Difficulties that many collectors experienced online May 24 trying to order privy-marked examples of two limited-edition 2021 Morgan dollars forced the nation’s coin bureau to delay the release of three additional 2021 Morgan dollars and a single 2021 Peace dollar.
United States Mint officials released a statement May 28 indicating the release of the Uncirculated 2021-D and 2021-S Morgan dollars, being struck, respectively, at the Denver Mint and San Francisco Mint, would not go off as scheduled June 1.
Also delayed are the planned releases of the Philadelphia Mint-struck 2021 Morgan dollar and 2021 Peace dollar, both originally slated for sale June 7.
The release of the remaining four 2021 silver dollars are delayed indefinitely.
As of June 4, no new sales dates were announced.
The initial May 28 statement from the Mint left collectors confused. “The global silver shortage has driven demand for many of our bullion and numismatic products to record heights. This level of demand is felt most acutely by the Mint during the initial product release of numismatic items.” However, some collectors questioned the “global shortage of silver” reference.
Mint officials issued a clarification on June 2, which read: “In a message released Friday, May 28, we made reference to a global shortage of silver. In more precise terms, the silver shortage being experienced by the United States Mint pertains only to the supply of silver blanks among suppliers to the U.S. Mint.”
The original statement addressed problems Mint customers experienced during the first sales offerings: “Most recently in the pre-order window for 2021 Morgan silver dollars with Carson City privy mark and New Orleans privy mark, the extraordinary volume of web traffic caused significant numbers of Mint customers to experience website anomalies that resulted in their inability to complete transactions.”
Those website anomalies triggered the indefinite postponement of the remaining 2021 silver dollars.
“In the interest of properly rectifying the situation, the Mint is postponing the pre-order windows for the remaining 2021 Morgan and Peace silver dollars that were originally scheduled for June 1 and June 7,” according to U.S. Mint officials. “While inconvenient to many, this deliberate delay will give the Mint the time necessary to obtain web traffic management tools to enhance the user experience.”
The original statement (still referencing silver supply shortages) added: “As the demand for silver remains greater than the supply, the reality is such that not everyone will be able to purchase a coin. However, we are confident that during the postponement, we will be able to greatly improve on our ability to deliver the utmost positive U.S. Mint experience that our customers deserve.
“We will announce revised pre-order launch dates as soon as possible.”
The May 24 pre-order release witnessed the issue of two individual 2021 Morgan dollars bearing privy marks recognizing the Carson City and New Orleans Mints.
The 2021 silver dollars mark the transition from production in 1921 of the Morgan dollar to the Peace dollar.
The coins are not considered commemorative coins, but they were authorized by congressional legislation. Mint officials indicated some of the silver dollars could be struck in 2022 and later, as the authorization allows.
All five of the Morgan dollars have a predetermined maximum release of 175,000 coins each, with the 2021 Peace dollar to be issued with a limit of 200,000 coins.
As of the U.S. Mint’s May 30 sales report, 174,235 of the 2021 Morgan dollars with CC privy mark were recorded sold, as were 174,325 of the 2021 Morgan dollars with the O privy mark.
The silver dollars are retailed by the Mint for $85 each.
May 24 also experienced the return of order taking on the Mint’s toll-free 800 order line, suspended since March 13, 2020, because of adjustments made for COVID-19 concerns.
Collectors also reported difficulties placing telephone orders.
PFSWeb monitors the U.S. Mint’s website and telephone ordering functions under a 10-year, $599 million contract awarded in October 2014.
Since the launch of a completely new website, collectors have encountered increased difficulty placing orders for limited edition products with increased demand.
For the May 24, 2021, pre-order for the two privy-marked Morgan dollars, the U.S. Mint reduced the maximum household order limit to 10 coins per product option, from an originally stated ceiling of 25 coins.
Some dealers and collectors reported on social media platforms being successful in placing orders for the maximum 10 of each coin option for the privy-marked coins, although they reported no interest in collecting them, only looking for profit-taking.
Initially, the Mint website indicated that the privy-marked coins would not be shipped until sometime in October, later changing the date to June 13, and then revising the date to October again.