Modern commemorative coins authorized by Congress and produced by the United States Mint date from the introduction of the George Washington 250th Anniversary Half-Dollar in 1982. Congress has authorized a total of 56 commemorative coin programs through 2014 to honor people, places, events and institutions of significance in American history and culture. Surcharges from the sales of these coins are authorized to help fund a variety of organizations and projects that benefit the public at large. United States Mint commemorative coin programs have collected $474,929,344 in surcharges over the past 27 years for many worthy recipient organizations.
Commemorative coins are beneficial to both the numismatic community and recipient organizations, but they also highlight our Nation’s history. To ensure that commemorative coin programs reap the benefits of the 1996 reforms, the United States Mint must continue to execute and oversee these coin programs in a conscientious, prudent and business-like manner.
The matching funds criterion established by the Commemorative Coin Reform Act of 1996 (CCRA), as amended by Title II of Public Law 108-15 (April 23, 2003), requires commemorative coin programs to link public funding of special projects to private support by requiring recipient organizations to show receipts of donations from private sources “in an amount that is equal to or greater than the total amount of the proceeds of such surcharge derived from the sale of such numismatic item.” The CCRA makes commemorative coin program recipient organizations partners in bearing the risks of commemorative coin programs, and it assures that the United States Mint recovers its costs of operating such coin programs.
The estimated program margin is total net revenue minus net operating cost less surcharges collected. This quarterly interim analysis was prepared using the accrual basis of accounting.
2008 Bald Eagle Commemorative Coin Program
Public Law 108-486, December 23, 2004
The 2008 Bald Eagle Commemorative Coin Program launched on January 15, 2008. This was a three-coin program, including a $5 gold coin, a silver dollar and a clad half-dollar, with mintages of 100,000 coins, 500,000 coins and 750,000 coins, respectively. Special products included a Three-Coin Proof Set, a Young Collector’s Set and a Coin and Medal Set. The silver dollar was also included in the 2008 United States Mint American Legacy Collection™ introduced in September 2008. This was the only commemorative coin program in 2008.
Analysis of Financial Position
Sales of the Bald Eagle Commemorative Coins began on January 15, 2008, and ended December 12, 2008. Through the end of the calendar year 2008 (first quarter of fiscal 2009), the United States Mint shipped a total of 808,275 coins, generating total program revenue of $43.6 million. The program collected $7.6 million in surcharges and resulted in profits of approximately $6.5 million.
As of March 31, 2009, total surcharges in the amount of $5,099,139 had been paid to the recipient organization, the American Eagle Foundation of Tennessee. An additional surcharge is expected to be paid to the recipient organization in April 2009.
2009 Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Coin Program
Public Law 109-285, September 27, 2006
The Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Coin Program consists of a proof and uncirculated silver dollar coin with a maximum mintage of 500,000 coins across both options. Sales of the 2009 Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Silver Dollar began on February 12, 2009, with the uncirculated version selling out on March 26. As of March 31, 2009, a total of 467,711 coins had been sold (329,402 proof and 138,309 uncirculated), with 294,836 of these shipped to customers. A special United States Mint Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set, including a proof version of the 2009 Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Silver Dollar, will be available in the summer. A surcharge of $10 per coin is authorized to be paid to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission to further its work in planning the celebration of the bicentennial anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.
2009 Louis Braille Commemorative Coin Program
Public Law 109-247, July 27, 2006
The Louis Braille Commemorative Coin Program consists of a proof and uncirculated coin with a maximum mintage of 400,000 coins across all product options. The uncirculated silver dollar coin is also available in an easy-open capsule for those wishing to feel the tactile features of the coin. Sales of the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar began March 26, 2009, and have been brisk. As of March 31, 2009, a total of 55,802 coins had been sold (33,217 proof, 15,299 uncirculated and 7,286 uncirculated in the easy-open case), with 2,500 of those being shipped to customers. A surcharge of $10 per coin is authorized to be paid to the National Federation of the Blind to support its programs to promote Braille Literacy.
2010 American Veterans Disabled for Life Commemorative Coin Program
Public Law 110-277, July 17, 2008
Designs are in development in conjunction with the recipient organization, the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation. The projected date for presentation to the federal advisory committees, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), is May or June 2009.
2010 Boy Scouts of America Centennial Commemorative Coin Program
Public Law 110-363, October 8, 2008
Designs are in development in conjunction with the recipient organization, the National Boy Scouts of American Foundation. The projected date for presentation to the CFA and CCAC is May or June 2009.
2011 United States Army Commemorative Coin Program
Public Law 110-450, December 1, 2008
Discussions with the recipient organization, the National Museum of the United States Army, were held in March 2009. Work on the coin designs is ongoing.
2012 National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center Commemorative Coin Program
Public Law 110-357, October 8, 2008
2014 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Commemorative Coin Program
Public Law 110-451, December 2, 2008
MARKET-BASED RESEARCH AND PRICING FOR ALL UNITED STATES MINT COMMEMORATIVE COIN PROGRAMS
The United States Mint is actively engaged in gathering and analyzing data gathered from focus group sessions as well as information collected through quarterly surveys. The purpose of gathering this data is twofold. First, customer satisfaction can be gauged relative to recent product offerings, and second, the success of future products and programs can be accurately predicted.
It should be noted that the United States Mint also uses this information to assess overall customer response to quality, pricing and packaging, and to gain a better understanding of which products will succeed and at what price they will be most attractive to potential customers.
Focus group meetings are conducted around the country to provide input from diverse populations. They are a valuable tool for the United States Mint when considering themes, packaging and special product offerings. These venues are used to test recurring annual products as well as commemorative coins.
Commemorative coin pricing includes estimating consumer demand and costs associated with producing and selling the item.