US Mint Reviews American Silver Eagle 25th Anniversary Set Rollout

by CoinNews.net on November 3, 2011 · 29 comments

American Silver Eagle 25th Anniversary Set

American Silver Eagle 25th Anniversary Set

In an e-mail message to its customers Thursday, the United States Mint acknowledged the difficulties buyers experienced in ordering or attempting to order an American Silver Eagle 25th Anniversary Set.

The sets went on sale Thursday, October 27, and all 100,000 sold out within about 4 and 1/2 hours. The quick sellout would be less of an issue if every customer who wanted one was able to place an order.

However, as has happened in the past when tens of thousands of customers are attempting to purchase an extremely popular United States Mint product all at the same time, mayhem ensued. For many, the Mint’s online site was inaccessible and its phone ordering lines busy — after multiple, multiple attempts. Even for those who were able to eventually get in to place an order, it was common to hear that it took much of the afternoon.

The following is the message sent by the Mint in regards to the American Silver Eagle 25th Anniversary Set:

Dear United States Mint Customer:

We are fully aware of the difficulties many customers encountered last week with the release of the American Eagle 25th Anniversary Set. We would like you to know that we have undertaken an aggressive review of how we brought the product to market so we can better serve all of our customers in the future. Dick Peterson, the Deputy Director of the United States Mint, has also directed that the bureau review all future product offerings to ensure that we apply to them the lessons we learned from the marketing of the American Eagle 25th Anniversary Set.

One of the principal sources of frustration was our web and phone order-taking system. As many of you know, we are in the process of updating our order management system. Our current system is very outdated and we recognize that it does not serve our customers well. Accordingly, we recently selected a contractor that will develop and implement our new system — one that will be modern and comparable to other top-rated retail Web sites. Unfortunately, this transition will take some time; we are anticipating that the new system will be in place by fall 2012.

Our aim is to work earnestly to ensure that the inconvenience and frustration that our regular customers may have encountered last week is mitigated in 2012 as we re-examine our product launch strategies and systems. We value our relationship with you and are committed to serving you professionally and responsively. You deserve no less!

The American Silver Eagle was first issued by the United States Mint in investment-grade bullion and in collector proof versions back in 1986. The Silver Eagle 25th Anniversary Set includes:

  • One 2011 Bullion American Silver Eagle (released individually on January 3)
  • One 2011-W Proof American Silver Eagle (released individually on June 30)
  • One 2011-W Uncirculated American Silver Eagle (released individually on September 15)
  • One 2011-S Uncirculated American Silver Eagle (not sold separately, and not an annually released product)
  • One 2011-P Reverse Proof American Silver Eagle (not sold separately, and not an annually released product)

The United States Mint priced the sets at $299.95, and had a per household order limit of five in place.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Stuart November 4, 2011 at 2:05 am

What’s absolutely ridiculous about this and why it rings hollow to many of us is that these problems in the Mint’s ordering system have persisted for well over 5 years. The same problem was experienced with 2007 first spouse coins, 2009 Lincoln sets, 2006 20th anniversary ASEs, etc. Amazon has had a perfectly useful ordering system for over a decade. To say now (or a few months ago, actually) that they recognize this problem and will have a supposed solution in place in a year is just … ridiculous.

synoptic12 November 4, 2011 at 6:33 am

Thank you very much for informing us as to the issues incurred, during the release of the American Eagle 25th Anniversary Set. We certainly believe that the United States Mint continues to move in a forward direction, constantly re-assessing quality control, and implementing new formats, in which to streamline the overall elememts of such, to establish a better structure. Irrespective of this, we wish to thank the United States Mint for the very professional, and most courteous customer service department, which we believe is the foundation of all successful corporations. These qualities are very fine traits, as to enhance the character of the United States Mint, which is truly deserving of such reward. Again, thank you very much, for your time, and consideration in this matter.

jim November 4, 2011 at 10:19 am

This was going to be a problem and the mint knew long beforehand. I was surprised that they set the order limit at 5 per household rather than 2 or 3 which exacerbated the problem even more. Maybe they don’t know that such numbers exist between 1 per household and 5 per household. If this hasn’t been one of their requirements for the new software then it should be, along with a real-time display of the number of sets remaining to be sold. But then how many collectors need more than one or two of any coin or set? This sale was obviously aimed at pleasing dealers and not collectors.

