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US Mint Catalog Price Markup of 2020

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#1
The US Mint Catalog Price Markup of 2020 seems to have happened gradually, but now it appears that the Mint wants the markup to be universal, across all of their product lines, but only including the coins sold on their website.

At first, I thought that only gold $5 coins were marked up, but I was very wrong. The markup affected not only gold $5 coins, but clad half dollars, silver dollars, special issue gold and silver eagle coins, and 5-oz silver coins. For example, uncirculated silver dollars were marked up from $54 to $69 (non-introductory prices), clad halves were marked up from $31 to $42, and $5 gold coins were marked up from $105 above melt to $220 above melt (approximately).

Today I learned that silver medals and silver proof sets have also been marked up. Silver medals now cost $65, and silver proof sets now cost $105, both significantly higher than they were a few months ago.

The good news is that regular issue gold and silver eagle coins still continue to follow the pricing rules set by the retailers that are selling them. For the 7 years that I have been buying silver, I have overlooked silver eagles for all this time. With next year marking the beginning of new series in both gold and silver eagles, I think these several months might be a window of opportunity to buy into the last year of the current series of eagles.

I am posting this thread because over the last 3 years, I have relied on US Mint Catalog products to supply my coins for sending to NGC, which has been remarkably profitable so far--but unfortunately, cannot continue in the same way going forward. I do want to continue my membership with NGC, and I hope to do so buying US Coins. I also recognize that World Coins may be a good alternative--especially Australian coins--but I want to see whether buying US Coins can still be sustainable, while avoiding the US Mint Catalog price markup.
 
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#2
My feeling is that many small coin traders like me will be seriously reconsidering whether they continue their paid memberships with NGC or PCGS.

My prediction is that a good percentage of them will discontinue their memberships, but some of them will be like me and try to adapt to the system.

One plan I want to try is to alternate between US Coins and World Coins every year. For example, in 2020 I might send in US Coins, and in 2021 I might send in World Coins. The Australian coin market still looks like it is in good shape, judging by sales on eBay.
 

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#3
My feeling is that many small coin traders like me will be seriously reconsidering whether they continue their paid memberships with NGC or PCGS.

My prediction is that a good percentage of them will discontinue their memberships, but some of them will be like me and try to adapt to the system.

One plan I want to try is to alternate between US Coins and World Coins every year. For example, in 2020 I might send in US Coins, and in 2021 I might send in World Coins. The Australian coin market still looks like it is in good shape, judging by sales on eBay.
Just like everything else it's slowly become commercialized to the point of absurdity.

Be it the shear the number, of offerings, the high mintage numbers, the hideous and ridiculous themes, the 'special issues', the absolute pandamonium of the phone sales where the public can stress, claw & fight over a chance at buying a mint set while the "dealers" get stacked with thousands of sets at markups and prices that should legally fall into the 'assault' category, people are still lining up to grab and fight for the latest.
After that 25th anniversary set madness, though i did quite well, im done buying from tbe mint for the foreseeable future.
 

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#4
On October 21, 2020, the US Mint announced that 2021 ASE's will be BOTH offered for sale in the old and new designs. Looks like 2020 ASE's will not be the last year of the old design?
 
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#5
On October 23, 2020, the US Mint announced that 2021 ASE's will be BOTH offered for sale in the old and new designs. Looks like 2020 ASE's will not be the last year of the old design?
If that is the case, it conforms to what the Mint did with some of their classic coin series, like the Barber dimes/quarters/halves, which were swapped out for Mercury/Standing/Walking coins in 1916.
 

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#6
Fortunately, premiums for silver eagles seem to have moved down since the beginning of this year.

Here is one listing I found today, although from a retailer I have not bought from yet:

https://www.bgasc.com/product/2020-...20-coins/silver-eagles-brilliant-uncirculated

I guess I'll try making a small purchase with this retailer first, to get acquainted with the process.

I just found that they do charge a shipping fee of $7.95 on orders below $5000.
 

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#8
Here's a listing from another dealer:

https://sdbullion.com/2020-us-american-silver-eagle-coin

This one has free shipping on orders over $99. I'm not quite sure which one I prefer now...I might flip a coin to decide.
At the moment, bgasc.com has the upper hand, due to the eagles being sold in an "unopened roll". Also, the price is lower than sdbullion.com, apmex.com, or provident.com, even with the $7.95 shipping charge.
 

