Skip to main content

Quick answer from Mint fills stat gap

I was anxiously awaiting the weekly Mint Statistics this week to monitor results for the 225th Anniversary one-ounce $100 gold coin showing Miss Liberty as an African-American.

LibertySales0502 A

I had recently blogged that I did not see how coin collectors could come up with sufficient cash to buy more than 40,000 of the possible 100,000 maximum mintage set by the U.S. Mint.

At the original issue price of $1,640 each, we would collectively have to cough up $65,600,000. I just didn’t see it.

After the first 24 hours had elapsed following the April 6 sales date, the Mint had sold 14,285 pieces. This was not strong.

Naturally, I wondered if the now common sales pattern where sales rates plummet after the first day would occur.

The normal weekly bunch of statistics would add another two days of information to the beginning total. It is normally posted by the Mint at the close of business on the East Coast on Tuesdays.

Wednesday morning it was not there. I was antsy. I have to get the information prepared on that day for Numismatic News. I emailed Mike White, who is the crackerjack spokesman for the Mint.

He checked for me and responded so fast that his answer arrived almost before I had asked the question.

“Due to some web/software situation, the weekly sales report was not published yesterday and will not be published until next Tuesday,” he wrote me.

He knew I would be disappointed at that information so he helpfully provided further information that sales of the 2017 $100 gold piece stood at 16,746.

I really appreciate his professionalism and thoroughness because now I can use the information not only in this column, but also in a brief story here.

The usual sales pattern is holding. The pace of sales slacked off sharply after the first day. I won’t say sales have hit a brick wall yet, but impact may occur shortly.

An increase in price to $1,690 per coin April 12 won’t help the sales cause.

While it seems that collectors are sometimes made of money, we aren’t.

Figuring out how much money collectors need to spend to acquire the various mintages of the Mint’s new issues is helpful.

This exercise shows that it took only $4,121,250 to buy out the entire 75,000 Congratulations Set mintage with the 2017-S proof silver Eagle.

Collectors have spent almost seven times that sum on $100 gold pieces. The total is $27,463,440.

Both of these amounts are informative.

They suggest that the Mint should have set a sales limit much higher than the 75,000 for the Congratulations Set and much lower than the 100,000 for the $100 gold.

Collector budgets had been strained by the gold Centennial coins from last year. Many collectors stretched to get the popular Mercury, Standing Liberty and Walking Liberty designs.

They cannot stretch every year. That is one conclusion confirmed by statistics.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000 is your guide to images, prices and information on coinage of the 1900s.

• Purchase your copy of The Essential Guide to Investing in Precious Metals today to get started on making all the right investing decisions.