NumisMaster Logo
Sign In
Free Newsletter

Collector Info
In Print
Site Map

Complaints Push Mint to Delay Silver Coins
December 07, 2010

A flood of complaints has caused the U.S. Mint to postpone the beginning of sales of the 5-ounce America the Beautiful silver bullion coins, which was slated for yesterday.

The Mint announced its decision late yesterday afternoon.

Interested buyers in the secondary market were confronted by prices that were at least in some cases 62 percent higher than the projected cost to the Mint’s authorized purchasers of the price of five ounces of silver plus $9.75 per coin. This cost at yesterday’s $30 silver price works out to roughly $160 a coin.

Numismatic News readers sent me e-mail reports of what they were seeing and/or paying.

Readers consider the new bullion coin sellers to be gouging.

The Mint apparently agrees or it would not have taken this unprecedented step in delaying the program because of the complaints.

Where do we go from here?

With a mintage of just 33,000 per design, the so-called bullion coins seem scarce at the moment, with high price quotes reflecting the perception. No one seems to be figuring in the 27,000 numismatic pieces to be sold directly to collectors next year.

The same perception occurred when the First Spouse designs were introduced in 2007 with mintages capped at 40,000. It took until the fourth design for buyers to figure out that such a mintage level is not all that scarce. But such a future change in market perception of Amer

ica the Beautiful 5-ounce silver coins is purely theoretical now. It might never happen. The difference is that the Mint sold the First Spouse coins directly to the collector market and not through the Authorized Purchaser network.

For the moment, the Mint is perceived as aiding and abetting secondary market price gouging. It is a position it does not want to be in and we all now wait to see what steps it will take to change this.

Add to:   digg
With this blog: Email to friend   Print

Something to add? Notice an error? Comment on this blog.

About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

Search this Blog
Email Updates
Email me a message when a new post is added!
RSS Feed
More Links
Numismatic News

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy | Your data is secure
©2018 F+W Publications, Inc., Iola, Wisconsin. All rights reserved.