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#9
If that is the case, it conforms to what the Mint did with some of their classic coin series, like the Barber dimes/quarters/halves, which were swapped out for Mercury/Standing/Walking coins in 1916.
The mint news release was in an article on the Coin World website, if you would like to read it. The article was dated October 23, 2020. The original Mint press release was released October 21, 2020. I corrected this on my original post of this topic.
 

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#10
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#11
Just ordered the roll of 2020 silver eagles from Provident.

My price for one roll was $591.40, which comes to about $29.57 per coin, or $5.07 over spot per coin.

As a bullion coin, this is on the expensive side, but I view this as a numismatic purchase. I purposely chose a silver product that gave me unopened coins, allowing me to practice my coin inspection skills while selecting the best coins for submission to NGC.

And who knows, at the end of next year, after the new silver eagle designs have been released, the resale premiums of these coins may go up. In any case, I consider this route a far better alternative to accepting the high price markup for coins sold at the US Mint Catalog site.
 

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#12
Another option of course is the 5-oz ATB coins, at least until they are discontinued.

While this might give me a better deal regarding the premium (each oz of silver is about $5.90 over spot, but the collector premium may be greater compared to the eagles), my main purpose of buying the silver eagles is to give me a supply of coins for submitting to NGC. The pucks do not serve this purpose well because they must be submitted separately from my $5 gold coins, even though they are both in the modern tier.

Another argument against using the pucks for NGC submission is that they tend to grade lower than eagles, limiting the amount of upside for coins that grade higher. Of course, all of this is speculation. One thing is certain, though...I have many more ounces of ATB pucks than eagles at the moment, so buying the eagles seems to be a no-brainer to me right now.
 

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#13
I should have waited a day to make the purchase.

Good thing I bought just one roll...
 

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#14
I should have waited a day to make the purchase.

Good thing I bought just one roll...
No one is right all the time. One day that roll will be worth multiples of what you bought it for - perhaps sooner than later. If we get further downside treat yourself to another cheap roll.
 

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#15
Just completed the purchase of my 4th roll of silver eagles about a week ago, just in time to avoid the price hike from $30 to $38 per coin.

In addition to the 2 rolls of 2020 eagles I bought a few months ago, I will have 2 rolls of 2021 eagles with the old design. By the time the new design 2021 eagles are available, the price of silver will be anyone's guess.

Back to the main topic, I think that the US Mint catalog coins can become affordable this year compared to last year, for two reasons:

1) The 100th anniversary Peace and Morgan dollars to be released this year promise to hold strong collector value, even if the mintages are high. We know this by looking at the 2001 Buffalo silver dollar, which still has a high premium even with its high mintage. Assuming that last year's price markup was a long-term price adjustment, we should not expect a price adjustment this year of similar magnitude. And since the silver dollars are not commemorative coins, there should not be a surcharge for the coins.

2) If the price of silver goes significantly high this year, the Mint may not necessarily adjust the prices of their silver coin products, as they follow different pricing guidelines from their gold coins. The Mint is not known for adjusting the prices of their silver coins during the middle of the year. So the buyer can recover some of the value by virtue of the higher intrinsic value of the silver coins.

Unlike last year, I will need to decide between buying the new design 2021 eagles or the Peace and Morgan dollars.
 

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#16
This year's commemorative coin program began early, to my surprise, and they will undergo a pre-release phase until May 5.

Also, it seems that the Mint took a step backwards in terms of the price markup, at least for the clad half dollars. Prices of the clad unc half dollars are now $33, which is less than last year's price of $42. On the other hand, prices of the silver dollars and gold $5 coins have not budged and are still at last year's marked up prices of $69 and $659.

I did not read any mention of introductory prices for the commemorative coins this year. There are probably none, as the unc silver dollar prices of $69 are the same as last year's non-introductory prices. But the prices of the clad halves now seem reasonable, considering that graded 70s consistently sell for $80 and higher on eBay, and I have had good success getting back 70s from NGC.

I may actually decide to buy some of the clad unc and proof half dollars this year, continuing the practice that I discontinued last year due to the high prices. Initial mintage reports look low, raising the possibility of a new key this year. I will need to refrain from buying the silver or gold commemorative coins, though, if I want to have enough dry powder for the Morgan and Peace silver dollars and silver eagle coins to be offered this year.
 

