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Leftover Tuesday at the U.S. Mint

I like leftover food.

Some menu items like chili and hot dishes taste better if there has been a little time for the ingredients to settle in together.

Does it work for coins?

The United States Mint hopes so.

Back in February, the World War I Centennial 2018 Silver Dollar and Medal Sets seemed to sell out.

They really didn’t.

When buyers realized it, many canceled orders.

Sales totals fell week by week in the “Mint Statistics” pages of Numismatic News.

Now the Mint wants to sell these leftover sets.

If you think leftover coins should have prices marked down, think again.

The $99.95 price for a World War I commemorative dollar and a silver service branch medal stays the same.

The Mint said it will only sell the returns.

Army medal set leftovers are the most numerous, but that is because they were the most sought after in February.

The Mint has roughly 2,000 of these.

My back-of-the-envelope calculation was 1,928.

The air medal sets still left number 1,689.

The Navy medal set is the least numerous at 1,576.

Marines storm in at 1,746.

The Coast Guard medal set has 1,706 still sitting around in dry dock.

Sure, there are some collectors who will be pleased to be able to get a set.

They might have been vacationing in a nice warm place in February.

But there probably are not enough of these collectors to dispose of all the remainders.

The Mint should reopen its return period to see how strong buyer’s remorse still is.

I’ll bet more sets would be returned than would be purchased in this second go-round.

But you would think after 35 years of playing around with mintage limits, individual household order limits, and order period duration that a workable formula would have been developed at the Mint.

Such is not the case.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”


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One Response to Leftover Tuesday at the U.S. Mint

  1. Bob says:

    They should institute a restocking fee in cases where the product isn’t damaged…and even then, only if a replacement item is not available. I don’t know about everyone else, but this game playing over mintages is getting really old, really quickly. If you want it, buy it. If not, let someone else have it! If you’re trying to scalp collectors, then you should pay the price when your attempt fails. And why the arbitrary maximum mintages? Produce them to meet demand…or take pre-orders and make a few extras and not announce final mintages until they are all sold. That way, everyone who wants one will have a reasonable opportunity to have one. Also would help the mint not have a bunch of something left over, or having to deal with all the labor involved in processing returns and attempting to re-sell them.

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