Catching most collectors off-guard, the United States Mint on Tuesday indicated that the 2011 Proof American Silver Eagle is no longer available. Visitors to the proof Silver Eagle page on the Mint’s website are greeted with a red "Sold Out" announcement informing them of its new status.
According to a United States Mint report with updated sales as of Monday, 850,000 have been sold individually. (The report also shows the coins as no longer available.) Another 100,000 were struck and sold as part of the American Silver Eagle 25th Anniversary Set which was released last month and quickly sold out.
The 2011 Proof American Silver Eagle was first released on June 30, 2011 with a household order limit in place of 100 and a price point of $59.95 per coin. That limit was removed two weeks later and fluctuating precious metal markets forced price changes to the Eagle twice during their availability. (They sold out at their latest price of $58.95.)
While the sell out announcement came with little to no warning, those who paid attention to past mintages may have had an idea of the impending possibility. As shown in the chart below, proof American Silver Eagle mintages for the last several years have hovered in the same general range.
|Year||Individual Proof America Silver Eagle Mintage|
*Estimated figure based on United States Mint weekly sales information as of November 21, 2011. Does not include the 100,000 sold within the American Silver Eagle 25th Anniversary Set.
As indicated by the chart above, typical Silver Eagle mintages have been in the 800,000 plus range since 2005. The only notable exceptions occurred in 2008 and 2009. Those familiar with the strikes will recall that the United States Mint abruptly stopped selling the Eagles in 2008 as all available blank planchets were diverted to bullion coin production. That same record demand for the bullion Eagles continued in 2009, leading the Mint to cancel their production altogether that year.
Even last year’s release, assumed to be hot owing to the aforementioned cancellation the previous year, "only" saw an estimated 860,000 struck. That places this year’s estimated mintage of 850,000 individual proofs right in the ballpark.
Eagle enthusiasts do have some cause to be upset by the sell-out announcement, however. The coin is a hot item during the holidays as many look to the strikes as ideal gifts. Even the United States Mint acknowledged as much when it included them in the 2011 Holiday Catalog which many collectors only just received.
Now, collectors who want more proof Silver Eagles have no choice but to turn to the secondary market.
I’M MORE MAD ABOUT THE SELL OUT OF THE 25th SET THAN JUST THE NORMAL PROOF. I GOT ONLINE THAT MORNING RIGHT WHEN IT OPENED AND COULD GET TO LOG IN. I TRIED FROM THE TIME THEY OPENED FOR A HOUR STRAIGHT AND WITH THE PHONE FOR ABOUT 6 HOURS AND COULDN’T GET A SET IF MY LIFE WAS ON THE LINE! THEY SHOULD HAVE HAD A ONE SET LIMIT!!! IT WAS A FARCE!!!! PEACE, ROBERT LOKEY
You are right Robert, the sale was a farce. Hold on though, the aftermarket mania for these sets is cooling off a bit now. Won’t be long before you could get a set for 2x Mint selling price but I expect by next summer they’ll be $450 to $500 items. (As long as you don’t go for the insanely priced slabbed stuff!)
Robert, Gary, I’ve only been following coins for about 5 years, so others know a lot more than I do. But I have been getting coins graded for about 4 years and have paid close attention to online auctions. It seems that with graded coins for sale online there is a pattern of prices, often in 4 stages. 1) presales tend to be high. On occasion, a buyer may pick up a bargain if a seller fails to price his coins appropriately. 2) the first graded coins “in-hand, ready to ship” hitting the market within 1-3 weeks also command a… Read more »
Good points DR! Quick checked 2009 gold buffalo BuyItNow pricing for PR70… they can be had for $2,200 and free shipping so that would lead me to believe they could be bought at auction for perhaps $2,000 to $2,100. For all practical reasons, it has been the rise in bullion that is the underlying basis for the rise in value. The slab grading is a losing proposition for the average collector. For all the time & expense, the coins can come back encased in 69 grade holders (meaning clunker!) and the First Strike, Early Release labels are a fiasco… there… Read more »
FYI, I just logged on to NGC and saw the grading results for the 5 anniversary sets I sent in: Out of 5 sets, only 1 has perfect coins from each of the 5 categories. That’s a keeper. Results: a) Bullion coin 4 MS69; 1 MS70 b) W Burnished coin 1 MS69; 4 MS70 c) Proof coin 3 PF69; 2 PF70 d) S coin 1 MS69; 4 MS70 e) Reverse Proof coin 3 PF69; 2 PF70 If it weren’t for the bullion coin’s ‘poor’ results, I would’ve had 2 perfect sets instead of 1. Oh well…. I read that there… Read more »