2015 American Silver Eagle Bullion Coin Branch mint Attribution numbers on monster boxes declared erroneous by United States Mint

2015 “P” American Silver Eagles – Mint raises doubts about the designation

By CoinWeek ….
 

Bullion coins are precious metal assets whose purity and standardization is guaranteed by a government authority. This purity and standardization (commodification, if you will) allows people to buy and sell bullion coins in ways that make them more useful as investment products. This appeal to the investment buyer in turn makes bullion coins profitable to their producers.

In the case of the American Silver Eagle (ASE) bullion coin, that producer is the United States Mint.

Earlier in 2017, the two major third-party grading services (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) began attributing branch mints to the holders of certified ASE bullion coins based on information from Mint production and shipment records discovered through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The secondary market was quick to react, and prices for certain ASEs began to rise.

The U.S. Mint then released a brief notice towards the end of May that said the information as originally released–the information that was being used to market these “P Mint” coins and the resulting raise of premiums for them–was incorrect. The statement clarified the Mint’s position on the matter but also promised a more in-depth announcement by the end of June.

Well……here it is.

Michael White of the United States Mint Office of Corporate Communications, sent out a press release on June 30th, 2017 at 3pm which we have reproduced below.

CoinWeek will continue to reach out to PCGS and NGC, as well as the Mint, for further information and clarification and report the results to you as soon as they are available. —CoinWeek

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The information below updates the American Eagle Bullion Note to Editors from the Mint on May 26, 2017, regarding erroneous information that was released on March 20, 2017, in response to a request made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The erroneous information, as well as confusion surrounding the Mint’s use of internal manufacturing tracking numbers–specifically those connected with American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins–resulted in a mistaken belief that some of these coins are rarities.

As stated in the May 26 Note to Editors, the Mint offers bullion coins through Authorized Purchasers to provide investors the opportunity to acquire precious metal coins at a slight premium to spot market prices. As such, all American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins are, by their very nature, homogeneous. None of these coins bears a mint mark designating the facility where it was produced. The Mint’s goal is to ensure that the American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins struck at any of these three facilities are identical and indistinguishable from one another.

The results of a comprehensive review by Mint staff are provided here.

The information released on March 20 incorrectly stated that the box numbers of American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins minted in West Point in 2015 each had six digits, while those minted in Philadelphia had five digits.

2015 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins minted in West Point were packaged in one of two ways: manually, or by one of the West Point Mint’s two Auto-tuber machines. 2015 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins minted in Philadelphia were all packaged manually. The coins were shipped in so-called “monster boxes”, each of which contains 25 tubes of 20 coins, for a total of 500 coins in each box.

All monster boxes of 2015 American Eagle Silver Bullion coins minted in West Point bore a computer-generated label that included “WPM.” Labels on manually packaged (or “hand-tubed”) boxes included “WPM,” but were not numbered. The box tracking numbers were hand written on the boxes of hand-tubed coins. Labels on boxes packaged by Auto-tuber #1 and Auto-tuber #2 bore “WPM” followed by a five- or six-digit number. The box tracking numbers were also hand written on the boxes.

Monster boxes of 2015 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins minted in Philadelphia did not have a computer-generated tracking number label. Box tracking numbers were hand written directly on the boxes.

A monster box with its original computer-generated label containing “WPM” followed by: no number, a five-digit tracking number, or a six-digit tracking number would indicate that the coins were struck at West Point.

Box tracking numbers 10001 through 10159 were used on boxes of coins minted in Philadelphia. Those same box tracking numbers were also used on coins minted in West Point. However, only the West Point monster boxes were shipped with computer-generated labels.

Because of duplication of box tracking numbers at Philadelphia and West Point, as well as any mistakes in labeling or the possibility that labels on the boxes could have been removed or altered at any time after shipping, the Mint will make no attempt to “verify” the origin of any boxes using techniques related to tracking numbers, labels, or otherwise.

Philadelphia

  • 79,500 one-ounce units delivered to West Point Mint for shipping.
  • The information released on March 20, 2017 stated that 79,640 one-ounce units were produced; that number is accurate, but includes 140 units condemned and not shipped. Only 79,500 one-ounce units were delivered to West Point for shipping.
  • Assigned Box numbers 10001-10159 for internal tracking purposes.
  • Box numbers were hand written on box only.
  • Data on labels did not include box numbers or any sort of Mint identifier.
  • “West Point Mint” was printed on the banding of all boxes shipped from West Point.

West Point

  • 46,920,500 1-ounce units produced and shipped from the West Point Mint.
  • Hand Tubed:
    • Assigned Box numbers 11001-23451 for internal tracking purposes
    • Box numbers 11001-23451 hand written on box only
    • Labels were West Point-specific but did not include box numbers
    • “West Point Mint” was printed on the banding of all boxes shipped from West Point
  • Auto-tuber #1:
    • Assigned Box numbers 00001-31100 for internal tracking purposes
    • Box numbers 00001-31100 hand written on box and printed on label.
    • Mint specific label with number – (WPM 00001-WPM 31100)
    • Hand written number on box did not have WPM prefix and may not have had leading zeroes.
    • “West Point Mint” was printed on the banding of all boxes shipped from West Point
  • Auto-tuber #2:
    • Box numbers 200001 – 250200 hand written on box and printed on label.
    • Mint specific label with number – (WPM 200001-WPM 250200)
    • Hand written number on box did not have the WPM prefix
    • “West Point Mint” was printed on the banding of all boxes shipped from West Point

San Francisco

  • No Silver Bullion coins were produced at the San Francisco Mint in 2015.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Looks like there are victims of a fleecing of a magnitude of epic numbers. How many people sunk $500-$600 on PCGS, NGC, ANACS MS69 ASE’s THEN the elite group of victims who spent $3K-$12K PLUS!!!! I spoke to PCGS about a month ago and to their credit the young lady advised not buying any of their Label 2015 (P) ASE’s I asked if things turned out like they did if they would stand behind their label financially………….NO!!! She said the buyers would have to take that issue up with the Mint… LOL!!!!!
    This whole disaster will make many give up collecting. For countless people who bought these for a investment has found out now that the “Golden Cow” has turned into a worm. Just imagine if you were one of the people who sunk thousands into the MS70 Coins? Try explaining this mess to your wife?
    Many victims and several culprits! NGC has said that their designation was correct. They claimed to have “propriety” knowledge on the (P) coins. Will be interesting to see how they respond.
    What a mess!!!

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