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#17
According to this link, introductory prices are in effect for the first 30 days of pre-orders.

https://www.usmint.gov/news/press-r...nounces-pre-sales-of-2021-commemorative-coins

So these are actually introductory prices and actually may go up in a little over a week.

Here is a link that explains the introductory pricing plan:

https://www.coinworld.com/news/us-coins/law-enforcement-commemorative-coins-available-for-pre-orders

The individual product options, each with first-day’s sales followed by introductory price and regular issue price, are:
➤ Single Proof 2021-W gold $5 coin, 358; introductory price: $681.25 (2021 grid minus $5); regular issue price: 2021 grid.
➤ Single Uncirculated 2021-W gold $5 coin, 398; introductory price: $671.25 (2021 grid minus $5); regular issue price: 2021 grid.
➤ Single Proof 2021-P silver dollar, 5,993; $74; $79.
➤ Single Uncirculated 2021-P silver dollar, 2,872; $69; $74.
➤ Single Proof 2021-S clad half dollar, 5,916; $35; $40.
➤ Single Uncirculated 2021-D clad half dollar, 3,622; $33, $38.
➤ Three-coin Proof set, 1,500; introductory price: $746.75; regular issue price: 2021 grid. First day pre-sales for the three-coin Proof set are 20% of the maximum.

Here is my take. I noticed that non-introductory prices of silver dollars will be $5 higher than last year, and those of clad half dollars will be $5 less than last year. Very fair in my opinion, at least for the clad half dollars (but I am not so sure about the silver dollars), as the Mint needs to make enough profit to continue operations. But introductory pricing will last only several more days.
 
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#18
I just made an order of 5 clad unc (21CF) and 1 clad proof (21CE) coins.

The clad unc and proof series has only let me down once, last year, but the Mint corrected their mistake by backtracking the price markup of last year from a non-introductory price of $42 to one of $38, with an introductory price of $33 that is set to expire in about a week. This price is about 25% higher than in year 2019, but still well worth the money.
 

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here's what I get to 'contend with' for this years silver unc dollar:

Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Silver Dollar
Authorized by Public Law 116-65, the Christa McAuliffe Silver Dollar recognizes the former social studies teacher who in 1985 was chosen to be the first participant in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Teacher in Space program. On January 28, 1986, McAuliffe and six astronauts were tragically killed during the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Surcharges in the amount of $10 for each silver dollar sold are authorized to be paid to the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®) robotics program for the purpose of engaging and inspiring young people, through mentor-based programs, to become leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum Commemorative Coins
The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum Commemorative Coin Program will feature unique designs on a gold coin, a silver coin, and a half dollar as authorized by Public Law 116-94. The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum’s mission is to honor and commemorate the extraordinary service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers and serve as a bridge between past and present, as well as between peace officers and the public. Surcharges in the amounts of $35 for each $5 gold coin, $10 for each silver dollar, and $5 for each half dollar are authorized to be paid to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Inc., for educational and outreach programs and exhibits.

https://www.usmint.gov/news/press-r...nounces-pre-sales-of-2021-commemorative-coins

$74 per proof version
$69 for the unc

i got some of last years new #3 position uncs, Suffering Woman, something like that...still didn't beat out the Girl Coin, ummm...oh yeah, Boys Town


pfffttt...pick another Key

LOL

but i'll get a few certified for just a few bucks more from the secondary market

...and so it begins

GL

:2 thumbs up:
 

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#20
National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum Commemorative Coins
Didn't they do this in 1997?

When you can't tell which is which or when is when that is a hint to get out.
 

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#21
dang it...now i gotta look it up

LOL

2017 Red Book, chuckle

ummm...
1997 National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

seems they've added a profit maker: A Museum

yeah, i won't be chasing that dog...i'll be after the ugly dog, the christa one...but, idk, it is a 'space coin'...idk...but wait

the devices have nothing to do with 'space', just a bunch of women

in fact, the word Space isn't even on the coin: BINGO!

the ugly dog award for 2021 goes to:...the us mint
 

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#22
Didn't they do this in 1997?

