In the past few days, the Mint has posted retail prices for its next two product releases: the 2017 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set (LESPS) and the 2017 American Liberty Four-Medal Set.
First up is the LESPS (product code 17RC), which will be available for purchase at noon on October 5, 2017. Containing this year’s Kennedy half dollar, Roosevelt dime, American Eagle silver 1-ounce coin, and five America the Beautiful quarters, the sets are priced at $139.95.
The Limited Edition Silver Proof Sets tend not to fly off the shelves. They face strong competition for collector attention with the reliable and popular annual Proof Sets and Silver Proof Sets, as well as the clad and silver ATB quarters Proof sets. The LESPS contains the same coins as the $52.95 Silver Proof Set (less the cent, nickel, and dollar), plus the $53.95 American Eagle 1-ounce silver Proof coin. Those items purchased separately add up to $107.90, which means the buyer is paying $32.05 to get the silver coins in a single plastic case (or “lens”). It’s no surprise that, although the 2016 set was released last November, more than 4,000 of the 50,000 max are still available.
The 2017 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set, however, is likely to sell out fairly quickly, for one simple reason: its American Eagle silver Proof coin is from the San Francisco Mint rather than the traditional West Point issue. Produced this year only, in honor of the Mint’s 225th anniversary, the S-Mint ASE coins have made one other appearance: in the 2017 Congratulations Set, whose 75,000 product limit sold out within two minutes of their release. (The stand-alone 2017 ASE Proof coin is from West Point.)
Naysayers shook their heads at the quick run-up in aftermarket prices, pointing to the fact that no one knew for sure just how many of the coins would be released later in the year. But once the LESPS product limit of 50,000 was announced, those who’d let their 2017 Congratulations Sets go for modest sums had reason to feel gloomy. The 74,898 in net Congratulations Set sales plus the maximum LESPS sales equal fewer than 125,000 of the 2017-S American Eagle silver Proofs. Among all the regular ASE Proofs, only one has a lower mintage: the 1995-W, at 30,125. The coin even made Whitman’s list of the 100 Greatest Modern U.S. Coins (and a PF-70 Ultra Cameo example sold for more than $14,000 in 2015).
No one is apt to see a $14,000 Congratulations Set anytime soon. Still, the sets have been selling on ebay for around $120, and high-graded versions regularly sell for $200 or more. In that light, $139.95 for this year’s LESPS suddenly looks more reasonable.
The next item on the Mint’s calendar is the 2017 American Liberty Four-Medal Set (product code 17XD), which has been priced at $199.95. Each set consists of four 1-ounce silver medals, each with a unique finish and mintmark:
- One Proof medal with the S mintmark (San Francisco)
- One Reverse Proof medal with the P mintmark (Philadelphia)
- One Uncirculated medal with the D mintmark (Denver)
- One Enhanced Uncirculated medal with the W mintmark (West Point)
The four medals break down to $50 apiece, with a product limit of 50,000. For comparison, that’s about $10 cheaper than the single 2017-P Proof medal, (mintage unlimited, with close to 45,000 sold to date) and about $4 less than the 2017-W Proof ASE (mintage unlimited, with more than 310,000 sold to date).
Of the two products, the 2017 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set seems to have an edge with flippers, while the American Liberty medals are more apt to appeal to collectors who aim to hold on to them indefinitely. What do you think—is there value to be had in the last two silver sets of 2017?