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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.

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.


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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5 Responses to Sellout reverses, sales plunge

  1. Sundance79 says:

    Gee – I wonder what Freud would have to say about the psychology behind all this.
    Has anything like this ever happened in the past??

  2. JimM says:

    With no initial order limit, commercial buyers can place large orders in hope of high premiums or shipment of coins that will clearly grade MS-70; SP-70 or PF-70. When it becomes apparent the large premiums are not materializing or coins received may not meet the “perfect” category for stabbing/ grading, the orders are getting cancelled and/or returned. The mint needs to reform its policy to avoid sellouts within a day or less. This means using a strict order limit such as 2 to 5 sets when a coin or set will not be minted to meet demand. Such a limit should exist for the first week to allow average collectors a decent chance of receiving a set. After the initial order period, it would be reasonable to raise order limits or to possibly remove them entirely. To avoid speculative ordering, the Mint should not accept returns of undamaged coins or cases. For commercial buyers that place orders for more than 50 set (either as a single or in multiple orders), orders should be final (with returns for just damaged coins.)

    • JoeyT46 says:

      Buyers remorse what exactly does that mean? This sets future is certainly shrouded in mystery. I bought 2 sets from the mint after the first sell out. I was not looking to make any kind of profit just taking a flyer on a new issue. There was certainly no “enhancement” about this set. They look like ordinary business strike coins with an S mint mark. I wonder how those buyers from HSN feel now after the Mike Mizek snow job. Just be glad you didn’t pay for those 70 state coins that had a big price tag. I guess the saying “Caveat Emptor” applies here.

  3. PaulG says:

    Disaster! and I blame the Mint. When I saw the sets were “all sold out” on the first day, I went on to the secondary market and purchased a set believing that if they were sold out then the price would go “through the roof” and I might not get a set at all. Cost me $49.95!!
    Lo and Behold the very next day I see an article about all the sets being returned to the Mint and I could get a set for the Mint price! Thank you very much!
    Didn’t hear a thing from the vendor about my order price either! What a surprise!
    Thank you U S Mint!

  4. JoeyT46 says:

    Have to agree Jim the mint should put a limit on how many you can order. The big shots buy in huge quanity and the small time ones end up paying the second hand market price for the issue. That would put an end to guys like Mike from taking advantage of the situation. I also agree that the mint should only take back the damaged sets.

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