What's up with the circulation production numbers?: Readers Ask

Collector questions mintages for circulation-quality coins
By , Coin World
Published : 04/12/16
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Readers Ask column from April 25, 2016, Weekly issue of Coin World:

During the last several years, the U.S. Mint has sold rolls of coins to collectors that are supposed to be available only from the Mint at a premium over face value.

The mintages for these coins are posted on the U.S. Mint’s website under circulating coin production. I have been tracking the Kennedy half dollars and the Native American dollars, which consistently show lower sales than the mintage. 

The most recent product sold out is the 2014 Native American dollars sold in rolls and bags. The sales for 2014-P dollars are 1,323,350, yet production mintage shows 3,080,000. The sales for 2014-D dollars are 1,289,275, yet production mintage shows 5,600,000.

As is clear from the above example there is a huge discrepancy in some sales versus mintages, which affects the aftermarket for these products. 

Since the Mint sells these products to collectors at a premium and they are supposed to be available only by ordering from the Mint, I feel the Mint owes collectors an explanation.

Are the sales the actual mintage or is the posted production the actual mintage and the excess over sales will be dumped into circulation someday?

Since I have been unable to get a response from the Mint, is there any way you can use your influence to get correct mintage figures for these products over several years?

Carl Cartwheel / via email

According to the U.S. Mint, “The dollar and half dollar coins that are produced for rolls, bags or boxes that do not get sold are held in Mint inventory until they can be recycled and used to produce dollar coins in the future. The 5.6 million production figure for the 2014 Native American Denver $1 coins found on the Mint’s website was a clerical error and is being corrected. The correct number is 2.8 million.

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