The United States Mint has released an extensive array of numismatic products for the Presidential Dollar Program. This was perhaps inspired by the success that the Mint had experienced in marketing products created for the State Quarters Program. Throughout the decade of issuance, the US Mint had released an increasing number of State Quarter themed products to an enthusiastic collector base, driving high numismatic product revenues. By contrast, some of the Presidential Dollar products experienced poor sales and would ultimately be canceled.
The greatest number of Presidential Dollar numismatic products were issued for the years 2007 and 2008. At the end of 2008, many of the products would be discontinued, as part of a broad realignment of the US Mint’s product portfolio. The offerings would see further attrition in subsequent years as the US Mint continued to refine its approach.
In 2012, when the new issues of the series were no longer distributed for circulation, a low cost set including each year’s circulating quality coins was introduced. In the following year, Coin and Chronicles Set began to be issued for certain Presidents featuring the $1 coins, related items, and historical information.
Historical Signature Sets
The Presidential Dollar Historical Signature Sets were offered by the United States Mint for only 2007 and 2008. Out of all discontinued product types, these sets seem to draw the most interest for collectors.
A single proof dollar coin and an intaglio print from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing were included in a leather-like folder. The folder opened to reveal a reproduction of the official Presidential signature. A certificate of authenticity accompanied each set. Original pricing for the product was $19.95. The 2008 issues had lower production runs and generally command a premium above the 2007 issues. In an unusual move, the Wall Street Journal carried a story on the discontinuation of this single product line. At the time, the US Mint had eliminated more than 200 numismatic products, which received little or no attention from the mainstream media.
Numismatic Bags and Rolls
The US Mint has offered circulating quality coins for each Presidential Dollar through their numismatic bags and rolls program. The coins are struck at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints and typically match the quality of coins issued to the channels of circulation. The products are mainly differentiated by the distinctive packaging, which carries the US Mint’s branding and information on the contents.
For 2007 and 2008, the US Mint offered either 25-coin rolls or 250-coin bags from either the Philadelphia or Denver Mint. Original pricing was $35.95 for each roll or $319.95 for each bag. Starting with 2009, the US Mint eliminated the bags and offered only the rolls. For the first offering of that year featuring the William Henry Harrison Presidential Dollar, the rolls unexpectedly sold out after 30,000 rolls from each mint were purchased. These rolls command a significant premium on the secondary market, despite the fact that some subsequent rolls had similar sales levels.
Starting in 2011, the price of each 25-coin roll was increased to $39.95. The packaging style was also changed from the previous flag design to a new black and white motif.
In 2012, the line was realigned to included 25-coin rolls, 100-coin bags, 250-coin boxes, and 500-coin boxes. This was done to provide greater access to the coins following the suspension of distribution to the channels of circulation. Prices were also reduced to reflect a more modest premium to the face value.
Direct Ship Program Presidential Dollar Rolls
With the intention of removing barriers to circulation, the United States Mint introduced the Circulating $1 Coin Direct Ship Program. Through this program, individuals and businesses could order quantities of $250 worth of Presidential Dollars or Native American Dollars directly from the US Mint at face value with no charge for shipping and handling. Typically, circulating $1 coins are distributed through the Federal Reserve Banks in $1,000 boxes or $2,000 bags.
The US Mint offered the $250 boxes for individual coin designs, with nearly all Presidential Dollars available for some time period. The coins are packaged in ten 25-coin rolls, placed into a single box. The wrappers for the rolls are generic N.F. String marked, as opposed to the US Mint branded wrappers used for the numismatic rolls.
This program received some unwanted publicity, when the mainstream media started reporting about how frequent fliers were taking advantage of the program. Some individuals ordered massive quantities of coins at face value, earning valuable rewards and miles, and then deposited the coins into a bank account. One person claimed to have purchased $800,000 worth of coins through the program.
Following these reports, the US Mint cut off some of the abusers of the program, introduced ordering limitations, and made customers agree that they would comply with the intended purpose of the program and not immediately deposit the coins into a bank account. Eventually the offering would be canceled altogether.
Presidential Dollar Proof Sets
For each year, the US Mint has offered Presidential Dollar Proof Sets. These contain the four different coins released for the year, struck in proof quality at the San Francisco Mint. The coins are included in an individual plastic lens that allows the edge of each coin to remain visible.
Many collectors view these sets as a convenient way to collect and showcase Proof Presidential Dollars. However, there is a higher cost associated with collecting the coins this way. It is generally a better bargain to purchase the entire annual proof set, which includes all proof coins issued for the year. Although the absolute cost is greater, the cost per coin is lower.
When the Presidential Dollar Proof Set was introduced in 2007, it was priced at $14.95. This was raised to $15.95 for 2010, and later $19.95 for 2011. That year, the style of packaging was also changed to a black and white motif with the US Mint’s new logo.
Presidential Dollar Individual Proof Coins
For 2007 and 2008, the US Mint offered individual proof coins for each Presidential Dollar. The coins were mounted on pocket sized cards that were “perfect for introducing a young person to the hobby or for the experienced numismatist to begin a new collection.”
