Girl Scouts will get no commem surcharges

Sales of silver dollar too low to cover Mint costs
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Published : 01/06/14
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The Girl Scouts of the USA will not be receiving any surcharges from the U.S. Mint because sales of the 2013-W Girl Scouts of the USA Centennial commemorative silver dollars failed to cover production costs.

This represents the first time that a recipient organization designated in commemorative coin legislation “is not eligible to receive surcharge payments due to program costs not being recovered,” Tom Jurkowsky, director of the U.S. Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications, said Jan. 2.

Sales totaled just 35 percent of the congressionally authorized number of coins for the program.

Of the maximum authorization of 350,000 coins, final but unaudited sales figures released Jan. 2 by the U.S. Mint showed a total of 123,817 coins were sold — 86,354 Proof coins and 37,463 Uncirculated coins. Coins were sold individually, with the Uncirculated coin additionally available in a Young Collector set.

Not enough sold

“The number of Girl Scout coins sold did not produce enough revenue to cover the standard program expenses,” Jurkowsky said. “Additionally, part of the cost to the program includes the disposal of packaging and melting the coins from any unsold inventory. The legislation that governs commemorative coin surcharge payments requires that all costs be recovered before any surcharge payments can be made.

“The legislation is written such that it is an all-or-nothing payout. In other words, if all costs are recovered surcharge payments may be made. If all costs are not recovered, no surcharge payments can be made. There is not an allowance for a reduction in surcharge payments.”

Throughout the time the coins were being offered for sale, U.S. Mint officials kept Girl Scouts of the USA officials informed of lagging sales and the possibility of no surcharges being paid out.

Mint reform legislation passed by Congress in 1996 mandates payment of surcharges only after all production and associated costs are fully recouped.

Officials from the Girl Scouts of the USA did not respond by press time Jan. 3 to multiple inquiries placed by Coin World for their comment.

Projections, monitoring

Jurkowsky said U.S. Mint officials were intensely monitoring sales from the Feb. 28 start of order placement.

Mint officials quickly realized that demand for the Girl Scout silver dollars would not be as strong as they were for the 2010-P Boy Scouts of America Centennial silver dollars.

The Boy Scouts of America Centennial commemorative coin program sold out of its maximum authorization of 350,000 coins in four months, Jurkowsky noted.

Sales of the Girl Scouts of the USA Centennial silver dollars remained sluggish throughout 2013.

Jurkowsky said that on Dec. 27, Mint officials determined that during the final four days of coin sales, a total of 31,542 coins would need to be sold to trigger the surcharge payment mechanism.

The 31,542 coins had to be in the form of 23,269 Proof coins and 8,273 of the Young Collectors Sets, which includes the Uncirculated silver dollar.

Although sales figures for those final four days were not disclosed, Jurkowsky said the total sales needed were not reached.

Failure to reach sales projections wasn’t through a lack of trying.

Jurkowsky said the Girl Scout commemorative silver dollars were touted on the Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov; through emails, product notifications and mailings to hundreds of thousands of Mint customers; and through social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts maintained by the U.S. Mint.

The U.S. Mint also included a video featuring U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios discussing the commemorative coins.

The Girl Scouts also touted sales of the coins on its website at www.girlscouts.org, which also included a message from first lady Michele Obama supporting Girl Scouts as its honorary president.

The Girl Scouts also promoted the coins to those on their own mailing lists.

U.S. Mint officials, based on the demand for previous commemorative silver dollars in single coin programs, projected the initial production at the West Point Mint of 150,500 Proof Girl Scout dollars and 100,500 of the Uncirculated version.

By April 12, 2013, the West Point Mint had shipped to the U.S. Mint’s contracted order fulfillment center in Plainfield, Ind., 147,300 of the Proof coins and 59,905 of the Uncirculated coins. The order fulfillment center was run by Pitney-Bowes Government Solutions.

When substantial sales failed to materialize, U.S. Mint officials opted to cease any additional Girl Scout dollar production, Jurkowsky said. Jurkowsky did not give a specific date for when the decision to cease production was made, other than that it was sometime in the spring.

Of the single Uncirculated coins shipped from the West Point Mint to Pitney-Bowes, 15,000 were eventually retrieved for shipment to the Philadelphia Mint where the Young Collector sets were assembled.

Girl Scouts program details

The Girl Scouts USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, Public Law 111-86, signed into law Oct. 29, 2009, by President Obama, authorized the production and sale of up to 350,000 silver dollars combined in Proof and Uncirculated versions.

The sale price of each coin included a $10 surcharge to be paid to the Girl Scouts of the USA to support Girl Scout program development and delivery.

The total of 37,643 Uncirculated coins sold reflects sales of 31,716 single coins and 5,747 coins included in Young Collector sets.

The introductory sales period ran from Feb. 28 to March 29, after which regular issue prices were charged. The introductory prices were $54.95 for the Proof coin and $50.95 for the Uncirculated coin, and were each increased by $5 for the regular issue period.

The Young Collectors set went on sale July 19 for $54.95.

Sales of all Girl Scouts of the USA Centennial commemorative silver dollar product were originally going to be cut off by the U.S. Mint on Dec. 17, but the sales period was subsequently extended through noon Eastern Time Dec. 31 to accommodate any additional sales. ■

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