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Sellout reverses, sales plunge

Tumbling secondary market prices are prompting large numbers of canceled orders and returns of the 225th Anniversary Enhanced Uncirculated Coin Sets to the U.S. Mint.

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The Mint has had to take back over 16 percent of the total sets ordered.

And the pace of returns is accelerating.

After an Aug. 1 sellout of all 225,000 sets was reported by the U.S. Mint, the sets went back on sale just two days later.

Once again, buyers seemed to take the issue to near-sellout status. It went off sale again Aug. 14.

But by Aug. 16, it was back.

Why?

The returns began to swamp new orders.

Just look at reported sales numbers.

As of Aug. 6, the Mint said it had sold 217,514 sets.

That total rose to 223,310 by the Aug. 13 weekly sales report.

But in the following week, the number plunged by 12,037 to 211,273 on Aug. 20.

Then the dam really began to break.

Another 23,969 drop brought the sales figure down to 187,304 by Aug. 27.

When will it stop?

Order cancelations are time limited. Returns are supposed to be based on quality problems.

Buyers now can go online and acquire a set on the secondary market for roughly the same price they would pay on the Mint website.

The Mint’s issue price for the 10-coin set is $29.95, plus a $4.95 fee for handling.

All coins in the set carry the “S” mintmark normally used just on proof coins.

The coins in the set are neither proof nor standard uncirculated.

As the Mint describes them, they have an “enhanced uncirculated finish using a combination of laser frosted areas and an unpolished field that accentuates design details, creating a unique contrast distinctly different from the mirror-like finish of proof coins.”

Top SP70-graded pieces for coins of the first day of issue at the American Numismatic Association convention are still selling for significant premiums, but after factoring in costs of third-party grading, the profits shrink.

After the excitement of a supposed sellout, buyer’s remorse has had a significant impact on this program.

Will the sets sell out for a third time?

Only time will tell.

But it doesn’t look like it.

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

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