Everything costs more these days, or so it sounds, as inflation pushes up costs for a wide range of consumer products, from the food we place on our tables to health care into the goods offered to customers of the United States Mint.
During the last few years, U.S. Mint officials also have raised the prices of several of the Mint’s collector products. As a government agency, it’s tasked to supply services and goods at no loss to the authorities, which everybody can support, I believe. However, the danger is that higher prices for these things as the Silver Proof collection as well as the bronze duplicates of congressional gold medal threaten to flip some Mint customers into ex-customers, as they can no longer afford to purchase coins and sets which used to be cheap even on a fixed income.
As soon as I started buying Proof sets straight from the U.S. Mint from the late 1960s, the cost was $5 percent five-coin set. When an Eisenhower dollar was added to the set in 1974, the price had been bumped all the way up to $7.
The 2021-S Silver Proof set will go on sale in April at precisely the same price as the 2020-S edition, $105, which might be regarded as good news, until you compare the quantities of coins at the two sets: 10 for the 2020 set versus seven for your 2021, which features just two quarter dollars compared to the older group’s five America the Beautiful quarter dollars. And, it should be said, the 2020 Silver Proof set contained a Reverse Proof 2020-W Jefferson 5-cent coin as a bonus.
The 2021 set does not even represent a”complete” set of annual coins — it has the year’s Native American dollar but not the four American Innovation dollars for the year. Anyone wanting those four bucks will have to buy another product — a four-coin Proof set whose price is not yet publicly revealed.
Compare the price of this 10-coin 2021 set to that of the 10-coin 2015 set, that had twice the number of coins, including that year’s four dollars, the Native American dollar, five America the gorgeous million bucks, and the cent, 5-cent coin and dime. That place was issued in the purchase price of $53.95, which now registers as a deal.
The cost for the 10-coin 2019-S Silver Proof set was expensive compared to 2015 set despite having only 10 coins, at $54.95.
Rates are high for other Mint products, as we have reported previously. A 3-inch bronze copy of a tax medal price $39.95 final year; starting Jan. 1, the cost was increased by over 400 percent to a staggering $160. The cost for your 1.3125-inch and 1.5-inch bronze medals almost tripled, moving to $20 from $6.95.
United States Mint goods aren’t the sole collectible items whose prices are rising. Prices have been increasing for those cars the last few decades too, once you can snag one when it goes on sale (a highly demanded, limited-edition Hot Wheels VW Drag Bus provided on March 16 sold out at about half an hour, mirroring the experiences clients of the Mint have because of its low-mintage goods; and yes, I was one of those lucky collectors to have the ability to purchase one of those”Candy Striper” Drag Buses).
The Mint makes amazing products, generally with higher quality, that collectors love to accumulate, but the price increases are angering collectors, some of whom contact us to whine. Higher prices for Mint products seem inevitable. Unfortunately, the higher prices could drive collectors out of the market. I envision much reduced sales of those 3-inch bronze medals for their 160 price .
Let us hope that future price rises in the Mint won’t be as intense as they have been the previous couple of years.