US Coins

Uncirculated Mint sets suffer packaging mistakes

2019 Uncirculated Mint sets are experiencing packaging problems with missing coins, coins inserted int he wrong orientation or multiple coins of the same design. This set has two 2019-P Lowell National Historical Park quarter dollars, but is missing the American Memorial Park quarter dollar from the Phiadelphia Mint.

Image courtesy of Thomas McEvoy.

U.S. Mint customers are beginning to report packaging problems with the Philadelphia Mint portion of the 2019 Uncirculated Mint set, including missing issues or multiple examples of the same coin.

The assembly of the sets is executed by robots.

Collector Ken Bengson reported to Coin World May 21 that he received the 2019 Uncirculated Mint set he ordered from the U.S. Mint, but it contained only 19 of the 20 coins intended.

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While the 10 coins from the Denver Mint showed no problems with, nor did the bonus Uncirculated 2019-W Lincoln cent packaged separately, in his set the slot intended to contain the 2019-P American Memorial park quarter dollar is empty.

While some packaging errors generate a premium, Bengson’s set likely will not, because it does not contain the full complement of coins intended for the set.

Another collector, Thomas McEvoy, reports a different packaging issue with the Philadelphia Mint segments of two of five 2019 Uncirculated Mint sets he received from the U.S. Mint May 31.

One of his two affected sets has a second 2019-P Lowell National Historical Park quarter dollar in the slot intended to hold a Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands quarter.

In the second affected set, also involving the Philadelphia Mint portion of the set, an additional 2019 Lincoln cent is included, making it a 21-coin set. However, instead of being dropped in the same slot as the other Lincoln cent, the extra cent is found, Shield reverse side up, resting on the George Washington obverse of the 2019-P San Antonio Missions National Historical Park quarter dollar.

McEvoy assumes the cent resting on the quarter dollar is a Philadelphia Mint strike, but that can’t be confirmed without opening the set, to extract the cent and examine the obverse of the coin.

This mispackaged set might generate a slight premium, based entirely on what someone is willing to pay for it.

Gene Dorn said in a May 23 email, “I just received my 2019 uncirculated mint set and the Philadelphia set has an extra dime on top of the penny sealed in the plastic. Have you heard of others or is this rather unusual?”

The packaging anomalies appear to result from problems in the robotic execution of picking up specific coins and orienting them in the proper slots in the packaging.

In the packaging station, trays of each of the coins to be contained in a set are positioned for retrieval by the robotic fingers. The robotic hand swivels and pivots with the finger or fingers using reverse suction to pick up individual coins and place them in their proper position in the plastic blister pack packaging before it is sealed. 

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