2012 American Silver Eagle San Francisco Set Sales at 85,341

by Mike Unser on June 8, 2012 · 12 comments

2012 American Silver Eagle San Francisco Two-Coin Proof Set

One-day unit sales of the 2012 American Silver Eagle San Francisco Set hit 85,341. That accumulates to a dollar total of $12,796,883 at the set’s $149.95 price.

Released on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at noon ET, the United States Mint reported the set’s debuting sales at around 2:30 PM ET on Friday, June 8, 2012. A slice of that time was filled with customers who were hard pressed to place orders due to busy customer service lines and a slow or inaccessible ordering site.

The last instance in which collectors had experienced such ordering difficulties was during the release of last year’s 25th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set. All 100,000 sold out in less than five hours. Given the similarities of release issues between both sets, it is actually a bit surprising that starting sales for this year’s issue did not come closer to the 100,000 mark.

Anyone with Internet access can monitor how the San Francisco Set sets are performing. A floating banner or sales odometer is located at the top of the set’s product page. The U.S. Mint indicates that it will update unit sales each weekday at around 3 PM ET.

The bureau provides qualifiers saying it is offering only an approximated total of unit orders "through all of its active sales channels" and that the data is for "informational purposes only and should not be construed to represent accepted orders or actual sales figures."

The banner also offers a countdown by displaying how many days are left to place an order.

Sales Odometer for the 2012 American Silver Eagle San Francisco Set

An image of the U.S. Mint sales odometer which currently appears at the top of the product page for the 2012 American Silver Eagle San Francisco Set

On that subject, there are no unit limits for the 2012 American Silver Eagle San Francisco Set but its last day of sale is July 5, 2012 at 5:00 PM ET. Demand will determine the final mintage amount. Beginning shipping dates have moved at least twice, with the latest one back to the original published date of July 27, 2012.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

jim June 9, 2012 at 10:28 am

I like the running total banner, even if it’s updated only once a day. Wish they used a similar banner or something else for all the coins and sets. Can’t wait until they switch over to their more modern website where I’m looking for an up to the second accounting of accepted orders and an unclogged website on opening day for a coin or set.

Charlie June 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I like the daily tally, the coin set, the packaging and even the price I dont think is out of line, but the time limit and the no limit quantity are the best part. The 20th year set took four days to sell out and everyone who wanted one had their chance. Even with the economy the way it is the mint had to know that the 25th anniversary set at 100K units was way to low. Collectors love the silver eagle. But if you look at the eagle program in 06 07 and 08 they made 1/10W burnished platinum eagles, look at the units sold of those, about 3500. These are super rare but no one said a word about those. Even the denominational buffalos didnt sell, look at those mintages. Those lasted long enough to get into the printed catalog. Set a price and a time limit, make em to order. Way to go USMINT, its fair for eveybody.

Ryan June 11, 2012 at 11:35 pm

I disagree, the time limit and no mintage limit have the potential to destroy this set. The US Mint has a recent history of catering to the squeaky wheel and as such has managed to COMPLETELY DESTROY their First Spouse line (in less than a year), the Platinum Eagle line (after 2 yrs) and the ATB 5 oz line. Now they teter on the edge of destroying this new annual set.
When products are “limited to the amount they can sell” they are NOT VALUABLE, because they are not scarce. People do not collect these coins because they look nice (it helps), they want to collect them for the value and pass them onto to their children and so forth.
They killed the all 3 of those above lines by destroying the 2ndary market (ebay mostly). If there is a 2ndary market for the product, then it’s value increases and subsequent yrs are sought after and sell-outs continue and the Mint rakes in the dough. When they quench the ebay market by lowering the household limit to 1 (First Spouse line – killed it by the 3rd coin), raising the subsequent yrs mintages (Plat eagle line killed by 3rd coin, ATB 5 oz killed by 4th coin when announcement came of increased mintage), or setting no mintage limit (2012 eagle set (can only be saved by having no one buy it, like 2008 buffaloes)), then they kill the demand for subsequent yrs and the Mint loses 100s of millions of dollars of profit. I have called them and written them about this and they don’t seem to be interested in making money….
Case in point: they could have sold 40,000 of EACH 1st Spouse coin, but after the 3rd one where they killed the ebay market due to hl of 1, they have struggled to crack quintuple digits in each subsequent release. Same with the ATB 5 oz and Plat Eagle, due to increased mintages (greed). It is always better to sell out annually and make a set amount rather than make more money for 1 yr and then make pauper sales for the next 10 yrs… We need more people calling the Mint with these demands for products that are LIMITED so that they are SOUGHT AFTER.

jim June 12, 2012 at 7:29 am

Ryan – Collectors collect, investors buy and sell. You’re confusing the two. I understand your concern as an investor, couldn’t care less as a collector. In fact having some of the rarest coins the mint has ever released is a real coup for a collector while having coins with little to no demand is death to an investor. Accept what you are and stop pretending to be what you aren’t.

