Several coin news statements have been published by the United States Mint during the last two weeks announcing product additions or launches, including the 2011 Proof Platinum Eagle, Ulysses S. Grant Presidential $1 Coins, and San Francisco minted American Silver Eagle bullion coins.
The US Mint also sent out a memo to its Authorized Purchasers (APs) about the availability of the Olympic America the Beautiful (ATB) 5-Ounce Silver Bullion Coins.
A brief recap of the United States Mint news announcements (http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/) and coin releases follows:
2011 Proof Platinum Eagle
On Thursday, May 26, the United States Mint released the 2011 Proof Platinum Eagle for an opening price of $2,092. (The Mint may change the price weekly if platinum prices move up or down significantly.) The price is the highest ever for the eagle which was first introduced in 1997. The coin sold out in the previous two years with mintages of 8,000 in 2009 and 10,000 in 2010. This year the US Mint raised the authorized proof Platinum Eagle mintage to 15,000.
The first batch of US Mint sales figures for the coin should be available in late May or very early June. The numbers will be interesting when measured against the past two issues to see if the higher price affected sales. The previous two proof Platinum Eagle sellouts occurred in about a week after they were released.
American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins from San Francisco
Also on Thursday, May 26, the Mint announced that it would begin fulfilling orders of the bullion American Silver Eagles with coins produced in San Francisco, in addition to West Point where they had only been produced for many years.
The Mint added San Francisco Silver Eagles to help increase production as there has been unprecedented demand for the .999 fine silver investment-grade coins in the last couple of years. One downside in this move is that bullion coins carry no mintmark, which means buyers can not look at bullion 2011 Silver Eagles and distinguish whether they were produced at San Francisco or West Point.
Olympic ATB 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coin
On Monday, May 23, the United States Mint began selling the Olympic ATB 5-Ounce Silver Bullion Coins to its network of Authorized Purchasers. The 5-ounce coin marked the eight issue in the series. With an expected limit of 126,700, APs ordered almost half (60,700) on the first day. The premiums the United States Mint charges for the 5-ounce coin remained the same as previous issues, and was described in a memo the Mint sent out to its APs:
The premium remains unchanged from 2010, set at $9.75 per coin. When placing your orders, please be sure to properly identify the product you are ordering, i.e. 5 OZ ATB Olympic Coins, and please state the ounces and pieces that you are ordering. The minimum order quantity for the 5 ounce silver bullion coins is 10,000 ounces/2000 coins, with 500 oz/100 coin increments.
Each AP had until Friday to place their final orders. APs who did not order their entire allotment of coins will see remaining quantities sold to those who want them.
Ulysses S. Grant Presidential $1 Coin
On Thursday, May 19, the US Mint began selling rolls of the newly issued Ulysses S. Grant Presidential dollars. The coin is the second of four 2011 Presidential dollars, having followed the Andrew Johnson on February 23 and preceding the upcoming launches of Rutherford B. Hayes $1s in August and James A. Garfield $1s in November.
The Ulysses S. Grant Presidential $1 Coin rolls are priced at $39.95 each, with buyers having the option to purchase those minted in either Philadelphia or Denver — the two United States Mint facilities responsible for producing American coins for circulation.