Bags of uncirculated 2007 Sacagawea dollars went off sale on the U.S. Mint?s Web site a day or two before this column is being written. Rolls of the Denver and Philadelphia coins are still being sold, so anyone who wants the current year for holiday gifts can still obtain them from the Mint?s Web site at www.usmint.gov.
Now that the Mint has decided not to strike large quantities for circulation, it pays to check out what the actual mintage is. I checked the numbers. The Denver total is 3.92 million coins and the Philadelphia total is 3.64 million pieces. This makes the overall total 7.56 million coins so far.
The mintage is not a large number when put in the context of the hundreds of millions struck by the two mints in 2000 and 2001. However, the mintage number does not include coins struck for collector sets and that is the usual way for most collectors to obtain their annual specimens.
At first blush, it would appear that despite the dollar coin?s going off sale in bag quantities, the Mint should have a healthy remaining supply.
According to my back-of-the-envelope math, the Mint has sold 3,168,300 pieces in the form of bags and rolls. That leaves almost 4.5 million coins still in Mint inventory.
Why did the bags go off sale now? Perhaps the Mint ran out of canvas sacks. It doesn?t appear that the Mint has run out of Sacagawea coins unless some of them have actually made it into the banking system. If any reader finds a 2007 in their change from the Post Office or elsewhere, please e-mail me and tell me about it.
I know that a single find out in circulation can simply be an escapee from a bag previously sold to a collector, but circulation experiences do help the rest of us draw appropriate conclusions.
What will the Mint be doing with any remaining 2007 Sacagawea dollars it might still possess? We will see. The Mint has been known to begin selling coins again after collectors thought all sales had stopped. The best current example of an old date being sold is the 2001 Kennedy half dollar.
Will bags of 2007 Sacs come back? Do collectors care? That is a key question. It is clear by the sales numbers that there is still a collector fondness for the Sac dollar.
The 250-coin bags of the Sacs have outsold the Adams and Jefferson coins. I might say Madison, too, but this coin has not been available very long. Only 250-coin Washington bags outnumber the Sacs, but even then not by all that many.
Sacagawea dollar rolls are underperforming the Presidential coins, though. Washington beats Sacagawea by more than 3-1. Adams and Jefferson each have a comfortable lead.
I guess what all this means is that it pays to keep watching the Mint Statistics page each week for the odd twists and turns in Mint sales of not just the Sacagawea dollars but also the other products.
Sacagawea dollars may not have as many headlines as First Spouse gold coins or 10th anniversary platinum American Eagle sets, but collectors pay good money to buy them at premium prices from the U.S. Mint and that is a sign of a strong grassroots hobby.