By CoinWeek News Staff …..
The last Proof American Silver Eagles bearing John Mercanti’s Heraldic Eagle design reached “currently unavailable” status within minutes of their release on February 11, 2021. Priced at $73 USD with a product limit of 327,440 and with a household ordering limit of 99 coins, the quick sellout angered some collectors hoping to finish their collections of Proof American Silver Eagles with Mercanti’s design, which has appeared on the bullion coin and collector versions since 1986.
After being made available at noon Eastern Time, many customers reported that the United States Mint’s website said “currently unavailable” within two minutes; others reported the change in status occurring at 12:08 PM.
No telephone orders were taken and the Mint’s gift shops and the coin store at its headquarters in Washington D.C. remain shuttered in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coins were available as individual purchases, in 40-coin bulk packs, and in the 2021 Congratulations Set that debuted the same day. Some coins might become available later as the Mint reconciles its completed orders and deals with returns.
The Congratulations Set, which includes the 2021-W Proof American Silver Eagle and was released without product or household ordering limits according to the Mint’s website, also quickly reached “currently unavailable” on the first day. The Congratulations Set was priced at $75, two dollars higher than the regular Proof coin.
Struck at West Point, the 2021-W Proof coins released on February 11 are the final such American Silver Eagles to feature John Mercanti’s Heraldic Eagle and the only Proof coins featuring his design to be released this year.
Proof versions of the American Silver Eagles bearing the new reverse design struck at the West Point Mint, which features a flying eagle coming in for a landing created by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) artist Emily Damstra and sculpted by Michael Gaudioso, will be released this summer. The new design will also appear on bullion strike coins.
The redesign of both the American Silver and Gold Eagles was announced in 2019, and the new designs, which will feature anti-counterfeiting technology, were revealed in October 2020. Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty design will remain on the coins’ obverse.
The rapid sellout echoes the similarly quick sellout of the 2017 Congratulations Set, which also sold out in two minutes. That set included a 2017-S Proof American Silver Eagle and had a product limit of 75,000 with no household ordering limit; the 2017-S was only included in two Mint products that year, including the Congratulations Set (the other being the Limited Edition Silver Proof Set), and not released individually.
Quick sellouts and angry customers followed the release of a number of other recent Mint products featuring American Silver Eagles, like the privy-marked Proof American Silver and Gold Eagles last year, or the 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof American Silver Eagles.
Proofs are not the only 2021 American Silver Eagles selling briskly, as sales of bullion strike American Silver Eagle were spiking ahead of the 2021-W Proof Heraldic Eagle launch. Authorized Purchasers were buying as many of the bullion coins as the Mint allocated.
Unlike bullion strike coins, the Mint sells Proof American Silver Eagles (and other collector versions) directly to consumers.