Demand Stymies Early 2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set Orders

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Collectors were challenged Thursday in early attempts to place orders for the highly anticipated 2013 American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set.

Sales Update: In the final hours of availability, orders for the set jumped 29,615 to end at 281,310. This article will be updated with a final sales total reflecting returns and cancellations. However, the U.S. Mint is not expected to report that figure until October since it states some of the sets will not ship until September.

2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set
The reverse proof (left) and enhanced uncirculated coins in the 2013 American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set

Complimenting the set’s creation but also antagonizing some buyers wanting it, massive ordering slowed and stymied visitors to the U.S. Mint’s online catalog with the website eventually throwing out a familiar message to some:

The United States Mint is experiencing technical difficulties. During this time period, you will not be able to use the website. To place an order, please call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). We apologize for the inconvenience.

Using the phone offered few comforts with many collectors pressing through the automated messaging menu only to hear a busy signal. By late afternoon, the U.S. Mint warned customers on an online banner for the West Point set that the:

"Catalog Web site (is) slow due to demand. Please return later to access — thank you!"

Collectors’ excitement to buy early was not out of sellout worries. The 2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set has no mintage limits or household order limits. They will be minted to meet demand. The single restriction is a four-week ordering window from today May 9, 2013 through to June 6, 2013, at 5 p.m. (ET). The U.S. Mint reiterated these points in a later statement Thursday, saying in part:

"Our online catalog has not stopped working. However, because of the large number of customers attempting to place orders for the American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set, you may experience delays. This product will be on sale through and there is no mintage limit, so try later when the site is not experiencing so much traffic. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience."

Early buyers do hope, however, to get their set(s) quicker and some will send their new coins off to a grading service to get "First Strike" or "Early Releases" designations. Like it or not, coins graded with such designations tend to sell for more.

Case for 2013 West Point American Silver Eagle Set
Case for 2013 West Point American Silver Eagle Set

And when there is money on the line, frustration builds easier. Some red-faced comments have appeared on collecting forums with collectors deriding the U.S. Mint for not upgrading a system the Mint has already admitted needs updating. But the price tag to do so is hardly trivial, and it could be argued that its wasteful to spend money to resolve an issue that crops up briefly once a year or so — especially when prospective buyers have at least a month to place orders for highly sought after products.

Number of Early Sales for 2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set

CoinNews.net placed several orders for the West Point set to gauge opening demand. The earliest went through at 12:04 p.m. ET and was tagged with an order number in the 41478XXX range.

Like others reported, we did experience down time where it was impossible to reach the Mint’s online catalog. By 4:00 p.m., sluggishness was greatly reduced for us. We had another order go through at 4:11 p.m. ET with a number in the 41500XXX range.

By early evening, everything was smooth sailing. Our final online order went through immediately at 7:01 p.m. ET with a number in the 41508XXX range.

In short, the U.S. Mint received more than 22,000 orders in about four hours even as downtime limited collectors’ access. Another 8,000+ were added in the next three hours. While some of those orders were certainly for different products, many collectors also had more than one 2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set in an order. It’s entirely possible that more than 100,000 sets will have sold by the end of today.

Update on Actual First Day Sales

The United States Mint provided the following statement, noting that the load on the system was much heavier than order summaries above would show:

From noon until the system failed 90 minutes later, close to 65,000 orders had been placed. We rebooted the system, which took less than an hour, and by 4:45 (3 hours and 45 minutes later) 110,000 orders had been placed.

We want to emphasize that we are well aware of the need to upgrade our system — and we are doing that. We just need a bit of patience on the part of our customers. It is one of our top priorities as we move forward.

The top of this article will get updated when the U.S. Mint provides new sales figures. Additionally, the U.S. Mint has added a sales odometer on the set’s product page that offers an approximate count of units ordered. That total is updated each business day at around 3 p.m. ET.

