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Community Voice Responses (11/29/2011)

From the Nov. 11 Numismatic News E-Newsletter: Should more sold-out 25th anniversary silver American Eagle sets be produced? Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
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From the Nov. 11 Numismatic News E-Newsletter: Should more sold-out 25th anniversary silver American Eagle sets be produced? Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

No more than 100,000 should be produced, as they were ordered and priced with that limit in mind. If more were to be produced, they should be priced much higher to reflect the higher demand.

Gus Beck Parlin, N.J.

Absolutely. That would show something to the persons who found a way around the Mint’s policies. I received one of those emails offering to pay me a bonus for my order, and it struck me as just wrong. There were not “fair” rules for everyone to play by. And no, I wasn’t able to order a set.

Andy Eakin Orange Park, Fla.

A quick check on eBay tells the story. Some sellers are bragging about having 10 or more sets for sale; one seller even says he has 25 sets available. How can this be? Why did the Mint have a five-set limit with so few sets available? The limit should have been set at one or two per household, this would have assured a much fairer and equal distribution. When is the U.S. Mint going to wake up and treat its customer base fairly? It’s no wonder that they are losing customers. Something has to be done. The current system just does not work, it hasn’t worked for a very long time. The Mint has known that the current system just cannot handle the demand, yet they keep using it and making false apologies, saying they will fix it. I only hope we will live long enough to see the fix in place. I don’t think they should make any more sets unless they limit the number to one per household, otherwise, the same thing will happen again.

C. Steward El Paso, Texas

If the allotted amount of sets are sold out, maybe collectors who got in it will benefit with a price increase. A popular good looking coin with a done deal of limited sets available, should make people who have the set happy. Producing more sets should not be done.

John Matejko Pearl City, Hawaii

Yes there should be more sets made. About 350,000 to 500,000 people are now going to make a quick buck for having got extra sets and sold to third parties and then they will pump up the price even more. The Mint should have known that they could have a sellout at a much higher number of sets. I got two sets. I received about three different email offers to sell any extra sets to third parties.

Kyle Stromgren Yelm, Wash.

The U.S. Mint should not strike any more anniversary sets. They announced 100,000 sets would be made and people acted accordingly. To make more sets would be unfair to all those who were lucky enough to acquire them. To create a much wanted item is good for the coin world. The Mint should stick to their word and maintain that piece of integrity.

John Lowey East Meadow, N.Y.

Some act surprised that this fiasco happened. The sad thing is that this has been the norm at the U.S. Mint for a long time. I used to be a sizeable buyer of Mint products. I now order only a few items a year. It used to be when you placed an order, you could count on its arrival within a week. Now, you never know when the product will arrive, or if the accepted order will later be cancelled, as was my experience when I ordered the 5-oz. silver Mt. Hood America the Beautiful coin.
The solution to this latest fiasco is not to produce more anniversary sets. The solution is for “heads to roll,” for the replacement of these government-appointed officials with private sector management, preferably from the coin industry, who understand sales and customer service.
Apologies from the Mint no longer cut it.

Steven Key Loveland, Colo.

No more sets, even if I was not one to get a set. Flooding the market with unlimited sets would only make the set a money grab for the government and make the coins just another low-value item. I do think the Mint should made a one household limit at least for the first week.

John N. Cawley Bath, Pa.

I buy a good bit from the Mint on subscriptions and one time sales. I tried to call over 100 times and tried the website early on in the day. I was trying between seeing patients until after 5 p.m. Pacific Time. I got on the waiting list.
I believe they should sell one per family and when the 100,000 are sold, then open it up. I have a complete collection of Eagles from 1986 and I really need these to keep up my collection.

Gordon Wolf Napa, Calif.

The anniversary set isn’t an entitlement like Social Security, it’s a collectable. Not every collectable has the same availability – that’s why we have key coins in a series. While it’s unfortunate that not everyone got one (and, probably, some speculators who hope to flip the set for a tidy profit probably did get some), life is like that sometimes.

Henry Mensch San Francisco, Calif.

Regarding the question should the Mint make more of these sets, the answer is emphatically no. I bought five sets for my collection. The only reason I did so at the price of $299 was the fact that they only made 100,000 sets. I took the day off from work in order to try to be able to make this purchase.

George Madeya Cape Coral, Fla.

I do not think that they should produce more sets. I spent hours trying to order my sets and feel lucky that I got through. I knew they had only 100,000 sets and knew that would make them worth buying. If they make more, it will bring the price down. I want to for one time to have bought from the Mint and be able to make a profit if I want to sell. I have bought proof eagles and the 5-oz coins that are now selling for less than what I paid.

Larry Herrington Ewing, Ky.

Should more sold-out 25th anniversary silver American Eagle sets be produced? Absolutely not. Everyone had the same opportunity to purchase these coins. This produced an outcome that was better than a lottery.
At least it required some effort on the buyer’s part. If the web page had worked better, it would have meant a sell-out in 30 minutes, instead of four and half hours. It is commendable that the Mint every now and then produces an offering that has true value.
Now then, if the Mint produces more 25th anniversary Eagles for those people who did not get an order, maybe they could also produce some 1893 “S” Morgan Silver Dollars and a few more 1933 Saint-Gaudens. I didn’t get one of either of these coins. I would be willing to pay spot price of silver and gold plus a 20 percent markup and shipping, providing they kept minting until my order was filled. This would keep me from complaining for now. Of course, I would expect free gift wrapping.

