No price gouging is the goal of the U.S. Mint as it relaunches the America the Beautiful silver bullion coin program tomorrow.
The Mint has prohibited a mark-up from dealer cost that exceeds 10 percent plus a reasonable fee for shipping and handling.
The Mint has also imposed order limits. Authorized purchasers are required to enforce a one five-coin set per household order limitation and officers and employees of the companies are prohibited from purchasing them.
With this action, collectors will feel that the playing field has been evened up for them. I don’t know how the Authorized Purchasers feel.
Below is the full text of the Mint’s memo:
The United States Mint will re-launch and accept orders for the 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™ Program on Friday, December 10, 2010. Authorized by Title II of Public Law 110-456, America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins have a diameter of three inches and contain five ounces of .999 fine silver.
As you are aware, paragraph 12 of the United States Silver Bullion Coins Authorized Purchaser Agreement (Agreement), states the following: “Authorized Purchaser agrees that the United States Mint has the right to alter the terms and conditions of this Agreement if, in the judgment of the United States Mint, the best interests of the U.S. Government and the U.S. bullion coin programs so indicate. Such changes will be effective upon written notification to Authorized Purchaser.”
Because the United States Mint was only able to produce and make available a limited quantity of each of these silver bullion coins in the relatively short period since the authorizing legislation was approved, the anticipated demand for these coins will be significant. Accordingly, pursuant to paragraph 12 of the Agreement, the United States Mint has established the following terms and conditions that are a pre-requisite to participate in the purchase and distribution of these coins:
1. Authorized Purchasers shall make available for sale to the public all 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins that they acquire. The intention of this condition is to ensure that all 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins minted and issued by the United States Mint are sold to the public.
2. Authorized Purchasers may charge to their customers a price no higher than ten percent above the price at which the Authorized Purchasers acquire 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins from the United States Mint. Authorized Purchasers may charge their customers a reasonable shipping and handling fee; however, Authorized Purchasers may not charge any other fee, premium, or other expense to their customers to circumvent this ten-percent markup limitation. The intention of this condition is to ensure that members of the public can obtain these coins at a reasonable and affordable purchase price.
3. Authorized Purchasers must establish and enforce an order limit of one coin of each design for each household. A household is defined as all persons of a family, or living as a family, at a single mailing address. The intention of this condition is to ensure the broadest and fairest public accessibility to 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins, which are limited-mintage United States Mint products.
4. Authorized Purchasers may not sell, either directly or indirectly, 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins to their officers or employees. The intention of this condition is to ensure that 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins are available to the public and that Authorized Purchaser officers and employees do not have an unfair advantage over members of the public.
Receipt of your order by the United States Mint is your acknowledgement that you understand, agree to, and will fully comply with all terms and conditions set forth herein. Additionally, the United States Mint shall have the right to examine and audit all of the Authorized Purchaser’s books, records, documents, and other data to ensure that they have complied with the terms and conditions herein. Violation of any one of the above outlined terms and conditions may be grounds for suspension or permanent removal from the United States Mint’s Authorized Purchaser distribution network.
Because of the limited number of available coins, the United States Mint will offer the coins on an allocation basis, divided equally among the 11 active silver bullion coin Authorized Purchasers. There are a total of 33,000 coins available for each of the five 2010 designs; therefore the United States Mint will allocate to each such Authorized Purchaser 3,000 coins of each design, for an overall total of 15,000 coins. This quantity represents all of the 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins that will be offered. Authorized Purchasers have until 3:00pm Friday, December 17, 2010, to place their orders. Should any of the active silver bullion coin Authorized Purchasers decline to order any or all of these coins from the United States Mint, the United States Mint will make the excess coins available, on a comparable allocation basis, to those active silver bullion coin Authorized Purchasers that accept the terms and conditions herein, on Monday, December 20, 2010.
The United States Mint has set the premium at $9.75 per coin. When placing your orders, please be sure to properly identify the products you are ordering (e.g., “5 OZ ATB Hot Springs Coins,” “5 OZ ATB Yellowstone Coins”), and please state the number of ounces and pieces that you are ordering. The minimum order quantity for the 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins is 10,000 ounces (2000 coins), with additional increments of 500 oz (100 coins). Coins will be packaged in boxes of 500 ounces (100 coins). The packaging includes an outer heavy gauge plastic box and lid. Inside the box are 10 tubes with caps. Each tube contains 10 coins. The outer boxes will have two labels identifying the contents: one label on the lid of the box and one label on the side of the box.
Orders for the 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins will be confirmed via fax by 3:00pm Friday, December 10, 2010.
Please feel free to call (the Mint) if you have any questions.