UHR’s Shipping, Give the United States Mint Credit!

by Mike Unser on March 4, 2009 · 2 comments

009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold CoinHow many of you are upset with the United States Mint over your Ultra High Relief (UHR) Gold coin order?

I’ve been there too. I’ve felt frustration in receiving backorder e-mail notices. My worst moment was hearing from another collector who received her UHR even though she ordered it behind mine — my order was placed within the first 55 minutes.

But consider… Unless you’re an avid numismatic forum or blog reader, your experience in ordering the coin has probably been limited to 2-3 Mint emails, with the most recent explaining part of the UHR shipping delay. Has that experience been absolutely egregious as some of the online chatter would suggest?

Now take me, who can at least infer what’s happening behind the scenes at the Mint. Should I get overly upset at apparent contractor and marketing mix-ups that appear to have affected only a small percentage of orders, including my own?

Should the Mint spend more time than it has in explaining what happened? Would they even get credit or understanding if they "came clean" or placed blame on the person or person’s responsible? Or, would they simply be the recipient of more stories with headlines like: "The Mint Admits Screw Ups!"

Well… here’s my take… I ordered my coin. I KNEW it could be months before it shipped — that message was clear in the big bolded fonts before I entered my credit card information. My credit card HAS NOT been charged. And I’m still waiting. So what.

Poor me. Poor, poor me. Should I cancel my order? Not a chance. I’m not stupid! I’ve been in Middle East deserts and I’ve seen real suffering around the world. This is comparative SMALL beans!

Yes, I’m impatiently anxious about putting that golden UHR in the palm of my hand. I can get like an excited child when thinking about it. So when I feel frustrations bubble up, I simply tell myself to "get real." I mean really cry-baby Mike, GET REAL!

In 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or how many years later… when I pull out my UHR will I even remember it took 3, 4, 6, or however many months to get it? No. I expect few will who are lucky enough to hold such a beautiful coin in their hand.

The Mint appears to be in a no win situation these days. It has created one of the most significant coins in recent history. And instead of giving the Mint and its leadership credit for where credit is due, too much online focus has been spent, in my opinion, on snapshot events and circumstances that have not been fully under their control and, I believe, they will nevertheless strive to make better.

I don’t need to have a little faith in the United States Mint. When it comes to the UHR, I know they will deliver. They already have.

Mike Unser is the owner and editor of CoinNews.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John_in_VA March 5, 2009 at 7:50 pm

I completely agree. The Mint’s updates on UHR order status have been timely, as far as I’ve seen. And the technical challenges undertaken to produce this coin cannot be sold short. If anything, as you point out, the very delays that cause concern now will later be a source of satisfaction for those who did order the coin and thus will be among the few “lucky enough to hold such a beautiful coin in their hand.” Most signs still indicate a significant increase in gold prices this year. That, together with the beauty and expected scarcity of the UHR, more than validates the decision to invest in one. Kudos to the Mint for updating and reissuing one of American’s loveliest coins.

Bob March 6, 2009 at 9:32 am

I received one UHR on March 5th. The coin is the same size as a 1/2 ounce Gold Buffalo and twice as thick but the box is four times larger. Everything is beautiful and my only desire would be for a larger version of this coin.

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