After a tumultuous start, the 2010 America the Beautiful 5-ounce
silver coins are now beginning to reach collector hands and demand for
the pieces in the secondary market is high.
American Precious Metals Exchange, one of the United States Mint’s
authorized purchasers, has begun delivering sets of America the
Beautiful 5-ounce silver bullion coins purchased by customers before
the Mint cut off sales on Dec. 6. APMEX is honoring those orders at
the new prices in line with the Mint’s requirements (described later
in this article).
A visit to the APMEX site (www.apmex.com) shows that the firm’s allotment of
5-piece sets is listed as being currently out of stock.
When contacted by Coin World, APMEX Chief Executive
Officer Michael Haynes stated that “several hundred sets” have been
delivered, but that the firm is currently interpreting the Mint’s
regulations in order to remain in compliance with the new rules before
it will sell the remainder of its allotment to the public. No date has
yet been set for when this will occur.
The Web site of Coins ’N Things (atb.cntofma.com)
of Bridgewater, Mass., another authorized purchaser, states that it is
accepting order “requests” for the coins beginning on Jan. 17, 2011.
A third firm, PB Financial Services Inc., New York City, provided
updated ordering information. To order the coins, call the firm Monday
through Friday at (212) 778-4654 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11
a.m. Eastern Time.
Secondary market sales soar
In addition to the direct sales from some of the authorized
purchasers, single America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver bullion coins
and five-piece sets are already being sold on the secondary market,
primarily through the Internet auction site eBay.
Completed transactions on eBay show that sales for the coins
appear to be strong, both for coins in hand and for presales of coins
anticipated for delivery. For example, “Buy-It-Now” prices of $2,499,
$2,195 and $2,325 for on-hand five-piece sets were recorded. Examples
of coins sold singly in open bidding include a Grand Canyon National
Park coin selling for $549.99, a Hot Springs National Park coin
reaching $479.99, and a Mount Hood National Forest coin selling for $499.
These secondary selling prices recorded on eBay represent a
tremendous premium over the actual bullion value of the coins. Taking
into account the closing New York silver spot price of $30.31 per
ounce on Tuesday, Dec. 28, each 5-ounce silver bullion coin possesses
a silver value of slightly more than $150.
Original sale prices by authorized purchasers are considerably
lower than secondary market prices, generally at around $900 per set.
On Dec. 6, the United States Mint cut off sales of the coins to
its authorized purchasers after a number of complaints regarding price gouging.
On Dec. 10, the U.S. Mint announced new requirements for
authorized purchasers who wished to participate in the program. It
specified that each authorized purchaser must sell to the public all
of the 5-ounce silver bullion coins it acquires from the Mint; must
sell the coins at a price “no higher” than 10 percent above the
acquisition price; establish and enforce a limit of one coin of each
design for each household; may not sell the coins, either directly or
indirectly, to officers or employees of their companies; and must
allow the Mint to examine and audit all of the authorized purchaser’s
books, records, documents and other data to ensure that they have
complied with the Mint’s terms and conditions.
The Mint further informed the authorized purchasers that any found
in violation of any one of the terms and conditions may face
suspension or permanent removal from the Mint’s distribution network
of authorized purchasers.
In addition, the authorized purchasers cannot sell the coins
outside of the United States.
Authorized purchasers can acquire each of the five 2010 coins at
the fixed spot price of silver (times five ounces), plus a premium of
$9.75 per coin. A total of 33,000 of each of the five designs is available.
Authorized purchasers choosing to participate are required to
order a minimum of 2,000 coins, and may order additional increments of
100 coins per increment, up to 3,000 coins per design.
As reported in Coin World in its Jan. 10 issue, nine of
the Mint’s 11 select distributors have chosen to participate in the