One of the latest emails to come into the Mail Bag has come from Andrew. He fellow Coloradan and is questioning if the Mint Enrollment Program that are offered on a wide range of numismatic products each year are worth it. The answer is mostly yes.
Greetings from (redacted), Colorado.
I see that you highlight on products from the Mint when there is an enrollment program for it. I don’t really get the value of these programs. I understand that it helps make sure I get products when they are released but for things like the Native American dollar, what’s the point?
First Andrew, thanks for taking the time to write in.
The value of the Mint Enrollment Program really depends on the product. For those who are new to collecting and, more specifically, buying from the United States Mint directly, let me give you some background.
The Enrollment Program assures that you will get the latest product in the designated series of releases each year, but also gets that to you shipped free.
The Mint offers a wide range of Enrollment Program options for various products. These included:
- American Eagle silver Uncirculated and Proof
- Annual Proof Sets
- Annual Uncirculated Sets
- Presidential Silver Medals
- American Women Quarter Series, Rolls, 3-Coin Sets, and Proof Sets
- Kennedy Half Dollar Bags and Rolls
- American Innovation Dollar Bags, Rolls, and Reverse Proof Coins
- Native American Dollar Bags and Rolls
To get started, go to the Enrollment Program page at the Mint’s site. There you will see all of the programs that are available. Select the one you want then the product in that program that you want to received. You’ll then “buy” the enrollment which will be at no cost and walk through the Mint’s normal check out process to enroll. Once completed, you will receive an email letting you know that you are enrolled for that product.
The value of the programs offered on these products come down to two things. First, the product itself. If you are enrolled in the program, you are assured that you will get that product and not have to hope you are able to get it from the Mint’s site on release day. The Mint only allocates so many orders for the Enrollment Program to assure everyone signed up gets that product. For example, take the silver American Eagle. The Mint has already indicated that for this year, the 2020-W uncirculated Eagle and 2020-S proof Eagle already have reached the limit of those who are allowed in the Enrollment Program. That means that nobody else can join and if you want one of these coins, you have to go to the Mint’s site on release day and hope to be fast enough to get one before the sell out. The Enrollment Program assures you get the coin – if you are in it.
Now, for other products this isn’t such a big deal. Take the Kennedy Half Dollar or Native American Dollar as an example. The Mint considers these circulation coins so they don’t have a mintage limit or a purchase limit. That means that they generally stay available throughout the year (although products have been known to sell out). So really, on these products, it ultimately comes down to if you collect them and want to make sure you get them early. For me, that is a big deal. I am part of all of the Enrollment Programs offered by the Mint because I do like collecting the rolls and annual sets of each product. Your own collecting desires may be different.
The other advantage of these programs are that shipping is free. Depending on the product, that could be $5-8 in savings for standard shipping.
So Andrew, ultimately it comes down to you and your collecting habits as to if these programs are of value to you. For me, especially on the silver products (Eagles, Proof Set, etc), they are a worry-free way of making sure I get them each and every year. But if you aren’t into those products, the value may not be as significant.
If you have a question for the Mail Bag, just head over to the About page and use the form there to send it in to me.