining of the 2012’s.

  43. VARich says

    What was it that Aykroyd said at the tale end of 1941? “This year wasn’t the big year… I think the really big year is going to be 1942” Yeah, time to put this one behind us and move on to ’14! 🙂 I’m done, happy hunting to the rest till Christmas!

  44. says

    I agree wholeheartedly with the finding by CCAC to NOT do a knockoff classic Liberty series. The springboard is already set… we have Walking Liberty since 1986, Buffalo Nickel since 2000,2001 and again in 2006 to today, the Ultra High Relief of 2009. Geez, just go buy bullion rounds that already have many of the U.S. Mint designs knocked off already!
    The U.S. Mint already possesses a very talented staff. This is evident when we get to see so many of the varied design proposals from the staff. Just go buy the real coins, not more knockoffs. I truly love all of the old classic designs for what they speak of to the times contemporary with their creation. It is overdue to have new creative expressions that speak to the 21st century, not the 19th and early 20th century!

  45. MarkInFlorida says

    I wish we could get some great new designs, but most modern design and most modern art is crap. It used to be only skilled artists survived because they had to find someone to pay for their work. Today anyone can call himself an artist and get a government grant to pay for it. Until something really great comes along, stick with the old classics. I won’t buy new ugly stuff.

  46. high low silver says

    Your right simon. After these ATB quarters are done, with the State quarters out there I might mistake a slug or Canada quarter for a US issue…..I do like the old designs on a commem tho, the RP anything are beautiful !!!!

  47. Ikaika says

    I just wish Augustus Saint-Gaudens was still around to create new designs for the US Mint. Maybe we will get a reincarnation of him 🙂

  48. thePhelps says

    I said it in the other thread on the commemoratives… the CCAC thought the GS coin was fantastic and they hoped it was the new trend in design from the mint.

    I do like the Liberty themed coin idea – with new designs of the stylish coins.

  49. Jan says

    better to see production totals lowered than raised, that’s for sure
    I took the plunge & bought the 2013 set a few weeks back for what I figured would be about the lowest they would go… not so! you saw a few sets going in the $130-$140 range…. oh, well… tell me how even the mega sellers graded sets go for little more than issue price…. didn’t everyone pay the same
    price from the Mint? even with bulk grading discounts I can’t understand sellers content with breaking even or a little more…. is it because of volume or are they afraid to hold onto them for fear of dropping market?

  50. Ray says

    CCAC does what it wants. It does not have the majority of coin collectors views in their opinions. So frustrating to read that. These modern designs that they are asking for have had their chance, and are performing extremely poorly. Yet, when the mint releases classics like the gold buff RP, or the HR gold eagle, the public goes nuts, and sales go through the roof. I will never understand C, CACs stance/views. I will always feel that they are wrong.

    Does the US Mint have the power to say to CCAC, “We heard your opinion, but we believe otherwise, and our data backs up our beliefs, so we’re moving forward.”? HOw do people get on the CCAC board? And how do we replace who is in it?

  51. says

    The CCAC is supposed to function in an advisory role to the Mint. What’s to say that they don’t have a grasp as to what current and perhaps future coin collectors might cherish? The aesthetics of coins, medals, or anything art is purely subjective and will always be. As such, the Mint’s suggestion to roll out a series of knockoff designs is not very well conceived. Certainly, the opinions of the two dozen or so regulars who post here don’t represent the majority of collectors either. It’s too small a sampling to consider it any kind of consensus. Sales figures alone can”t point to what makes for good designs. It only seems to indicate that collectors, flippers and mass marketing dealers snap up the ridiculous concocted anniversary theme bullion coin sets in endless mint mark and varieties of finishes.

  52. VABEACHBUM says

    @ VARich – mad props on the “1941” reference!! I had just watched it, again, about a month ago, and still laughed as hard as the first time I saw it in the theaters.

    @ gary – you have made some great points. I also love what we consider to be the classics, and agree that those coins define and are reflective of the periods of US history that have long since passed. It’s time for the US Mint to identify and create the design(s) that define our time in US History and, at 100 years into the future, our grand kids or great grand kids will call classic.

    While the Mint might not have a St. Gaudens or a Barber available any more, they currently have some very talented artists / sculptors at the ready, one of my favorites being Joel Iskowitz. Unfortunately, today’s artists only can be as talented / expressive as the directing legislation – and the CCAC’s and the CFA’s respecitve interpretations of that legislation will allow them to be.

    The first thing I would like to see happen is the confirmation of a full-time Mint Director. Peterson has done OK as the interim, but a nominee was identified over a year ago, and nothing else has happened since. The Director has the ability to issue coins outside legislative guidance – that’s how Moy established the re-creation of the 2009 Double Eagle; his own intiative!!

    With a new Director in place, he/she should call all of the artists and sculptors into the office and say, basically, “I’m going to give you full artistic freedom to develop the next generation of Classic Coinage; something that will define you, as artists, and this Country for the next 100 years.” Turn them loose, and find out just how creative they can be. I believe that collectors and non-collectors, alike, will be very pleased with the results.

  53. VABEACHBUM says

    To the topic of this thread, I just received a sales notice from APMEX, where in they are offering “deeply discounted” pricing on all of their remaining 2013 WP Anny pieces, to include OGP Sets, Graded (NGC, PCGS, 69, 70) Sets and individual graded coins. Across all their WP Anny products, they – alone – have nearly 800 WP items in their inventory. I have to believe this is typical of most of the larger retailers and, if so, it might be several years before these sets realize any types of premiums. Just glad I acquired my two OGP sets from the Mint at the issue price.

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