US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for June 7, 2021: Let's get it right

The delays in sales for the 2021 Peace dollar and remaining 2021 Morgan dollars give U.S. Mint officials a chance to ensure collectors have a better chance of obtaining the coins, if the right decisions are made.

Original images courtesy of the United States Mint.

The decision by United States Mint officials to delay sales of the planned second and third issues of the 2021 Morgan dollars and single offering of the 2021 Peace dollar do not, in the minds of countless collectors, address the main problems with the program — the Mint is striking too few of the coins and the household limits are still too high at 10 coins.

The first sale, conducted May 24 for the privy-marked pieces celebrating the former New Orleans and Carson City Mints, resulted in an overwhelmed website and telephone system, and a “sellout” in less than 30 minutes.

Mint officials are to be applauded for reopening the telephone order line for the May 24 sales after that service was closed down in early 2020 in response to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Many older collectors lack access to computers and had been shut out of popular programs for more than a year.

Officials are also doing the right thing in attempting to address technical problems experienced on May 24 by many customers.

Still, demand will outstrip supply unless the Mint can expand its contractor base to obtain more of the silver planchets needed to strike the coins.

The product limits of 175,000 pieces for each Morgan dollar and 200,000 coins for the Peace dollar are woefully short of what the Mint could sell. The Morgan dollar is one of the most popular U.S. coins series with collectors, and the Peace dollar is not far behind in collector popularity. Just as with the 2016 Winged Liberty Head gold dime, which also sold out in a short period of time, customer demand exceeded supplies, frustrating collectors who wanted to add the modern tribute coins to their collections of the original series.

We understand that determining demand for a future coin product is tough. Strike too many and collectors complain that their purchases do not increase in value. Strike too few and collectors get angry when they fail to acquire one. However, experience shows that to avoid alienating the Mint’s customer base, it is better to strike too many coins than too few.

We look forward to the delayed programs, and hope that the Mint gets them right this time.

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