US Coins

Mint website is overwhelmed by WWII American Eagle sales

The U.S. Mint recorded the “highest website traffic we have ever experienced” Nov. 5 as sufficient orders were placed to absorb the limited mintages of privy-marked Proof 2020-W End of World War II 75th Anniversary American Eagle gold and silver coins.

The 1-ounce .9167 fine gold $50 coin was limited to a release of 1,945 coins at $2,600 per coin and was reported unavailable within seven minutes of the noon Eastern Standard Time sales launch.

The 1-ounce .999 fine silver coin was limited to a release of 75,000 coins at $83 each and also received sufficient orders to absorb the limited mintage, in approximately 90 minutes. No phone orders for numismatic products are being taken because of COVID-19 concerns.

See updated sales figures at the bottom of this article.

Both issues, struck at the West Point Mint with the W Mint mark, were restricted to a household ordering limit of one of each numismatic product option.

Disgruntled Mint customers and others shut out from placing orders let their feelings known through email to Coin World, and online postings through social media.

It is possible that small numbers of both coins could become available later. “Currently unavailable” means, according to the Mint, “We are currently out of this item, but more may be available later. If you provide your email address or cell number using the ‘REMIND ME’ button, you will receive any back-in-stock messages we send related to this product.”

The additional coins that could be offered by the Mint would come from canceled orders never shipped or from order returns.

Mint response

U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White released the following statement issued to news outlets and Mint customers and posted on the bureau’s Facebook page:

“The 2020 End of WWII 75th Anniversary American Eagle One Ounce Gold Proof Coin and the End of World War II 75th Anniversary American Eagle Silver Proof Coin were released for sale at noon ET on November 5,” according to the statement. “Release of these coins resulted in the highest website traffic we have ever experienced, which greatly exceeded our expected capacity.  This high volume caused website instability, and customers encountered error messages and in some cases were unable to purchase their desired product.  Due to extremely high demand, the American Eagle Gold Proof Coin became unavailable by 12:07 p.m.  We are pleased with the initial demand, but are also in the process of evaluating the various customer concerns and system constraints and/or failures we experienced.  

“We want to assure you that the United States Mint remains committed to providing the highest possible level of customer service, and regret any inconvenience or frustration this buying experience caused,” the Mint said.

Standard designs

The privy-marked Proof gold American Eagle bears sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens striding Liberty introduced on the $20 double eagle in 1907. The reverse exhibits artist Miley Busiek Frost’s Family of Eagles design introduced on the gold American Eagles in 1986.

The silver American Eagle bears the same obverse and reverse designs that have appeared on the silver coin since 1986 — sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s obverse from the Walking Liberty half dollar introduced in 1916, and the Heraldic Eagle reverse of U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver John Mercanti, now retired.

Both the Proof silver American Eagle and gold Proof American Eagle were produced with a special privy mark that appears in the upper right field on the obverse. V75 appears raised within an incuse cartouche shaped in the outline of the pool that is part of the World War II National Memorial in Washington, D.C.
This article was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET with sales figures for the two coins: 1,737 for the gold coin and 71,202 for the silver coin. We as yet have no reply from the Mint as to why both numbers are well below the maximum mintage figures.

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