By Chris Bulfinch for CoinWeek …..
2021 Morgan dollars with privy marks representing the New Orleans and Carson City Mints became unavailable almost immediately at the beginning of their pre-order period today at noon. The U.S. Mint’s website slowed to a crawl by 12:01, and within twenty-five minutes the entire 175,000-coin stock for both issues was marked “unavailable”. This suggests that the coins sold out, though the Mint may repost stock that becomes available later as a result of cancellations, returns, or payment issues. The Mint recommended that customers use credit cards that will not expire until after the coins ship on October 4, the point at which charges will be processed.
The first of three pre-order periods for 2021-dated Morgan and Peace dollars was scheduled to last until June 7 at 3 PM or “until product inventory is depleted”, according to a Mint press release; the latter came to pass within minutes.
Additionally, 10% of the United States Mint’s stock of both coins was already reserved for members of the Mint’s Authorized Bulk Purchase Program (ABPP), who pay an additional 5% plus shipping.
Pre-order receipts began selling on eBay for $150 USD and up within minutes of the products being marked “unavailable” on the Mint’s website.
Many online commenters were not optimistic about their prospects of acquiring the coins in the days and weeks before the pre-sale. Predictably, collectors and other customers shut out of the pre-order began expressing their frustration on coin websites and internet forums almost immediately after the sellout.
The Mint authorized a 175,000 product limit for each of the privy-marked Morgan dollars, priced at $85 per coin. Household ordering limits originally were set at 25 for each of the coins, but this was dropped to 10 of each coin after customer backlash. Six different Morgan and Peace dollars will be issued by the end of this year, with the privy marked coins on sale today–particularly the “CC” privy mark, given the immense popularity of Carson City Morgan dollars–likely to be the most sought-after.
Privy marks (raised ovals where the letters “O” or “CC” were struck) take the place of the mint marks for the New Orleans and Carson City Mint facilities under the wreath surrounding the eagle on the coins’ reverse. The facilities ended their coining operations in 1909 and 1893, respectively, which is why the Mint cannot legally issue the new dollars with “O” and “CC” mint marks proper.
The 2021 dollars measure 38.1 millimeters in diameter and contain 0.858 ounces of .999 fine silver. Interestingly, the 99.9% silver is of a higher fineness than the .900 fine cartwheels of the 19th and 20th centuries. Both coins were “created through the use of modern technology and historical U.S. Mint assets” and will be struck at the Philadelphia Mint, according to the coins’ listings on the Mint’s website. They sport an Uncirculated finish.
The pre-order period for the two Morgan dollars with “D” and “S” mint marks struck at the Denver and San Francisco Mint facilities will begin June 1 at noon; that pre-order period will last until June 14 unless preorders consume the entire stock. On June 7 at noon, presales for a Morgan dollar without a privy or mint mark, as well as for the 2021-dated Peace dollar, will begin. Like the two previous presales, the final two dollars will remain available for preorder for two weeks or until the stock runs out.