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Future Of The United States Mint Set

 
 
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Valued Member
United States
496 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2019  11:29 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Ballyhoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
As I am in the process of completing a full set of official souvenir sets, those with the large mint medallions, I noticed a dramatic price increase for those in the 1990's and beyond. Curious as to why I began searching for mintage numbers which so far has become a challenge separating those from the standard mint issued p&d sets.

Researching the figures from the link to the left on the forum's main page I began noticing a dramatic shift. From the beginning in 1936 the mintage has increased steadily hitting I million by 1964 and peaking at 2,890,758 in 1987. While production rose and fell from year to year throughout the seventies and eighties they held relatively steady in the millions. For some unexplained reason, beginning in 2005, the numbers hit mintages not seen since 1964. Since that time they have declined by roughly 30,000 sets per year. Currently they are nearing the 1961 figure.

Fewer collectors or a lack of appeal may explain this trend. Perhaps the fact that the United States Mint produces far greater offerings such as special sets, commemoratives and so forth which simply overwhelms the market. What ever the reason for the downward spiral, for me it's both alarming and historic. Are we going to see mintages below 100,000 again?

Thought? Comments?
Bedrock of the Community
United States
18556 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2019  12:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Due to the expense of making coins I've heard that the US Mint is planning outsourcing coinage production to China. And why not, they are already making many of our coins.
just carl
New Member
United States
35 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2019  12:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Roger Engelken to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I was in the hobby during the 1970s and 1980s. When I came back in 2019, I was amazed to find proof set and mint set mintages had declined to levels not seen since the 1950s. I have all the proof sets from 1955 forward, and all the mint sets from 1959 forward. I also have individually assembled uncirculated sets from 1943 to 1958.

I the years prior to 1999, proof sets normally contained five coins, and mint sets ten coins. Since then we have seen the number of coins in each set rise, and with that, the cost. This coupled with the decline in coin collecting that as been going on for forty years or so would be a major cause of the decline. I continue to order the proof set, silver proof set and mint set each year, and as long as I have one or two of each, I am happy.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
12467 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2019  4:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As far as the falling mintages there's a combination of reasons with everything from spending money elsewhere, to being able to easily get them from dealers or at any time you want. There's probably three main reasons though in my opinion. The first would be that they just aren't a very appealing product to a lot of people especially newer younger collectors. The second would be the quality issues, many people have stopped dealing with the mint directly due to poor quality and would rather pick out a set on the aftermarket than deal with ordering directly from the mint. The third and what I think is likely the most important would be that most people have figured out that if you just wait a bit you can often get these sets cheaper on the aftermarket than buying them right away from the mint. Not only would you get getting it cheaper but you have the added benefit of picking out one you like.

At some point they may get under 100k though probably not by a whole lot, between grading and everything else there will probably always be enough interest for dealers (especially places like HSN) for orders to stay above 85k or so.
Valued Member
United States
311 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2019  4:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lionel90 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ckrak - I'm guessing justcarl is joking about China counterfitting our coins but I might be wrong.

I thought Mint prices were high and the sets were less popular these days.
Having all of them is impressive. I only have a few.
Edited by Lionel90
09/21/2019 4:16 pm
Bedrock of the Community
United States
12467 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2019  4:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Carl's definitely joking hence the emoji
Edited by basebal21
09/21/2019 4:19 pm
Bedrock of the Community
United States
17440 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2019  7:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Every collectable field hits the high dollar point with the maximum that it's clientele can generate for that genre.

Late 1980's sports cards were only a few sets per year. At its highest point for dollars spent 1987. Thereafter there were hundreds of sets from many dozens of vendors. Then special numbered cards began hitting the market. No one could afford them all.

Same with Comics early 90's, although some will argue a slowdown before then.

We won't even mention Beenie Babies - oops - I did.

Last year it cost $36,550 to buy one of each new US mint product. Can we say overproduction?
Bedrock of the Community
United States
12467 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2019  7:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Last year it cost $36,550 to buy one of each new US mint product. Can we say overproduction?


I wouldn't really say the issue was total cost, rather that a large chunk of that cost would be the same things being offered over and over in different packaging
Valued Member
United States
496 Posts
 Posted 09/22/2019  10:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ballyhoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another thing which crossed my mind, as mentioned by Roger Engelken, deals with the increased number of coins in each set. I would think at some point the theme coinage will end and that number will drop.
If and when this happens, would the United States Mint then lower the cost? It should. Then again, when discussing the government that will not happen. So the result would almost certainly drive the production numbers even lower.

No matter, I love our coinage and will continue to buy direct for both mint and proof versions.
Pillar of the Community
United States
732 Posts
 Posted 09/22/2019  11:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Big-Kingdom to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
They got expensive. I've been in and out of buying from the mint in my lifetime. Before the State Quarters the seta weren't too bad in price but right around that time, prices started increasing and I think it turned people off. Another factor was in 2005-2010 they were doing satin finish in the mint sets. People were buying mint sets for the best chance at great uncirculated examples, not for a new finish and something else to collect. Another turn off I think.

As far as proofs go they are nice but everyone knows the modern proofs aren't going higher as far as values. There just aren't many proof collectors unless they are just into proof coins... and again, expensive..

Those 1980s and 1990s sets were so mass produced you can't get a buyer for them above their face value. Again plenty of buyers got burned by paying mint prices and holding them just to find they are getting offered $1 for a proof set and like $3 for a mint set, if a dealer will even take them, most times they will say no and tell you to cracking them out and spend them. Another turn off for collectors.

I'm sure the mint will make whatevery they feel like and try to sell them for whatever people will pay for them and then if they don't sell they will do some bulk offer to the home shopping channels or something to dump the excess at still a profit for them but not as much of they sold to collectors, and home shopping will find ways to market them and get rid of them.

I like your optimism that the mint will decrease mintage's to a rarity level, but I seriously doubt it. There's many ways for them to make a few bucks and offload whatever they overproduced, it's not like they will make 2 million sets, only sell 1 million at their full asking price and then sit on the extra million sets.
They will sell them to a big buyer for a buck or two over cost and let them deal with the problem instead.
Those 3 million sets mintage numbers... there were never that many collectors of them. Dealers across the country are sitting on boxes and boxes of them that can't be sold and this trend continues still.
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United States
77253 Posts
 Posted 09/23/2019  3:56 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I wouldn't really say the issue was total cost, rather that a large chunk of that cost would be the same things being offered over and over in different packaging
True.
Pillar of the Community
United States
509 Posts
 Posted 09/23/2019  4:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CitationSquirrel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I quit buying both mint and proof sets in the early 2000's. It was just getting too expensive to keep justifying it.
Valued Member
United States
164 Posts
 Posted 09/23/2019  4:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fplagge to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
China may not be counterfeiting our current coins but someone "over there" sure likes to counterfeit collectibles.
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United States
77253 Posts
 Posted 09/23/2019  5:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I quit buying both mint and proof sets in the early 2000's. It was just getting too expensive to keep justifying it.
Proof sets I get, but I have only bought two mint sets in eleven years. 2009 and 2019. Both times to get special cents.
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