Frequently Asked Questions
Products and Coin Programs
How do you price your products?
The United States Mint works on a cost-recovery basis. We cannot use any tax dollars to fund our numismatic operations. Our goal is to provide the best quality numismatic products while keeping prices as low as practicable.
Our prices must be self-sufficient and cover all of the associated costs of our numismatic portfolio, plus enough margin to cushion against volatility. To achieve self-sufficiency, we determine the estimated cost to produce and sell the product. That price is used as our baseline. To calculate margin, we ask ourselves questions like:
- Are the proposed prices of this product consistent with similar products we offer of this type?
- Will the customer perceive this as a good value?
- Are we reaching as many customers as we can should we sell at this price?
- If we do not sell all of a specific product, is there enough budgeted for proper disposition (e.g., recovery, melting, recycling)?
Pricing for precious metal numismatic products (e.g., palladium, platinum, 24-k gold, 22-k gold) varies by the average cost of the underlying metal. We use our pricing range table the week prior to sale in order to determine the product's price. If the average weekly price of the precious metal moves up or down into another cost range, the price of the product will also go up or down, respectively, by a fixed amount. You’ll find detailed pricing instructions here. If you need the Adobe reader, you can get it from Adobe.
The United States Mint’s numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to the taxpayer. Any excess funds are returned to the Treasury General Fund to reduce the annual budget deficit of the federal government.
Can I replace a Certificate of Authenticity?
Not all United States Mint products come with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA). For example, proof sets contain COAs, but medals typically do not. In some instances, COA language is included in the product packaging.
To ensure that you have a genuine United States Mint Certificate of Authenticity (rather than a replica), look for these two things on your COA:
- A signature of a senior official of the United States Mint.
- An image of the official U.S. Treasury seal and/or the United States Mint seal.
If you have lost your COA, Contact Customer Service to see if a replacement is still available.
What are order and household limits?
In cases where we have limited-mintage products (e.g., legislatively mandated or Mint established production or mintage limits), the United States Mint may impose order or household limits. Order limits help us ensure that we provide fair purchase opportunities to the broadest audience possible. As we monitor our products, limits may be implemented, adjusted, or removed at our discretion.
What's the difference between bullion, proof, uncirculated, and circulating coins?
Bullion Coins: Are precious metal coins intended for investors. They are:
- Valued by the weight of the precious metal, which fluctuates based on its daily price.
- Not sold to the general public through the United States Mint. Instead, these coins are sold through dealers located throughout the United States.
The remaining qualities of coins are sold directly by the United States Mint to collectors and others as gifts and keepsakes. They are:
Proof Coins: Are the finest quality of coin produced by the United States Mint. The term "proof" refers to the coin's finish. Proof blanks are specially treated, hand-polished, and cleaned to ensure high-quality strikes. The blanks are then fed into presses fitted with specially polished dies and struck at least twice. The coins are then carefully packaged to showcase and preserve their exceptional finish. These coins:
- Are struck at least twice, which gives the coin a frosted, sculpted foreground for a glamorous shine; defined, intricate design; and mirror-like background.
- Come with an official Certificate of Authenticity.
- Are encased in a protective capsule.
Uncirculated Coins: Are hand-loaded into the coining press and struck on specially burnished blanks, yet have a soft, matte-like finish appearance. These coins:
- Are made like circulating coins (which are used everyday as money), but with a special process that produces a brilliant finish.
- Come with an official Certificate of Authenticity.
Circulating Coins: Are produced for circulations, but those sold directly by the United States Mint are never released to the Federal Reserve Bank. These coins:
- Are typically offered by the Mint in rolls, bags or boxes, which do not include Certificates of Authenticity.
What are the differences between Reverse Proof and Enhanced Reverse Proof finishes?
A Reverse Proof (RP) coin is a coin that features an inverted proof finish. Only the background is frosted, and all other design elements are polished to the same mirror-like finish. An Enhanced Reverse Proof (ERP) has the same frosted background as the RP, but different design finishes. The ERP has multiple polished and frosted finishes assigned to different isolated design elements, where the RP has only a single mirror like polished finish on the design. The selective polishing and frosting of the design elements of the ERP dramatically enhances the visual impact of the design.
- On the obverse, the background is frosted. The entire design and text are polished.
- On the reverse, the background is frosted. The entire design and text are polished.
Enhanced Reverse Proof
On the obverse, LIBERTY, In God We Trust, the date, sun, sandals, stars, white stripes, and the border, all have a polished finish. The skin, blouse and laurel all have a light finish. The mountains, red stripes, and field on the flag all have a Light+ finish. The ground has a standard level frost.
On the reverse of the coin, all of the text, the stars, the field and outer stripes of the shield, and the border are polished. The Eagle has a light finish. The arrows, laurel, and banner have a Light+ finish. The shield border, and the inner stripes on the shield have a heavy frosting.
The background on both sides of the coin have a heavy frosted finish. All these enhancements— unique to this Enhanced American Eagle Silver Reverse Proof coin—add sharp definition to the designs.
What is a subscription?
The United States Mint Product Subscription Program is an easy way for you to stay current on some of your favorite products. This program is structured much like a magazine subscription. Sign up once and we will send your chosen Product Subscription to you as it becomes available. After you sign up, you will receive the next product released in the series, and continue to receive products until you cancel.
- You must sign up with a registered account to place subscription orders.
- Prices may change during the course of your subscription.
- You can cancel at any time with no penalty by logging into My Account
- E-mail notifications are sent to subscribers approximately 14-30 days before the scheduled release of a product.
- Change confirmation emails are sent in response to account or order changes (e.g. Add, Update, skip order, Ship-To, Bill-To, Payment method).
- An active credit card must be saved on file. Please be attentive to incoming correspondences regarding updating your credit card’s expiration date. After several attempts and no response your future subscriptions may be cancelled.
In order to skip a subscription order:
- You must inactivate the subscription by 11:59 PM ET 3 days prior to the product release date.
- Then, re-activate the subscription in order to continue with the product series before the next scheduled product release.
- These changes can be made by logging into My Account or by contacting the Customer Service Center.
If you have questions, contact the Customer Service Center:
- United States Customers: 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468)
- Speech/Hearing Impaired Customers (TTY): 1-888-321-MINT (6468)
- International Customers: 001-202-898-MINT (6468)
For more information, and to select products for subscription, refer to our Product Subscription Page.
What do Back Order, Currently Unavailable, and Sold Out mean?
Back Order: When products are in “Back Order” status, this means that the product is available for sale, however there is no inventory in stock and a future ship date is displayed on our website. Products in this status can still be ordered online or through the Customer Contact Center.
Currently Unavailable: Currently Unavailable products have no remaining inventory in our warehouse and no additional production is scheduled. Additional inventory may be produced or become available. If so, customers who opt to receive an email or text message notice will receive any back-in-stock messages we send related to the product.
Sold Out: Products in “Sold Out” status are no longer in stock in our warehouses and are no longer available for sale. Products in this status will be removed from the website shortly after they have sold out.
If you have any questions – please reach out to our Customer Contact Center. Their contact information can be found on our customer service page.
What types of storage options do you offer?
Please refer to our "Storage and Display" page for a complete product offering of albums, boxes, cases, and folders.
Are gift boxes and wrapping available for all products including international orders?
Gift boxes are not available for all items due to size and shape; however, these items may be gift wrapped. Coin bags and other large, bulky or heavy products will not be gift boxed or gift wrapped.
Gift boxes are available for international orders. These items are not exempt from being searched by customs officials. The United States Mint cannot guarantee that your gift box will remain intact for international shipments.