Shhh. Buyers aren’t supposed to notice.
One ounce 2011 American Eagle silver bullion coins minted at the San Francisco Mint went on sale to the U.S. Mint’s Authorized Purchasers for the first time on May 31, but according to the U.S. Mint there should be no distinguishable difference between these coins and those manufactured at West Point.
There is no “S” mintmark on them. In fact, there is no mintmark on any bullion silver American Eagle coins.
But since buyers can pick up their coins in San Francisco, how long will it be before some enterprising marketer puts them in a slab with a label proclaiming them San Francisco American Eagles?
It shouldn’t be long.
It will be rarer, too, as many of this generation of collectors have come to expect of any coin from San Francisco.
The Mint says it can strike up to several hundred thousand coins a week.
But S-mint silver Eagle output will end when the 2012 collector coin sets manufacturing schedule kicks in at the end of the summer.
How many silver American Eagles will be produced in the meantime?
Three million? Four million?
It’s anybody’s guess, but the mystery will augment the sales pitch. After all, if demand for Eagles should happen to fall during the summer, San Francisco output could be even less.
So what will a San Francisco bullion American Eagle slabbed as MS-69 or MS-70 be worth?
Right now the figure is just a glimmer in the minds of clever marketers.