Top 10 Stories of 2015: Coin and Chronicles sets sell out fast

Two Coin and Chronicles sets with Reverse Proof coins last just minutes
By , Coin World
Published : 12/24/15
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Package a Presidential dollar with a special finish along with a silver medal in a limited-edition numismatic product from the U.S. Mint, and what do you have? A guaranteed sellout.

Times four.

The United States Mint offered to collectors restricted production of 2015 Presidential $1 Coin and Chronicles sets honoring Presidents Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Truman and Eisenhower sets sold out within minutes of their respective sales releases, with the Kennedy sales taking several days before the maximum production was recorded sold. The Johnson set sold out in four hours.

The secondary market prices for the sets, offered by the Mint for $57.95 each, quickly escalated to multiples of the issue price as the product began to each the hands of those who ordered the sets.

Profits were guaranteed for those lucky enough to be able to successfully place their orders within the short time the sets were available before selling out.

Some dealers were offering guaranteed buy prices at multiples of the issue price before each set went on sale.

Exclusivity

Each of the four sets contains a Reverse Proof 2015-P Presidential dollar of the respective president; a 1-ounce .999 fine silver medal replicating the U.S. Mint’s Presidential medal of the chief executive, originally issued during his time in office; and a U.S. postage stamp issued after the president’s death — all packaged within an informational presentation.

The Reverse Proof dollars and silver medals are exclusive to the sets and were not made available in any other sales option from the Mint.

A standard Proof coin exhibits frosted raised devices contrasted against mirrored fields while a Reverse Proof exhibits mirrored devices against frosted fields.

The sets can be found on the secondary market as packaged by the Mint, or as single Reverse Proof dollars or individual silver medals.

The Truman and Eisenhower sets were limited to 17,000 sets each, while the Kennedy set, originally restricted to 25,000, was raised to a maximum of 50,000 sets, and the Johnson set, originally limited to 17,000 sets, was bumped to a maximum release of 25,000.

The limited-edition products tested the mettle of Mint officials and the boundaries of the Mint’s state-of-the-art online commerce system implemented in October 2014.

The Truman set sold out within 15 minutes of its June 30 release, even with a household ordering limit of five sets. Lowering the household ordering limit to two sets for the Aug. 11 release of the Eisenhower set didn’t change a repeat sellout in a matter of minutes. 

What did affect the sales climate was the malfunction of one of two access portals to the Mint’s website, blocking thousands of collectors from being able to place orders. Knowledge that there were two access points, not just one, wasn’t disclosed until sales were already closed and the inventory exhausted.

The household ordering limits of two sets remained in effect for the Sept. 16 release of the Kennedy set and the Oct. 27 release of the Johnson set.

The Johnson set sold out within four hours of its release. 

With its higher mintage, the Kennedy set reached an eventual sellout only after the Mint lifted the household ordering limits. More than 80 percent of the Kennedy sets were sold on the first day of their availability. 

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