Gilbert Gray November 4, 2011 at 11:05 am

Hello all the thousands of frustrated collectors , who like I feel like they have beeb duped again, I personally am a laryngectomee, I cannot speak or use a reguar phone due to me losing my tongue and larynx to agent orange in Vietnam, I tried the TTY for 6 hours , and my only way of communication is through the internet, based on everything I have read and listened to the mint and their were two congressman who actually had the best idea, its not the best idea but its the fair American way, since this was actually suppose to be a collectors item, and I dont believe any of of these sets have actually been shipped as of yet from what I have read. I would think that someone should just use some plain old common sense and immediately once they have verified the persons eligibiity, only allow one set to each customer and eligible address, this to me truly is the only fair way to solve the problem and truly be the fairest solution at this point. See this can still be rectified where it would at least satisfy 99 percent of the collectors, by the way this comment was in the Washington Post for one of our Supreme court justices, show the country you made a mistake but are gone to try and correct it to the fairest possible solution. I thank you for your time and consideration. Lets get it right before its really messed up.

tim November 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm

“implement a new system in 2012” good ,now we can all get our 30th anniv set(s) in 5 years. fingers crossed.

Joe November 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm

The mint told us back in August this was going to happen. They also said 5 per house hold it was no secrect. Everyone had a chance to complain back then let it be. There are people who going to give to kids and grandkids. Gilbert I hope you get 1 at cost Good Luck.

Chris November 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I have been buying coins from the mint since 1984. That apparently is about to come to an end. After paying for the glacier 5 ounce coin and then having the mint reduce the price by $50 after receiving it and now this crap of not being able to get through to order one set while others ordered 5, I have had it. Not only will I never consider buying this set in the secondary market, but I am strongly considering selling my entire collection and getting out of coin collecting altogether, all thanks to the inept folks at the U.S. Mint.

Bry November 4, 2011 at 11:11 pm

I have also been buying coins from the mint since 1984 And have all the silver
Eagles ecept for the 1995-W, And now the 2011 25th anniversary set, Vary FRUSTRATED! I buy a lot of coin sets from the US Mint and use the my subscription part of US Mint web site
Chris – I’m also considering selling my entire collection and getting out of coin collecting. I have a day time job & by the time I got off the 25th ann. sets were long gone. Never even had a chance to order the set.
FRUSTRATED IN MICH.

James November 4, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I agree with Joe. People would have just had 5 friends to order sets for them. I think the solution would be to simply release 100,000 more sets, but you are still going to have unhappy people, because they would still be sold out within a day……..
Can’t please every one…..

figurehead November 5, 2011 at 9:14 am

Wow Chris that is news to me. I know they raised and lowered gold coins according to spot , but not silver !?! The annual sets seem to remain the same price they were earlier in the year. I will keep my eye open for this..

New Collector November 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Simple Solution: Produce more sets.

The mint has been pulling this stupid business for far too long, oversupplying low demand coins, and underproducing sets that are obviously in high demand.

Here’s a very simple solution, MAKE ENOUGH COINS, and give people the full year to buy them, any surplus coins can be melted.

This nonsense has got to stop.

J pay November 6, 2011 at 6:58 am

there has been a major jump in collectors and the mint should have known this as if they had looked at bullion sells the past 2-3 years could have told them this thats what is simple . making more coins would only devalue them in this case should have only been 2 set limit

John November 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I believe that if the mint immediately began to ship the 25th anniversary silver sets now, while they still have them and ship one or two two sets per household. That would satisfy alot of mint customers, who at this point are unable to receive a set. Just a thought,
Take care & Good Luck To Every One.

Arthur VanDine November 7, 2011 at 10:47 pm

I for one am getting sick of getting riped off by the mint by leting the dealers get all the best deals and socking it to us. Its time ot get into somthing other thin coins. we have over 1,ooo,oo,ooo coin colecters so start puting out 1,000.000.00 sets.