The mint is catering to the collector by not limiting the mintages. When it limits the quantity it’s catering to dealers and the after market where real collectors are forced to go to build and complete their collections if they missed out in the limited sale.

Ed A June 12, 2012 at 10:43 am

Jim – Although I tend to agree mostly with your very well described separation between “collectors” and “investors”, I kind of agree with some of Ryan’s points, too. In my view, there is probably 20% “pure cpllectors” and 20% “pure investors” in coin collecting…and the great majority, like me, fall in the middle (60%). In my case, I have sold some of my vast coin collection items only once, and I made a nice profit, however even though I will never sell any again, I enjoy keeping up with how much my collection is worth. The U.S. Mint has to see “both sides of the coin” when they set the availability criteria for each item.

Mercury June 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Jim – How does $150 for $60 of silver translate to the mint catering to the collector? As I see it, at those premiums the mint is only catering to themselves and wealthier collectors like you who can afford to be frivolous with their money. The consensus should be that if the mint chooses to remove mintage limits and thus devalue the product, then the overall sale price should reflect that so that real collectors who are not “closet investor” can also afford to participate. The problem with this program here is that nobody is keeping it real; everyone is pretending that the 2012 eagle set is being released for to benefit of everyone else, when in reality it only benefits the Mint and you.

Mercury June 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Jim- P.S. From a pure collector’s standpoint I have to totally agree with Ryan.

jim June 13, 2012 at 7:43 am

OK, everybody likes a good deal; who knew that a gold or platinum eagle sold back in the 90’s would quadruple it’s metallic value today? I don’t deny collectors enjoy evaluating their collection or making that special purchase that turns out to be worth so much more later on, or getting hold of a coin that later on turns out to have added value based solely on its rarity. This is part of what makes collecting fun – and the pride if having a complete set, too.
A dealer might buy the S mint eagle for clients unable/unwilling to do it themselves or one or two for a walk-in customer. An investor would never buy silver priced at 150% over its current value unless he expected silver to go beyond $75/oz. So all that’s left is the collector – one who would buy a coin at a ridiculous price to complete or continue a set of silver eagles. Today the order total from the US Mint is 121,000+ and 22 days to go. My prediction was 150,000 or fewer sales which makes these coins one of the rarer silver eagles sold by the mint. And I agree, the mint is gouging the collector, but in the end it is the collector is who is buying the coins and only the collector who would want these coins.

Lopital June 13, 2012 at 7:49 am

I really see this set as the mint trying to satisfy “costumers” (collectors and investors alike) who were not able to get last year’s set. And try to do it in a “fair” way… You have a whole month to buy them…

I also argue that this set per coin is about the same, as the 2011 anniversary set “special” coins. Today you can get a bullion eagle for about $34.99, a proof from the mint at $59.99, and an uncirculated eagle for $45.95. That means that the “special” coins were for about $159.02 combined (price tag was $299.95), not too different than the $149.95 they are asking now; actually a bit cheaper.

Don’t get me wrong, I think this prices are absurd! But people that did not complained last year, should not complain now. People that wanted last years set and were not able to get it, can get it now.

I think reverse proofs are “special” and would hate to see them becoming a yearly set… If they want to make a yearly thing, maybe just an uncirculated and proof with “S” mark, but not reverse…

jim June 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I would hate to see the reverse proof become an annual coin too. First it was valued for it’s uniqueness and rarity and now that’s pretty much gone. Second, I don’t think the reverse proof is anywhere near as stunning as the frosted proof is and doesn’t show the detail in it’s mirror finished elements as well as the frosted proof does. It’s an offshoot from the frosted eagle line and if they try to sell it separately I think it’ll die out soon enough on it’s own.
What I’d like to see is an inverse image proof coin (looks like a coin die where the cameo dips down below the plane of the surface rather than rising above the surface as all coins do now). Don’t think that’s ever been done before – even by the Canadian Mint which seems to be pushing the envelope of coin innovation these days. It’s another unique coin like the reverse proof with a short life time unless they fill the recesses with gold… that’ll be a spectacular coin.

rpw June 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm


I’ve said this before on a few sites and believe it most certainly applies to your assessment of Ryan’s comments.

As a relatively new coin “investor/collector” (in that order), I don’t (personally) know of any collector that is not concerned with the value of his collection. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist. However, in my opinion – That in itself makes him an investor. Maybe the original intent is for the love of the item collected. But EVERY collector I know – is concerned about the VALUE of the collection. Initially – yes, people may begin to collect things for the sheer enjoyment. That sheer enjoyment almost always, inevitably turn to “value of the collection”. That value is largely determined by rarity of all or part of the collection. Rarity = value. Mintage to demand ≠ rarity ≠ value.

Like anything – I’m sure there are a few people who could care less about the value of their collection (of seashells, rocks, etc.) but I’m confident no coin collector with any brains in their head – could care less about the value of their coins.
Just my opinion but I’m sure many agree.

Mercury June 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm

rpw – You make an excellent point. Thanks for the added insight.

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