Paul Gilkes

Mint State

Paul Gilkes

Paul is a senior editor and has been a member of the Coin World staff since 1988. Paul covers the U.S. Mint beat and has memorably reported for more than two decades on many of the hobby's most important stories including the record sale of the Farouk/Fenton 1933 double eagle and the ongoing legal proceedings of the Langbord 1933 double eagles. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Grove City College in Pennsylvania and collects autographs and memorabilia from The Andy Griffith Show.

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Will the 2016 Ronald Reagan Coin & Chronicles set be a bust?

Has the ship sailed on limited-edition U.S. Mint products, or is there still unlimited collector interest?

The Oct. 11 release of the Ronald Reagan Coin & Chronicles set would suggest interest is somewhat waning.

Just over 21,000 sets were sold on the opening day of sales for a product with a maximum release of 150,000.

Collectors and speculators seem to be content with ordering the sets at their leisure based on the maximum population available. You would think that hobbyists interested in obtaining the set because of the Reverse Proof 2016-S Ronald Reagan Presidential dollar exclusive to the set would do so sooner than later.

It’s possible that sales are slow because collectors who actually want one of the sets with the exclusive Reverse Proof dollar and not looking to flip the set for a quick profit have already placed their orders.

The set will close out the 10-year run of the Presidential $1 Coin Series.

Earlier Coin & Chronicles sets exclusive with Reverse Proof dollars like those in 2015 for Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower sold out in minutes based on product limits of 17,000 sets each. The John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson sets in 2015 took longer, with limits of 50,000 and 25,000 sets respectively.

The Mint didn’t even bother with issuing 2016 Coin and Chronicles set for Presidents Richard M. Nixon or Gerald R. Ford. Did the Mint not deem the pair worthy of consideration, or was it because they ran out of different Mint production facilities from which to strike the Reverse Proof dollars?

The Mint increased the maximum mintage on the JFK and LBJ sets based on the sales performance of the Truman and Eisenhower sets. Beloved as he was, JFK still did not have the numismatic draw the Mint expected.

And the high regard in which President Reagan was held prompted officials to triple the Reagan Coin & Chronicles set availability from that of JFK. By Oct. 16, sales had only reached 24,983 sets.

It’s likely the sales of the Reagan Coin & Chronicles are not going to increase in leaps and bounds anytime soon. The only likelihood of a surge is as the calendar year winds down and collectors and speculators decide to make last-minute purchases.

Although the Mint can still sell the sets into 2017, production of the Reverse Proof 2016-S Reagan dollar and the Proof 2016-W American Eagle 30th Anniversary silver dollar can only go through Dec. 31, 2016.

The Mint won’t be stockpiling large quantities of fully packaged sets in hopes of possible sales. Whatever doesn’t sell has the packaging scrapped, the coins melted, and the metal reclaimed.

So, if you’re planning on buying one of the sets, sooner is better. There might not be a later.

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Probably should have mentioned how great of a buy it is at only 15.00 above the cost of the Proof Silver Eagle and comes with one. And a reverse proof dollar the copper medal is fantastic One of the few times it is a good buy from the mint, The smooth edge Silver Eagle is strange I am not impressed
Scarce vs. Rare
If you have 150,000 coins produced at the mint and they all grade MS-69/70 they are scarce but not rare. Novice collectors make this mistake. Collectors are starting to realize the difference and avoid these over issues. Today there are 100 year old $20 Double eagles in MS-62 condition that can be purchased for the same price as the equivalent amount of newly produced bullion gold. Scarce but not rare. These coins will be scooped up by a telemarketer, graded and encapsulated, and sold as valuable. Valuable yes. Each coin is worth one United States dollar.