Entries from December 2010 ↓

2011 Proof Set Release Date

In the past, the US Mint has released separate proof sets for quarters and Presidential Dollars early in the year, followed by the somewhat belated issuance of the full annual set.

I always considered this scheduling to be a product of marketing, attempting to sell as many of the separate sets as possible before selling the full set to the same people later. The other consequence was to disrupt gift giving during the early part of the year. Sometimes I would have liked to give someone a proof set, but the full set was not released yet.

This will change with the 2011 Proof Set, which the US Mint plans to release on January 11, 2011. This will mark the earlier release for the most popular annual set in years.

Each set will contain 14 different proof coins struck at the San Francisco Mint with deep cameo finishes. The coins will be packaged in three separate lenses with an outer cardboard box featuring the US Mint’s new branding.

The pricing for the product has not yet been announced. I hope it won’t be another price increase.

A Quick Sell Out

After one month and nine days of availability, the 2010 Proof Silver Eagle has sold out at the US Mint. The coins were on the radar of many collectors following the cancellation of the 2009-dated issued, but the quick nature of the sell out may have caught some by surprise.

When the coins went on sale, the US Mint did not state a maximum mintage. With a technically “unlimited” mintage and no signs of stress for the bullion version, a high mintage was expected.

All told, the last reported sales of 834,879 would make for a relatively high mintage, but it’s not as severe as feared.

For next year, the offering might go smoother, following the passage of legislation to allow greater flexibility for the production of collector version of the American Silver Eagle. Previously bullion coins needed to be produced to meet public demand, with no requirement for the minting and issuance of proofs.

The 2011 Proof Silver Eagle could be authorized by the Treasury Secretary even if demand was not being met for bullion coins.

2011 Presidential Dollars

The designs for the 2011 Presidential Dollars have been announced by the US Mint. Following the format of the series, the obverse of each coin will feature a portrait of the President, while the reverse will feature a representation of the concept of Liberty.

The Presidents honored next year will be the 17th to 20th Presidents. The series has included four different designs each year since 2007. The series will continue until each of the deceased Presidents have been honored.

The Andrew Johnson Presidential Dollar was designed and sculpted by Don Everhart.

The coin for the Civil War military commander and two term President, Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Dollar was also designed and sculpted by Everhart. Likely the highlight, or most well known release for the year.

Honoring the 19th President of the United States, the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Dollar will be released third during the year. Once again, the design and sculpting work was performed by Don Everhart.

The last release of the year for the series will be the James A. Garfield Presidential Dollar. He served as President for the second shortest term before an assassin’s bullet eventually led to his demise. The obverse design and sculpting was performed by Phebe Hemphill.

2010 Quarters Preliminary Mintages

Preliminary mintage figures are now available for all of the 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters. Note that the figures are preliminary, since the US Mint has reserved the right to resume striking any 2010-dated issue until the end of the year.

The lowest mintage overall is currently for the 2010-P Yellowstone Quarter at 33.6 million. The highest mintage is for the 2010-D Grand Canyon Quarter at 35.4 million. From only the slight difference between the low and the high, it can be seen that all mintages fall within a very tight range.

Denver Phil. Total
Hot Springs Quarter 34.00 M 35.60 M 69.60 M
Yellowstone Quarter 34.80 M 33.60 M 68.40 M
Yosemite Quarter 34.80 M 35.20 M 70.00 M
Grand Canyon Quarter 35.40 M 34.80 M 70.20 M
Mount Hood Quarter 34.40 M 34.40 M 68.80 M
Total 321.44 M

The total production of 2010 quarters is only 321.44 million across all designs. This is about half of last year’s production of 636.2 million and well below the levels of the State Quarters Program, which had peaked at 6.47 billion in 2000.

An oddity with the low mintages for the new series is that a significant percentage are ending up directly in the hands of collectors or dealers. Enticed by the low mintages and the start of a new series, many rolls, bags, and bulk bags have been purchased and are being held. If the low mintages fail to drive higher prices, many of these may eventually find their way into circulation.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Dollar Mintage

The US Mint has provided the final production figures for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Dollar. This is the fourth and final release of the year, as well as the 16th release of the series.

The general trend for the Presidential Dollars series has been for declining mintages. However, with the Lincoln Dollar, the trend is broken or at least interrupted. Across both mint facilities, there were 97,020,000 produced. This is up from 73,360,000 for the prior issue featuring James Buchanan.

The Philadelphia Mint struck 49 million Abraham Lincoln Dollars and the Denver Mint struck 48.02 million. These are the highest totals since early in 2009.

For the entire series, there have now been more than 2 billion Presidential Dollars produced. That’s a lot for a coin that doesn’t seem to circulate.