If you do not follow the U.S. Mint on Facebook or Twitter, they announced that there would be a price increase for silver coins as of October 13, 2020. Their statement read:
In order for the United States Mint to cover rising costs, meet its fiduciary responsibility to operate at no net cost to taxpayers, and return money to the Treasury General Fund, re-setting silver prices is necessary.
The Mint’s goal, as a fiscally responsible self-funded Federal agency, is to always provide the best quality numismatic products while maintaining fair prices. The first objective is to ensure that the numismatic portfolio (all product lines together) be self-sufficient and cover all associated costs. The new silver prices reflect a sound business decision aimed at meeting these obligations. (No tax dollars are used to fund numismatic operations.)
The United States Mint will continue to look for operations optimization and cost reduction efforts to deliver superior quality numismatic products at a fair price.
From the $17.925 at the close of the markets on January 2 through August 6, silver rose 58-percent. If the U.S. Mint had to purchase silver in August to meet market demands, it was the most expensive silver they purchased.
|Product||Old Retail Price||New Retail price||Percent Increase|
|Presidential Silver Medals||$46.00||$65.00||41.304%|
|America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set||$42.50||$60.00||29.167%|
|American Eagle One Ounce Silver Proof Coin||$64.50||$73.00||13.178%|
|American Eagle One Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin||$54.00||$67.00||24.074%|
|American Eagle One Ounce Silver Proof Coins—Bulk Pack||†||$2,920.00||—|
|American Eagle One Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin—Bulk Pack||†||$2,680.00||—|
|Limited Edition Silver Proof Set||$120.00‡||$201.00||67.500%|
|Silver Proof Set||$63.25||$105.00||66.008%|
|America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin||$178.25||$229.00||30.670%|
|End of World War II 75th Anniversary American Eagle Silver Proof Coin||*||$83.00||—|
|End of World War II 75th Anniversary One Ounce Silver Medal||*||$75.00||—|
|2019 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set||$36.95||$60.00||62.514%|
|2019 American Liberty High Relief Silver Medal||$99.95¶||$175.00||75.088%|
|2019 Congratulations Set||$56.95||$75.00||31.694%|
|2019 Silver Proof Set||$54.95¶||$105.00||91.083%|
‡ The only items for sale at the U.S. Mint that comes close to this is the Women’s Suffrage Centennial 2020 Proof Silver Dollar and Medal Set
* Item was not for sale prior to the price hike
¶ Listed as “Currently Unavailable” on the U.S. Mint’s website.
You cannot blame the U.S. Mint’s metals buyers. First, they are mandated to buy precious metals from U.S. sources at the market value. If they need additional inventory, then they buy it on the market like everyone else. Like any investor, the U.S. Mint can try to predict the market, but the results are variable like any investor.
Since August 6, the price of silver dropped to $24.315, a 14.17-percent decrease. However, the price of silver is up 35.65-percent for the year. If the price of materials rise, how long could the U.S. Mint maintain their prices?
Aside from the rising cost of silver, the U.S. Mint did not report how much other costs have risen. Aside from the dies and facilities costs, they must account for labor, design, and production costs. The U.S. Mint has not reported what additional costs they have incurred because of the pandemic.
The U.S. Mint is unlikely to report about these issues until the release of the annual report.
And now the news…