When you can't tell which is which or when is when that is a hint to get out.
and not until they're done making new keys...they're now better than a locksmith on a rainy day

:summer:
 

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dang it...now i gotta look it up

LOL

2017 Red Book, chuckle

ummm...
1997 National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

seems they've added a profit maker: A Museum

yeah, i won't be chasing that dog...i'll be after the ugly dog, the christa one...but, idk, it is a 'space coin'...idk...but wait

the devices have nothing to do with 'space', just a bunch of women

in fact, the word Space isn't even on the coin: BINGO!

the ugly dog award for 2021 goes to:...the us mint
Agreed. I would watch the weekly sales to decide to pounce. The only problem is the bulk dealer sales can throw a monkey wrench into that one.
 

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#24
i waited too late last year and had to fork out less than $100 for 69's, year before, i was months earlier and got 70's for that price

i got the BT's early in 70's for near that price also

here's the kicker i see: hot silver market

i'm going with 'Hot outta the gate', die mid year, especially if the mint keeps raising their prices and will remain dead IF:
street silver remains available to counter the 'desperation sales' that will occur

those late to the party can mess things up and I figure the dealers will be 'mostly all in' by early August, at the latest, more likely will be 'mostly in' by April / May, to fill pre-orders and late orders will be to fill their over-demand...

most dealers don't chase 'keys', they're chasing grades and bulk orders to save shipping costs and don't like sitting on any 'dead inventory', i know, try finding any commems from dealers in October...they'll be pushing the last of their certified versions, for tighter premiums, at that point in time
 

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#25
here's what I get to 'contend with' for this years silver unc dollar:

Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Silver Dollar
Authorized by Public Law 116-65, the Christa McAuliffe Silver Dollar recognizes the former social studies teacher who in 1985 was chosen to be the first participant in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Teacher in Space program. On January 28, 1986, McAuliffe and six astronauts were tragically killed during the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Surcharges in the amount of $10 for each silver dollar sold are authorized to be paid to the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®) robotics program for the purpose of engaging and inspiring young people, through mentor-based programs, to become leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Christa McAuliffe is definitely worthy of the Mint's commemorative brand name, even if it means ripping off many collectors (this coin is definitely for a good cause!). It is the most sentimental story since Apollo of 2019, but with the sad mood of the Challenger crash in contrast with the Eagle moon landing.

The silver dollars went from $54 to $69 last year, but this year the $69 is only the introductory price this year (very subtle trick there by the Mint), and it will become $74 pretty soon.

But maybe they can still come out ahead. Recently, I did a search on the Boys Town MS70 silver dollars, and they have quietly moved up in price from $100 to $160 over the last year and a half. If the other silver dollars can follow in the coattails of that coin, it will give some hope to small buyers.

For me, it has been the clad halves more so than the silver dollars, as far as submitting and selling is concerned. Last year's price bump from $31 to $42 was a deal breaker, but this year it will be only $38, with a chance for a $5 introductory discount. The path to profitability is the opportunity to get back some 70s from NGC. With some good luck and skill in the grading process, I have been able to reach the other side for the 2016 to 2019 issues.

This year's silver dollar pricing puts the silver dollars out of reach for my budget, unless you are talking about the Morgan and Peace silver dollars. Those might not even have a surcharge, as they are technically not commemorative coins. But even if they are priced comparably with the commemoratives, the demand will be much higher, making it a lot easier to come out ahead.
 

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#26
unless you are talking about the Morgan and Peace silver dollars.
idk what to think yet about these presentations

i mean, it's really cool on the one hand, they're collector pieces from the git-go and will probably always command a premium, like the Buffalo commem silver dollar has, that's why i don't own one...yikes, at that point, it's like trading a hundred dollar bill for a hundred dollar bill and three years from now it'll still be worth a hundred dollars

i hate coins like that and usually steer clear, even though i have a few, i'll admit, that's what soured my attitude towards 'cool'

'get off my lawn'

i've read that lately, sometimes i might drop it in about my self, funny like : )

i read about your half dollar experience and enjoy your success
:2 thumbs up:
 

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#27
Here is how I evaluate the price increases for commemorative coins over the last two years. First, I break down the Mint prices into metal and premium values.

The price of silver in 2019 averaged at about $16.20 (see https://www.kitco.com/scripts/hist_charts/yearly_graphs.plx?ag2019=on&submitagD=View+Data), and a 2019 silver dollar cointains 0.8594 oz of silver (considering the new silver composition ratio of 0.999). This puts the 2019 metal value at $13.92.

