US Coins

Looking at winners in recent U.S. Mint issues

The Uncirculated 2011-D United States Army half dollar has a low mintage, fewer than 40,000 coins. The limited supply helps make it one of the few recent U.S. commemorative coins to enjoy a robust aftermarket.

Images courtesy of U.S. Mint.

It pays to look at the accumulating U.S. Mint sales figures because some recent sets with surprisingly low mintages have been making waves in the secondary market.

The 2012 U.S. Mint Limited Edition Silver Proof set included all five America the Beautiful silver quarter dollars, a silver Kennedy half dollar and Roosevelt dime, and a Proof 2012 American Eagle silver dollar. It had a production limit of 50,000 sets and the Mint recorded a sellout. Originally priced at $149.95, it’s now enjoying a secondary market at the $180 level in online auctions.

Even better was the “regular” 2012 Silver Proof set (lacking the Proof American Eagle but containing the cent, 5-cent coin and small-sized dollars), which debuted June 4, 2012, at $67.95. It recorded lower than expected sales figures, fewer than 400,000 sets, and has recently been selling at the $180 to $200 level.

Traditional 2012 Proof sets have seen secondary market prices double in the year since their issuance. The original price of $31.95 seems cheap when compared to the $80 to $100 that this set achieves in online auctions.

The 2011 Proof sets and Silver Proof sets are now looking like modest winners for their original purchasers with regular sets selling at the $40 to $50 level and silver sets selling at the $70 to $80 level.

Some, but not all, of the Mint’s recent special sets have also generated some modest aftermarket profits. The Making American History Coin and Currency set celebrates the Mint’s 220th year and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s 150th year. It includes a Series 2009 $5 Federal Reserve note and a Proof 2012 silver American Eagle. Although 100,000 were authorized, just over 60,000 are reported sold at $67.95 and the sets have been stable on the secondary market at the $60 to $70 level.

The 2013 American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver set, with a 2013 Reverse Proof and 2013 Enhanced Uncirculated American Eagle silver dollar, recorded total sales of 281,310 as of June 6. That set initially sold at the $139.95 level, and recently prices have started to move up with recent sales on eBay at the $160 to $170 level.

Many collectors continue to suffer from commemorative coin fatigue, but the 2013 5-Star Generals three-coin Proof set reached its maximum sales figure of 10,000 and was recorded as a sellout, with its last available price set at $522.20. A sellout doesn’t guarantee a secondary market stampede and sets are selling at the $550 level now.

Despite relatively low mintages when compared with many issues of prior decades, few recent commemorative coins have generated much aftermarket heat, excluding Uncirculated 2011-D U.S. Army half dollars, with their low mintage of just fewer than 40,000 coins. They sell for $70 to $80 now, well above the regular issue price of $19.95. ¦

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