Color coded sketches indicate the different finishes on the dies for the 2014-D Enhanced Uncirculated Native American Dollar in the 2014 American Coin and Currency set being offered by the Mint. The Uncirculated Mint set coin shown at top is only to illustrate the coin's design. In the sketch of the Enhanced Uncirculated coin die, white indicates a standard Uncirculated finish; blue, a standard laser-frosted finish; and yellow, a light laser-frosted finish.
Twenty years after the U.S. Mint issued a set with a 1994-P Jefferson 5-cent coin bearing a special finish, and not revealing that the coin was special until after the set sold out, the Mint has done something remarkably similar.
Coin World Senior Editor Paul Gilkes reports in this issue about the Mint’s surprise “sleeper set of the year”—the 2014 American $1 Coin and Currency set with an Enhanced Uncirculated 2014-D Native American dollar.
RELATED VIDEO: An exciting end for 2014 Mint products
When the Mint announced details of the set Nov. 13, it noted only that the coin had an “uncirculated finish." As one collector said, “Yawn. Someone tell me why this set exists.”
However, as collectors started examining Mint images of the set packaging, they noticed the words “Enhanced Uncirculated,” and when they started receiving their sets after sales began Nov. 20, the special finish was confirmed in the accompanying certificate of authenticity.
The failure to announce ahead of the set’s release that the coin had a special finish was a rare misstep by the Mint’s Sales and Marketing staff, which in recent times has done a good job in promoting coins with special features.
After Mint officials released additional details about the finish on the morning before Thanksgiving, Coin World and other media quickly published news of the coin’s nature. Customers then placed so many orders that by Dec. 1, the set was “out of stock” for several days before sales resumed.
A 50,000-piece sales limit makes the Enhanced Uncirculated 2014-D Native American dollar the likely key date in the series.
In deciding whether to buy the 2014 set, collectors might want to look at current values for the aforementioned Matte Finish 1994-P Jefferson 5-cent coin and a similar Matte Finish 1997-P 5-cent coin. Both coins are among the highest priced pieces in the series since 1968.
After a busy year with such exciting issues as the Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins and the Kennedy gold half dollars, December looked to be rather dull for the Mint. With the release of the new set, however, the year will close out on a high note.
Who says collecting modern U.S. coins can’t be exciting?
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