2012 Libertad 30th Anniversary Silver Set

2012 may have been the year predicted by the Mayans to be the end of the world, and the House of Money (Casa de Moneda), a.k.a. the Mexican Mint, seems to be treating it as such.  First, they shocked collectors by refusing to offer the fractional libertad proof coins that had been minted since 1992.  They offered only the 1 ounce proof coin and only the BU fractionals.  Then, by all accounts, the 2012 1 ounce proof libertad sold out in hours, selling for a high premium before it was ever received by USA collectors.

As we mentioned in this blog before– with the discontinuation of the fractionals- perhaps they were going to offer something later on in the year as a ‘surprise’ set?  It was 1982 that the first 1 ounce silver libertad went on sale, and 1992 that the first libertad fractional arrived.  Would there be a 30th anniversary of libertad or 20th anniversary of fractionals set?

We have our answer! On July 8th the Banco de Mexico released the “surprise” 30th Anniversary Libertad Set.  Featuring a mintage of just 1500, with a wooden box, COA, and perhaps most noteworthy, a gold-plated bronze statue figurine fashioned after the Winged Goddess of Victory.  The statute was first seen last year in the difficult to find 30th anniversary gold proof set- limited to just 500 (and priced in the 4-5k range).

What does this mean?  Well, for one, these sets are going to be tough to find.  Although 1500 were produced, various reports list the numbers as being between 700-900 offered for sale in Mexico, and between 600-800 offered to European dealers.  This leaves the USA collectors with the task of having to buy through distributors connected to Mexico or Europe.

The two-coin set contains the 1/2 ounce libertad BU and the 1 ounce proof- neither of which is unique to the set. However, unlike the US Mint releases, libertad collectors have shown a willingness to pay a substantial premium for set offerings that remain in the wood boxes with the COA’s.  There is also the matter of the beautiful gold statuette, which is not available anywhere else except the very expensive gold proof set from last year.

Finally, there is a “cool factor” with this set- it just looks really beautiful with the gold figure.  In a year where they stopped producing the fractional proofs (and the 2 and 5 ounce proofs), this set stands alongside the US Mint’s SF two coin set as one of the most intriguing two-coin sets of the year.

Now, will they offer another set commemorating the fractionals?  It’s not likely, as they haven’t done multiple set offerings in the past.  Those who think they might, however, would point to the 2011 proof gold sets, which were released without the figurines in a slightly higher mintage.  So, if they follow course it would suggest that if they did release another set, it would only be a non-figure set.  And, since both coins are available separately, a large premium could lead to dealers selling the sets with a single proof and half ounce BU coin themselves (and even throwing in a spare box) and billing it as the 30th anniversary set.  This is often done with the other libertad sets (particularly the 2011 proof set), since the wooden box with COA proof sets of the last few years have been limited to 1000.  A search on eBay on completed listings reveals that buyers will pay much more for the in-the-box-with-the-coa version- sometimes close to double.  The gold goddess statuette will likely add even more to the premium.

In an exciting year with more questions than answers, it seems as if the Mexico Mint is taking the approach (either on purpose or not) of keeping collectors in the dark- which could lead to an offering flying under the radar and then becoming very popular later on.  Assuming, of course, that the Mayans were wrong about 2012.

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Comments

  1. says

    I also received my 30th Annv set today and the COA had a printed number on it…in the 300’s.

    Lewis, if mine did not have a numbered COA I decided that I would keep that way….unless more info became available as to how a replacement COA would be handled. As you previously said, the wood box & COA both clearly indicated this is the 30th Anniversary set. As far as replacements go, I’m unclear about how that process works…all that talk about “hand-written” numbers did not make any since to me.

    I was surprised at the size the the wood box. It is only 3/4 on an inch less wide than the 5 coins sets and is 1 1/2 inches taller in height…so it actually has more square inches in size than the 5 coin sets.

    OT, yesterday I received my Funnel Web Spider (Deadly & Dangerous series) from Downies…nice coin and the wood box is great…I wish the DoL series had that kind of packaging. I currently have one wood box display holding the 2 issued DoL coin along with the 3 coin set from New Zealand…WW2 Nose Art.

    Along those lines, I have several of the 2011 Silver Eagle 25th Anniversary OGP sets and they are great for displaying all these foreign coins.

    Lastly, Lewis, would are you considering doing with your COA?

