The choice by United States Mint officials to permit bulk buyers to buy and pick up Proof 2021-W American Eagle silver dollars, a coin several collectors were unable to obtain even a single instance of, three days before the coin officially went on sale, only reinforces the belief that the Mint purposely caters to traders to the detriment of collectors.

Some traders have already placed their orders for the first Proof 2021-W American Eagle gold coins, which do not go on sale to the public until March 11.

The Feb. 11 offering proved frustrating for many Mint clients, together with the”currently unavailable” status attained within seconds. Household limits of 99 were in place Feb. 11, a large number but still well below the number of coins the ABPP traders were allowed to purchase on Feb. 8.

Collectors have long thought that, for specific high-interest products, large dealers have special access when it comes to buying. While we’d seen no significant evidence of that in the past beyond normal bulk purchase supplies, the Feb. 8 supplying is clear evidence that the rules are different for different types of clients of the U.S. Mint. Spend big bucks and you get special deals — early accessibility and relaxed sequence restricts — unavailable to an ordinary collector who’d happy to purchase only 1 coin or set in issue price.

We agree that the Mint should be able to offer bulk sales to majority traders, for some products. However, doing so for a limited-edition merchandise such as the Proof 2021-W American Eagle silver dollar was a bad move from a public relations standpoint.

Collectors have long been mad to see limited-edition goods sell out in minutes, then appear in the market in quantity at vastly inflated prices. This ABPP deal will likely anger them even more.