By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
Lions Club 1st-Day Sales
The United States Mint released first-day sales figures today for the 2017 Lions Club International Centennial Commemorative Silver Dollar. 19,244 Proof strike silver coins were sold, whereas 5,926 Uncirculated coins were ordered. Sales as of Sunday, January 22 total 23,349 pieces for the Proof and 7,107 for the Uncirculated version. They were sold at the Mint’s introductory prices of $47.95 and $46.95 USD (for Proof and Uncirculated, respectively), though starting February 21 the full regular retail prices of $52.95 and $51.95 will go into effect.
Together, the 90% silver coins honoring the philanthropic work of the Lions Club International and its founder Melvin Jones have a maximum mintage limit of 400,000. It is the first of 2017’s two commemorative coin programs; a release date for the second program, the Boys Town Centennial, has yet to be determined by the Mint but as of last year’s U.S. Mint Forum that CoinWeek’s Editor Charles Morgan and Assistant Editor Hubert Walker attended in October, the Boys Town commemorative is tentatively scheduled for a Fiscal Year 2017 Q2 release (January-March).
Buffalo Fractional Gold
In other Mint news, CoinWeek has confirmed that the United States Mint is looking into the possibility of bringing back fractional denominations of the American Gold Buffalo bullion coin. Beginning in 2006, the program gave collectors and investors the first .9999 fine 24-karat gold coins produced by the U.S. Mint. Only one-ounce, $50 face value coins (struck in Philadelphia and West Point) were available during the first two years. In 2008, the Mint produced half-ounce ($25), quarter-ounce ($10) and tenth-ounce ($5) denominations as well–but these proved to be the first and last fractional Gold Buffalos ever made.
Now, with the end of the Great Recession, the culmination of the First Spouse $10 gold series in 2016 and ever-increasing buyer interest in gold and gold bullion, CoinWeek has confirmed with Michael White of the Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications that the U.S. Mint is considering reviving the fractional weights but no other information is forthcoming.
We will keep you posted as this story develops.
United States Commemorative Coins Currently Available on eBay
Just my personal opinion, but the congressionally mandated First Spouse series was a virtual disaster forced upon the mint at the expense of fractional Buffalos and fractional platinum eagles.