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Proof set, mint set or just a duck?

It looks like a proof set.

It has “S” mintmarks on the coins in it like a proof set.

But it’s not a proof set.

It is the 225th Anniversary Enhanced Uncirculated Coin Set.

It will be released Aug. 1 and be available at the U.S. Mint booth at the American Numismatic Association convention in Denver as well as the website.

Mintage will be no more than 225,000.

Get it?

225th anniversary.

225,000 mintage.

Clever.

But how will collectors react to this hybrid set where the coins are better than standard uncirculated pieces but are not quite proofs?

They will have a enhanced uncirculated finish, which is achieved “using a combination of laser frosted areas and an unpolished field that accentuates design details.”

Issue price is not yet known.

The set has 10 base metal coins in it with “S” mintmarks in plastic holders similar to those used in proof sets.

The 2017 proof set is priced at $26.95.

An uncirculated set has twice as many coins because it represents two mints.

They are in polyester film holders in envelopes.

Price of the 2017 uncirculated set is $20.95.

Does that make the 225th anniversary set a $23.95 item? $24.95?

Or will the limited mintage make the Mint think it can charge a price similar to the proof set?

About the mintage.

So far in 2017, collectors have purchased 161,856 uncirculated sets and 299,810 proof sets.

The 225,000 falls right in the middle of these two bounds.

Will that mean a Goldilocks outcome of a number just right?

In 2016, mintages for sets were much higher.

They were 286,029 and 595,184, for uncirculated and proof, respectively.

So it could be when all is said and done, the 225,000 mintage if sold out will be well below the uncirculated set total.

But what if it is not?

What if the standard uncirculated set for 2017 stays below 225,000?

What happens on the secondary market?

All of these thoughts will go through the heads of potential buyers.

The Mint hopes for a buyers’ rush on opening day and perhaps a sellout.

It wants collectors to desire an entirely new product.

Will collectors comply?

They just might.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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9 Responses to Proof set, mint set or just a duck?

  1. JoeyT46 says:

    Just what the collector needs, another “special” mint set. It is a hybrid to say the least. I guess at the low mintage it is worth a shot if the price is right. I might be enticed to try and get a few for the grandchild to put away and someday maybe realize a profit. Kudos to the mint for another way to increase profits.

  2. Vachon says:

    Once again, the oft-ignored West Point Mint gets left out. Could’ve had a set showcasing all the currently operating Mints but nope… 🙂

  3. VKurtB says:

    As long as this new issue is reasonably distributed at the Denver ANA show, and not hijacked by the big wholesale dealers bringing in “ringers” to wait in line, as they did in 2014 in Rosemont, it’ll be fine. If they DO mess with the system to game an advantage, expect a formal complaint against their ANA memberships … from ME!

    • birddog says:

      VKurtB,
      Exactly what happened. A long line. 50 tickets were handed out to the first 50 people in line with the assumption that if each bought 500 sets then the 25000 available would sell out. Wholesale dealers were somehow first in line and then proceeded to make deals with other ticket holders (typically buy 500 for us we will give you 10 free). The same credit card was used over and over again by the wholesalers. 2.5 hours later I was able to purchase a few sets (I was about #25 in line). There was a massive stack (actually two) of boxes. One dealer got at least 5000 sets. Another dealer 2500 or so. I thought it was ugly, most of the people in line did so as well. Mint just turned a blind eye to what was going on.

  4. A money maker for the mint is the picture I’m getting. The package could of looked better. Maybe a wooden box . A silver coin or two would be nice. Little things. How many people will get this set mixed up with a regular proof set. Keep them in that box. All lenses look alike. Why all the time when it’s something special does everyone come up with questions? That should tell you something. Just my opinion Mike.

    • JoeyT46 says:

      I received my sets in great time frame, less than a week. After close examination I was disappointed to say the least. Coins had almost no luster and looked like they could pass for AU. They certainly fell short of my expectations and I can’t see paying any premium for this set. I know that the so called “dealers” have big plans for a money making venture.

  5. JoeyT46 says:

    It has happened just as I thought it would. On august the 4th at exactly 12:00 noon I tried to order the new “Enhanced” sets from the mint. I filled everything out and at the end I got the message, sorry this item is no longer available. It did say to enter your e-mail and if it came available soon they would let me know. Two days later I got the e-mail saying it was now for sale. I ordered two sets. Saturday night I was perusing the tv when I glanced at HSN. sure enough it was good old Mike Misek selling the new sets. This guy us something, he not only had the sets but they were slabbed and graded 70. He was asking the price of $389 per set. How does this guy get the sets and then gets them graded 70 to make a huge profit? I also saw another online dealer selling the sets for $50 a piece. already the rush is on to make the money. I could have easily bought dozens of these sets but I think everyone should have a chance to own this.

  6. JoeyT46 says:

    I agree Mike, a nice red box would have set it off much better. Also a piece of silver or two, and something to compare them with.

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