Reed Scercy Indian Land, S.C.

I do not believe that there should be an additional mintage of the 25th anniversary set. I believe that there should be a limit of one set per household as has been done with other limited edition issues.
After a few days, if the orders slow down, the limit could be lifted. If the sets have not been shipped out at this time, the Mint could still do that.

Warren Rabeck Torrington, Conn.

No more should be produced because people purchased the set with the understanding 100,000 would be the limit. If they don’t like how this turned out then they can change the rules for the next promotion. If they should mint more, then they should be prepared to accept returns and refund the cost including postage.

Charles Charles Lake City, Fla.

Much the same as others, I was on both the telephone and the internet for four hours until I actually ordered one set of the five-coin silver Eagle offering (at least I hope I did, and the Mint still shows my order is valid, but who knows with the U.S. Mint). I was afraid to change my order and add a couple more sets for fear of losing my position in the queue. I think I was successful because I went through the customer service queue and logged on to my account before attempting to order, but that’s purely a guess.
Like most other folks who sent in their comments, I agree that the Mint should have been better prepared for the onslaught of orders. They should have known the demand would be huge, and probably should have limited the number of sets anyone could order to some number less than five (I suggest one or two, but let the readers make the call). Or they should have planned to issue more sets in the first place, so the demand was somewhat tempered and they could keep up with the order volume.
Funny thing is, while all mayhem was breaking loose, I was able to get through to the U.S. Mint marketing department by using their regular telephone line (not the 800 number), but they wouldn’t take any orders and could only apologize and say “keep trying” through the direct channels. What a joke.

Bill Chomko McMinnville, Ore.

No, I don’t think they should produce any more 25th Anniversary sets. I got burned on the 1/2 oz. platinum set when the U.S. Mint failed to pull it from the sale after the deadline. The Mint made a certain amount of 25th Anniversary Sets selling them as first come, first served. If you got through, and were able to order a set, then great. If you didn’t get through, tough. Do what everyone else has to do, either purchase them at a premium or don’t purchase them. Period.

Greg Collins Salem, Ore.

Most definitely. The Mint should produce more sets for collectors. They should produce another 100,000 to 150,000 and no one who has already ordered from the previous 100,000 should be able to purchase any of these. Let’s allow the everyday common collector to be able to enjoy owning a set or two without having to acquire any from some speculator or scalper at some enormously inflated price. I’m all for making money but how about everyone having a chance from the get go. A mere 100,000 just doesn’t cut it.

Bryan New Columbia, Ky.

The answer is a resounding no. I spent a good part of the afternoon on my computer obtaining my set and perseverance finally prevailed. Those who wanted one bad enough, had that same opportunity. With U.S. Mint products, you roll the dice. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

J. Altvater Address withheld

Absolutely. A mintage of 100,000 was not enough because of the two rare coins involved.

Bud Rockhill Address withheld

Yes, I agree that the Mint’s website is a joke, and 48 minutes to order five sets is another joke. But the Mint needs to find someway to enforce who’s buying. Too many dealers seem to be getting hundreds of sets and trying to make a quick buck or more like double or triple their money.
I know of one dealer who was sending emails to all of his/her customers asking them to log on at at noon Eastern Time, buy five sets, send the order confirmation from the Mint, and the dealer would send them a check for the 5 sets plus $200 profit ($40/set) and a shipping label. When customer received the sets, they were to apply the label without opening the shipment and send it to the dealer. Probably the same people pre-selling on eBay for $800 or best offer. I’m sure that added to the already terrible website issues. Also any decent website developer could get a new site up and running within a month. We have been hearing the website is old and going to be replaced for several years.
How about each household signs up for however many sets they want, if issue is oversubscribed, then reduce to one or two per household, if still not enough, use a lottery system for the already subscribed households. But, I’m sure that would be way too difficult for anything managed by the government.

Terry Cox Address withheld

I didn’t try to order until the 31st or 1st, so I was disappointed to get the sold out note. I usually get that from the Canadian Mint. With an item of this popularity, I think the U.S. Mint should have produced many more.

Robet H. Smith Oceanside, Calif.

I also was disappointed in the Mint’s distribution of their anniversary coins. A loyal collector from the Mint for close to 30 some years, I was shut out. There were no pre-order circulation forms, or consideration for loyal collectors, who buy thousands of dollars worth of coins. Disappointing.

Kenneth Simpson Anchorage, Ala.

Absolutely. A mintage of 100,000 was not enough because of the two rare coins involved.

Bud Rockhill Address withheld

I have been a collector for over 55 years and a member of the ANA for close to 40 years. I am very disappointed that I could not order one of the 25th anniversary Eagle sets, especially since I have been a Mint customer for many years.

Joe Quarequio Franklin Square, N.Y.