Gold coins sold at the Mint are pegged to the price of gold, with an added premium. Based on my purchase order records, I paid a non-introductory price of $413.75 for a gold unc five on 6/4/2019, which was based on the Mint price bracket centered around a gold spot price of $1275 (this order was made one day before the Mint raised their prices of gold coins). A 2019 gold five contains 0.241875 oz of gold (the same amount that was used in 1840), and this puts the metal value at $308.

In 2019, the Mint raised their prices of gold coins multiple times, but the premium for each gold coin remained the same throughout the year.


Here are the prices of unc commemoratives in 2019, broken down by metal and premium:

2019 Clad Unc Half (non-introductory)

total
$30.95

metal
$0.10

premium
$30.85


2019 Silver Unc Dollar (non-introductory)

total
$56.95

metal
$13.92

premium
$43.03


2019 Gold Unc Five (non-introductory)

total
$413.75

metal
$308

premium
$105.75


(to be continued)
 

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#28
The price of silver in 2020 averaged at about $20.54 (see https://www.kitco.com/scripts/hist_charts/yearly_graphs.plx?ag2020=on&submitagD=View+Data). With 0.8594 oz of silver per coin, this puts the 2020 metal value at $17.65.

A 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame gold unc five is currently priced at $676.25 (even though the coin is sold out, the price can still be seen on the Mint website). Currently, the Mint is pricing their gold coins based on a spot value of $1825. With 0.241875 oz of gold per coin, this puts the current metal value at $441.


Here are the prices of unc commemoratives in 2020, broken down by metal and premium:

2020 Clad Unc Half (non-introductory)

total
$42.00

metal
$0.10

premium
$41.90

2020 Silver Unc Dollar (non-introductory)

total
$69.00

metal
$17.65

premium
$51.35

2020 Gold Unc Five (non-introductory)

total
$676.25

metal
$441

premium
$235.25


Here is how the premium changed over the last two years.
The clad unc non-introductory premium increased from $30.85 in 2019 to $41.90 in 2020. In 2021, the premium is decreasing by $4 to $37.90.

The silver unc non-introductory premium increased from $43.03 in 2019 to $51.35 in 2020. In 2021, silver dollar prices are higher by $5, but this might have been done because of the increase in silver price from 2020 to 2021.

The gold unc non-introductory premium increased from $105.75 in 2019 to $235.25 in 2020. In 2021, the new gold unc five is priced at $659.00 compared to last year's coin price of $676.25. Of this $17.25 price drop, $5 is due to the introductory discount, putting the decrease of premium this year at $12.25. The non-introductory premium for gold unc fives in 2021 will then be $223.
 

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#29
Now let me explain why I still like the clad halves but not the silver dollars or gold fives.

From a buying/submitting/selling perspective, I need to pay submission costs for each coin, and some clad unc 70s sell in the 100s (or even the 200s). Furthermore, eBay charges a fee on the entire sale price, even if part of the price is based on metal value (eBay fees do not care about metal/premium breakdown).

So that is why I am focusing on the premium of each coin. In 2019, I thought gold unc fives were a great deal, and rightly so. Just look at prices for the 2019 American Legion gold unc MS70 on eBay. But now the premium has more than doubled, and it is now more difficult to recoup that premium. The 2021 coin will need to not only establish itself as a new key, but also convert that status to higher secondary market prices.

With the clad uncs, the price can be considered favorable even if secondary market prices don't go very high. At $33 per coin for introductory pricing, I can break even by selling the coins raw on eBay. Or I can submit the coins, get back 70s, and then sell the coins for $70 or more (the actual price depends on market forces). The only significant risk comes from submitting the coins and not getting 70s.

With the gold fives, I noticed that the 2020 Basketball coins struggled to hold their Mint premiums and often failed to do so on eBay. It will be a different story if the 2021 coin becomes a new key, but that would still be uncertain (just look at what happened to the 2016 National Park coin, which became a new key but only held that status for one year), and the coin would still need to establish higher prices in order to be worth the bigger investment.