Backorder Dates and Shipping

Backorder dates did change in our orders. The first transaction had a backordered date of June 17, 2013 while the the second and third transactions both had dates of July 25, 2013. Generally speaking, these early dates don’t necessarily indicate shipping times — especially for the latter orders. The U.S. Mint tends to catch-up and often ships products earlier than first indicated.

Coins in the 2013 West Point Silver Eagle Set

Special coins within the two-coin set include a 2013-W Reverse Proof American Silver Eagle and a 2013-W Enhanced Uncirculated Silver Eagle. The U.S. Mint notes that the set celebrates the 75th anniversary of the edifice that houses the U.S. Mint facility at West Point. Each of the Silver Eagles carries the "W" mint mark for West Point.

2013-W Reverse Proof American Silver Eagle - Obverse
2013-W Reverse Proof American Silver Eagle from West Point – Obverse

Reverse proof Silver Eagles have been offered in earlier years, namely 2006, 2011 and in 2012, but they are vastly outweighed in numbers by standard annual proofs that kicked off with the American Silver Eagle series in 1986.

"Reversing the mirror-like background finish of a traditional proof coin and applying it to the design elements of the coin achieves a magnificent contrast," describes the set’s product page for the reverse proof.

Enhanced Uncirculated Silver Eagles are brand new, featuring three different finishes that are the result of a newly developed polishing and laser technique that is applied to the dies that strike the coins.

2013-W Enhanced Uncirculated American Silver Eagle - Obverse
2013-W Enhanced Uncirculated American Silver Eagle from West Point – Obverse

The United States Mint website describes the enhanced uncirculated Silver Eagle this way:

"On the obverse, the mountains, the red stripes and blue parts of the United States flag, the year, and Liberty’s sandals have an uncirculated finish. The remaining elements and lettering on the obverse have the heavy frosted finish.

On the reverse of the coin, the ribbon in the eagle’s beak, the arrows and olive branch, the alternating stripes in the shield and the border around the shield have an uncirculated finish. The lettering and other design elements on the reverse have the heavy frosted finish.

The fields on both sides of the coin have the light frosted finish."

Ordering

The 2013 Silver Eagle Set from West Point is priced at $139.95, which is $10 less than first published as a result of falling silver prices. The online product page for the two-coin set is found here. Use 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468) to place phone orders.

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Mike

Lets start the guessing game of how many set will be sold. 385,000.

Joe#2

385,001 🙂

george glazener

twenty two million, seven hundred and eleven thousand, four hundred twenty three…Oh wait, did you mean for the entire 4 week ordering period?

Ken

I tend not to play the guessing game. Yet I’m more amiable as a collector…….

jim

Signed on 5 hrs after the start and got my order in with no delays at all. Don’t understand why people have to be the first or near the first other than the stupid grader designations which in my opinion are not at all verifiable since the mint offers no evidence of when a particular coin is minted.
My guess – 276,000. Since this is the first reverse proof from the West Point mint I added an extra 20,000 If they continue to offer the same enhanced uncirculated coin in later years that’ll become another ho-hum coin, too.

synoptic12

The U.S. Mint is collecting all the players to determine the best possible strategy for the maximum profit potential. In a certain respect, the U.S. Mint did lower the initial price of $149.99 to 139.95, which could possibly account for more sales figures. By the way, the sets are already up for pre-sale on Ebay for $179.95 with free shipping, and some listing for $199.99. There really is not much profit for the secondary market. Ebay takes 15%, and I believe an additional 10% shipping. Accompany that with the store price, you are looking at a very trivial profit. Irrespective… Read more »

George Worshington

I view these more as over priced novelties the more cosmetic tinkering that is done to the coins. There is nothing really significant about the mint having an anniversary date. It’s really all about pushing product out the door for a profit which is fine until you overwhelm collectors with too many choices. They should focus on quality and a narrow set of products – Put LIberty back on regular coinage, only do Mint & Proof sets, all with a 90% silver coins and a 95% copper penny. Go back to one type quarter, dump the worthless presidential dollars and… Read more »

Mike

No count of how many sold everyday. Mint is getting smarter, keeps people wondering how well it’s doing and guessing on the mintage. This will keep people buying hoping on a low mintage when these two coins are so unique. For the mint website to shut down, you wonder just how well our economy is doing. Sitting at home layed off buying or at work using a smartphone to sneak a purchase in? Either way there was a lot of people looking to get in on buying a set or two. They should keep the price high at 189.99. That… Read more »

Lorayne

The current ship date for mew orders is 8/8/13

Boz

I prefer to get mine certified as the last one sold. Like the last Canadian penny sold for 6K that should make my last eagle easily worth 9 million 9 hundred ninety-nine thousand.

