ATB Demand May Not Reach New Maximum Mintage
month I was surprised when a friend of mine told me he heard the mintages for
the 2016 5-oz. silver America the Beautiful coins had been increased, according
to someone who contacted the U.S. Mint about the issue. So I made an inquiry to the Mint.
3 I received this response from Michael White in the Mint’s Office of Public
Affairs: “The current authorized mintage limit for both numismatic and bullion
2015 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins for Shawnee National Forest
is 150,000 coins. An announced mintage limit of 30,000 coins has been set for
the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Shawnee National Forest Uncirculated
Coin. However, based on demand, the
United States Mint may mint and issue more than the minimum of 120,000 America
the Beautiful Five Ounce Shawnee National Forest Silver Bullion Coins so long
as the United States Mint does not exceed the 150,000 coin limit.”
to be some confusion within the numismatic media about this change since I have
seen reports stating that the mintage for these coins has been increased to
150,000 coins, which is not accurate. It
is only the authorized maximum mintage that has been increased to this amount,
which does not in itself mean that many coins will be produced.
point is that demand will determine how many coins are minted. Depending on the level of demand, we could
see mintages much lower than 150,000 for the two versions of each coin.
In fact, I
suspect that only one 2016 release in this program has a chance of reaching
this level of demand and that is the coin that will honor the Theodore
Roosevelt National Park, which will be released in October.
are concerned that minting so many coins will dilute the value of the 2016
issues, which will be true if so many coins are actually made.
this series began in 2010, only two coins, the 2011 Gettysburg and Glacier
National Park coins, sold enough to reach this level with sales of the bullion versions
were 126,700 plus 35,000 of the “P” version, or 161,700 total for those two
for example, no bullion coin in the series sold more than 45,000 coins and the “P”
versions have been averaging a bit under 20,000, so it is not clear why the
Mint decided to raise the max to more than twice the level of sales of any coin
is because they are eager to sell more silver coins given the months-long delay
in the release of the 2016 American Silver Eagle proof coin while the Mint
re-tools its dies to add the 30th anniversary edge inscriptions.
have reacted positively to the 2016 designs, and the series seems to have
picked up steam over the years. But with
silver prices rising and many other coins coming from the Mint this year that
collectors are saving for, I find it hard to believe there will be demand for
150,000 of any of the 2016 releases other than possibly the Roosevelt
Sales of the
first bullion issue of the year for Shawnee National Park have already reached
86,400 in a short period, though, so perhaps the Mint was right that there is
demand for a lot more of these.
And if I
prove to be wrong, and there is demand for 120,000 of the bullion coins this
year, that will of course make the previous issues, especially the lows from
2012, worth even more than they are now.