The U.S. Mint is relaxing rules set in place for its network of
authorized purchasers for selling America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver
The Mint advised authorized purchasers March 9 of the 2011 program
terms and conditions.
The first 2011 coin, commemorating Gettysburg, will be offered to
authorized purchasers in late April in quantities “substantially
higher” than for the 2010 releases.
In addition, Mint officials expect to begin selling the
Uncirculated 2010 America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver bullion coins
directly to collectors in late April or early May.
When the 2011 America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver bullion coins
enter the marketplace, the terms of sales to the Mint’s network of
dealers will revert to the standard agreement, replacing the terms
placed by the Mint in December for the 2010 coins.
The Mint’s advisory to its network of dealers states: “Authorized
Purchasers (AP’s) certifying that they have sold ALL of their
2010 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins to the
public, in compliance with the terms and conditions that were put in
place for the 2010 program, will have their obligations under the
terms and conditions lifted.”
The Mint is asking the authorized purchasers to provide
certification, which must appear on company letterhead and be signed
by an authorized representative of the company, that the 2010 coins
have been sold before it will allow the purchasers to begin buying and
selling 2011 coins.
After the Mint receives this certification, the authorized
purchasers will be able to buy and sell “in accordance with the basic
[authorized purchaser] Agreement and its ordinary bullion pricing policy.”
‘Late April’ for first 2011 issue
The Mint indicated that it expects to issue the first of the 2011
America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver coins, featuring Gettysburg
National Military Park, beginning “in late April.”
In contrast to the end-of-the-year rush and limited quantities
produced in late 2010, the Mint plans to issue 2011 America the
Beautiful coins in quantities “substantially higher.”
The Mint said, “As a result, there will be no terms and conditions
imposed on the 2011 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion
“We will allocate coins in the 2011 America the Beautiful Five
Ounce Silver Bullion Coins Program equally among participating
The Mint said that it will advise authorized purchasers as soon as
an on-sale date for the 2011 Gettysburg National Military Park 5-ounce
silver bullion coin is determined.
Uncirculated 2010 coins
U.S. Mint Director of Public Affairs Tom Jurkowsky said March 10
that the first of the Uncirculated versions of the 2010 America the
Beautiful 5-ounce silver bullion coins are anticipated to go on sale
in late April or early May.
The Mint will sell the Uncirculated coins directly to collectors
and not through its authorized purchasers network.
The Uncirculated 2010 5-ounce bullion coins will be sold by
individual design, beginning with Hot Springs National Park. Jurkowsky
confirmed that the U.S. Mint has struck 27,000 of each design, and
they are being packaged and prepared for sale. However, pricing and
marketing plans have not been announced.
Unlike the 2010 bullion version, which bears no Mint mark, the
2010 Uncirculated coins will display the P Mint mark of the
Philadelphia Mint where they were struck.
Reversion to basic agreement
The reversion to the basic authorized purchaser agreement will
enable the firms who buy the bullion coins to sell to other dealers at
prices they determine without Mint restrictions as to price and customers.
The Mint began selling the 2010 America the Beautiful 5-ounce
silver bullion coins to authorized purchasers Dec. 6 under the basic
agreement, but with a warning to its dealer network against charging
overly high secondary market premiums for the bullion coins. Mint
officials made the warning because mintages for the 2010 coins of
33,000 per design were less than a third of the 100,000 initially projected.
Under the basic authorized purchasers agreement, the dealers would
have been permitted to sell the coins to secondary market dealers.
Mint officials stopped all sales to authorized purchasers Dec. 6
shortly after sales began, after receiving a deluge of complaints from
consumers about exorbitant prices for the 5-ounce silver coins.
One authorized purchaser, American Precious Metals Exchange in
Oklahoma City, Okla., pre-sold 1,000 sets from its anticipated Dec. 6
allocation in less than 24 hours Dec. 3. Initially, APMEX offered the
sets at $1,395 per five-coin set. The Mint would have charged APMEX
less than $900 for a set of five coins.
Secondary market sales for the coins on eBay reached thousands of dollars.
After halting sales, Mint officials revised the agreement under
which authorized purchasers were permitted to sell the coins. The new
Mint rules for the program were more stringent, forcing authorized
purchasers to sell the coins directly to the public and restricting
them from selling the coins to dealers. Authorized purchasers were
also compelled to sell the 5-ounce coins at a price no higher than 10
percent above the acquisition price of the coins and were to enforce a
limit of one coin of each design sold to each household.
As well, officers and employees of the firms were restricted from
purchasing the coins themselves. ■