May 28, 2024

New US Mint Silver Bullion Coin Series Starts Next Week

The release date, mintages, and premiums for  the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins were finally revealed this week. Precious metals investors and collectors were in for a few surprises.

As covered in a previous post, the coins will feature the same designs as the America the Beautiful circulating commemorative quarter dollars. This will result in five different issues per year from 2010 to 2020, and a single issue in 2021. The bullion coins will be struck in 5 troy ounces of .999 fine silver with the curious legal tender face value of 25 cents. Specifications include a diameter of 3 inches and thickness of 0.16 inch.

The release date for the new series will be December 6, 2010. This is the first date that the United States Mint’s authorized purchaser network can place orders for the new series. As with other bullion coins, the US Mint uses a small network authorized dealers to handle distribution. They purchase the coins in bulk quantities directly from the Mint and then resell them to other dealers and/or the public. Individuals are not able to buy the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins directly from the Mint, but must purchase them from a bullion dealer or other market source.

The US Mint will only be producing 33,000 units for each of the 2010 designs. This results in total production of 165,000 of the silver bullion coins. It had previously been reported that 500,000 would be struck, but for unspecified reasons this amount was reduced. In terms of bullion, 825,000 ounces (165,000 of the 5 ounce coins) is an incredibly small amount. In the last  month, the US Mint sold more than 4.2 million ounces of silver bullion.

Premiums charged to authorized purchasers for the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins will be $9.75 per coin. This is a very reasonable amount, but the premiums that are paid on the secondary market might be another matter. At the primary distribution level, the US Mint has warned authorized purchasers to set premiums at a level “competitive with those charged for other bullion coins.” I think the primary dealers will do their best to follow this mandate, but at subsequent levels of distribution, market forces will take precedence and drive prices higher.

In the first quarter of 2011, the US Mint will offer numismatic versions of the 5 ounce silver coins. These will be limited to only 27,000 units each. This will be another adventure waiting to happen. However, in this case the US Mint will sell the coins directly to the public at fixed prices, and will likely impose household limits to ensure broad distribution.


  1. Apmex is charging $280 a coin. Not very reasonable.

  2. What’s the best way to find a dealer who will actually order / carry these?

  3. And they’re already selling for $300 or more per coin on eBay.

  4. Adam- The US Mint’s authorized purchaser network are the primary distributors for the bullion coins. They are the only ones who can buy the coins directly from the US Mint, then they resell them to other dealers and/or the public.

    So far, the only authorized purchaser that I have seen offer these for sale directly to the public is APMEX. They have priced them at $1,400 per set, which is a huge mark up to their cost of spot + $9.75 per coin.

    I don’t think this is in line with their mandate to set prices “competitive with those charged for other bullion coins”. However, since they are one of the primary distributors, maybe this is the best it will get.

    It might be better to wait for the US Mint’s numismatic versions to go on sale, which ironically might be priced more reasonably than the bullion versions. The Mint will no doubt impose household limits, but at least everyone will have a fair shot at the original price.

    Here is a list of other authorized purchasers, but I am not sure if any of these companies do retail level transactions, as opposed to large sales to other bullion dealers.

    • A-Mark Precious Metals of Santa Monica, Calif. It is authorized to purchase gold, silver and platinum.
    • American Precious Metals Exchange, Inc., of Oklahoma City, Okla. Silver Eagles only.
    • Coins ‘N’ Things, Inc., of Bridgewater, Mass. Gold, silver and platinum.
    • Dillon Gage Inc. of Dallas, Texas. Silver only.
    • Fidelitrade, Inc. of Wilmington, Del. Silver only.
    • Jack Hunt Coin Broker, Inc., of Kenmore, N.Y. Silver only.
    • MTB of New York. Gold, silver and platinum.
    • Prudential Securities, Inc., of New York. Gold, silver and platinum.
    • Scotia Mocatta of New York. Gold silver and platinum.
    • The Gold Center of Springfield, Ill., Silver only.

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