The following Q&A is excerpted from Clifford Mishler’s Coins: Questions & Answers: Q: Is collecting any type of coin a good investment? A: No! The hobby collector—be it of coins, back-scratchers, or Bavarian beer mugs—is occasionally persuaded to purchase by impulse or sentiment. Indulging frequent lapses into irrationality is part of the fun of maintaining a hobby. But the strictly … [Read More...]
Yesterday’s release of the 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Coin Collection represented the first high demand product release under the United States Mint’s new retail website and order management system. The US Mint shared some statistics on the sales levels during the opening day as well as the performance of their website.
The US Mint launched their new retail website and order management system on October 1, 2014. The new site features a more modern appearance with an updated brand image and capabilities. Account management functions were improved and a streamlined checkout process was introduced. The design is mobile compatible using a responsive design, providing for a positive user experience across different devices. Perhaps most importantly, the new system features dynamic scaling to meet peak day capacity and eliminate problems previously experienced by customers during major product releases.
During the initial hour of sales for the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Coin Collection, the US Mint’s online catalog handled more than 272,000 page views. At 12:10 PM, the site was processing 14 orders per second. The peak number of orders processed per second during the day reached 24.9 orders.
In the first thirty minutes of availability, the system processed sales for 36,000 units sold, representing $3.6 million in sales. From the release on 12:00 Noon ET through midnight, total orders accounted for 85,670 units sold, representing more than $8.5 million in sales.
As the US Mint launched their new order management system, there were also improvements at the distribution center which allow orders to ship more quickly. As of 8:30 PM on the day of launch, more than 14,000 orders for the new sets had already shipped.
The 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Coin Collection is issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Half Dollar first released in 1964. The collection includes four 90% silver half dollars struck carrying the original portrait design by Gilroy Roberts. The four coins included in the set are each from a different US Mint facility and carry a different finish. The coins include a reverse proof coin from West Point, a proof coin from Philadelphia, an enhanced uncirculated coin from San Francisco, and an uncirculated coin from Denver.
The collection is priced at $99.95 each with a product limit of 300,000 units established. An initial ordering limit of five units per household has been established. The US Mint will monitor sales and may adjust and/or remove the household ordering limit as necessary during the period the product is offered.