Precious Metals

2015 America the Beautiful silver sales to be second highest

Sales of the 2015 Saratoge National Historic Site 5-ounce silver bullion coin do not begin until Nov. 30, but already 2015 has the second-highest sales in the program's history.

Original images courtesy of U.S. Mint.

One coin remains in the 2015 America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver bullion coin program and already the year is the second highest in terms of sales since the series began in 2010.

As of Nov. 17, the Mint had sold 167,000 of the first four 2015 coins. Sales for the 2015 Saratoga National Historic Park coin are set to begin Nov. 30. By coin, 2015 sales total 35,000 of the Homestead National Monument of America coins, 42,000 of the Kisatchie National Forest coin, and 45,000 each for the Blue Ridge Parkway and Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge coins. All four coins sold out.

The 2015 total is second only to the 465,100 5-ounce coins sold in 2011. That was the second year of the program and the first year in which sales to authorized purchasers were conducted normally.

The Mint did not offer the five 2010 America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver bullion coins to its authorized purchasers until December. Sales were limited to 33,000 of each coin, well below mintages previously announced by the Mint of 100,000 pieces per coin. The lower mintages caught the authorized purchasers off guard and led to a frenzy of speculation in the marketplace as sales approached.

Once sales began and even before the authorized purchasers took delivery of the coins, the coins were being offered by sellers at prices that were many multiples of their bullion value, prompting complaints by collectors to the Mint of "price gouging." The Mint in response suspended sales and delivery of the coins before announcing restrictions on the authorized purchasers when sales were resumed. The Mint required that the authorized purchasers sell the coins only to the public and not to secondary market dealers, and required them to sell the coins at a premium no higher than 10 percent above the authorized purchasers' acquisition price. 

Starting in 2011, sales of the America the Beautiful 5-ounce bullion coins were conducted normally, with authorized purchasers permitted to sell both to the public and secondary tier dealers.

Sales of the coins dropped off after 2011, totaling a program low of 113,800 coins in 2012, 160,000 pieces in 2013, and 136,000 coins in 2014.

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