The Mint’s one-ounce silver Liberty medal sold out in less than five minutes Aug. 23.
Perhaps attracted by the low mintages, buyers snapped up 12,500 of each from two mints, San Francisco and West Point.
Issue price was $34.95.
Household order limits of two of each mint means that 6,250 buyers could have taken the whole issue.
Numismatic News readers who were shut out by the rapid sellout were not happy.
New York State collector Floyd Slye described his experience this way: “I got through to the sales person almost immediately at 12 noon, but during the order process I was informed by the sales person that they became unavailable during the ordering process. I was also informed that there was an household limit of two medals from each mint. I think that is unacceptable but usual for the Mint lately. To say the least, I was very upset.”
Arizona collector Bill Graney wrote this in an email: “Today was a first for me. I was all set to order the American Liberty 2016 silver medal at 9 a.m. Arizona Time and as I went through the purchasing process as a registered buyer at the Mint, I was shut down at 09:03 and was told the product was no longer available. I almost got the order in because I had four coins in my shopping bag, but by the time I was going to hit place order, I was shut down. My charge card info disappeared from the screen, and I was told product no longer available.
Graney continued, “I expected a quick sellout, but three minutes!! I shouldn’t complain as this is the first time in 25 years I have been shut out, but three minutes? That will be hard to forget.”
Reader Bob Matitia wrote, “I logged onto the Mint’s website at 12:15 p.m. on Aug. 23 (eight minutes after I received the ‘remind me’ notice from the Mint’s website) in order to purchase the long awaited and quite attractive, 2016 American Liberty silver medal, and of course, it was already sold out!”
He said he found the medal attractive. “This medal was nice and decently priced, so I figured that I would dip my collecting toe back into the Mint’s new release of products,” he wrote.
The medal design is indeed attractive. Liberty is shown holding a torch in her right hand and the American flag in her left. The Mint description says the design “evokes the ideals of liberty, courage and hope.
Justin Kunz was the designer. He is a participant in the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill sculpted his design.
The flying eagle on the reverse was created by AIP designer Paul C. Balan and Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart sculpted it.
More sellouts might soon follow as the Mint will offer gold Standing Liberty quarters Sept. 8 and edge-lettered 30th anniversary silver American Eagles Sept. 16.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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