US Mint Press Release on First Strike coins

From their website:

"First Strike"

The United States Mint has received inquiries from consumers regarding use of the term "first strike." The term has appeared in connection with the advertising and grading of 2005 and 2006 silver, gold, and platinum proof and bullion American Eagle Coins, and the new 2006 24-karat proof and bullion American Buffalo Gold Coins. Currently, there is no widely-accepted and standardized numismatic industry definition of "first strike." Coin dealers and grading services may use this term in varying ways. Some base its use on dates appearing on United States Mint product packaging or packing slips, or on the dates of product releases or ceremonial coin strike events. Consumers should carefully review the following information along with each dealer’s or grading service’s definition of "first strike" when considering a purchase of coins with this designation.

The United States Mint has not designated any 2005 or 2006 American Eagle Coins or 2006 American Buffalo Coins as "first strikes," nor do we track the order in which we mint such coins during their production. The United States Mint held a launch ceremony for the 2006 American Buffalo Gold Coin on June 20, 2006, two days before its release on June 22, at which two proof coins and two uncirculated coins were ceremonially struck. However, those coins were not individually identified and were put in regular inventory after the ceremony. The United States Mint did not hold any striking ceremonies for the 2005 or 2006 American Eagle Coins.

The United States Mint strives to produce coins of consistently high quality throughout the course of production. Our strict quality controls assure that coins of this caliber are produced from each die set throughout its useful life. Our manufacturing facilities use a die set as long as the quality of resulting coins meets United States Mint standards, and then replace the dies, continually changing sets throughout the production process. For bullion American Eagle and American Buffalo Coins, the United States Mint makes an average of about 6,000 coins from one die set. For proof versions of the 2006 American Buffalo Coins, the yield is an average of about 1,500 coins per die set. For proof versions of the American Eagle Coins, the yield is an average of about 300-500 coins per die set. This means that coins may be minted from new die sets at any point and at multiple times while production of a coin is ongoing, not just the first day or at the beginning of production. To put this in context, in 2005 the United States Mint produced approximately 356,500 one-ounce gold, 8,891,000 silver, and 6,300 one-ounce platinum American Eagle Bullion Coins.

American Eagle and American Buffalo Coins are not individually numbered and the United States Mint does not keep track of the order or date of minting of individual bullion or proof coins. The United States Mint begins production several weeks before these coins are scheduled to be released. By the release dates for 2005 and 2006 bullion coins, the United States Mint had already minted approximately 50% of the projected sales numbers for these coins.
Any dates on shipping boxes containing uncirculated bullion coins sent to Authorized Purchasers are strictly for quality control and accounting purposes at the United States Mint at West Point. The date on the box represents the date that the box was packed, verified as 500 ounces and sealed, and the date of packaging does not necessarily correlate with the date of manufacture. The date on shipping labels and packing slips for proof coins, which are sent directly to United States Mint customers from our fulfillment center, is the date the item was packed and shipped by the fulfillment center. The other numbers on the shipping label and packing slip are used to track the order and for quality control

bold added
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Comments

  • Some finger wagging directed at the TPG's from the Mint image
    Philately will get you nowhere...

    image
  • The date on the box represents the date that the box was packed, verified as 500 ounces and sealed, and the date of packaging does not necessarily correlate with the date of manufacture. The date on shipping labels and packing slips for proof coins, which are sent directly to United States Mint customers from our fulfillment center, is the date the item was packed and shipped by the fulfillment center.

    That about sums it up....

    One wonders how much of a premium a "1st strike" will now bring...
    Rufus T. Firefly: How would you like a job in the mint?

    Chicolini: Mint? No, no, I no like a mint. Uh - what other flavor you got?



    image
  • Thanks for the post.

    To summarize for those who don't want to take the time...US Mint says the use of First Strike by the TPGs is meaningless and bunk.


    edited to add: I am impressed with the low mintage per die set for all of these bullion coins.

    edited to add (2): The TPGs should be ashamed of themselves. They have crossed the line from being a protector of collectors to used car salesman.
  • mrearlygoldmrearlygold Posts: 17,722 ✭✭✭


  • << <i>Consumers should carefully review the following information along with each dealer’s or grading service’s definition of "first strike" when considering a purchase of coins with this designation. >>

    imageWhere do I go again to find PCGS's definition?image
  • ManorcourtmanManorcourtman Posts: 7,586 ✭✭✭
    Another interpretation: "Don't waste your money on foolish TPG contrived schemes"
  • robertprrobertpr Posts: 7,843 ✭✭✭
    My prediction: no coinguy1 reply to this thread image
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702


    << <i>My prediction: no coinguy1 reply to this thread image >>

    So much for your predictions, buster.image image
    Mark Feld
  • Can't wait to hear the TPGs response to this.
    Coast Guard Craig

    Looking for gem 1929 FRBNs and FRBN Stars in decent grades. Please offer.