Boz

Speaking of trivial profit margins, how about individual statehood quarters selling for 25 cents with free shipping. Somebody must really enjoy what they are doing. I don’t think profit is necessarily the whole story.

Ole Skool

Called twice, on hold for 300,000 to sell by closing date

Simply wanted one, at a NON-GOUGED Price

bubba

I am not sure why people get so worried about not being able to order right away. I guess there is one reason. You want to be the first person to sell them as they generally sell for more early and price drops as more are available. Personally I will wait until the last week and don’t care if it takes 6 months to get what I order. They don’t charge you until they ship. There are some 5 oz coins coming up in rapid succession and ths way I can get them first and have these coming later. I… Read more »

CoinNews.net

As of noon today, Friday, May 10, 2013, one-day sales of the 2013 American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set total 149,622 units. This sales figure has also been noted toward the top of the article. If more early sales are provided by the Mint, I’ll provide the update at the top again. Thanks for reading CoinNews.net!

Jack

If you do the math, looks like approx 33.95% were sold the first day on the 2012 model. That would put this one at around 408K. Can’t wait to see them!

annie

350,000 to 450,000 set for 2013 ASE 2 coin set.

annie

i forgot. are we start to cancel orders now?.

hungyip

Will it drop below issue price 139.95, if the final number comes up like One Million – Two Million Set ?

Lopital

I think they should only sell them for 1 week. This model started because of people having trouble with the server every time a new popular coin came, for that one week is enough…

SactoMike

This entire “reverse proof” and “enhanced uncirculated” program is a vivid reminder of when the US Mint first went to producing proof sets with the “S” mint mark. A headline in a 1968 issue of COINage Magazine proclaimed its cover story: “Three 1968 Coins That Will Soar In Value,” and the story inferred that the S-Mint Dime, Quarter and Half Dollar of that year would be immediate rarities because only 3 million+ of the coins would be minted and those coins were not for general circulation. Those sets sold for $5 from the mint, and within two months went as… Read more »

Rick

Will the enhanced uncirculated coin be considered to be part of the “burnished collection” which already includes:

2006W, 2007W, 2008W, 2008W reverse 07, 2011W, 2011S, 2012W

Thoughts?????

Joe

I think the enhanced uncirculated will be its own individual Silver American Eagle coin. I don’t think it will be part of the burnished series Rick. It is its own coin.

jim

Like Joe says – I don’t think they are done enhancing. This issue of the enhanced uncirculated coin has probably the best looking enhancements they could come up with. Next enhancements – reverse, more subtle enhancements, selecting different features to enhance, etc. They could go on for years with enhancement variations. This could become a whole new sub-series collectable with a life of it’s own. And they could start enhancing the proof version just as easily. This sale may be a test to see if they can handle volume production for enhanced coins and if they can then the standard… Read more »

annie

this 2013 set should more or less same problem with 2012. dealers bidding should be below mint issue price.

hungyip

i have a feeling : this set future price will drop under $99, because Silver will sink to $13-$15, Also this set likely will have 150 million- 300 milion sets,

Rick

That’s just silly.

ole skool

I seriously doubt a Ag price of $15, become more informed.

Guess at the mintage <$3 million

Not all numismatic ventures, at least on my part, are for multiple profit.

Enjoy the aesthetics, life is short

Kevin

So hungyip guesses $13-15 silver and James Turk says $600 oz for ag, long term. Izzy Friedman says five figure silver before the wheels come off. Ted Butler’s public prediction is in triple digits for silver. I’ve been in it since it was sub$5 Waiting isn’t easy although silver’s trough to intrim price peak was over tenfold. Time will tell.

