This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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Anyone in the market for a 5-ounce silver America the Beautiful coin will have three more choices by the end of the month.
On April 25, the Mint will distribute to its Authorized Purchasers the first two of five 2011 ATB 5-ounce silver bullion coins. The first two coins honor Gettysburg National Military Park and Glacier National Park.
On April 28, the U.S. Mint will begin selling directly to its customers the numismatic version of the 2010 ATB Hot Springs silver coin.
How much will they cost? The Mint hadn’t yet determined that by the time Numismatic News went to press April 7.
But price and allocation restraints placed on the Authorized Purchasers for sales of the 2010 five-coin ATB bullion sets have been lifted, which should make the 2011 bullion coins more accessible to coin dealers across the country.
Lee Crane of L&C Coins, Los Alamitos, Calif., hopes sales of the 2011 5-ounce coins go a lot smoother.
“It was difficult the first time with the 2010s,” Crane said. “It’s always difficult when the Mint limits what you can buy. You just can’t satisfy everybody and people get mad.”
The limits also generally drive prices up, Crane said, although the Mint thinks it spreads coins around.
“We ran into a lot of customers who were upset,” he said. “Sometimes they blamed the Mint, and sometimes they blamed the dealers.”
The Authorized Purchasers were in a bad position, too, he said, because the limitations placed on them to sell only one set to a customer.
“I don’t think anybody liked the way it happened,” Crane said.
L&C will sell the 2011 5-ounce silver bullion coins because the 2010 coins were so popular.
“Hopefully this time the price will be more reasonable so more people can afford them and feel comfortable at the price level,” Crane said.
Mint public affairs officer Michael White said the initial mintage for each 2011 5-ounce silver bullion coin will be 126,500, although the Mint may increase the mintage later based on market demand and blank availability.
The premium to be paid by the AP’s remains at $9.75, the same as for the 2010 bullion coins.
As for the 2010 numismatic Hot Springs 5-ounce silver coin that goes on sale April 28, Crane said it will be interesting to see how the Mint prices it and how it compares in quality to the bullion coins.
The key will be for the Mint to produce enough of the coins so prices don’t get crazy, Crane said.
“We like happy customers, and customers weren’t happy over the 2010s,” he said.
White said the 2011 bullion coins will be offered individually, rather than in a set as the 2010s were offered. That is consistent, he said with other multiple coin releases such as First Spouse gold coins.
“Offering the coins one at a time, instead of through sets, allows the maximum distribution for customers who may want to buy one or two coins and not all five for the year,” White said. “It also provides a lower price point for those customers.”