US Coins

FOIA responses shed light on Ike set sales

Several U.S. Mint customers who were able to place orders for the 2015 Dwight D. Eisenhower Coin and Chronicles sets before the noon Eastern Time launch Aug. 11 will not have their orders processed, according to Tom Jurkowsky, director of the Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications.

Information received from the U.S. Mint by a collector pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request noted that one order for two sets was placed on Aug. 9 and five separate orders were placed for two sets each on Aug. 10 before the official opening of sales.

However, “No orders for the Eisenhower Coin and Chronicles Set were processed before 12 noon, Eastern Time, on Aug. 11, 2015,” Jurkowsky said. “Any orders that were placed before that time were not processed. The Mint’s Order Management System performed as expected in not processing any orders placed before that date and time.”

Sales after sellout

The FOIA documents also revealed that several more sets were recorded sold after Mint officials announced a sellout Aug. 11 of the maximum product limit in under nine minutes.

Jurkowsky said: “After the product became unavailable on the website, any orders that were placed subsequent to Aug. 11 resulted from reconciliations. As examples, this would include orders that may have been cancelled; orders placed with credit cards that were not accepted; or orders that may have been returned.” 

These sets were made available to individuals next in line in the ordering queue whose original orders were not processed because of the sellout, according to Jurkowsky.

The Eisenhower Coin and Chronicles set was restricted to a maximum issue of 17,000 sets, with household ordering limits at two sets. The set contains a Reverse Proof 2015-P Eisenhower Presidential dollar and an Eisenhower Presidential 1-ounce silver medal, both exclusive to the set, along with a U.S. postage stamp bearing the president’s likeness.

The 191 pages of documents provided to the collector under his FOIA request and forwarded to Coin World identify the date and exact time each order was placed along with the number of sets per order. Removed from the documents for privacy reasons were the names of the Mint customers and their order numbers.

The documents identify the first order placed for two sets was recorded at 12:01:46 on Aug. 11, with the last order for two sets before the sellout placed at 12:09:42.

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Software malfunction

A software malfunction denied customer access through the main Mint website portal at www.usmint.gov soon after sales were launched, but not to the secondary portal at catalog.usmint.gov, where the majority of successful orders for the Eisenhower sets were placed.

The primary portal is monitored by the U.S. Mint while the catalog.usmint.gov is maintained by the Mint’s contracted order processing and fulfillment contractor PFSWeb in Texas.

When additional sets became available, for the reasons Jurkowsky outlined, the Mint processed sales of 71 sets on Aug. 12, another 12 sets on Aug. 13, two sets on Aug. 14, eight sets on Aug. 15, and seven sets on Aug. 23.

Jurkowsky said the Mint took 10,097 orders for 16,820 sets on the first day of sales Aug. 11. Of the total number of orders, more than 3,000 of the total orders were for single sets, according to Jurkowsky, rather than the two sets each household was permitted to order.

Fair opportunities

Jurkowsky added: “Order limits help us ensure that we provide fair purchase opportunities to the broadest audience possible. Our Order Management System is designed to monitor household order limits. As long as a customer has proper payment and is not violating household order limits, we sell the customer the products he or she requests.

“We do not ask  a customer about his or her intentions regarding the product. Once we mint and issue a product, it belongs to the customer to do with as he or she determines. 

“I can assure you and your readers that the Mint is deeply committed to the collector. We do our utmost to maintain the integrity of the system.”

The Mint’s sales report through Sept. 27 indicates sales of 16,793 sets. 


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