Ompa Loompa November 8, 2011 at 7:19 am

Einstein…

KJC November 8, 2011 at 9:40 am

I am so tired of hearing the complaints about “dealers”. In this day and age with the internet everyone is a potential “dealer”. Collectors sell their coins on the internet to maximize potential profit, I applaud this. I own a coin shop and still believe our system is the best in the world—its called capitalism. Don’t like it here, don’t like the system? Move to North Korea and park it there! Stop the whining & complaining….jeeez!

RossCoins4less November 8, 2011 at 5:38 pm

The us mint just confirm my order as ” In stock and reserved” !

Bob Anderson November 9, 2011 at 1:12 am

I have only been purchasing Mint coins for 10 years now. And this was a total blunder on their part. I spent hours trying to get through for one set to keep, while all of the investors were grabbing up 5 per household for every member of their staff. The E-Bay offers show what has happened and how the U.S. Mint once again screws the small coin collector. This said I will likely say good bye to their 5 ounce silver coins program and hope it goes the way of their other obscure products.

Simon Behar November 9, 2011 at 11:33 pm

What a FIASCO!!!!
I, like most of you, have been collecting coins for years and have been purchasing coins from the mint for decades. I receive product notifications regularly and check the scheduled product listing often to make sure I don’t miss a coin. The printout is by my desk and highlighted. Where was the 25th anniversary set, did anyone get an email? a mailing (like with all the other products). NADA! I called them and they didn’t even send an email. Is there another website/source that I should be following to see what the mint is going to surprise us with. Shouldn’t loyal subscribers have some priority? For those of you who did not get a set, look at the outragious aftermarket prices on ebay…..you should be pissed just like me!!!!!
Disappointed 20+ yr Mint subscriber.

David November 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm

I think it was all planed out by the us mint and other well know dealers as a get rich quick scheme The FBI should be investigating this matter NOT THE MINT NO ONE SHOULD GET THEM!!! Its no fair all pepole on this planet should be trated the same rich or poor I WILL NOT BUY FROM THE MINT ANYMORE ITS A WAST OF TIME AND MONEY NOTHING IS OF ANY REAL VALUE

Rick November 10, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Here’s what should happen. The Mint should immediately seek permission from the Treasury Secretary to authorize the minting of an additional 100,000 sets and like what Jim said above ( November 4, 2011 at 10:19 am) lower the limit.
I would have been happy with three as that is what I had ordered (of which has now been canceled). I wanted one for my wifeand I, and one for my daughter and son.
This purely is a disgrace and it just shows what the gvmt can get away with. Subpar service and zero repurcussions. The same thing happened with USAJobs. VP Biden launches a federal jobsite, the gvmt contracted with Monsterjobs and everything was fine. Then the gvmt contractor finished USAJobs website and it’s been a total disaster. Maybe the mint needs to stick to stamping metal and outsource their IT department to a private, competent company where someone is held accountable.

Jim B November 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm

The mint blow it in a big way on this issue. I will no longer be buying modern stuff from from the mint. I have some completed sets of silver quaters, half dollars and silver dollars. I will take the cash I use to spend on the mints stuff to upgrade these sets.

Jim November 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I dont blame dealers or even the flippers on this issue. I worked part time for a coin dealer and its there job to buy and sell coins ect. Its the mint that is at fault here. They knew this would be a very hot item and should have set a 1 set per house hold limit. They still would have sold out and made there 30 mil. on 500,000 oz’s of silver. Not counting S/H. And we would not have any thing to be upset about other then the poor ordering system. I have been buying the mints stuff for a while now. I only buy stuff that has had some melt
value to it. I dont have the money to give on there junk stuff.

john November 12, 2011 at 10:47 am

YO WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE 100 SETS FOR SALE. YOUR 5 SET LIMIT IS A JOKE. 100,000 LIMIT WELL OK EXAMPLE OF SITES WITH SO MANY SET HSN, MODERN COINS IN MODERN COINS IN FLORIDA. YES THEY GIVE PEOPLE A PREPAID VISA AND PAY THEM TO BUY THE COMMON COLLECT GETS THE SHAFT. OK NOT YOUR PROBLEM. U S MINTYOU ARE SMARTER THEN THAT. YOU DEPEND ON THE CUSTOMER COME ON SERVE US.

