U.S. Mint Pre-Order System for 2021 Commemorative Coins


The United States Mint rolled out a new ordering system Thursday, releasing a statement that explained it and its use in pre-selling their 2021 commemorative coins honoring Christa McAuliffe and the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum.

With the new system, collectors can order the pair of commemorative products today but they will not receive them for several weeks to months — shipping begins March 17 for the 2021 Christa McAuliffe Silver Dollars and May 5 for the 2021 National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum $5, $1 and 50c Coins.

The portion of the Mint’s statement that explains their pre-order system follows:

"As part of the United States Mint’s (Mint) ongoing efforts to improve customer satisfaction, streamline production, and reduce program costs, the Mint will launch a new pre-order system and begin accepting pre-orders for its 2021 commemorative coin programs on January 28, 2021. Introductory pricing will continue to be in effect for the first 30 days of pre-orders. Anticipated product shipping dates are published on the Mint’s online catalog product pages.

By law, the Mint must recover all its costs associated with a commemorative coin program before it is authorized to pay program surcharges to the designated recipient organization. This includes the cost of production and assembly of unsold inventory and the costs associated with melting excess inventory after each program has concluded.

The Mint’s new pre-order system will extend and equalize the selling periods for both commemorative coin programs while simultaneously reducing potential surplus inventory, and is expected to reduce product backorders and improve both the customer experience and the likelihood that recipient organizations will receive program surcharges. The Mint believes that its new system will help manage commemorative coin inventory and control costs for these programs."

To order the newest products, visit the U.S. Mint’s online store of commemoratives.

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Does this mean there will be no more “FIRST DAY ISSUE” on holders by coin graders?or even early release for that matter.that would be something big!!

Mark D.

When do they charge for the order, when it’s placed or when it’s shipped?

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark D.
Joe M.

I placed and order and was charged immediately.

Mark D.

As Gomer would say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!”

Jim Longacre

Meaningless. The commemoratives always have high enough mintages that it is easy to get them. It’s the numismatic issues that have low mintages and sell out quickly, and they aren’t offering a pre-order system for those.


You are absolutely right! This “new system” is not taking care of any of the issues the small, non-flipper collectors are facing every time we try to buy something that is really worth collecting. The commemoratives program was not the problem. I mean when and how many times have the commemorative coins sold out? The mint just wants to look like they are actually listening to the small collector and help improve our buying, or online, experience. Nothing is going to change.

Big T

Wasn’t the End of WWII coins considered commemoratives? Not the Eagles but the actual gold coin and silver metal – and these DID sell out within minutes on line.


So….it appears that the mint wants to know early sales figures before they produce the commemoratives, and will probably use a formula based on them to estimate total sales and produce accordingly. The mint statement can be summed up as “reducing potential surplus inventory.” Good news for collectors I think – there should be limited quantities available so they wont have to melt any down, or more accurately, sell them at a discount to dealers after the year of issue. Just my 2 cents…

Jim Longacre

The Mint can’t sell commemorative coins after the year of issue, and those are the only coins this policy applies to. The “West Point Hoard” was entirely numismatic coins. All of the coins that sold out in no time at all last year were numismatic, not commemoratives.

The commemorative coin bills pass congress with maximum authorized mintages that do not reflect market reality. No single commemorative coin has sold out since 2014.


Jim, I wonder what will happen when the mint “finds” the unsold commem’s from 2014 until now? The Gov can and do change the rules anytime they want. Who knows? There could be a provision hidden in the latest Covid relief bill.

Mark D.

What about the 2019 moon landing anniversary commemorative coins? Several of them are sold out.

Jim Longacre

The only option that sold out, according to Wikipedia, was the two-coin set, one of the Apollo half dollars with a special Kennedy half (2019-S enhanced reverse proof), but you could still buy the Apollo half independently, what sold out was the Kennedy half. The Apollo half did not sell out.


Mark D.

Also appears to be the same situation with sold out basketball and women’s suffrage commemorative coins.

Jim Longacre

Congress prescribes a mintage limit in the authorizing legislation for “commemorative coins” like the Apollo or the Basketball or the Woman’s Suffrage, and states when they can no longer be sold. Usually it is 50,000 half eagles, 400,000 silver dollars, and 750,000 clad half dollars, limited to the calendar year of issue. The Apollo also had 100,000 three-inch silver dollars. The last commemorative authorized by Congress to sell out a denomination was the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014, which sold out the gold and silver but not the halves. Things like the WWII and the Pilgrim coins, as well… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim Longacre
Mark D.

Hmmm. So, “sold out” doesn’t mean sold out (as listed on the mint web site)? And “commemorative” (as listed on mint web site) doesn’t mean commemorative?

However, Wikipedia is hardly a definitive or even reliable source, although the footnotes linking to source documentation can be useful.

Chas. Barber

Mint to order, except when they don’t do it. I don’t buy $700 gold coins from a pencil mock up. These will be doggies in the aftermarket, designs no big whoop. Maybe next time a PArolee & Pit Bull coin….

Mark D.

What a great idea! Maybe even better, police on obverse, criminal on reverse — something Batman villan Two-Face would appreciate. Call it…cop or criminal…?

Mark D.

And then, a separate coin with golden retrievers on 1 side and pit bull on the other.

Michael Sachs

Why can’t they limit 2 coins to USA adress only of all the new Silver dollar coins. Let us pre pay now instead of fighting to get one coin when released. That way they know how many coins need to be made and the coin collectors get a fare shake for once. They make new coins and it’s like a lottery that’s wrong. If they keep thus up I will stop buying American Sliver coins and push for a boycott. The American Silver Dollar 75th insert they made was like 150,000 coins sold out in 15 seconds and all the… Read more »