The 2015 Dwight D. Eisenhower Coin and Chronicles
set sold out within about 15 minutes of its noon Eastern Time Aug. 11
sales launch despite the U.S. Mint imposing a household ordering limit
of two sets.
The set had a product release limit of 17,000 sets, each priced at $57.95.
The eBay auction
site had confirmed sales as of Aug. 13 of Eisenhower sets in their
original Mint packaging for between $250 and $400 per set.
The sellout of the Eisenhower set follows the June 30 sellout, in 15
minutes, of the 17,000 2015 Harry S. Truman Coin and Chronicles set,
which had a household ordering limit of five sets.
The two sets are in demand by dealers and collectors because the
Reverse Proof 2015-P Presidential dollar and 1-ounce .999 fine silver
Presidential medal in each set are exclusive to the sets and not
available for sale individually. The sets also include a U.S. postage
stamp and information booklet on the featured president.
The sets have been made available only through the Mint’s website
and via telephone at 800-872-6468.
None were made available at the sales outlet at U.S. Mint
headquarters in Washington, D.C., or contracted sales centers at the
Denver and Philadelphia Mints.
Some Website problems
The Aug. 11 sales were not executed without technical difficulties
with the website at www.usmint.gov.
Adam Stump, deputy director of the Mint’s Office of Corporate
Communications, issued the following statement at 1:45 p.m. ET Aug.
11: “The main United States Mint web page, www.usmint.gov, was down
from 12:04 p.m. to 12:21 p.m. due to an issue with a computer
application unrelated to the launch of the 2015 Coin & Chronicles
set — Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“This application issue did not have any effect on any catalog
pages, including the web page for the 2015 Coin & Chronicles set —
Dwight D. Eisenhower,” Stump said. “Customers were still able to order
the 2015 Coin & Chronicles set — Dwight D. Eisenhower which became
‘Unavailable’ at 12:16 p.m., meaning the U.S. Mint is currently out of
this item, but more may be available later.
“Any customer who may have normally entered the catalog site, which
is any page that starts with catalog.usmint.gov, would not have
experienced any issues. Any customer who attempted to enter through
www.usmint.gov from 12:04 p.m. to 12:21 p.m. would have encountered an
error trying to get to the catalog site. We apologize for any
inconvenience this may have caused customers.”
During an Aug. 11 interview with Coin World at the American
Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., Rhett
Jeppson, principal deputy director of the U.S. Mint and President
Obama’s nominee as the 39th Mint director, said: “We regret any issues
customers may have had. We will conduct a post-mortem to see where the
problems and bottleneck were and cure them.
“I do think it’s impressive that a product can sell out so quickly,”
Jeppson said. “It shows the numismatic community is alive and well.
Even with this issue, this system is far better than what we had a
year and a half ago.”
Even with the imposition of a household ordering limit of two sets,
the fact the product became unavailable in about 15 minutes shows more
than 8,000 people may have been able to place orders, if most opted to
buy the two-coin limit.
“It does say something about the product and the demand for our
product,” Jeppson said.
Jeppson said the Mint’s website is actually two sites meant to
function seamlessly. The pages beginning with the web address
catalog.usmint.gov are maintained as the Mint’s e-commerce component
by order fulfillment contractor PFS Web in Texas. The Mint maintains
the informational component www.usmint.gov, which uses older
technology, Jeppson said.
Without the catalog component in place, ”I would hate to have seen
what would have happened if we didn’t have that system. Everything
would have crashed and we would have had a lot of angry people,”
Two more 2015 Coin & Chronicles sets will be offered — one on
Sept. 16 for John F. Kennedy and one sometime in October for Lyndon B.
Johnson. The product limit on the Kennedy set will be 50,000, double
what was initially announce, while the maximum release for the Johnson
set is being raised to 25,000, from its former 17,000-set maximum.
Jon Cameron, the Mint’s acting associate director of sales and
marketing, said Aug. 11 that at the time of the June 30 sellout of the
Truman set, the 17,000-set limit was already established. The decision
was then made to increase the product limits for the Kennedy and
Johnson sets, Cameron said. Whether sales of the Kennedy and Johnson
sets will have household ordering limits has not been disclosed.
Collectors posted comments on Coin World’s Facebook
page about the Eisenhower sets:
Christopher Brant: I was able to purchase 2 sets, myself, but
it honestly didn’t feel like it. I didn’t believe my order actually
went through due to all the website problems going on at the time. I
was surprised to find out about 30 minutes later when I received an
email confirmation from the US Mint that they received my order. Then
I checked my order history and there it was. I was pleasantly surprised
Lester Self: All that matters is we didn’t get them ... through
whatever happened. It’s over so I’m off on another adventure!
Timothy Gatz: So all these comments beg the question of who was
able to purchase the 17,000 sets?