Some of the 2012 Making American History Coinage and Currency sets
being received by collectors contain Series 2009 $5 Federal Reserve
notes whose serial numbers don’t begin with the intended “150.”
One collecting couple, Gary and Barbara Wirth, reported to
Coin World Aug. 21 that the note in the set they received
does have 150 in sequence in the serial number, but at the end, not at
the beginning. The serial number on their note reads JL 18236150 D.
Another collector reported the note in the set he received doesn’t
have the number 150 anywhere in the serial number.
U.S. Mint officials were not able to provide Coin World
with answers before press time Aug. 24 about the packaging errors and
why the BEP supplied the Mint with notes that don’t meet the criteria
for the product.
Coin World also asked Mint officials how the notes are
procured and received from the BEP, where the notes are received, who
produced the packaging, where the sets are being assembled and by whom.
The set is a joint product of the U.S. Mint and Bureau of
Engraving and Printing, but is sold by the Mint. The choice of notes
for inclusion in the set, those with serial numbers beginning with
150, is intended to commemorate the BEP’s 150th anniversary in 2012.
The Mint is celebrating its 220th anniversary this year, and the
Making American History Coinage and Currency set also contains a Proof
2012-S American Eagle silver dollar struck at the San Francisco Mint.
The current San Francisco facility marked its 75th anniversary in mid-May.
The L in the two-letter prefix of each note’s serial number
designates the notes were printed for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
The sets went on sale at noon Eastern Daylight Time Aug. 7 at
As of Aug. 20, the U.S. Mint had recorded sales of 30,899 of the
initial 50,000 sets ordered produced. The product has a capacity of
100,000 sets based on the availability of the notes from the BEP
beginning with 150, but U.S. Mint officials indicate the edition
ceiling would likely be no more than 97,000 sets, based on expected
general returns and damaged product. ■