The U.S. Mint plans to offer a special collector set to mark 2012’s
75th anniversary of the current San Francisco Mint facility, though
Mint officials have not determined what items the set will contain.
Mint officials recently sought comments through a survey completed
by Mint customers, asking the customers what they would like to see in
a special two-coin set. The survey question did not mention the San
Francisco Mint’s anniversary as the theme for a possible collectors set.
The survey suggested the possibility that a two-coin set could be
issued containing silver American Eagles struck at the San Francisco
Mint with the S Mint mark. The survey suggested an Uncirculated
version, regular Proof version and Reverse Proof version as being
among possibilities for coins that could be included in such a set.
In the survey, U.S. Mint officials also sought to gauge the level
of collector demand for the set, asking questions about appropriate
mintage and household order limits.
The Mint would like to avoid online and telephone ordering
complications like those encountered by collectors trying to place
orders for the 2011 American Eagle 25th Anniversary Silver Coin sets,
for which demand strongly outstripped the supply. Limited to a mintage
of 100,000 sets maximum and a sales of five sets per household, the
allotment sold out in under five hours amid widespread ordering
problems online and by telephone.
“We will not take to market a product that we have that shows
indications of a repeat of the 25th Anniversary set, where we have a
lot more demand than product available,” U.S. Mint Deputy Director
Richard A. Peterson said Jan. 27 during a telephone interview with
Recent Mint survey
Peterson said the firm conducting the survey on behalf of the
Mint, National Analysts Worldwide, Philadelphia, offered 27 different
“nuanced” versions of the survey to 100,000 Mint customers who had
ordered at least two American Eagle silver coin products in recent
years. Email messages inviting customer participation in the survey,
conducted online, were sent out beginning Jan. 19, with a final
deadline of Feb. 1. Among the questions asked were those seeking
responses to what kinds of American Eagles customers would like to see
in sets, plus preferred finishes, mintages and household ordering limits.
Preliminary results from the survey are expected at the Mint by
early March, with detailed results collated by the end of the month,
One initiative the Mint has undertaken is the contracted
development and implementation of an integrated online and telephone
ordering system to replace the current outdated system, which has not
been overhauled in more than a decade.
However, Peterson said it is likely that the new system won’t be
operational until late 2012 or early 2013, to give the Mint time to
work out any kinks. The system was originally anticipated to be fully
operational by the fall of 2012.
The U.S. Mint’s new order management system is being constructed
under a maximum six-year contract with a British-based vendor, at a
price tag as high as $100 million.
The vendor, Venda (website www.venda.com), is described as “a
cloud-based commerce solutions company that provides a commerce
solution known as software-as-a-service (SaaS).”
Peterson said the Mint is hoping to conduct user acceptance
testing beginning in October of a beta version of the new system by
soliciting Mint customer participation. Results from beta testing will
enable the Mint to correct any problems before the full system is
brought to market, according to the Mint.
Peterson said if the system being developed is not operational
when the Mint plans offers of any special set or sets, officials will
have to improvise, possibly offering the sets through a lottery