For the silver unc dollars, the premium increase is not like the gold unc fives, but it is still larger than that of the clad unc coins. With the introductory discount, I can lower the premium for a clad unc half to $32.90, but the premium for a silver unc dollar will be $46.35. Based on my experience with eBay prices, this higher Mint premium does not necessarily translate to higher eBay prices.
 

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#30
I just made an order of 5 clad unc (21CF) and 1 clad proof (21CE) coins.

The clad unc and proof series has only let me down once, last year, but the Mint corrected their mistake by backtracking the price markup of last year from a non-introductory price of $42 to one of $38, with an introductory price of $33 that is set to expire in about a week. This price is about 25% higher than in year 2019, but still well worth the money.
When I said "well worth the money", I only meant it to a limited extent. After all, the coins are still 25% more expensive than 2 years ago.

In market theory, there is something called the "law of diminishing returns". The practical meaning of this is that the more coins you have of a single kind, the greater the risk it is to have excess inventory of that kind of coin.

In 2019, I bought 12 American Legion clad halves. I did a good job scoring 70s on 5 of the 7 coins I submitted, but I still need to sell the coins. Missing the key mintage meant that the $80 price point for MS70s is proving to be stiff resistance, unlike the prior year MS70s and PF70s. The 2017 Boys Town and 2016 National Park coins held key mintage status for one year each, but their mintage is higher than the 2019 American Legion. Even so, the MS70s of those 2 years have been selling for over $100. With patience, I am hoping that the 2019 coins will move past $100 as well.

If the 2021 coins become the new key, it will probably be easier to break past $80 for the MS70s, but the Mint price is higher now. One more order of 6 clad coins might be good, but that would probably be it.
 

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#31
For the silver unc dollars, the premium increase is not like the gold unc fives, but it is still larger than that of the clad unc coins. With the introductory discount, I can lower the premium for a clad unc half to $32.90, but the premium for a silver unc dollar will be $46.35. Based on my experience with eBay prices, this higher Mint premium does not necessarily translate to higher eBay prices.
Actually, the premium increase of the silver dollars is comparable to the clad halves but was higher to begin with.

I may be biased toward the clad halves after seeing the lackluster performance of the 2017-P Boys Town MS70 during 2018 and 2019, but this improved in 2020 and 2021.

Last year, when the price markup took effect, the current year commemorative theme was Basketball Hall of Fame, which was popular to the masses, giving the coins no chance to establish key mintage status. Almost all of the 2020 Basketball coins are doing very poorly on eBay.

This year is different, as the popular commemorative theme is Christa McAuliffe, the other one for the year. It has drawn more sales away from the Law Enforcement silver unc, giving it a solid chance to become the key, perhaps better than the clad unc.

Keeping in mind the law of diminishing returns, I might decide to throw in a couple of Law Enforcement silver unc dollars with clad unc halves in my next order.
 

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#32
I made an order for 2 clad unc halves and 2 silver unc dollars.

This year's premiums are higher than in 2019, but the Mint adjusted the premium lower for the clad halves this year, and the additional $5 price increase for the silver dollars over 2020 prices can be attributed to the increase in silver prices.

Together, the two orders include 7 clad unc halves, 2 silver unc dollars, and 1 clad proof half, all of the Law Enforcement commemorative theme.

I decided to make these orders, despite the higher prices compared to 2019. Sales reports from the Mint show good possibilities of making new keys in all the issues of this theme:

Commemoratives 21CA 2021 NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT MUSEUM GOLD PROOF 586 2/14/2021
Commemoratives 21CB 2021 NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT MUSEUM GOLD UNC 632 2/14/2021
Commemoratives 21CC 2021 NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT MUSEUM SILVER PROOF 10187 2/14/2021
Commemoratives 21CD 2021 NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT MUSEUM SILVER UNC 4471 2/14/2021
Commemoratives 21CE 2021 NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT MUSEUM CLAD PROOF 8697 2/14/2021
Commemoratives 21CF 2021 NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT MUSEUM CLAD UNC 5024 2/14/2021
Commemoratives 21CG 2021 NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT MUSEUM 3-COIN SET 2321 2/14/2021
For example, the opening sales numbers for the current unc key coins can be seen here:

Commemoratives 17CD 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER UNC 4959 03/12/2017
Commemoratives 18CK 2018 BREAST CANCER CLAD UNC 5966 03/18/2018
Commemoratives 19CK 2019 AMERICAN LEGION GOLD UNC 1199 03/17/2019
And this comparison is handicapped, as the 2021 Law Enforcement sales numbers represent the 3rd week of sales compared to the 1st week of sales for the existing key coins.

