Gone in 120 seconds: Monday Morning Brief, Apr. 10, 2017

One of our Sr. Editors details what went wrong with the Congratulations Set release
By , Coin World
Published : 04/10/17
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The apparent two-minute sellout April 4 of the 2017 Congratulations set left the U.S. Mint in the position, once again, of not being able to please everyone.

And it’s not likely that position will change with any future limited-edition offerings.

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Read the full transcript below:

This is the Monday Morning Brief for April 10, 2017. I'm Coin World Senior Editor Paul Gilkes. The apparent two-minute sellout on April 4th of the 2017 Congratulations Set left the U.S. Mint in the position once again, of not being able to please everyone. And it's not likely that position will change with any future limited edition offerings. Sufficient orders were placed within the first two minutes of the eastern time zone offering of the 75,000 sets containing a San Francisco Mint struck Proof 2017-S Silver American Eagle to fill the maximum number of sets available. Unlike the 2017 set, Congratulations Sets from 2012-2016 contained West Point Mint proof strikes of the silver American Eagle.

The 2017 Congratulations Set was offered by the U.S. Mint for $54.95, just one dollar more than is being charged for the single 2017-W Proof Silver American Eagle that went on sale March 23, without production limits or ordering restrictions. The Congratulations Set is a numismatic product that the U.S. Mint offers as a gift giving option. One would have to live under a rock not to know that silver American Eagles, especially the proofs, are likely the most popularly collected numismatic product that the U.S. Mint offers. Demand was anticipated to be strong for the 2017 Congratulations Set, and more so because the set a limited edition.

Add to that the fact the U.S. Mint did not impose any household order limits, the issue was bound to sell out quickly - but in two minutes? Unbelievable. The secondary market price for the 2017 set has already doubled at minimum. Those able to capitalize are those who were successful accepted and confirmed during the minuscule window of opportunity and immeadiatley shipped. Collectors of proof silver American Eagles and speculators will have a second opportunity later in 2017-S silver American Eagle that will be included in the 2017-S limited edition Silver Proof Set.

The release date, product limit, and pricing info for that set has not yet announced, but demand is also expected to be high for that option. The U.S. Mint is in the business of making money, no pun intended. This may sound like a broken record, but the U.S. Mint should consider a household order limit of two sets - at least for the first two weeks - then lift restrictions. This will open availability to more customers and lower the number of potential disgruntled hobbyists, should they get shut out of ordering a set. No matter the Mint chooses to do, somebody is going to be unhappy. For Coin World, I'm Paul Gilkes.

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