Included within a weekly sales report issued by the United States Mint was the information that authorized purchasers have ordered 75,000 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins out of the total 165,000 coins that the US Mint made available.
Based on this information, it seems that some of the US Mint’s 11 authorized purchasers either chose to not buy the coins from the Mint or are still evaluating the situation. This is an abrupt change for the bullion program that was expected to immediately sell out at the authorized purchaser level.
Due to the extremely limited mintage of just 33,000 coins for each of the five designs issued for 2010, the coins are being viewed as collectible rarities rather than bullion products. After one primary distributor started accepting orders for the coins at high premiums compared to their acquisition cost, consumers complained, and the US Mint halted the program.
The relaunch of the program was announced later in the week. In order to participate, the primary distributors would be subject to new terms and conditions which capped premiums, required distribution directly to the public, and imposed order limits of one coin per design per household.
On Friday, December 10, the 11 current authorized purchasers were able to begin placing orders for their allotment of 3,000 coins of each design (total of 15,000 coins). By placing an order, they would be acknowledging and agreeing to the US Mint’s new terms. The US Mint had cautioned that violation of any of the terms may be grounds for suspension of removal from the US Mint’s authorized purchaser distribution network.
The primary distributors are still allowed to place their orders until Friday, December 17, 2010 at 3:00 PM.
If any of the primary distributors does not place an order for their allocation, the excess coins available will be made available on a comparable allocation basis to the other active distributors on December 20, 2010.
The US Mint’s 11 authorized purchasers are: A-Mark Precious Metals (Los Angeles), Conis N Things Inc. (Massachusetts), MTB (New York), Scotia Mocatta (New York), American Precious Metals Exchange Inc (Oklahoma), Dillon Gage Incorporated of Dallas (Texas), Prudential Securities Inc. (New York), The Gold Center (Illinois), Jack Hunt Coin Broker (New York), Commerzbank (New York), Fidelitrade (Delaware).