It pays to look at the accumulating U.S. Mint sales figures because
some recent sets with surprisingly low mintages have been making waves
in the secondary market.
The 2012 U.S. Mint Limited Edition Silver Proof set included all
five America the Beautiful silver quarter dollars, a silver Kennedy
half dollar and Roosevelt dime, and a Proof 2012 American Eagle silver
dollar. It had a production limit of 50,000 sets and the Mint recorded
a sellout. Originally priced at $149.95, it’s now enjoying a secondary
market at the $180 level in online auctions.
Even better was the “regular” 2012 Silver Proof set (lacking the
Proof American Eagle but containing the cent, 5-cent coin and
small-sized dollars), which debuted June 4, 2012, at $67.95. It
recorded lower than expected sales figures, fewer than 400,000 sets,
and has recently been selling at the $180 to $200 level.
Traditional 2012 Proof sets have seen secondary market prices double
in the year since their issuance. The original price of $31.95 seems
cheap when compared to the $80 to $100 that this set achieves in
The 2011 Proof sets and Silver Proof sets are now looking like
modest winners for their original purchasers with regular sets selling
at the $40 to $50 level and silver sets selling at the $70 to $80 level.
Some, but not all, of the Mint’s recent special sets have also
generated some modest aftermarket profits. The Making American History
Coin and Currency set celebrates the Mint’s 220th year and the Bureau
of Engraving and Printing’s 150th year. It includes a Series 2009 $5
Federal Reserve note and a Proof 2012 silver American Eagle. Although
100,000 were authorized, just over 60,000 are reported sold at $67.95
and the sets have been stable on the secondary market at the $60 to
The 2013 American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver set, with a 2013
Reverse Proof and 2013 Enhanced Uncirculated American Eagle silver
dollar, recorded total sales of 281,310 as of June 6. That set
initially sold at the $139.95 level, and recently prices have started
to move up with recent sales on eBay at the $160 to $170 level.
Many collectors continue to suffer from commemorative coin fatigue,
but the 2013 5-Star Generals three-coin Proof set reached its maximum
sales figure of 10,000 and was recorded as a sellout, with its last
available price set at $522.20. A sellout doesn’t guarantee a
secondary market stampede and sets are selling at the $550 level now.
Despite relatively low mintages when compared with many issues of
prior decades, few recent commemorative coins have generated much
aftermarket heat, excluding Uncirculated 2011-D U.S. Army half
dollars, with their low mintage of just fewer than 40,000 coins. They
sell for $70 to $80 now, well above the regular issue price of $19.95. ■