I decided to go with just 1 clad proof half. From my experience with the 2018-S Breast Cancer proof half, the upside for prices is not that great, with my highest sale being at $90, though the proof coins sell quicker.

And, yes, the Law Enforcement gold unc five is ridiculously high in price at $659.00, but it is selling slower than even the the 2019 American Legion, the current key coin. If eBay prices soar past $1000 around Thanksgiving this year, I might decide to buy one (from the Mint, of course). The difference is that the $5 discount is very small compared to the option to wait until November to buy. With luck, I can time the purchase one day before a price increase from spot gold price.
 
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#33
This year's premiums are higher than in 2019, but the Mint adjusted the premium lower for the clad halves this year, and the additional $5 price increase for the silver dollars over 2020 prices can be attributed to the increase in silver prices.

Together, the two orders include 7 clad unc halves, 2 silver unc dollars, and 1 clad proof half, all of the Law Enforcement commemorative theme.
With these two orders, I am venturing away from the cautious stance I took last year due to the price markup.

Luckily, last year's Basketball commemorative theme was completely irrelevant with regard to the mintage races, and the break allowed me to reassess the Mint's new pricing model.

If the commemorative coins I buy this year turn out to be winners, then I will have saved $5 for each one that I bought in these two orders by buying early.

I am absolutely sure that the lower sales numbers in the first 3 weeks of sales are a direct result of the price markups enacted last year. The basketball coins failed to make new keys because the basketball theme was too popular for that to happen, even with the higher Mint prices. With this year's unpopular law enforcement theme combined with the price markups from last year, new keys are more likely to be created.

If these coins (along with the gold unc five, if I decide to buy one later this year) turn out be winners and the new keys, other coin traders like me might be emboldened by the positive market reaction from the new keys, despite the higher Mint prices. This may lead to a situation in 2022 where mintages are lower than all years up to 2020, but still higher than the 2021 mintages. If this situation happens, then the 2021 law enforcement coins would be the keys for yet another year.

Of course, the scenarios I raised in the last paragraph are speculation and may not actually happen. For this reason, I plan to buy much less this year (compared to 2019) primarily due to cutting down purchases of the gold unc fives.
 

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#34
I seriously hope that the Mint will not add surcharges for the Morgan and Peace silver dollars like they do with their commemorative silver dollars...
 

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#35
In 2019, I bought 12 American Legion clad halves. I did a good job scoring 70s on 5 of the 7 coins I submitted, but I still need to sell the coins. Missing the key mintage meant that the $80 price point for MS70s is proving to be stiff resistance, unlike the prior year MS70s and PF70s. The 2017 Boys Town and 2016 National Park coins held key mintage status for one year each, but their mintage is higher than the 2019 American Legion. Even so, the MS70s of those 2 years have been selling for over $100. With patience, I am hoping that the 2019 coins will move past $100 as well.
I took another look on eBay and found that actually the 2019-D American Legion PCGS MS70s have been selling in the $200s recently, but the NGC ones have been struggling to move past $100.

Maybe it is because of lower populations of PCGS versus NGC. A similar situation has been in place for the 2018-D Breast Cancer MS70s, but the NGC coins have been able to claim a greater amount of elevated pricing than the 2019-D, by selling in the upper $100s or lower $200s, compared to upper $200s for PCGS.

From my experience, most modern coins treat NGC and PGCS equally with regard to 70 versus 69 pricing, but this is an exception. I myself prefer NGC because of the higher quality slabs and lower fees, and I hope the same preference grows for other collectors going forward.

I think I just need to wait until the sellers with multiple American Legion NGC MS70s (like me) have depleted their stock, before we can see the NGC prices be in line with NGC MS70s from 2016 to 2018, as their NGC MS70 populations would suggest.

To stay on topic, I think the higher prices at the Mint will encourage collectors to look to the secondary market (eBay or HA) as their main supply of coins. As a result, collectors will begin to look at coins issued in past years rather than the current year. This would give hope to the 2019-D American Legion NGC M70 clad half, as it has low 70 population and very low mintage.