Jason Fitzpatrick November 14, 2011 at 9:29 am

Here is an idea. Amazon has an amazing platform and internet backbone in place. Why not just use the Amazon plaform to sell US Mint products.

Instead of spending (read, wasting) $50M of taxpayer money on a new system, the cost would be a few hundred thousand dollars. Hell, Amazon may set them up for free just to get the business. Give Amazon a flat fee to operate the site and direct orders to the US Mint for fulfillment.

Rick November 15, 2011 at 10:49 pm

@Jason, pretty much what I said above, and you are spot on. This whole thing was a total disgrace. This is EXACTLY why this country is in the state it is in today. It’s operations are totally disfunctional. This also is a prime example of lack of accountability for one, as in, who’s accountable? The only people getting the shaft here are the true collectors, not the turn around/flippers or the Mint.
I actually just started collecting eagles a year or so ago and was pleasantly surprised to “fall onto” the 25th ann. set being offered. I work nights, woke up on three hours sleep to place my order. Website crashed, phone system locked up. I went back to sleep, woke up three hours later, same deal. I eventually placed my order, they were happy to charge my card and put me on the list, only to hear rumblingsd a few weeks later that some orders may be cancelled as mine eventually was. Pi**ed off does not come close to my feelings when I got the official letter basically saying “screw you.” I then read that this is COMMON for the mints website on limited edition issues. WTF???? When this happened to Ticketmaster, people were fired and the system was upgraded to state of the art. As far as I’m concerned, the finance committee should hold a hearing on this. It’s one thing for the Mint to say “we value you as customers and do our best to offer top notch customer service, it’s another thing entirely to do exactly that.
Yes, I’m still beyond pi**ed.

Bill November 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I have been collecting coins from the US mint for over 25 Years. The US mint has a history of not getting it right when it comes to limited mintages. The US Mint gets the dealers and speculators all hyped up and they make 31 Million dollars in 4 hours. Then the dealers and the speculators clean up and make a big profit too. The little collector is out and the US Mint does not care. We saw it with the ATB 5oz bullion coin; only 33,000 minted for a bullion product, which were only sold to the big guys. Now this 100,000 five sets. I may wait 3 years to buy one at a reasonable price or I might just forget silver Eagles and buy Pandas. In my opinion the Pandas are a better coin and also change each year. I did cancel my subscription to the US Mint for Silver Eagles. We need new people at the US Mint who like collectors. I think the mint angered lots of collectors with the opening of the 5oz bullion and it is not selling. The price will come down on the 100,000 and people will wish they did not spend $700 to $1500 dollars on a $600 set. How many collectors now are done with the eagle?

jeff November 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Not happy? Simply don’t buy them.But there is a thing that applys to all commodities,supply and demand.

Rick November 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Bill, thanks for your comments. I really respect someones comments that has 25 years of history behind them. And yes, I’m the little collector you described. Like I said above (Nov 10 comment), I would have liked three. One for each of my kids and one for my wife and I. Now I watch ebay and really see the shysters come out. $750+ for one set. $3500 for 5 sealed sets so one can then send them to NGC or PCGS and take their time on a turnaround, pay ~$100 for the five to get graded, then relist them on ebay for $1500+ PER SET. Like jeff said, don’t want one? Don’t buy one. I totally agree. If people pay $25k for a set, that’s their business. But like I said, this whole thing was a fiasco. The limit should’ve been 2-3 sets per address and credit card number AND the website should have worked correctly. And also like I said above, the Mint has “contracted” to have a state of the art website installed and completed by the end of 2012??? This entity just made ~$31 million. And it’s going to take a year to do this? And the contract was wrote in what, less than ten days after this BS went down. Like I said. This whole thing is a joke and someone should have their office packed up and be made history after the Senate/House finance committees hold a joint hearing into this joke. But I guess that section of the gvmt is too busy pointing fingers and blaming each party for the national debt among other things.

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