I hope JPM goes bust due to shorting silver and I hope kitco’s Jon Nadler has to buy Depends by the case. He has been a gold bear as the price has quintupled.

annie

bullion value for 2013 ASE 2 coin set is only $47.74 a set. based on friday close. at $139.95 a set. you have to be kidding.

ole skool

Bullion value for 2011 5 coin set, is <$125….

bubba

Wow 150k in one day!

Kevin

Annie,

Yes that is quite a premium. But I think to myself, ‘What will someone pay me three years from today for this coin?’ Most often the answer has been, “More”, with the exception of the silver Braille coin. That was a disaster.

Hank

Well, increasing or decreasing value of the 2 coin set, I don’t really give a rats…. I am purchasing to leave my daughter a coin collection in my will. SURELY it will be worth more 20 years from now? She may even leave the collection to her daughter. So what will be the value 50 years from now? (provided there is still life on this planet then)

Jack

For what it’s worth……here’s where we’re at if you’re looking for statistics. If all holds true, on the third day last year, 48.27% of the total 251,302 were sold (121,304) of the 2012 sets. That would put this paticular set at 378,676. On day 4 of the 2012 set, 49.89% of the total sets were sold. So after tomorrow’s totals, we should be 1/2 way there…give or take.

Jack

ole skool

My thoughts:

Thank You for the stats, Jack

I think they are Beautiful & I collect World Reverse proofs also

I’m no prognosticator, simply a collector of what I enjoy

Eddie

I have to laugh at the PRE-SALE postings shown now in eBay. Why would you want to pay $179 dollars from a stranger that is only out to make a $40 profit when you can buy at Mint price of $139.99 for a whole month? The funniest part is the way they write their description saying that you should hurry “before it sells out”…pretty funny.

annie

there are 356,692,281 pieces of american eagle right now. it is rare?.

Jack

Eddie,
Here’s the best thing…the set costs $139.99 w/o shipping mind you. They sell it on EBAY for $175 minus $17.50 for fees minus $5.95 to ship so one would be lucky to net $10 per set at this price….woohoo!

ole skool

Jack & Eddie,

How about the mislabled “2013” PF-70 2 Coin set for $450

Talk about a joke….multiples

annie

why not just return or cancel the order/orders?. i cancel mine.

thePhelps

Jack – that is why I am against these volume buyers. They net a total of $10 a set – but buy and sell 35,000 sets @ $10 a piece profit and lower the value of the collectors sets who are actually looking to buy a coin set hoping it increases in value.

annie – you must be looking for the bullion.. these are numistic offerings for collectors of numistic coins. There is often little correlation between PM content and the price. If your interests are in buying new releases at bullion costs that would be at your LCS.

Jack

“almost” 1/2 way point….on target with 375,920 sets at the end

Joe

If the 2012W Burnished Uncirculated Silver Eagle sold out at 202,504 coins. Do you think the mint will go much higher than that with this new set?

bubba

I wouldn’t think shelling out $4,900,000 for a $350,000 profit would be all that great since they would have the work of listing the items. Then they would have to go to Post Office to mail them. That is what it would cost for 35,000 sets. Likewise, if the price drops, you are taking a big risk with such a little reward. You don’t even need someone buying 35,000 to have a problem. If everyone just buys 2 sets, you would still end up with a glut of sets. Therein lies the problem with these no household limit issues. The… Read more »

e

i think in 2016 there will be another special set with all the types of silver eagles.

