The US coins that caused collector uproar

There is one thing that frustrates collectors more than anything else…

Here’s what happens – A mint announces that a coin will launch at a forthcoming show, but only small numbers will be available, so they advise collectors to get there early to make sure they get their coin.

Fastforward to the show in question and there’s pandemonium. I’ve even seen such launches cancelled half way through on the grounds of safety.

world money fair - The US coins that caused collector uproar

Today, these launches are happening more and more online, but the same frustrations remain for collectors – if they’re not quick enough, they miss out.

It all comes down to one thing – edition limits.

Set them too high and the coin will never sell out and never be truly collectable. Set them too low though and you will disappoint a lot of collectors and fuel the secondary market (where a lucky collector who secured a coin will sell it on to another collector for a tidy profit).

When a mint underestimates public demand for one of its products, collectors are quick to voice their frustration. Imagine their anger when it happens twice in less than a week at one of the world’s biggest mints as occurred recently in the United States.

First up was the Jackie Kennedy First Spouse half-ounce gold coins, which went on to back order very quickly after sales started. Five days later sales began for the Harry S. Truman Coin and Chronicles set, only to end after 15 minutes when 16,780 sets had been sold from a maximum edition of 17,000 sets.

The popularity of both products clearly caught United States Mint officials off-guard and left a lot of collectors frustrated.

Predicting the future

The mint had underestimated the demand for their coins, but how do you predict the popularity of a future release?

There is no exact formula to follow, but there are two key things a mint will look at – and these are things that you should know when considering coins for your Portfolio:

  1. Past sales of similar products
  2. Popularity of a coin’s subject or theme

There is one more thing, which is particularly pertinent to collectors and one that the US Mint obviously didn’t take into account with regards to the Truman set.

A significant first or change

Collectors love a first or something significant like a design change.

So what did the US Mint miss? The Truman set included the addition of a Reverse Proof Presidential Dollar for the first time. This significant change made a mockery of the Mint’s prediction of demand.

It also means the Truman set will be one that collectors will always be attracted to, so the secondary market for this product will be very strong.


At Coin Portfolio Management, we draw upon 30 years of experience when it comes to picking the right coins to recommend for your Portfolio. For every 100 coins we see, we probably reject 99 of them if their edition limit is too high or the subject is not strong enough.

If you’re looking for something with a low edition limit, this is our top recommendation right now:

Limited to just 250 – The 2015 Remembrance Day Silver Proof DateStamp £2

Featuring the 2015 Royal Navy Silver Proof £2 Coin from the Royal Mint, this DateStamp™ issue has an exceptionally low edition limit of just 250 pieces, but is available for just £125. It was officially postmarked by the Royal Mint on 11 November 2015.

Click here to find out more

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