Sales of the 2010-P Yellowstone National Park Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins are off to a brisk start. The United States Mint began accepting orders yesterday, May 17 at 12:00 Noon ET. By the end of the day, total sales had reached 18,143 out of the 27,000 total mintage.
Although there were no website crashes, the initial rate of sales nearly matches that of the Hot Springs coin, first available on April 28 at 12:00 Noon ET. By 9:00 PM that day, the US Mint indicated that total sales had exceeded 19,000 units. By May 2, the US Mint had sold 25,000 units, however it would take until May 13 for sales reach the 27,000 maximum mintage. The US Mint continues to accept orders for this coin for placement on a waiting list.
The strong initial sales for the Yellowstone release shows that most collectors were not deterred by the relatively higher premium based on current precious metals prices. When the prior issue went on sale, silver was trading around $48 per ounce. At the time, the product price of $279.95 represented a premium of approximately 20% above metal value. At the time of yesterday’s release, silver was around $34 per ounce, meaning the premium was about 65% above metal value.
As numismatic products, the value of the precious metals content is only one determining factor in the US Mint’s pricing. According to information on the US Mint’s website, their goal is “to provide the best quality numismatic products while keeping their sales prices as low as practicable.”
Further information states:
The first and foremost rule in establishing pricing is that our numismatic portfolio must be self-sufficient and cover all of its associated costs… To achieve self-sufficiency, we determine the estimated cost to produce and sell the product. That becomes the base or the beginning point from which we determine the selling price. We then analyze the marketing conditions and different price points. We ask ourselves several questions: Are the proposed prices of this product consistent with similar products we offer of this type? Will the customer perceive this as a good value? Are we reaching as many customers as we can should we sell at this price? If we do not sell all of this product, is there enough budgeted for proper disposition?
Prices are officially established through publication within the Federal Register. Notice of pricing for the 2010 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncircualted Coins was published on April 18, 2011. On that date, the market price of silver was $42.79 per ounce.
The US Mint does have more responsive pricing mechanism in place for certain numismatic gold and platinum coins. The prices of specifically covered products may be adjusted as frequently as weekly based on changes in the average price of the metals. A pricing decrease was implemented today for certain numismatic gold coins.