Last week, the US Mint caught the market off guard with a surprise sell-out. The 2018 Pictured Rocks ATB coin—the first of the 2018 America the Beautiful series—ended production with a paltry mintage of just 20,000. To put this number in perspective, the US Mint typically strikes millions (if not tens of millions) of Silver Eagles each year. Even collector-edition coins, like Proof Silver Eagles or modern commemorative Silver Dollars, often have mintages in the hundreds of thousands. Simply put, 20,000 is a tiny number for any modern US Mint product.
What does this mean for collectors and investors? If you were one of the lucky buyers who acted early, you picked up a new rarity at a bargain price. At just 20,000 coins, the 2018 Pictured Rocks ATB is tied for the lowest mintage in the America the Beautiful series. It joins the 2012 Denali, 2012 Hawaii, 2017 Ozark, and 2017 Frederick Douglass issues in the 20k mintage club.
What if you haven’t bought already? Not all is lost. While it’s true that market prices are up in the past week or so, the Pictured Rocks ATB is still available at reasonable prices. As of this writing, a limited number of coins were still available in the $105 to $110 range. By comparison, some of the other 20,000 mintage ATBs (like the 2012 Hawaii and Denali) are fetching double or even triple melt. That is, if you can even find them! With such tiny mintages, these coins are quite difficult to source.
Just as one ATB coin sold out, the US Mint gave details on another. While no more Pictured Rocks coins will be made or offered by the mint, they are gearing up for the 2018 Apostle Islands ATB. This coin is expected to make landfall in late April, but Provident is beginning to accept pre-orders now. There’s no guarantee as to how many coins will be made, but if recent history is any indication, another tiny mintage could be in the cards.
We’re offering a limited number of 2018 Apostle Island ATBs on a pre-sale basis at special introductory premiums. For approximately the same premium as 2018 Silver Eagles, you can own these attractive and impressive 5 oz ATBs. Original US Mint tubes and boxes are being made available for as little as $2.99 per ounce over spot. Not only are these a great way to own US government-issued silver, but they stand to be valuable collectibles. The combination of modest bullion premiums and ever smaller quantities makes ATB coins a fantastic bet for shrewd silver buyers.
Have you been collecting ATB silver coins? Which is your favorite design so far?