Recent gains in silver have once again forced the United States Mint to stop selling some of its products containing that precious metal.
As silver rose over $40 an ounce on Friday, the US Mint halted the sales of its 2010 Silver Proof Set and the 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set. Buyers looking to purchase the sets from the US Mint’s website will see the announcement of "This product is temporarily unavailable" in place of the normal add to cart option.
It is not the first time in recent history that one of these sets had been placed on the "temporarily unavailable" list. Early last month, the Mint stopped selling the 2010 United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set™ when silver rallied over $35 an ounce.
Each of the America the Beautiful Quarter® included in the set is struck from 90% silver, with the total set containing 0.904 ounces of the precious metal. Even at just $35 an ounce for silver, that gave the set an intrinsic melt value of $31.64 — an amount too close to the original selling price of $32.95 for the Mint to cover its costs.
Accordingly, the US Mint raised the price on the 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set to $39.95 last month and also adjusted the price of the 2010 Silver Proof Set to $64.95 from its original price of $56.95. The Silver Proof Set contains a total of 1.34 ounces of silver, including the five silver 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters in it as well as the Roosevelt Dime and the Kennedy Half Dollar which are also struck from the precious metal.
Jump ahead to this last week and silver continued its climb, reaching above $40 an ounce and eroding the cushion the Mint had recently placed between the selling price of the two sets and their melt values. This left the US Mint no choice, once again, but to halt the sales of the affected sets to give it time to analyze the situation.
If the US Mint follows previous procedure, it is likely that these two sets will be available again in the near future, but at a modified price point reflecting the increased silver market. Those prices are typically published in the Federal Register before the Mint adds them back to their store inventory.