US Coins

Two limited sets to go on sale by Mint in October

The 2017 American Liberty Four Silver Medal set, which goes on sale Oct. 19, was on display at the U.S. Mint booth at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Denver. The set was just one of several items on display.

Coin World image by Paul Gilkes.

The United States Mint has already offered most of its major products for 2017, but a few remain among future offerings, with two of the more significant ones to become available in October — the 2017 Limited Edition Silver Proof set and the American Liberty Four Silver Medal set.

The latter set was on display at the Mint booth at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Denver Aug. 1 to 5 along with other products and rare coins from the Mint archives.

The remainder of the collector products to be offered from September to December are from the Mint’s 2017 America the Beautiful quarter dollars program, featuring sets, bag and role quantities, and the 5-ounce silver versions.

The peak of Olympic gold coins”The peak of Olympic gold coins: Another column in the August 14 weekly issue of Coin World also profiles a rubber token that promotes a commonplace object we all use.

When the 2017 Limited Edition Silver Proof set goes on sale Oct. 5, it will give Mint customers their second chance at a Proof 2017-S American Eagle silver dollar. The coin was first offered in the 2017 Congratulations set, the latest edition in an annual offering that generally attracted little collector attention or interest. Past editions contained the year’s regular Proof silver coins and that year’s Proof American Eagle silver dollar; both products were offered separately so many collectors did not find the sets particularly compelling. That changed with the 2017 edition.

The 2017 Congratulations set contained a Proof 2017-S American Eagle silver dollar and not the standard 2017-W edition that was available separately. This was the first Congratulations set to contain a special version of the Proof American Eagle silver dollar. That made the set a hot commodity among collectors (and dealers) since Proof American Eagle silver dollars are a popular and mostly inexpensive series to collect.

The combination of strong demand, a price of $54.95, no household limits, and an edition size of 75,000 sets translated to a sellout that took just two minutes. The rapidity of the sellout and the perception that the majority of the sets went to dealers and not to collectors triggered the expected backlash from collectors unsuccessful in buying one of the sets and unwilling or unable to pay secondary prices for them.

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The 2017 Limited Edition Silver Proof set will likely be similar to the 2016 edition in its standard contents: the Roosevelt dime, all five America the Beautiful quarter dollars, and the Kennedy half dollar, all in a 90 percent composition. (No 2015 Limited Edition Silver Proof set was offered; sales of the planned set were delayed until December 2015 and Mint officials decided to cancel the set rather offer it for just a few weeks to comply with congressional mandate that all Proof American Eagle silver dollars sold in 2016 bearing the 30th anniversary edge device.)

Although Mint officials have not announced an edition size for the 2017 Limited Edition Silver Proof set or a price, buyers should expect  to pay well above $100 for the set (possibly in the $140 to $150 range).

The second special set to go on sale the same month as the Limited Edition Silver Proof set is the 2017 American Liberty Four Silver Medal set. It goes on sale Oct. 19. The set will join a fifth American Liberty silver medal already on sale as a single-item product. All four Mint production facilities will be striking medals for the four-piece set.

The Philadelphia Mint will be striking two medals — one, a single Proof medal, has been offered since June (sales totaled 39,264 as of July 23), and the second will be a Reverse Proof medal for sale only in the four-medal set, joining medals struck at the San Francisco, West Point, and Denver Mints.

The three other medals available only in the set are a 2017-S medal that also has a standard Proof finish, a 2017-W medal exhibiting an Enhanced Uncirculated finish, and a 2017-D medal with an Uncirculated finish.

The Proof version displays frosted devices against mirrored fields. The Reverse Proof finish displays mirrored devices against frosted fields. The Uncirculated pieces are struck on planchets that are burnished by being tumbled with steel media in a cleaning and brightening solution and then dried before striking. For the Enhanced Uncirculated version, the planchets are struck with dies having specific design elements subjected to varying intensities of laser frosting and polishing techniques.

The 1-ounce .999 fine silver medals have the same obverse and reverse designs that appear on the Proof 1792–2017-W American Liberty 225th Anniversary gold $100 coin, which went on sale April 6.

The designs on the coins and medals have elicited mixed reactions from the collector community. The obverse portrait is of Liberty as an African-American woman, the first such portrait on a U.S. coin. The reverse depicts an eagle. While some have praised the obverse design for its aesthetic beauty and innovative theme, others have been critical of the aesthetics of the designs (the large size of the stars has drawn much of the criticism on that point) and still others have decried what they perceive as a politically correct decision in portraying Liberty as a woman of color.

No price has been given for the set. The single medal is priced at $59.95 though it is unlikely that the cost of the four-medal set will be four times the price of the single medal. The cost of a hardcover booklet detailing the development of the Liberty portrait was factored into the price for the single medal.

Quarter dollar series

The remainder of 2017’s Mint product line — at least what is announced so far — involves the America the Beautiful quarter dollars program.

Starting Sept. 7, the Uncirculated 2017-P Ellis Island National Monument 5-ounce silver coin will become available; the three-coin set for the same design, albeit in the standard copper-nickel clad composition and size, will go on sale starting Sept. 14. Those two products follow the Aug. 28 launch of bags and rolls of the Ellis Island quarter dollar.

In November and December, the Mint will offer products featuring the 2017 George Rogers Clark National Historical Park quarter dollar: bags and rolls go on sale Nov. 13, the three-coin set of the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park quarter dollar goes on sale Nov. 27, and the Uncirculated 2017-P George Rogers Clark National Historical Park 5-ounce silver coin goes on sale Dec. 5.

Also to be offered, starting Nov. 21, is the America the Beautiful Quarter 2017 Circulating Coin set. 

With the exception of the two 5-ounce silver coins, the remaining America the Beautiful quarter dollar products offer the standard copper-nickel clad versions of the coins, including pieces from the Denver Mint, Philadelphia Mint and San Francisco Mint. 

A factual error involving the 2016 Limited Edition Proof set was corrected on Aug. 5.

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