US Coins

Surprise sellout for an Apollo 11 product

U.S. Mint customers in less than an hour Jan. 24 placed sufficient orders to put the Proof 2019-P Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 5-ounce silver dollar into “backorder status.”

“Backorder status” is defined by the Mint as: “This item is available to be ordered now, but it is not currently in stock. Additional inventory is being made. Please add the item to your cart to see when additional inventory is expected to be available.”


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Just over half of the maximum 100,000 coins are recorded as sold as of the first 24 hours of sales.

Orders for the first of three intaglio prints produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing rendered that product “currently unavailable.” However, U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White said Mint officials will not officially announce a sellout of the Mission intaglio print until the Mint completes order reconciliation.

Order reconciliation often includes cancellation of orders, either by the customer or by the Mint if a credit card account has expired. In those instances, product that is made available is often offered first to the customers next in line. If sufficient product remains after the reconciliation, the Mint could reopen sales for the item.

The 5-ounce silver dollar, limited to a 100,000-coin mintage and offered at $224.95 each with an initial maximum of five per household, and the intaglio print, the first of three to be produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and issued through the Mint’s website, were among the numismatic products the Mint offered beginning at noon Eastern Time to commemorate the July 20, 1969, walk on the Moon by Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder predicted the Proof 5-ounce silver dollar would sell out in comments delivered Dec. 13 at the Philadelphia Mint during a ceremonial first-strike ceremony for the two Proof silver dollar product options.

The intaglio print, the first of three to be issued by the BEP in association with the 50th anniversary celebration, was offered at $20 each with no household ordering restriction.

Collectors reported little or no obstacles in placing orders for the various numismatic products, which showcase the Proof 5-ounce silver dollar and Proof and Uncirculated versions of the gold $5 coin, 1.5-inch silver dollar and copper-nickel-clad half dollar.

The gold coin has a maximum combined mintage of 50,000 coins, the standard silver dollar 400,000 and the copper-nickel clad half dollar, 750,000.

All of the coins are struck with a concave obverse and convex reverse.

The offerings include an Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 2019 Proof Half Dollar set with a product limit of 100,000 and household order limit of five sets at $53.95 each. The set includes a Proof 2019-S Apollo 11 half dollar and an Enhanced Reverse Proof 2019-S Kennedy half dollar.

In collaboration with the Royal Australian Mint, the RAM will be offering for sale later in 2019 a two-coin set holding an Apollo 11 half dollar from the U.S. Mint and an Australian Proof 2019 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing 1-ounce silver $5 coin.

Sales begin

The U.S. coins were offered for sale through the Mint on its website and by telephone, at the sales center at U.S. Mint headquarters in Washington, D.C., at contracted sales outlets at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints, and at a launch event at Kennedy Space Center in Florida attended by numerous NASA astronauts, their families and invited guests.

Ryder was scheduled to attend and deliver remarks at the Florida event, but was a victim of the partial government shutdown restricting travel. Thomas J. Uram, recently appointed chairman of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, delivered the remarks in Ryder’s absence.

“Every coin that the United States Mint produces helps to tell a story that teaches us about America’s history or connects us to a special memory,” Uram said on behalf of Ryder. 

First-day sales figures released Jan. 25 were:

??Proof 5-ounce silver dollar: 51,271.

??Single Proof gold $5 coin: 15,544.

??Single Uncirculated gold $5 coin: 7,781.

??Single Proof silver dollar: 86,073.

??Single Uncirculated silver dollar: 35,380.

??Single Proof half dollar: 29,560.

??Single Uncirculated half dollar: 20,877.

??Half dollar set: 49,825.

The sales totals include the Proof 5-inch and 1.5-inch silver dollars struck at the Philadelphia Mint following the Dec. 13 first-strike ceremony. Dignitaries and invited guests who were offered the opportunity to strike one or both versions are now allowed to formally purchase the coins they struck, at the same prices that the product options are being offered to the public. 

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