  • << <i>My prediction: no coinguy1 reply to this thread >>



    I wonder if the food was good at the TPG "re-education camp"

    ;-)
    Philately will get you nowhere...

    image
  • MacCrimmonMacCrimmon Posts: 7,125 ✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>My prediction: no coinguy1 reply to this thread >>



    I wonder if the food was good at the TPG "re-education camp"

    ;-) >>



    image
  • goose3goose3 Posts: 13,205 ✭✭✭


    << <i>Can't wait to hear the TPGs response to this. >>




    you won't.
  • GemineyeGemineye Posts: 5,510
    It seems to me the F...™ word comes into play........
    ......Larry........image
  • ERER Posts: 8,659


    << <i>From their website:

    ..........AND THE DATE OF PACKAGING DOES NOT NECESSARILY CORRELATE WITH THE DATE OF MANUFACTURE................
    bold and CAPITAL added >>



    image
    imageimageimage
  • robertprrobertpr Posts: 7,843 ✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>My prediction: no coinguy1 reply to this thread image >>

    So much for your predictions, buster.image image >>



    image
  • Do I get in trouble if I call this all Mierda™?
    Philately will get you nowhere...

    image
  • coindeucecoindeuce Posts: 13,173 ✭✭✭✭
    First Strike=Smoke & Mirrors Strike.

    "Everything is on its way to somewhere. Everything." - George Malley, Phenomenon
    http://www.americanlegacycoins.com

  • pf70collectorpf70collector Posts: 6,252 ✭✭✭
    Large premiums are already being paid on these, especially for MS ASE's.
  • cladkingcladking Posts: 26,075 ✭✭✭
    It's great to see the mint release accurate and detailed accounting of their activity now. This
    is a huge improvement from the days when one department didn't know what the others were
    doing.

    This is hardly new or surprising information however and much of it was widely known.
    Tempus fugit.
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702


    << <i>

    << <i>My prediction: no coinguy1 reply to this thread >>



    I wonder if the food was good at the TPG "re-education camp"

    ;-) >>

    I'll put it this way - I lost weight.image
    Mark Feld
  • ziggy29ziggy29 Posts: 18,688 ✭✭✭


    << <i>I'll put it this way - I lost weight.image >>

    Hmmm. Contaminated Kool-Aid causing a cholera epidemic? image


  • << <i>I'll put it this way - I lost weight. >>



    I guess it was difficult to eat with all those posters of DH plastered all over the walls of the cafeteria image
    Philately will get you nowhere...

    image
  • I don't collect "First Strikes"...but who cares if they are slabbing them? I mean really...with gold plated quarters, painted Walking Liberty Halfs, Hobo Nickels, VAMs , etc...being collected what does it really matter if someone wants to pay more for a "First Strike"designation even if it is just a name on a slab..I mean really...who cares???? Certainly NOT the ones buying the stuff, and not those of us not buying the stuff...we aren't going to buy it anyway...let the people that collect stuff like that collect it....who cares?????
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702
    <<..I mean really...who cares???? Certainly NOT the ones buying the stuff.. ...let the people that collect stuff like that collect it....who cares>>

    Perhaps they would care if they knew hat they were buying. Not all of them do and it isn't necssarily their fault. I didn't see anyone telling collectors not to buy them. It's a matter of accurate information (edited to add: The U.S. Mint has now taken a positive step in that direction), not dictating what someone buys.
    Mark Feld
  • pf70collectorpf70collector Posts: 6,252 ✭✭✭
    Collectors are getting hurt by these designations, they may be uninformed about the definition or confused, but the TPG's are supposed to help protect collectors and these designations are only hurting collectors I believe.
  • Sad part is people will be fooled by these for years.
  • A dealer at the ANA show told me he is "making tons of money off of first strike" coins.
    "Everyday above ground is a good day"



  • << <i> but the TPG's are supposed to help protect collectors and these designations are only hurting collectors I believe. >>



    I really doubt that...it's a money thing for them. The proof is there for all to see..

