On many pages of this site, we refer to "Issue Limits".
The mintage figure for any particular date and type of coin or coin set is sometimes known, but sometimes is estimated. There can also be a difference between the "Issue Limit" and the "Mintage Figure". These two terms should be self-explanatory, but we will attempt to explain them here for the sake of further clarity.
Also simply called "mintage", this is the quantity of the particular coin or set known or believed to have been minted. This is often also the same number as are issued.
The mintage figures release by some mints at different periods of time relate to the production of coins during the year, and are not necessarily guaranteed to be coins of the same date, because it would be wasteful to discard old but perfectly serviceable dies at the year end. Some mints may actually publish the accurate production figures for coins of each date, others may not.
Any mintage figures we quote on our website are sourced as accurately as possible, sometimes from published coin catalogues, others from official mint sources. Figures quoted for proof sets, for example, we will normally take from the certificates issued with the sets, although these usually show an "issue limit", rather than the quantity actually minted, released, or sold.
When new collector coin sets are announced or released, it is common for there to be a maximum limit placed on the issue, although some issues are "unlimited" in that the mint will produce as many as it can sell, usually within the year, or a short time thereafter.
This maximum figure is quoted as an "Issue Limit". Often the maximum quantity are not produced because of lower than expected demand. The actual number produced or released is therefore different from the issue limit, and is known as the mintage or mintage figure for that issue. Usually the actual mintage figure is not know, or is not made public, for some time after the date year of the coin or coins.
Discrepancies Between Mintage Figures and Issue Limits
We are sometimes asked why we have quoted a mintage figure when selling a particular coin set, when the customer then reads the certificate with the coin or set which states a higher issue limit. The answer is that we have quoted the actual mintage rather than the issue limit.
Mintage Figures of British Coins
If you want to find the value of a coin you own, please take a look at our page I've Found An Old Coin, What's It Worth?
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