Late last week, the US Mint suspended retail sales of two products containing silver coins, as their respective melt values began to approach the product prices. With silver prices continuing to rise this week, recently trading at $42.62 per ounce, further product suspensions are looming. The two products most likely to see a sales suspension and subsequent price increase are the 2011 Silver Proof Set and 2011 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set.
The 2011 Silver Proof Set contains one half dollar, one dime, and five quarters struck in a composition of 90% silver, yielding 1.33823 troy ounces of pure silver. Each set also contains base metal coins with a face value of $5.06. The silver value plus base metal coin face value has now reached $62.09 compared to the US Mint’s retail price of $67.95.
The 2011 ATB Quarters Silver Proof Set contains five quarters struck in 90% silver, yielding silver content of 0.90420 troy ounces with a market value of $38.54. This compares to the US Mint’s retail price of $41.95.
All of the coins included in the two products mentioned are struck in proof quality and typically priced at a much higher premium above the value of the silver content and the face value of the non-silver coins.
Earlier today, the United States Mint informed coin dealers registered for their Bulk Purchase Program that sales of all products in the program containing silver coinage were suspended. The bulk sales program allows registered coin dealers to purchase larger quantities of qualifying products at a 5% discount, with an additional 1% handling charge.
At this time, the US Mint continues to accept orders on their website and by phone for the above-mentioned products at full retail prices. Any further rise in silver may cause the US Mint to fully suspend sales, so that pricing increases can be implemented. The repricing for products not covered by the Mint’s numismatic gold and platinum coin pricing policy can take weeks since the new prices are required to be published in the Federal Register.