By packaging the coins individually, the premiums were higher than the full Presidential Dollar Proof Set or the annual Proof Sets. The original pricing was $5.95 each. Few collectors saw the necessity of purchasing the coins individually, as opposed to through the other offerings. Sales were low and the product line was canceled at the end of 2008.
Presidential Dollar Uncirculated Coin Sets
The US Mint offered Presidential Dollar Uncirculated Coin Sets for each year of the series so far. Over the years, the offering has undergone some changes. On a basic level, each set includes uncirculated versions of the Presidential Dollars issued for the year, which were also available through the full annual Uncirculated Coin Sets. Similar to the component proof sets, these partial sets would allow someone to collect only the Presidential Dollars without purchasing the other denominations.
For 2007, the US Mint offered separate sets for the Philadelphia and Denver Mint coins, and a combined set containing coins from each mint. The sets for each individual mint were priced at $8.95 and the combined set was priced at $15.95. The coins were mounted on a folder, which included biographical information and quotes from each President. Starting in 2008, only the combined set was available, which included the four coins from each mint.
Pricing was increased to $18.95 for the sets in 2010 and to $19.95 for 2011. From 2007 to 2010, the coins included in each set carried a satin finish. From 2011 onwards, the coins carried a brilliant finish.
Presidential Dollar First Day Coin Covers
Since the beginning of the series, the US Mint has offered the American Presidency $1 Coin Cover series. These products incorporate two Presidential Dollars from the first day of production at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. The coins are mounted onto an illustrated display card, which is stamped and postmarked for the official circulation release date. Similar products had been created for the State Quarters Program and were popular with collectors.
The US Mint has established a production limit for each coin cover released. Some of the earlier issues sold out, while others were removed from sale before the full production was sold. The 2007 and 2008 issues were limited to 50,000 units. The limit was lowered to 40,000 for the 2009 covers, then 32,000 for the 2010 covers (except for Lincoln which was 37,000), 22,000 for the 2011 covers, 20,000 for the 2013 covers, and finally 15,000 for the 2015 covers.
Pricing was initially $14.95 per cover. This was increased to $15.95 for 2010, and $19.95 starting in 2011. That year the design was also slightly altered to incorporate the US Mint’s new branding.
Presidential $1 Coin & First Spouse Medal Sets
The United States Mint created a unique product, to highlight the President and his spouse. The Presidential $1 Coin & First Spouse Medal Set includes one example of the Presidential Dollar and one example of the First Spouse Bronze Medal, presented on a plastic display card. The card is illustrated with portraits of the President and First Lady with issuance information for the coin and medal on the back.
When first available in 2007 and 2008, the sets were priced at $7.95 each. Many of these issues now sell for significant premiums due to a lack of availability on the secondary market. However, it seems that these earlier issues had higher production runs than some of the later issues.
The price of each set was increased to $8.95 for the 2009 sets, then to $11.95 for the 2010 sets, and finally $14.95 for the 2011 sets. For that year, the packaging was altered to replace the flag motif, with a solid black bar containing the US Mint logo.
Annual Uncirculated and Proof Sets
The Presidential Dollars have been incorporated into the various annual offerings of the United States Mint. This includes the standard Proof Sets, the Silver Proof Sets, and the Mint Sets issued for each year, as well as some special variations of the sets issued for certain years.
The Proof Sets include proof versions of each circulating coin issued for the year, struck at the San Francisco Mint. All coins are produced in their standard compositions. The Silver Proof Sets include the same array of coins, however the dime, quarters, and half dollar are struck in 90% silver. These coins are packaged in plastics lenses, which are placed within a single cardboard box.
The Mint Sets include examples of each circulating coin struck at the Philadelphia and Denver Mint facilities. From 2007 to 2010, these coins carried a satin finish. From 2011, this was changed to a brilliant finish. These coins are packaged in blister folders, which open to reveal the coins.
For 2007 and 2008, the US Mint issued the American Legacy Collection. This set included the same coins as the standard Proof Set, with the addition of proof versions of the year’s commemorative Silver Dollars.
From 2007 to 2008 and 2012 onwards, the US Mint has issued the Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set. Each set included four Presidential Dollars, one Native American Dollar, and the collectible uncirculated version of the American Silver Eagle.
Presidential $1 Four Coin Sets
Starting in 2012, the latest issues of the Presidential Dollar series were no longer distributed for general circulation. Thus, the only method to acquire the coins was through numismatic products offered by the United States Mint. In order to accommodate collectors who only wished to acquire a single example of each coin, the Presidential $1 Four Coin Set was introduced. The sets included one circulating quality example of each design issued for the year. Separate sets were offered from Philadelphia or Denver.
Coin and Chronicles Sets
As the program entered more contemporary and better known Presidents, the United States Mint began to issue Coin and Chronicles Sets in conjunction with the release of certain Presidential Dollars. The first set was issued for Theodore Roosevelt and included the proof $1 coin, a bronze medal featuring the President, and a 99.9% silver version of the Presidential Medal, along with historical information. The following year a set was issued for Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Coin and Chronicles Sets were released for all four of the 2015 releases honoring Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson. These sets contained a 99.9% silver version of the corresponding Presidential Medal as well as reverse proof versions of each Presidential Dollar. The reverse proof coins were unique to the sets, making them popular items with collectors.