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Buyer’s remorse hits Enhanced Uncirculated Set

When is a Mint sellout not a sellout?

Apparently, when the offer is the 225th Anniversary Enhanced Uncirculated Coin Set.

It has been available on the Mint’s website again since Thursday morning.

That is now four more days of availability and counting.

For this offer, the Mint is having it both ways –negatively.

It got all the criticism for a lack of a household order limit.

But now buyers may be cancelling orders because they cannot flip them at a profit.

So now the Mint no longer has the satisfaction of knowing that all 225,000 have been taken.

What an interesting story this has been.

On Tuesday there was a rapid uptake on the Mint’s website.

The Denver Mint and other sales points ran out of sets quickly.

Then came the big offer in Denver at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money three hours after the online sellout.

The thousands of sets on hand at the Mint booth might have broken the market.

Dealers who could buy 500 at a crack did so.

These sets were wheeled across the bourse floor to the grading services.

A fan of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation came by the Numismatic News booth on Wednesday to tell me he had spent $346 to have the 10 coins in the set individually slabbed.

With the Mint price of $29.95, and a slabbing service getting $346, that means the Mint earned less than 10 cents on the dollar.

If you take the time to use a calculator, it actually figures out to 7.97 cents of each dollar spent by the collector.

The Mint did not reveal how many sets it had in Denver.

However supplies lasted for five hours.

A lot of sets can be sold over the counter in five hours when many buyers are taking 500 at a time.

At a hypothetical 20,000 sets, the Mint earned $599,000.

NGC, if the firm had graded them all, earned $6,920,000.

Which business would you want to be in?

I heard no criticism of NGC like the Mint got.

What I did get from time to time was a sense of wonder that the grading services were making so much money.

Actually, part of the fee was for shipping to the collector after the coins were graded.

But even backing that sum out, NGC collected $31 a coin.

That is more for each piece than the Mint got for the entire set.

Will the secondary market cover that grading cost?

By looking at eBay, you will see that it won’t.

No wonder Mint orders are being cancelled.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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3 Responses to Buyer’s remorse hits Enhanced Uncirculated Set

  1. jerryshearm says:

    Greed has been creeping into the world of Coin Collecting for a while now . I feel sorry for the young up and coming collectors . The hobby sure is NOT what it used to be .

  2. I agree we constantly talk about new collectors but we never give them a chance. I am so happy these so called sellers on EBay who bought hundreds of sets are now losing big time. Greed is in the hobby and it starts at the top. NGC and the Mint. What deals they have set up for special labels to increase the price. It’s a joke. No I take it back it’s sad. I remember the days when everyone said buy the coin not the slab. Now they want everything slabed. It means money money money. And NGC doesn’t hide the fact that big time buyers get better grades than a regular collector. Just look at the company’s and the grades they get. I guess if I sent in five thousand sets I would get great grades too. It’s so obvious it’s sickening. Not my opinion just fact. Mike

  3. ChiChiChicago says:

    I am one of the relative newbies, only collecting with purpose the past 3 or so years. I agree there has been a trend of encapsulation envy! As a reasonable capitalist I won’t knock NGC, PCGS or any other for charging when people continue demanding the service and, in fact, pay premiums. However, having paid for grading services if they’re under-grading my coins and over=grading large vendors then that is foul play. I’ll buy some large company graded 70’s and crack and re-submit and ask some friends to do a story on it in the WSJ!
    The reason grading is popular (both for established and budding collectors, and frankly, counterfeiters) is the perception that graded coins are the “easy choice.” It enables newbs some degree of confidence and the avid collector a validation of an investment. It seems people are content “knowing” what grade is their coin without having to “know” anything at all (about how to grade raw coins, for example). Immediacy and consumerism; the need to have things now and experience instant gratification are the potential pitfalls and opportunities for decline in the hobby. The good news is there are a lot of people, like me, who are still interested in their beauty, their function and place in history, and care about learning the art of grading to dare buy raw coins.
    All that said before we rip on the re-seller market let’s realize that they are also some of the most prolific marketers of coins that get other, common folks (the rest of us) interested in the hobby. That said… whoever spent $346 could have done the same for $160. It’s $16 for a modern coin (not including shipping per invoice). That’s $160 for the 10 coins. Now you start adding early or first releases, special cases, pictures, expedited service, etc. sure you can get over $300. I’m not sure how that’s the mint’s fault though. That’s the opportunistic resellers’ greed not the mint’s. The Mint, is seems, is damned either way. Household limits and dealers complain; no limits and collectors complain. And buyers need to evaluate what is important, too. The coins or the holder, as said a previous post. I bought a couple sets because I think they look quite lovely. Maybe they’ll even appreciate someday. I’ve spent more on Starbucks for the office so I guess I could have done worse!

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