By CoinWeek News Staff….
On Tuesday, December 15, the United States Mint announced that it would stop distributing mail order forms for U.S. Mint products after January 1, 2016 and would no longer accept mail order sales at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016 on September 30.
Then, on Thursday, Dec. 17, Deputy Mint Director Adam Stump sent a revised announcement stating that the Mint is “currently analyzing” whether or not to distribute mail order forms in 2016.
A brochure for the Mark Twain commemorative coins will be mailed out in January as scheduled, but it will not include an order form. Further announcements concerning a change to the U.S. Mint’s mail order policy will be made during the course of the next year.
If the Mint decides to discontinue the acceptance of orders via the postal service, then the primary factor (according to the Dec. 15 notice) appears to be the lag between when a customer places their order in the mail and when it is received and processed. This renders the mail order process effectively obsolete when compared to the almost instantaneous processing of online purchases and orders by phone.
The U.S. Mint is concerned that mail customers will have a decreasing chance to place orders before items sell out due to the ever-increasing use of smartphones and the internet.
CoinWeek will continue to follow this story as it progresses.
Correction: A previous version of this article reported that the Mint will mail order forms for new products in January. This has been corrected to state that brochures for Mark Twain commemorative coins will be mailed in January.