U.S. Mint officials are still trying to the determine the exact
cause and number of 2012 Birth sets mispackaged with a 90 percent
silver Proof 2012-S Kennedy half dollar instead of the intended Proof
copper-nickel clad version.
The sets are packaged by hand at the San Francisco Mint.
“It appears this was a material handling error specifically
involving the silver Proof half dollar,” Mint spokesman Michael White
said April 4. “We are still working to determine the exact cause.”
Mint officials learned of the packaging error on March 26, White
said, when a member of the Mint’s sales and marketing staff read a
customer’s comment posted on an online coin collecting forum. The
comment indicated the customer had received several 2012 Birth sets
mispackaged with Proof 2012-S Kennedy silver half dollars.
Officials immediately implemented manual inspection of every Birth
set in inventory at contracted sales centers at the Denver and
Philadelphia Mints; sales centers at U.S. Mint headquarters and Union
Station in Washington, D.C.; and at the contracted order fulfillment
center operated in Plainfield, Ind., by Pitney-Bowes Government Solutions.
As of April 3, at the five locations 5,831 sets had been manually
inspected, and only 17 sets mispackaged with the silver half dollar
were identified, all at the fulfillment center, White said.
No sets with the silver coin were found in Philadelphia Mint,
Denver Mint, headquarters and Union Station sales kiosks, he said.
Updated numbers will be provided as they become available, White said.
Sets identified as correct are being released to saleable
inventory as they are verified and approved, White said.
“Incorrect sets will be returned to San Francisco to have the
silver Proof half dollar removed and replaced with the correct clad
half dollar,” White said. He said it had not been determined as of
April 4 whether the silver half dollars from the 17 mispackaged Birth
sets would be retained for repackaging in 2012-S Silver Proof sets,
which go on sale June 4, or be melted.
White said any customer who has received a Birth Set with a silver
Proof half dollar and wants a replacement should contact the Mint Call
Center at 800-872-6468.
The San Francisco Mint has not only been striking the Proof 2012-S
Kennedy silver half dollars for the annual Silver Proof set, but also
has been producing the Proof 2012-S copper-nickel clad half dollar for
the standard Proof set, which goes on sale May 7.
The Birth set — a new Mint product introduced March 13 at $19.95
each — is supposed to contain Proof 2012-S versions of the cent
through half dollar in their normal circulating compositions. The
coins are mounted in a folder with spaces for personalization. Each
coin is housed in an individual plastic capsule that can be opened
with no damage resulting.
Officials still don’t know how many sets were mispackaged among
those that were shipped to and received by customers.
Dealer Al DiTucci from Timers Coins LLC in Kentucky ordered 40
Birth sets combined from separate orders placed March 17 and March 19.
Of the 40 sets he received, 32 contained a silver half dollar instead
of the copper-nickel clad version.
DiTucci placed a Proof 2012-S silver half dollar from one of the
32 sets as a single coin in an eBay auction that closed April 2. The
coin brought $132.50. ■