The first five-ounce 2011 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin is on the horizon, according to new release details from the United States Mint.
The US Mint also indicated that the stipulations for their distribution will be substantially different than last year. Specially imposed resell terms and conditions that were put in place for the 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins will be lifted, owing to the fact that mintage quantities will be "substantially higher" for the 2011 coins.
The US Mint on Thursday offered the highly anticipated information in a short memo sent to its network of Authorized Purchasers (AP’s), which also gave a release date of late April for the 2011 Gettysburg National Military Park Silver Bullion Coin.
The news of this release, while of interest to many, is especially important to the AP’s. They are responsible for distributing all United States Mint bullion products, including the American Eagle, American Buffalo Gold and the new five-ounce silver strikes. The network purchases the bullion coins from the Mint for a slight premium above the cost of the metals contained within them, then resells them to secondary retailers in smaller lots. The process has helped keep the price of bullion coins low as they make their way into the secondary market.
In clearing the way to resell the 2011 five ounce strikes, each AP must first state that it has sold all its 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins and in compliance with the terms and conditions set forth by the Mint.
Many will recall that last year’s bullion coins were re-launched following a short delay when the Mint investigated reports of excessive pre-order premiums that some described as "price gouging." After the Mint added several new restrictions for their resell, the complete line-up of all five 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins was offered to Authorized Purchasers on December 10, 2010.
One requirement placed on AP’s was that they had to offer their America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin inventory directly to the public, with a maximum of one set per household. Most AP’s did not have systems in place for retail operations, as their business model focused on selling directly to other companies. The limited numbers of coins minted (33,000 for each of the five designs) and the delay in setting up retail driven processes resulted in significant delays in getting the five-ounce bullion coins sold, causing even higher secondary market premiums.
When an AP has certified that it has been in compliance and it has sold all of its 2010 coins, the US Mint will allow it to participate in reselling the 2011 series under the standard Authorized Purchaser Agreement used for American Silver Eagles.
In addition to the first Gettysburg Coin, the four other five-ounce 2011 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin issues include the:
- Glacier National Park Silver Bullion Coin,
- Olympic National Park Silver Bullion Coin,
- Vicksburg National Military Park Silver Bullion Coin and
- Chickasaw National Recreation Area Silver Bullion Coin
Check out the series program information for later year issues.
The Mint will also release the 2010 and 2011 America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coins which will serve as collector grade versions. Release details and dates for those are still "To Be Determined."