The 2011 Silver Proof Set started out of the sales gate slower than in past years, continuing a weakened trend of demand for United States Mint annual products.
Collectors ordered 209,367 sets — a solid number nevertheless, between their release on Tuesday, January 25, through to Sunday, January 30.
At a price tag of $67.95, which was $11 more than the previous year’s issue and certainly helped in cutting into demand, the US Mint took in more than $14.2 million dollars in revenue for the sets during the six-day period. In contrast, last year’s issue had opening four-day sales of 241,656 which accounted for $13.7 million in revenue.
While the US Mint is pulling in more money with fewer sets sold, it is also paying substantially more to produce the 2011 Silver Proof Set as compared to other years. It is actually netting much less despite the set’s price increase. That is because the Mint is paying much more to acquire silver for coin production. Each set includes 1.34 troy ounces of the precious metal, giving them a melt value of $37.90 at today’s London Fix silver price of $28.32 an ounce. Exactly one year ago the London Fix for the metal was $16.23 an ounce, which translates to a silver melt value of $21.72 per set.
Annual proof sets are always popular with coin collectors, as the following table of past sales shows:
2008-2011 US Mint Silver Proof Set Debuting Sales
|Year||Price||# of Coins||Issue Date||1st Sales Date||1st Reported Sales||Last Reported Sales|
|2011 Set||$67.95||14||Jan. 25, 2011||Jan. 30, 2011||209,367||209,367*|
|2010 Set||$56.95||14||Aug. 26, 2010||Aug. 29, 2010||241,656||529,093*|
|2009 Set||$52.95||18||July 17, 2009||July 19, 2010||271,372||694,406|
|2008 Set||$44.95||14||Aug. 26, 2008||Aug. 31, 2010||292,004||774,874|
*US Mint sales figures as of Sunday, January 30.
The 14-coin Silver Proof Set is not completely unique in terms of coins. The five America the Beautiful Quarters®, the five dollars, the nickel and the penny can be acquired through other US Mint 2011-dated products. However, the set is the only way to get the 2011-S Roosevelt Dime and the 2011-S Kennedy Half Dollar in silver. These two coins, like the quarters, are struck from 90 percent of the precious metal.
The current and 2010-dated sets may be purchased online at the Mint’s website (http://www.usmint.gov/), or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
The US Mint 2011 product schedule shows the next silver issue will be the America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set. It is scheduled to launch on March 29 for $39.95.