From the Feb, 3rd Numismatic News E-Newsletter: The Mint is cutting back drastically on mintages of America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver coins. Have you been buying them? Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor, Dave Harper.
I think the collecting public is disillusioned with this series because of the 2010 issue debacle.
If you can’t complete the set because you missed the first year, why would you be interested in the follow-on years?
David R. Anderson, Kansas City, Mo.
When it comes to the ATB silver 5-ounce coins, one has to ask the question, “Where is the market going to come from?”
With an issue of five coins per year over a ten year period, and at a current cost of $205 each, that means a collector would have to spend $1,025 per year and $10,250 total to put a complete collection together. The average collector does not have that kind of annual budget to devote to just one series in their collection.
Given the low mintages of this program, it might be expected that the coins would appeal to investors. But there are far more lucrative rare coins to draw that crowd. And, the rare coins are real U.S. coinage that circulated, not just a 5-ounce pure silver replica of a quarter that basically is nothing more than a high priced, very large silver round.
So who will buy the ATB silver 5-ounce rounds? I think the answer is in the sales figures released by the Mint. Very few people are, or will be, buying these items. I think it would be fair to say that in years to come this program will be considered the Edsel of United States Mint programs.
I personally have not purchased, nor do I intend to, any of these items. With trying to maintain collections of all denominations of currently circulating U.S. coins from all Mint branches, including the clad and silver proofs, and maintaining a silver Eagle collection, my annual budget for the hobby is stretched to the limit now. There is no money left, nor any desire, to purchase a high priced novelty piece.
In my opinion, this program is a tragic waste of silver.
Richard Graff, Hillsboro, Ore.
I am currently buying the America the Beautiful 5-ounce coins and will continue to do so. I have been collecting the bullion set in MS-69 (PL/DPL), a mint box set and a set in SP-70 for each year.
I believe if the mint started the 5-ounce coin program with the state quarter design instead of the national parks there would be many more collectors and interest in the program.
Ken Brown, Lewes, Del.
I have been buying the 5-ounce ATB coins because of the low mintage. True, they are overpriced as is the usual way the Mint does business. The Mint could not sell 27,000 units so it only made sense to increase the mintage to 35,000 units.
Fortunately the price of silver came down and the mint lowered the prices on most silver coinage. I was not aware that the mintage was being lowered on the ATB coins. I can only look at this as good news for those of us who are going to continue to purchase these coins.
Personally, I feel that had these coins been issued in a 2-ounce format, it would have sold out.
Warren Rabeck, Torrington, Conn.
I have not bought a single ATB 5-ounce coin. I plan on buying the one that represents my state. However, the Hawaii coin looks amazing in brilliant finish. The volcano erupting looks very nice. I might pick up some of these giant quarters if the design is outstanding.
I haven’t bought any and don’t plan to either. This is just another Mint program we don’t need. All those ounces of silver ought to be put to better use.
With the shape the economy is in your average and maybe above average person has more important financial obligations and can’t just part with nearly $200 a coin every time one comes out. I am, of course, happy for those who can. Long live capitalism.
Bryan, New Columbia, Ky.
As far as purchasing the America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver coins, it has really been a hit and miss affair. At present the price of silver alone with its volatile market has made the bullion America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver coins a risky investment because of the large quantity of silver involved. And it has been even tougher to spend the extra premium on the “P” minted collector’s version, not because of the price, as much as the fact that I never really cared that much for the look of vapor blast surface.
I think the ATB 5-ounce silver coins would be much more appealing if they would mix it up and start experimenting with different types of surfaces. What the Mint has to realize is that the new generation of coin collectors were the old video gamers; unfortunately, we tend to get bored very quickly playing the same old game.
Mercury R. Williams, Seattle, Wash.
I bought two uncirculated 5-ounce coins (Gettsburg and Vicksburg) because they were the greatest battles of the Civil War. I wish the mint had put a collar on the coins because the flat edges are ugly!
I bought only one of the 5-ounce silver coins last year from the Mint.
I bought one of the ATB hockey pucks (Actually, they are too thin to make a durable puck.) -- Glacier National Park. This was a favorite family destination and holds special significance for me. I will probably get a New Hampshire one when/if it is issued, but otherwise it is a shrug of the shoulders and a hearty “Who cares”.
I’m envious about your Berlin trip. Wasn’t allowed to go there when I was stationed in Germany and have yet to visit. Have a “Halber” for me.
Bob Fritsch, Nashua, NH
Yes i have been buying them,at first i jumped on the band wagon when the first 5 bullion coins sold out in 2010.But I didn’t run out and buy them on the secondary market.I only buy buy what the mint offers and sells directly to collectors ie.I don’t invest in bullion I buy collector coins.So yes I bought all 5 2010 collector ATB’s although alot of people would disagree that they are collector coins.I like them and have been working on the 2011 coins as well.I would also like to go off track for a minute if you don’t mind and say something about the 25th anniversary set that has been blowing up the pages of NN latley.I am one of the collectors who got an order placed only to have it not show up in my order history the next morning then was placed on a waiting list and got quite excited to see my order being prosseced only to have it cancelled the next day.Needless to say I was very dissappointed.Yes I blame the mint for putting a ridiculous 5 set limit on first day of issue 1 or 2 sets would have been more than fair.And I do believe by setting that limit they were catering a bit to the big buissnes dealer and those who could afford to make that initial investment then cash in on it on ebay or other avenues. I also blame myself for my own absentmindedness and not remembering they went on sale till 3 o’clock that afternoon.But I didn’t quit collecting over it and I didn’t cancell my mint subscriptions.In fact after a few days of self pitty and kicking myself I ordered the next 2011 ATB coin I needed.Hey thats collecting it’s not the first time something sold out and I didn’t get one.So put it behind you,and keep moving forward and get that next coin you need for your collection.And if you really have to have one wait a little while prices will go down.Be a collector put it on your list and tackle it when you can.No matter how the mint upgrades there web site there will never be enough of 100,000 coins to go around thats coin collecting mint production and demand thats what makes rare coins desireable isn,t that what we all want really to have one of something only a few have and many want.Well enough on that and yes hopefully before the mint suspends production of the hockey pucks I will get the last 3 I need and they really are not a bad deal at the discounted price with silver back on the rise
David Tortorice, Buffalo N.Y
I have purchased the first nine issued. I’ll buy the Chickasaw next week just to complete the first two years then after that I’m not sure if I will buy anymore. First of all the mint raised the limit which changed my investment criteria, second, they are having difficulty selling the limit meaning there is less interest, and finally the shipper won’t allow changing the delivery method until three attempts to deliver have been used. That probably has to do with the current government connection with the union signatory shipper UPS.
If I change my thinking my purchase will be based solely on the appearance or the asthetics judged on the individual design.
Joe Gorak, San Diego
I wish the mint would stop playing all these games.
Bob Mitchell, Fairfax Va
No, I have not been purchasing the ATB 5-ounce Silver coins nor do I plan to in the future. My budget is limited at this time, so they are just too expensive for my means. The designs in the ATB series just don’t impress me in the least. My Silver purchases will be limited to Silver American Eagles in Bullion, Proof and uncirculated.
R. McKenna, Belleville MI
No, I have not bought any of those silver hockey pucks. Nor have I seen any “working issues” xcept for the one a fellow collector who could spare one sent me. I decided not to buy any ATBs (general circulation and/or special issues) after the “States & Territories” issues. Most of the “S & T” issues I plucked from circulation, and am still seeing them in circulation. But, technically, I have not seen a single ATB in circulation. I’m “burned out” of the “Special Coins” the government is wasting good money on.
Bill Tuttle, Cleveland, Ohio