US mint enrollment program

I like the idea of the US Mint enrollment program.
Have any fellow dopers ever participated in the program?
For those of you that haven’t heard of it…
Info about the US Mint Enrollment Program

Basically I’d like to slowly accumulate some gold or silver coins at a fair price. This seems like a reasonable way to do that. What can you tell me about it?

Reading the link, the 2021 schedule shows silver medals, proof sets, proof coins (including gold ones) and uncirculated coin sets. When you say you want to accumulate gold or silver coins, are you referring to bullion, meaning gold or silver you want to keep for its metal value? If so, I doubt these are for you. I doubt you’ll be able to recover the premium at which these pieces sell, unless they’re actually rare and are worth something above the melt value, as collectibles.

My father in law gifts my wife pure silver coins for special occasions. I’m not sure where he gets them, but I think it’s a unique, enjoyable and kind of a neat gift. My interest isn’t for investment necessarily, but I also don’t want to chase good money with bad, as the saying goes.
I’m obviously not educated in any of this so basically I thought it’d be something I might be interested in doing and the US Mint seemed to be a somewhat safe and simple way to do that. I’d like someone familiar with this kind of thing to tell me want to look out for, if it’s a dumb idea, tell me the pros and cons, or alternate ideas.

If you want to collect those coins as an investment, then be wary of the risks involved. Coins that are specifically marketed by the mints to collectors (which is what this program is all about) are usually sold at quite a mark-up compared to the metallic value. You stand a chance to win if gold and silver prices go up, of course, but first they need to go up enough to make up for that premium.

You will also need to store the coins well. In numismatic circles, prices are closely linked to the condition of the object; for coins that are not antique, anything that is less than absolutely flawless and pristine condition, even tiny scratches, will lower the price noticeably.

If they’re selling them as collectibles, they’ll probably come in a plastic case which should keep them in that pristine condition. Back in the 90s, my father gave me a silver dollar from the mint that came that way.

One thing to keep in mind is that objects produced and marketed as collectibles are, pretty much by definition, not actually rare and valuable. Coin collectors who want them will, y’know, just buy them, at retail, as they come out. The “limited runs” might increase in value as new collectors or collectors who expand their interests come into the market, and they are no longer available at retail. But for “collectibles”, genuine collectors who would be willing to pay a premium are usually swamped by speculators and naive investors, and the supply of purpose-produced collectibles is usually in excess of the actual demand by genuine collectors.

For something as durable as a purpose-produced collectible coin, at best it’s likely to be decades before you start seeing a genuine increase in value due to collector demand outstripping supply, if it ever happens at all.

The items that become rare and valuable collector’s items are usually ephemera that didn’t seem collectible at the time they were originally retailed.

An example would be the Montreal 1976 Olympic coin sets (produced by the Royal Canadian Mint). The $10 coins (about 1.5 ounces of silver) were sold for $12-$15. 45 years later, they have almost tripled in value - all due to the silver content. No collector’s premium at all. ($1 in 1976 is $4.63 today). A buyer could simply melt them down to maximize the value.

@gdave: Very well put overall. As to this last snip …

It’s also important that the ephemera was sold to a much poorer nation of far fewer people. The explosion of wealth and headcount since, say the 1920s, means there’s a lot more ephemera created now than was then.

By our standards, the entire production run of e.g. 1920-1940s milk glass utensils would still be rare today even if 100% of it had survived intact. That only a tiny fraction has survived intact is what gives it serious scarcity value.

That trick will only play with mass market products of the 2020s if you can straightfacedly predict the US population will be 6x larger and 5x richer in real terms 100 years from now. Which is a tall order, especially as to population.

I’m learning all sorts of things… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

  1. relating to or consisting of coins, paper currency, and medals.

Seriously though, I’ve learned so much over the past few weeks since I originally posted this. Both from this thread and general research. Upon reflection, I don’t think I’m interested in coin collecting and I am periodically buying silver rounds, with an occasional collectible only if it interests me.

Thanks everybody.