  2. says

    Re:Great White Shark coin…as I mentioned previously, the actual coin will have 4 bite marks instead of the 7 you see in all the current pics…like on NZM’s website.
    Here is a link to the old pic with seven bite-marks.
    http://www.newzealandmint.com/coins/shop-online/2012-great-white-shark-1oz-silver-coin-set

    Not that I’m anyone special, but I have developed a good two-way communication with the New Zealand Mint. This is what my contact said:

    “I wouldn’t normally send out the attached image out as this is used for production purposes but thought you’d appreciate seeing the now layout of the Reverse design of the Shark for the White Shark program.

    Once production have a sample for me to approve I’ll flick you a photo of the first struck coin prior to the coloring process.”

    I trust that he didn’t intend for me to share that image…but I can tell you that while the bite marks are reduced from 7 to 4, each of the 4 remaining bite marks are about twice the size of the original 7.

    One last think I’ve inquired about (and maybe some of you already have info on this) was to confirm whether or not the bite marks actually go through the entire coin…so you can see right through it…I’m assuming it does, but really want to here that from NZM.

  3. Louis says

    Steve,
    Thanks for the info. I am having a hard time deciding, but like you I am skeptical of the value of a hand-written number on a COA, assuming that what G said was correct. Not that I question G, but you never know as things get passed down the line who said exactly what to whom.

    The guy I spoke to said they had plenty of COA’s and would send a new one right out. He did not say anything about handwriting it, so I will probably call on Monday and double check. I want to ask them about something else anyway.

    Nice going with the NZM. Sounds like you are pretty special! Enjoy your shark. It’s too scary for me!

    I agree on the box. With all that space they could have also included the 1/10th and 1/4 ounce coins. Not to mention with the price, they could have included them too. I think there are enough serious Libertad collectors to keep these babies at $250 or more retail and eventually higher.

  4. Silverback says

    First time posting here — been enjoy everyone’s comments.

    I received my two sets of the 30th Anniversary Silver Libertad sets. Both COA’s were numbered, in the 300’s. The numbers are not hand-written but stamped.

    Th whole set looks elegant though the box is too large for the coins and the figurine. They are not tightly fitted in their recesses and the coins will come loose in the box. There is a piece of foam padding inside the box to prevent this. But then the box can not close properly and required a rubber band to hold the lid down.

    But, I am concerned about the wooden box, the foam padding and the rubber band. Aren’t they “toxic” to the silver coins and in the long term, it may cause tarnish? I plan to throw away the foam padding and the rubber band, and keep a 3M anti-tarnish strip in the box.

    Am I too paranoid about this?

  5. Hidalgo says

    @Steve – what is the mintage of the Great White Shark coin? I see two numbers — 4,000 and 5,000. Which one is it?

  6. Louis says

    Silverback,
    If you are really concerned, I’d say store the coins separately in an inert environment like a safe with some silica gel inside. I think you might also be okay just storing the whole thing in such a place. It is annoying how the box does not fit tightly, but since the rubber band is on the outside I doubt that would matter. And anyway it is PVC plastic that is the big problem, and I am not sure, but I don’t think the foam or band are made of PVC.

    Was you set from Panda?

  7. Silverback says

    Yes, Steve, my sets are from Panda.

    I think your idea of storing the coins separately is excellent. That is actually how I store my US Mint coins. The packagings are becoming a bigger headache finding storage places for them.

  8. Samuel says

    i also have the problem of storing the silver coins, usually they have big boxes. my current solution is buying big plastic bins from Target. i m just not sure if they contain PVC or not.

  9. William says

    Hi guys – Will from Panda America. Wow, so much interest for this product. It just proves that if the mints come out with a high quality product with a low mintage, the demand will be there. I know Panda America is not the only distributor for this Anniversary set but so far we have been selling very strongly, and I know a few other distributors that are already sold out. Regarding the mintage: we have contacted the Banco de Mexico & Casa de Moneda to have them send us a signed letter stating the mintage is indeed 1,500. I was startled as well to not see it on the certificate as well. I will post the letter on our website under the product picture section, when I get it.

  10. Schalk says

    William @ Panda America

    Will, have you received a set of numbers for those certificates that were not numbered from the Mint and are you applying them yourself? I feel that it is ok for you to do so, provided that Casa de Moneda de Mexico gave you a series of numbers specifically applicable for your allocation (seems to be in the 0300’s). Please indicate whether this is the case as it is clear from Don Bailey that the Mint did not apply certificate numbers, and released them with numbers supplied to dealers to ” hand write” in the certs.