  • Seems they are saying they don't have a copy right on "first strike" and basically can't do anything about it.

    In the end, the Market will decide if there is a premium.

    Just like NGC MS70's sell for a lot less than PCGS MS70's. The market knows NGC MS70 means nothing and are total crap. I know this because I've seen a few of the NGC's MS70's and they were crap. I wouldn't have graded them 70, just because of all the marks on them, not even getting into the strike or anything, these were banged up!!

    Personally, I like the look of the flag and first strike. I jazzes up the label. The regular one looks kind of plain. But no matter what the label says, if it's a 70, it dam well better be perfect. If both coins are absolutely perfect I would buy the first strike over the regular label. But if the regular labeled coin was better, that would over rule buying a lesser first strike coin.




  • BoomBoom Posts: 10,359
    My, my, my! A marketing program instituted to generate revenue for a public company, no more - no less.

    Nonsense? No, a marketing plan. image image
  • 500Bay500Bay Posts: 1,118 ✭✭
    This is the sort of thing that will/could hurt TPG's. Their existence was founded on the need to protect the consumer from shisters, and for the most part their success has rested upon their doing that. For all the "buy the coin not the holder" cries, most of us would not think of buying a high priced/high grade coin that was not top-tier TPG holdered (or at least that we believe it could obtain a high grade/non-body bag grade.)

    Greed is always the danger to an industry built on its reputation. So called "real collectors" for the most part were not fooled by this - but it is still a black mark against the TPG's. Kudos to the US Mint for this clarification!
    Finem Respice
  • ElKevvoElKevvo Posts: 2,920 ✭✭✭
    Wow...for the Mint to step in and clear something up with a well worded and to the point news release they must have been getting a lot of inquiries! Too bad the various TPG's didn't do this on their own but just jumped on the revenue bandwagon. I know that a corporations sole reason for existence it to make a profit, but with marketing gimmicks like the 'First Strike' designation the more prominent TPG's water down their rep for quality, consistiency, etc. for which the collecting community relies on them for.

    Now since the Mint has officially basically said that First Strike is baloney, it will be interesting how the TPG's handle it and what sort of spin is put on the whole thing. Hard to claim that they did not know about the problems with the First Strike designation and how it was misleading uninformed collectors...so where do they go from here? If I paid a premium (and I did/would not) for some First Strike items based on a misbelief that they were indeed amongst the First Struck I would be not be happy with the folks who sold me the stuff. The argument can be made that I needed to do my own research and I agree with that, but the existence of the TPG's has created a whole new breed of collectors who rely on the expertise of a TPG to make up for their lack of knowledge/understanding of the hobby (and I will include myself in this bunch as I have bought coins without researching the grade directly, just relying on the TPG to get it accurate for pricing...I like all coins but don't have the time to learn to grade them all!!)

    Just some thoughts...

    K
    ANA LM and C4 Member
  • ttt for the day gang


  • << <i>Another interpretation: "Don't waste your money on foolish TPG contrived schemes" >>


    Hell the extra tree and the speared bison is just as bad
  • cladkingcladking Posts: 26,075 ✭✭✭


    << <i>

    << <i>Another interpretation: "Don't waste your money on foolish TPG contrived schemes" >>


    Hell the extra tree and the speared bison is just as bad >>



    The extra tree is a DDR whether they are recognized by the services or not and
    will be collected by many whether they are recognized or not. While the speared
    bison is a minor error it is still collected by some people. It remains to be seen if
    it "has legs" as it were.
    Tempus fugit.
  • MrKelsoMrKelso Posts: 4,250 ✭✭✭
    image

    Where are all these big premiums? i paid $2.00 more for my first strikes.
    Maybe because i bought so many of them i got them so cheap? image


    "The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the LORD GOD Almighty."
  • very interesting

    From the Consumer Awareness > Hot Items section on the US Mint site

    Link to First Strike article


    Link added and fixed mistake
  • One wonders how much of a premium a "1st strike" will now bring



    I think they will bring the premium they deserved in the first place- ZERO-

    I am willing to bet that the "First Strike" designation met it's end.

    The real sad thing is that salesman at the big promoters are telling people that the first strikes are worth more as an exuse for their grossly inflated prices and the public is buying it. I sent an e-mail to my customers today with the press release and the stories I am hearing are simply incredible.

