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The United States Mint 2012 Birth Set is now available

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United States
6563 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2012  9:27 pm Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add bobby131313 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

A precious memento to mark the arrival of a newborn baby in 2012, is the first Birth Set issued by the United States Mint. We have filled it with 2012-dated proof coins from San Francisco and included spaces for a welcome message and the day/time of the birth and length/weight of the baby, a baby photograph and a lock of the baby's hair.

Each set includes a proof Kennedy half-dollar, the first America the BeautifulĀ® quarter released for the year, a Roosevelt dime, a Jefferson nickel, and a Lincoln cent coin, each bearing the "S" mint mark of the United States Mint at San Francisco.

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United States
70 Posts
 Posted 03/13/2012  10:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ridge_Runner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Neat idea. Interested to see how they go over. I noticed that the Austrian mint was offering the same type of thing. Anyone know how long this idea has been on the market and who came up with it?
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United States
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 Posted 03/13/2012  11:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SteveCaruso to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
No dollar? Pfft!
-Steve (GSNA R-2306)
The Black Cabinet
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Germany
753 Posts
 Posted 03/14/2012  12:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add augsburger to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Does it come with a free baby?
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United States
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 Posted 03/14/2012  12:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ValiantKnight to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Does it come with a free baby?
O_o
"A poor Roman plays the Goth, a rich Goth the Roman." - Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths

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United States
5970 Posts
 Posted 03/14/2012  09:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add eaglefoot to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Most people I know are all done having babies......
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United States
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 Posted 03/14/2012  10:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bizybackson to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Kind of expensive for just a 1/3rd of the regular proof set. The label designations "First Strike" and "Early Releases" will probably need to come from this set to qualify as such for the four new proofs...
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United States
2277 Posts
 Posted 03/14/2012  10:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wquinn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Kind of lame with no dollar coins and only one quarter. At least it should have the Native American or the first Presidential dollar coin.

I know the Canadian and Australian mints have been selling birth sets for many years now. It took a really long time for the US mint to catch on and fail at it by not giving a full set of coins.

Pretty expensive for $19.95. Better off getting the regular proof set and a card.
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United States
150 Posts
 Posted 03/14/2012  2:00 pm  Show Profile Check bkprewitt's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add bkprewitt to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm certainly in agreement that they took a great idea (that they borrowed from other world mints), and failed in the execution. In my opinion, some re-packaging of the annual proof set would have likely been best so all coins were included from the birth year. If I was giving such a gift, I think I'd buy a proof set or mint set and a separate card, or do something like buy an ASE with the birth year and give that.

Plus, spending $20 on $.91 in coins seems silly. This one is certainly priced way too high, and I wonder if more orders will be made by those trying to get "first-strike" or "early releases" designations, rather than for actual baby gifts.
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United States
3904 Posts
 Posted 03/14/2012  2:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add CaptainFwiffo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The $20 price point is pretty important. An uncirculated or clad proof set is $31.95, which is out of range of a lot of people looking for baby shower gift ideas for a co-worker.

When filling out a "baby book" with current events and pop culture, in the slot for "popular songs" most people are going to put in top-40 stuff. Unless they're serious music freaks, they're not going to put in a bunch of critically acclaimed indie stuff without mass appeal. Likewise, a birth-year coin set is going to target the familiar denominations. Their own birth-year set would include the same five denominations. (Even though the half doesn't circulate today and is more of a novelty, people having kids today probably remember seeing them occasionally as a kid.)

The target audience is not us - the serious coin collector buying a birth year set for a family member. We'd probably spring for a proof set, silver proof set or uncirculated set because getting all the coins is important to us. Somebody looking for ideas for a baby shower gift is only going to be interested in the familiar coins.

The other options that would hit the $20 price point would be the presidential dollar proof set and clad ATB quarter proof set. Most people have never seen or used the presidential dollars, so that would not make any sense, and a set of five quarters offers a lot less variety than a five denomination set.

I wish they would have included a Sacagawea dollar, but I'm not in charge of figuring out the margins of mint products.
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 Posted 03/14/2012  4:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow! Coin collectors can sure be a tough bunch!

I agree with CaptainFwiffo, these Birth Sets are not intended for dedicated collectors. They are "giftware" pure and simple. Comparing these sets to the standard annual proof sets or thinking about these sets in terms of "First Strikes" and such is just missing the point -- they're intended to be an inexpensive coin-related gift for parents of a newborn, not as a way for collectors to get their annual coin sets.

Sure, some will be given by collectors to other collectors, but I'd bet that the US Mint's target market for these sets is non-collectors. Let's just accept the fact that giftware has now become part of the US Mint's offerings -- for better or worse -- and not bemoan what these sets "should have been." I believe they hit their mark for what they were intended to be.
Collecting history, one commemorative coin (or medal) at a time!
Original content (c) Commems, 2012-2014
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United States
150 Posts
 Posted 03/14/2012  7:28 pm  Show Profile Check bkprewitt's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add bkprewitt to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I see your point CaptainFwiffo and commens. At a minimum though, it would have made sense to include all issues whose business strike versions are intended to circulate during the year, meaning all ATB quarters. Seems arbitrary to just include one.
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3904 Posts
 Posted 03/14/2012  7:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add CaptainFwiffo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Again, I think it's to keep it under the $20 price point. Possibly also to match the expectations of a purchaser who might have their own birth year set which includes five coins (which is why I think the half dollar is included).
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United States
150 Posts
 Posted 03/14/2012  7:58 pm  Show Profile Check bkprewitt's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add bkprewitt to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Can't help but think they'd turn a profit at $20 even I they included all 5 ATBs. It would be $12 cheaper than the corresponding full proof set, with $5 less in face value small dollars, and without the attendant 3-lens packaging.
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1392 Posts
 Posted 03/14/2012  10:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SteveCaruso to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I, too, see the cap'n's wisdom.

I am not the target audience. :-)
-Steve (GSNA R-2306)
The Black Cabinet
A Database of Counterfeit Coins.
Counterfeit identification and attribution services.
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United States
2277 Posts
 Posted 03/15/2012  09:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wquinn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Wow! Coin collectors can sure be a tough bunch!

No, we just know what coins are worth for collecting.

I see the pricing point, but still, they could make a profit with an extra 44 cents for 4 more quarters and 90 cents for the 5 dollar coins. Don't forget, they DON'T pay face value for the coins they make.

So for an extra face value of $6, it would cost them an extra $1.34, plus some new packaging, so about an extra $2 total.

They are charging a HUGE premium on mint and proof sets these days. They are WAY over priced. That's why they drop in price after a few years. Not because of demand, that is there, it is because of their TRUE value to collectors.

That's why I'm saying they should have included it, but if they kept the price around $21.95, people wouldn't buy the mint sets.
Edited by wquinn
03/15/2012 09:06 am
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