This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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Imagine being told your order for proof silver American Eagles was canceled the week before the Nov. 19 sales opening date.
It happened by mistake to a lot of collectors.
Approximately 100,000 order cancellation e-mail notices were sent by the U.S. Mint in error on Nov. 10 to participants in its subscription program for proof silver American Eagles and Mount Hood quarter products.
Numismatic News readers began reporting receipt of them Nov. 11 when the Mint’s office was closed for Veterans Day.
Phone lines to the Mint’s telephone order number backed up with thousands of calls in consequence.
Human error was the cause, according to Tom Jurkowsky, U.S. Mint director of public affairs, Nov. 16.
“Incorrect data was put into the computer,” he said.
Recipients of the error e-mails were sent an e-mail on Nov. 16 to explain what had happened:
“This e-mail is a follow-up to the one you received last week which erroneously indicated that the United States Mint cancelled your order for certain products. Since sending that e-mail, we determined that the erroneous e-mail was not due to a computer glitch. It was our fault, we take full responsibility for it, and we apologize again for any inconvenience and confusion that it may have caused.
“We are now confident that we have corrected the error by reinstating all affected orders,” the e-mail said.