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First Spouse orders at 25,000 first day of sale

The Mint says it accepted 25,000 orders from eager buyers in the June 19 sellout of the first two gold coins in the First Spouse series. The coins went on sale at noon Eastern Daylight Time on that date and they were sold out the same day.

Maximum sales of 40,000 coins were recorded by the Martha Washington and Abigail Adams designs. These were evenly divided between proof and uncirculated versions, according to Mint sales data.

Buyers were limited to five coins per household for each sales option for each design, making a maximum possible household order for each design 10 coins. No bulk orders were acceptd.

The Mint says the average accepted order was for three coins.

The speed of the sellout surprised the Mint. A spokesman said demand for the coins exceeded the Mint?s most optimistic forecast. Order fulfillment is on a first-in and first-out basis, and some Numismatic News readers reported receiving their coins as early as June 21. All are to be delivered by the end of August.

The Mint said 8 percent of the orders received were attempts to evade the household limits and would be cancelled.

Some 70 percent of the orders were taken online and the balance was by telephone. The Web site held up well, according to the Mint, though Numismatic News readers reported delays as long as half an hour.

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