Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Mint reported today that, because of the recent unprecedented growth in interest in U.S. coins, the Mint achieved its first day of more than $1 million in Internet sales on its website (WWW.USMINT.GOV) on Monday, October 18. Sales were so heavy that the Mint sold more than $1 million by 10:35 a.m. By the end of the day total Internet sales reached $2,031,620 million, exceeding the previous record by an astounding 330 percent.
“We have been looking forward to this day for several weeks now,” said Mint Director Philip N. Diehl. “We started Internet sales only six months ago and had our first $1 million month in May. Our first $1 million week came on July 17, and now, barely three months later, we have posted our first $1 million day.”
“At this rate, we may have our first $1 million hour by year–end,” he added.
Director Diehl attributed today’s sales surge to the launch of collector sales of the Connecticut quarter, which is the latest coin to be launched as part of the Mint’s 50 State Quarters program. Diehl also noted that the very popular Collector’s Map, which is used to hold and display a collector’s set of the 50 State Quarters, was also a factor in achieving the new sales record.
Monday was the first day for Internet sales of 100– and 1,000–coin bags of quarters honoring the state of Connecticut. By the end of the day, the Mint had sold more than 26 million Connecticut quarters on its website.
“Our market research indicates there are now 106 million Americans, children and adults, actively collecting the 50 State Quarters from pocket change,” Diehl said. “In the months ahead, we expect the number of state quarter collectors to reach 160 million. The 50 State Quarters are the hottest collectible in a generation.”
The 50 State Quarters Program was launched in January 1999, and demand for 1999 quarters has risen steadily throughout the year. Current demand is running at an annualized rate of about 5.5 billion quarters, compared to 2.3 billion in 1998. Only state quarters are being produced in 1999. Every ten weeks, through 2008, the Mint is issuing a new quarter honoring one of the 50 states, with Connecticut being the most recent. The states are being recognized in the order in which they ratified the Constitution or joined the union. The traditional eagle–reverse quarter will return in 2009 after all 50 states have been honored.
“I also want to take this opportunity to alert America’s coin collectors to the fact that many of the items in the Mint’s 1999 Holiday Catalog seem destined for early sellouts,” Diehl continued. “Extraordinary Internet sales are rapidly depleting our stocks of collectible coins that usually are available until year–end. This year, many of these items will be gone as early as November. This most likely includes 1999 proof Eagles–including certain gold and silver options, 1999 five–coin Proof Sets, bags of 1999 Susan B. Anthony dollars, 50 State Quarter Coin and Die Sets, and many of our 50 State Quarter jewelry items.”
Orders on the Mint’s website are exempt from the Mint’s shipping and handling charges, and customers who have used Internet ordering have reported significantly faster deliveries than with mail and telephone orders.