  • "One day two swindlers came to this city; they made people believe that they were weavers, and declared they could manufacture the finest cloth to be imagined. Their colours and patterns, they said, were not only exceptionally beautiful, but the clothes made of their material possessed the wonderful quality of being invisible to any man who was unfit for his office or unpardonably stupid.

    . . . .

    “'But he has nothing on at all,' said a little child at last. 'Good heavens! listen to the voice of an innocent child,' said the father, and one whispered to the other what the child had said. 'But he has nothing on at all,' cried at last the whole people. That made a deep impression upon the emperor, for it seemed to him that they were right; but he thought to himself, 'Now I must bear up to the end.' And the chamberlains walked with still greater dignity, as if they carried the train which did not exist."

    Hans Christian Anderson, The Emperor's New Suit (1837).

  • I continue to be surprised at the nonchalant attitude toward this issue by so many forum members. This is not about fraud, but it is about credibility. And the only true asset that a TPG has is credibility. And at least in this collectors eyes, the TPGs have taken a serious credibility hit with this "marketing gimmick".
  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 14,328 ✭✭✭✭✭
    [qOne wonders how much of a premium a "1st strike" will now bring... >>


    One the secondary market, same as it always has. Nothing. On the stupid market, whatever the marketeers want it to bring.

    Maybe the TPGs will change the designation to "First Shipment™" or "First Fulfillment™." Then they can reholder First Strike™ coins for $5 a pop.
  • Steve27Steve27 Posts: 13,170 ✭✭✭
    I hope the Mint posts a link to this press release on their home page.
    "It's far easier to fight for principles, than to live up to them." Adlai Stevenson
  • MrKelsoMrKelso Posts: 4,250 ✭✭✭


    << <i>[qOne wonders how much of a premium a "1st strike" will now bring... >>


    One the secondary market, same as it always has. Nothing. On the stupid market, whatever the marketeers want it to bring.

    Maybe the TPGs will change the designation to "First Shipment™" or "First Fulfillment™." Then they can reholder First Strike™ coins for $5 a pop. >>



    $5 a pop? For Free you mean since it was a mistake in the first place according to the US Mint.


    "The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the LORD GOD Almighty."
  • This is not about fraud, but it is about credibility

    I completely agree.....
    My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable !
  • kiyotekiyote Posts: 4,471 ✭✭✭
    Too bad the Mint didn't address this, oh, two years ago. I'd really like to watch Coin Vault like a hawk now to see if they flat out lie (still) about the designation.

    I always heard the "These are the very first coins struck on the very first day..." BS.
    "I'll split the atom! I am the fifth dimension! I am the eighth wonder of the world!" -Gef the talking mongoose.
  • First Packed! ??

    What do you think, Mr. Bigglesworth?
    image
  • I'm a big believer in Adam Smith. As someone already said, the market will decide and right now it is deciding to place a premium on the slabbed "First Strikes." It doesn't matter than many very wise and experieced collectors here feel it is meaningless...you can all be smug in your wisdom but it won't keep people from paying a premium...

    And I would guess that the premium is very directly tied to the population report. Look at the report that gets published here for GBs frequently and you can see that the First Strikes are quickly coming to an end and there won't be any more...maybe it is artificial scarcity but it is scarcity none-the-less.

    Ok so I've got 1,000,000 red items and 100 green ones. Which one will THE MARKET decide is more valuable, even though you and I both know they are identical to a colorblind person.

    --Jerry
  • image

    If I only had a dollar for every VAM I have...err...nevermind...I do!! image

    My "Fun With 21D" Die State Collection - QX5 Pics Attached
    -----
    Proud Owner of
    2 –DAMMIT BOY!!! ® Awards


  • << <i>I continue to be surprised at the nonchalant attitude toward this issue by so many forum members. This is not about fraud, but it is about credibility. And the only true asset that a TPG has is credibility. And at least in this collectors eyes, the TPGs have taken a serious credibility hit with this "marketing gimmick". >>



    I agree. And, I don't see it as a marketing ploy either. If PCGS knew any of what is in the MINT's press release, then it is an out right scam. Period. Shameful, and someone needs to take the blame for pushing the idea in the first place. "Marketing Ploys" of this nature is what is going to bring in government regulation for this hobby. Just a real shame.



    Jerry
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