Each of the four coins will have different finishes. There will be one reverse-proof coin from West Point, a proof coin from Philadelphia, and uncirculated coin from Denver, and an enhanced uncirculated coin from San Francisco. The enhanced uncirculated coin will be struck on dies that will use a laser frosting and special wire brush treatments to enhance the design. The wire brush treatment is something new to the U.S. Mint that has not been seen on any publicly released coins or medals.
What is even more impressive is that the new computer ordering system withstood the challenge of a new product offering. In years past, the computer ordering for popular U.S. Mint products had sent the computer system into fits while trying to keep up with the requests. By all accounts, the computer system not only processed every order in a timely manner, but the U.S. Mint reports that the site was working at a rate of 14 orders per second and that the average peaked at 24.9 orders per second.
Orders for the set began at noon and after a half hour, 36,000 units were sold translating into $3.6 million in sales. As of midnight, 12 hours after opening the sale, the U.S. Mint sold 85,670 sets. The U.S. Mint is reporting that by 8:30 PM, they shipped 14,000. They started with 180,000 sets in stock which means there is time to order yours and to have it processed quickly.
For those of us who suffered through the pain of ordering of products line the American Eagle 25th Anniversary Silver Coin Set, the performance of the new website is a welcome change.
While the new website looks good and sports more modern functionality, it seems to perform well and works more smoothly than the old site. Unfortunately, I am not sure that I like the way the site is organized. My primary complaint is that the site is designed as a shopping site that seems to have buried the information about the coin programs. There should be a better balance between their mission as the government’s manufacturer of coins and the sales of those coins.
After years of frustration with the U.S. Mint, it looks like they are really working to serve its clientele including the Federal Reserve, which it is required to produce coins for by law. Maybe it has served the country well by having a professional run the U.S. Mint rather than a politician.