Monday Morning Brief for July 26, 2021: A good first step
- Published: Jul 26, 2021, 7 AM
The decision by United States Mint officials to impose new guidelines on its numismatic bulk buyers, forbidding them to use bots and other techniques to circumvent household ordering limits for Mint products, is a welcome one. Time will tell how effective are the threats of potential sanctions for violating the new policies.
The first product launch after the announcement was made shows that the Mint has a long way to go. The Proof 2021-W American Eagle, Reverse of 2021 silver dollar was offered to Mint customers starting July 20. As most of you probably already know, the 300,000-coin maximum mintage “sold out” in 20 minutes.
That was not unexpected. The coin was the first numismatic issue with the new reverse design in the long-running series. A sellout of 300,000 pieces was guaranteed. All that was uncertain was how long it would take.
Also as expected, the 300,000 coins were not enough to meet demand. As with virtually every limited-edition offering, some Mint customers were unable to purchase any of the coins despite their best efforts. Comments from two of them who contacted Coin World are below and on the opposite page.
Systematic problems continue to plague Mint sales. With rare exceptions, mintages are too small, household limits are too high, and the Mint website continues to perform at subpar levels.
We appreciate that the Mint has been trying to keep robotic buyers from snatching up products online. Indeed, officials delayed sales of a number of coins to improve those anti-bot defenses. We are waiting on word from the Mint on how well their enhanced defences against bots worked, though they may have worked a little too well. At least one Coin World reader has said that when he attempted to order one of the Proof American Eagles, the Mint website responded with a message indicating that he was suspected of being a bot. He wrote that by the time he went through the secondary verification to prove he was not a bot, the coin was no longer available.
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