Fuzzy Logic

Do you know that you can sign up to receive emails from the US Mint about their products? It’s easy to do. Click here to go to their newsletter web page.

Now, with that introduction, the Mint’s most recent email detailed the list of scheduled product releases for the remainder of the year. But, once again, their dates for American Eagles, either proof or uncirculated and either silver or gold, have a “TBD” in the date column. Of course, TBD means the Mint has not determined if they will produce Eagles this year, or if they do, which version they will mint.

In their email, each Eagle line item includes an asterisk (*) which corresponds to an explanatory note at the bottom:

“Public Laws 99-61 and 99-185 mandate that the United States Mint mint and issue its American Eagle Silver and Gold Bullion Coins ‘…in quantities sufficient to meet public demand…’ There is no corresponding legal requirement to mint and issue the proof and uncirculated coins in quantities sufficient to meet public demand. The United States Mint, however, is continuing to work with current and potential blank suppliers to increase the supply of silver and gold blanks in amounts that may make it possible to offer the proof and uncirculated versions of American Eagle Silver and Gold Coins in 2010.”

Perhaps it’s picking a nit, but their logic seems rather fuzzy.

Since Eagles, either gold or silver, are not circulating coins, then who decides “…quantities sufficient to meet public demand?” And, how do they differentiate demand for coins that will never be in circulation from the demand for proof and uncirculated versions for which there is “no legal requirement?”

People within the dealer community along with investors and numismatists have shared their displeasure with the US Mint about the lack of both proof and uncirculated Eagles. In 2009, there was concern Eagles would not be minted at all. Late in the year, the Mint did provide each version of the uncirculated silver and gold coins (only from one mint), but no proof versions were made available for customers.

The gold Eagles were only minted in Philadelphia. Whereas in earlier years, the Philadelphia mint provided the uncirulated Eagles, and West Point minted the proof versions. For 2009, the uncirculated silver Eagles were minted in West Point but without a mint mark. In earlier years, West Point minted both the unciruculated and proof silver Eagles and included a “W” mint mark on the proof versions.

There is still time in 2010 for the Mint to strike and provide proof and uncirculated Eagles to their customers – collectors and investors. But, will they?