Jammed phone lines and a lack of an Internet ordering alternative might have given the impression that everybody is buying the new Bald Eagle commemoratives.
When the coins were placed on sale at noon Eastern Time Jan. 15, the Mint was in the process of migrating its Web site to a new server, preventing acceptance of any online orders for several days.
Instead, hobbyists were referred to the Mint?s telephone ordering number, 1-800-USA-MINT. Enough collectors responded to jam the lines. The lines were still jammed on the second day of sales as this story was prepared.
Product order limits are in place and allowed quantities are high enough that collectors probably shouldn?t have been concerned about a possible quick sellout of any of the options, but nothing feeds a scarcity psychology than a seeming denial of access.
Overall maximum mintages are 100,000 gold $5s, 500,000 silver dollars and 750,000 clad half dollars. These are standard totals.
There are some special sets within these totals. A three-piece proof set will have a maximum of 25,000.
A Coin and Medal Set that features an uncirculated dollar and a bronze bald eagle medal from the National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial Medal Series has a maximum of 50,000.
A Bald Eagle Young Collector?s Set features an uncirculated bald eagle half dollar. Its total production will be whatever is ordered Jan. 15-April 15.
Introductory prices end Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Prices below indicate the current price followed by the post-Feb. 14 price in parentheses.
Proof $5, $294.95 ($319.95)
Uncirculated $5, $284.95 ($309.95)
Proof dollar, $39.95 ($43.95)
Uncirculated dollar, $35.95 ($37.95)
Proof half, $9.95 ($10.95)
Uncirculated half, $7.95 ($8.95)
There are no introductory prices for the set options. The three-coin proof set is $369.95, the Young Collector?s Set is $14.95 and the Coin and Medal Set is $44.95.
Order limits for 30 days are 100 coins per household for the individual coins, one three-coin proof set and five Coin and Medal Sets. Because there is no maximum, there is no order limit for the Young Collector?s Set.
Later this year a Legacy Set with a proof dollar will be offered.