  11. William says

    As for the blank certs that weren’t numbered – In the comments above “Steve” mentions that “why did this go unnoticed to begin with…while Mexico is mainly to blame, Panda America should of noticed this and done something about it..IMO”……… – it is not our responsibility to ensure they are numbered: we distribute & sell the coins, we don’t make them or mint them, and we don’t print off the certs – it’s all made in Mexico under their supervision. We sell what they make and give us as an official distributor, just as any distributor of foreign coins does. A coin company in America, no matter how big, does not simply tell a reputable government mint in another country what to do. As a collector myself I like having the certs numbered so I can relate to you guys wanting the cert numbered. Panda America was assigned a specific sequence of numbers from Mexico, and as I said before, if you got a cert that isn’t numbered and you bought from PA, please send it back to PA with your invoice # and we will get you a cert that is numbered with the specific numbers that we were given from Banco de Mexico. It seems like most of our sets have been sold to former customers, but we also have some new customers buying these sets – perhaps from this blog – for those of you here who bought your sets from us – THANK YOU FOR YOUR BUSINESS!!

  12. VABEACHBUM says

    @ William – I have bought from PA previously, but came back to you for this Anniversary Set specifically because of the blog. I’ll also be checking back w/ PA in 2-3 weeks as the 2012 ANA Panda Medals become available. Well, at least I remain hopeful that you will have some of the 1 oz and 5 oz medals available for those unable to get to Philly.

    Thanks for chiming in on this blog, and for demonstrating a genuine concern for all of your PA customers’. I, for one, really appreciate your “world class” service.

  13. Schalk says

    William

    Thank you for giving us clarity on the COA situation and trying to keep your customers happy 🙂

  14. Dan says

    Will

    I was one of your new customers for this offering. It was Gabriel’s original article a while back that had gotten me intrested in Libertads. The 2 sets that I ordered arrived in great shape and a timely manner. Mine just happened to be numbered so I lucked out. Just wanted to say that I am impressed with the way you seem to be responding to your customers. There are a few other dealers out there like yourself that are a pleasure to do business with, and a few others that should learn from you guys. Thanks again from a new customer who will be a return customer.

  15. says

    William, I too am a first time customer and I also appreciate you visiting this blog and providing customer service.
    I WILL be a repeat customer!!

    I don’t mean be beat a dead horse, but when some rather simple qustions have not been answered…??…I’m going to ask.

    You still have not directly answered questions regarding why some of the P.A. sets had numbered COA’s and some did not.
    You responded saying ” it is not our responsibility to ensure they are numbered: we distribute & sell the coins, we don’t make them or mint them, and we don’t print off the certs – it’s all made in Mexico under their supervision. We sell what they make and give us as an official distributor, just as any distributor of foreign coins does. A coin company in America, no matter how big, does not simply tell a reputable government mint in another country what to do.”

    I understand you saying you are not responsible for non-numbered COA’s as you just sell what is passed on to you by what is made in Mexico.

    So my questions are:
    1. Did all the COA’s you received from Mexico come without a number?
    2. Did some of the COA’s you received from Mexico have numbers and others did not?
    3. If all the COA’s PA received were blank, were you provided a range
    of numbers for those COA’s to stamp a number on?
    4. What happens when someone sends in a COA without a number and
    you send one back with a number? Where does the numbered COA come from?

    Again, IMO, you skirted the issue of COA’s with/without a number and basically said it is not your responsibility. That may very well be true…but only you have all the details regarding the numbered/non-numbered COA’s and you have been reluctant to share that info with us..to say that “hey, we only ship out what is sent is us” is ok, but when you also say, “however” we
    can correct it, how does that happen?

    However, regarding the assumed mintage limit of 1500, you did not have a problem requesting a letter from the Mexican Mint verifying that…and you indicated you would post that on your product page. So for you to say that you don’t question another countries Mint is inaccurate.

    So…as a distributor, I don’t see the difference in you ascertaining the 1500 mintage limit vs asking them about the numbered COA’s

    William, again, I appreciate you customer service and wish more companies were as involved with their clients. But I’m not going to give you a free pass when you have not totally explained the COA situation with some clarity.

  16. Schalk says

    Steve

    I think that you are reading too much into this. It is possible that PA’s early sets were sold by them without them realizing that the certificates were unnumbered. Will already told us that they received an official range of numbers for their allocation to apply to the certificates. Even Don Bailey confirms that the dealers were asked to assign numbers to the sets: “write them in”. Don Bailey also confirmed that NONE of the sets were numbered by the mint.

