US Coins

Mint sells surplus Proof 2016-W American Eagle silver dollars at discount

Rather than subject 183,781 unsold Proof 2016-W American Eagle silver dollars to the standard “de-trashing” protocol, the U.S. Mint recently sold the coins at discount by sealed bid to bulk buyers.

The sealed bids generated $5.4 million in revenue for the Mint, said the Mint’s chief marketing and sales officer, Matt Holben, during the Mint’s Fourth Annual Numismatic Forum Oct. 24 and 25 in Philadelphia.

Under the usual protocol, once sales totals are officially audited, any unsold product in the Mint’s inventory is de-trashed — that is, the coins are separated from their packaging, and the coins sent for melting and metal reclamation, and the packaging is shipped to a waste disposal facility for ultimate incineration.

Instead, according to the Mint, the Mint had the opportunity to maximize revenue from the unsold product by offering it at a discount to authorized purchasers and other bulk buyers. 

The Mint required, through a reserve placed on each coin, that each bid cover the Mint’s production costs. The bidder would include an additional premium.

Each bidder was required to place a minimum order of 1,000 coins. Distribution went first to the highest bid, and then to subsequent bidders in descending order.

All 183,781 coins were purchased by a total of four bidders.

The reported $5.4 million gross revenue generated means an average price of $29.38 for each of the 183,781 Proof American Eagle silver dollars. When the Proof American Eagle silver dollars were offered to the collecting public on Sept. 16, 2016, they were offered at $53.95 per coin.

The coins marked the 30th anniversary of the silver American Eagle, with Proof and Uncirculated versions required to bear the incuse edge inscription 30TH ANNIVERSARY. 

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