Craig B

I had something odd happen to me. my order was placed on the starting day at 3pm. I dont think an estimated ship date immediately appeared, but shortly thereafter the date assigned to ship was 7/11/13. either last week, or the week before today (today being 6/26/13), the ship date was revised to 6/27/13, and remained that way until today. so today, I check to see if it is still shipping tomorrow, and it’s now estimated to ship on 7/25/13!!! So I call the mint, and all they can say is there were some delays or problems, but nothing more… Read more »

jim

You’re worried about 2 weeks? Look at the delay in spouse coins in (what was it, 2012?) when it took 8 months for them to acknowledge they had production problems. The US Mint isn’t known for customer satisfaction when it comes to the order-receipt interval. I’d rather have a great coin with a long delay than a cruddy coin delivered the next week. I place my order and forget about it until it arrives.

Craig b

Thanks for the reply. I’m new to collecting and making purchases from them. So far the few silver ae purchases I’ve made from them have gone smoothly. I wasn’t sure if it was typical to change my order to 2 weeks sooner, then the day before the ship date, push it out 1 month later. A week seemed reasonable, but a month? I’ve read other folks already received their sets, so for a 1st in, 1st out system, the ping ponging of the ship date seemed really amiss. I too would like the quality coin and hopefully being pushed back… Read more »

jim

CB – These packages are pretty close to plain brown wrapping and not advertising about who the real shipper is. However, you might want to have a neighbor or friend check your mail while you’re gone or have the USPS hold your mail until you get back. That’s what I do and my letter carrier delivers all my accumulated mail the next day I’m back. The USPS method won’t work of course if you’re gone for fewer than 3 days – then it’s time to get friendly with your neighbors or apt mgr.

Victor

I ordered my 6 sets, within the first hour, of the first day. My new ship date is: “6 units backordered. Expected to ship on 09/17/2013.”

Craig b

It gets stupider. My 2 sets ordered at 3pm on the first day, have changed dates 3 or 4 times and now sit at 7/19. I ordered a 3rd set, on the very last day at 3pm, it just changed today to 7/14. Makes no sense, so I have 0 faith in any of these dates. I can’t imagine one of the very last orders shipping before one of the very first orders. Go figure.

jim

At first I was thinking the smaller quantities were being fulfilled sooner and the larger later. That’s not true so maybe the sort is by last name. I’m assuming for Craig b the last name starts with B and his shop date is Jul 14. My last name starts with a G and my ship date is Aug 08. Maybe others can share their last initial and anticipated delivery dates and that will shed some light on the delivery process timing. Or not… Maybe Mike Unser can do an article on the shipping center and get them to shed some… Read more »

oleskool2

Curious about the logic / reasoning, of shipping by Mint Fulfillment.

My ship date changed, at least, 3 times.

Since I ordered the first day & I ordered at, approx. 2:30 PM CDT, possibly my order would be a, wait for it…, a First Strike, among the 130,000+.

My present ship date is 08/08 & my Last name starts with “O”

Comments PLEASE
, PLEASE

oleskool

Placed my order First Day @ approx. 2:30

Early Strike , I suppose. Pls comment

My ship date is 08/08 & my last name begins with “O”

Comments on shipping & fulfillment, please ?

jim

Stop thinking about First Strike, Early Strike or other grader made up names. They’re fake! Forget about them. For all anybody knows the mint ships LIFO and only the last orders get the first/early strikes which have no meaning to the mint (and shouldn’t to you) anyway.

Since we both have a delivery date of 8/08 and our last names are so far apart that’s obviously not the algorithm they’re using either.

Bill

Just received an email from the US Mint informing me that my order for 2013 AM EAGLE SILVER 2-COIN SET (WP) is now backordered to 9/17/13. I had placed my order within the first hour of sale. What the heck is going on at the mint?? I’m considering canceling at this point. Any input or suggestions would be helpful. I just so peeved.

jim

You’ve heard the Ron Popeil infomercial that says ‘set it and forget it’? Well with the US Mint it’s ‘order it and forget it’. When it’s time it’ll show up. If you cancel you’ve got a hole in your collection, assuming you’re a collector. If you’re speculating then go ahead and cancel, it won’t mean anything to you anyway. Personally I follow the ‘order it and forget it’ rule. Much less stress and frustration and every once in a while I get a surprise at my doorstep. I collect for the long haul and in perspective a delay of a… Read more »