    If I were the dealer, I would probably also start selling without studying anything else, such as a request to apply numbers – which is highly unusual for the mint to request from the dealer in the first place.

    They can obviously correct the omission by requesting that you send the certificate back to them so that they can number them according to the range that they were allocated and so exchange one for one certificates – no duplicates. They are also kind enough to stamp the number on the certificate. How many dealers do you think are going to number these sets at all?

    PA may have only realized this a short while ago – and their first batch was sold without numbers. William only became aware of the problem on Friday last week when I called him and asked him about the numbers. They immediately acted on this and he even posted on this blog after I told him about it’s existence. It is now only Monday – a day after he posted the first time (weekend in between).

    William also told us that he was surprised to find that the total mintage was not specified on the COA. He is also a collector and because they are official distributors for the Casa de Moneda de Mexico, he is in a position to request from the Bank of Mexico to confirm the mintage – he is not questioning it – he is asking them to confirm it – it is clear that he only wants to please us and himself (being a collector).

    I am really not sure what else you want to know – as you say, you may be beating a dead horse here.

  17. says

    @ Schalk,
    No, Im not reading too much into this…you made several statements such as “it’s possibe”..etc…yes I realize we can all speculate.
    All I am asking for is a simple exclamation…is that too much to ask?

  18. says

    A Schalk, you ask what ulse do I want to know?..well your assumptions are not a valid answer, just your opinion. As I said, I’d like to know:
    So my questions are:
    1. Did all the COA’s you received from Mexico come without a number?
    2. Did some of the COA’s you received from Mexico have numbers and others did not?
    3. If all the COA’s PA received were blank, were you provided a range
    of numbers for those COA’s to stamp a number on?
    4. What happens when someone sends in a COA without a number and
    you send one back with a number? Where does the numbered COA come from?

    Is that too much to ask?…I don’t think so!

  19. saucexx says

    William,

    Thanks for the info. And for the record I’m a new customer because of this blog.

  20. says

    One last comment…it’s late, at least for me as I’ve had a long day.

    The issues I’ve brought up are not worth debating…when I see some of the real issues going on…like the Colorado shootings…that is where our real thoughts and concerns should be focused!

    Sometimes we loose perspective of what’s really important…and I for one apologize for being guilty of that.

    Let’s focus on what’s really important!

  21. jeff72 says

    Samuel says:
    July 26, 2012 at 11:12 am
    the only good thing about this set is the number—- “1500″! and, that’s it!

    …..yeah…I’m wondering why there is not 230 comments on this set?? …and it is STILL available?? …The Libertab is gorgeous and low mintage!!….where is all the fuss on this coin?? ….any body know????

  22. Samuel says

    jeff72, i remember u bought some of those apmex sets. no many people collect this coin. they can have a better capsule and box. what we buy here is the limited edition box, not the coin and CoA.

  23. jeff72 says

    Samuel says:
    July 27, 2012 at 10:18 am
    jeff72, i remember u bought some of those apmex sets. no many people collect this coin. they can have a better capsule and box. what we buy here is the limited edition box, not the coin and CoA.

    …you are right…thus why I have held off buying this 30th set….

    At least the US Mint makes their anniversary coins unique …they just mint a million of them…..facetiously speaking of course

  24. Louis says

    Someone on e-Bay is selling the sets with unnumbered COA’s as a mint error at a small premium to regular sets!

  25. Steve says

    Any word on final mintage numbers for 2011? Also, what is the estimate for the number of 1oz silver proofs Libertads are they expected to make this year?

  26. says

    I ordered one off ebay a minute ago for $149 should I check to see if it has a number. I have been looking for a long time. If it doesn’t have a number is it real and can I get a number.
    Please don’t tell me no..

  27. says

    I just ordered a 2012 1 oz proof and 1/2 oz BU . I saw where some are being sold without the coa numbered is that counterfeit please tell me its not I have a lot of Libertads and I have been really looking for this one with the figurine if its not numbered can I send it in to be numbered. I”m going to try and catch them before they send it out but I still want it if it can be numbered. And Apex has a 2016 5 coin box empty with coa I have 2 sets of 2016 proofs can they be numbered. And I took 2 2016 Libertads one BU one proof and put them in a beautiful maple box for display is that illegal?

  28. says

    The coin shop told me that it is to hard to get a PF70 on a Libertad proof. But I have a 1/2 ounce that is just perfect I can’t find a scratch on OT rather on two. Is it really that hard.

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