It took just six minutes Aug. 23 for the U.S. Mint to receive enough
orders to reach the maximum product limit of 12,500 each of the Proof
2016-S and 2016-W American Liberty silver medals.
The medals, struck at the San Francisco and West Point Mints, were
offered at $34.95 per medal, with a maximum household ordering limit
of two of each medal, for a total of four medals.
U.S. Mint officials indicate the medals will remain in
"unavailable" status until all orders that were placed
before the mintage limit was reached are reconciled. That leaves open
the possibility that medals could become available, should orders not
be filled because of expired credit cards or returns of the shipped product.
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Secondary market prices for the medals are already climbing. Some
dealer trading networks are offering the medals for $100 in original
Mint packaging. The eBay auction site has multiple listings offering
the medals, from $450 to $1,000 or more for two of each medal.
Individual medals on eBay are being offered at $200 to $300 each. Some
completed transactions on eBay were recorded at $120 and higher per
medal within an hour or so after the sellout.
A handful of dealers were offering premiums to persons willing to
place orders for the maximum number of medals permitted per household,
offering a windfall of $25 to $100 per medal the orderer would make available.
The medals bear the same obverse and reverse designs that appear on
the 2015-W American Liberty, High Relief gold $100
coins, but the silver medals bear a lower relief and lack statutory coinage
inscriptions. The original vision for the silver medals called for the
same high relief, but the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee
recommendation for a larger palette for the silver medal required
changing the relief specifications.
The 40.6-millimeter American Liberty 1-ounce silver medals are
struck on the same kind of blanks as are used for the American Eagle
silver dollar. The American Liberty, High Relief gold coins were
struck on special blanks, having the same 30.61-millimeter diameter as
the 1964–2014-W Kennedy gold half dollar but a thickness of 3.128
millimeters. The extra thickness boosted the American Liberty gold
coin’s weight to 1 ounce.