In less than two weeks, James K. Polk Presidential dollar rolls shot past this year's William Henry Harrison and John Tyler same roll sales.
The US Mint launched the Polk rolls Thursday, Aug. 20. As of Sunday, Aug. 30, collectors purchased a total of 31,915 Philadelphia rolls and 30,920 Denver rolls.
By contrast, the first two 2009 rolls of Harrison and Tyler dollars reached 30,000 from each Mint facility. Is this a fair comparison? No. Unlike prior Presidential roll offerings and the latest Polk $1 rolls, the Mint stopped selling each when they reached the 30,000 figure.
The unavailability of Harrison and Tyler rolls has resulted in interesting secondary market premiums. (See current eBay auctions as examples.) Resellers are sure to be disappointed in the Mint's decision to continue offering the Polk dollars. And collectors as a group are left to wonder what controls how long certain coins will be sold in a particular product line.
James K. Polk Presidential $1 Coins and dollar rolls are now available following their ceremonial launch Thursday by the US Mint at Polk's ancestral home in Columbia, Tenn.
"The James K. Polk Presidential $1 Coin is the 11th in the United States Mint's Presidential $1 Coin Program," United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart told the crowd. "It is my great privilege to present the coin to the Nation."
Polk is probably best known for his support and actions relating to Manifest Destiny, which was the belief that the US had the right to expand throughout North America. In following this belief, Polk annexed the area now known as Oregon and Washington from Great Britain. He also waged war with Mexico and won California and New Mexico through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
The United States Mint on Wednesday introduced newly designed 2009 Presidential $1 coins and released detailed artist images of the dollars. The American public will see 2009 circulating coins honoring Presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk and Zachary Taylor. Most interestingly, different design elements have been implemented compared to the initial series of 2007 and 2008 coins.
Notable in the new designs is the placement of "In God We Trust," which in past years has been on the edge of each Presidential dollar. A public outcry occurred when the U.S. Mint inadvertently issued a small subset of 2007 dollars that did not have the inscription because of minting errors. Also, while many thought edge letterings on coins would be a fresh approach, fewer liked "In God We Trust" there after seeing the new dollars. They felt the inscription lacked prominence, and needed to be moved.