Yesterday thousands of United States Mint customers were shocked when they received an email notification stating that the 2010 Proof Silver Eagle was sold out. Calls placed to the US Mint’s customer service number and a subsequent email notification have confirmed that the initial email was sent in error and the coins are not sold out.
Prior to the email, there had already been some apprehension about the availability of the 2010 Proof Silver Eagle, which is scheduled for release on November 19. The collector version of the .999 fine one ounce silver coin represents one of the Mint’s most popular annual offerings. Last year the product was canceled due to high demand for the bullion version of the coin. This year Silver Eagle bullion coin sales recently moved into record territory, as the price of silver has risen to a 30 year high.
The US Mint has been accepting orders for the proof Silver Eagle through their subscription program, which allows customers to sign up to receive the next product released in the series. Apparently all customers who signed up for the American Silver Eagle proof coin subscription received an email stating:
Greetings from the United States Mint. Thank you for ordering from the United States Mint. We regret to inform you that the item(s) listed below are currently sold out. A customer service representative will be happy to assist you in finding an alternative item.
The product details below the message indicated the product code and description for the 2010 Proof Silver Eagle.
Customers who called the US Mint customer service line run by Pitney Bowes Government Solutions were told that the email was sent in error, originating from the US Mint’s IT Department in Washington, DC. More than 2,000 phone calls from frustrated customers were received in the first few hours following release of the email.
Late yesterday evening, a second email was sent:
On Wednesday, November 10, 2010, The United States Mint sent email notifications out to customers notifying them that some backordered and subscription items were canceled. This was an error. We are diligently working on a resolution to this issue. We sincerely apologize for the confusion and inconvenience this may have caused.
Requests for comment from the United States Mint have not yet been answered. The last available details for the 2010 Proof Silver Eagle indicate a product release date of November 19, 2010 with a product price of $45.95 and household ordering limit of 100.
Update (2:50 PM ET) The US Mint has provided the following statement regarding yesterday’s situation:
On November 10, 2010, email notifications were sent out to United States Mint customers notifying them that some backordered and subscription items were canceled. Approximately 100,000 orders were impacted, primarily for Mount Hood quarters bags and rolls and the 2010 American Eagle Silver Proof Coin. We are in the process of reinstating these orders and expect corrections to be completed by noon on Saturday, November 13, 2010. All impacted customers have been notified that the original cancellation was in error. The United States Mint is looking into the cause of this error and deeply regrets any inconvenience it has caused.