The United States Mint, for the third time, delayed the release of the United States Air Force silver medal yesterday. Originally scheduled to go on sale at Noon Eastern, sales never opened up with the medal being moved to a “TBD” status just prior to Noon. No explanation was given for several hours before an email was sent to the numismatic press.
The reason for the delay came down to two specific reasons. First, the Mint had received a total number of people who had used the “Remind Me” feature on the medal had exceeded inventory. Simply put, the Mint knew it was going to sell out within minutes. Secondly, the Mint has identified what it called “extraordinarily high volume” of BOT traffic in the recent releases of silver products. These have created interference with actual human traffic which has caused some customers to not be able to make purchases. The Mint has identified these BOTs and are now working on a mitigation plan to solve for them. The Mint, however, does warn that even with this mitigation in place, some customers will still not be able to order the latest silver products due to exceptionally high demand.
The release date for the Air Force silver medal has not been set, with the Mint indicating only a mid-July release.
Here is the email from the United States Mint:
The U.S. Mint today announced that it will delay the release of the United States Mint Air Force silver medal, originally scheduled for Tuesday, June 22, until mid-July.
The total number of “Remind Me” email/text notifications received by the Mint indicates that demand for the Mint’s Air Force 2.5-ounce silver medal — the first in its new Armed Forces Silver Medal Series — will exceed inventory, as the projected demand is greater than supply.
Other recent silver product offerings have resulted in an extraordinarily high volume of BOT traffic. These BOTs were programmed to conduct technology-driven transactions which interfered with the transactions of many Mint customers.
The Mint has identified a solution that is expected to mitigate most of the issues caused by BOT traffic. We are working diligently to put that solution in place, as it will enable our website to function more smoothly. Even this robust effort to improve product access remains limited by demand, which continues to outpace our supply of silver blanks. As a result, not everyone will be able to purchase this medal.
A one-ounce version of the Air Force Silver Medal (SAF1) will be available next year, and customers may now request “Remind Me” notifications for that medal.