Wow I never looked at American Mint on the Internet while I worked there for several years. I now how many people we pissed off over the years. First, 90% of the coins they sell aren't worth anything at all. They are "collectibles" and only worth what somebody is willing to pay for them.
American Mint is owned by a Germany Company HMK GmBH. Initially, most coins were ordered from a Germany Company Munz-Pragstatt GmBH Munchen (referred to as MPM). Although still not worth much, the collectible coins were of much better quality. As a coin line becomes more successful, we send the Germany coins to China to be copied! MPM has no idea we get coins from China or we send THEIR coins to China to be copied. The China coins are crap. The quality is horrible as you can see real distinct color differences. But here is the bottom line...here is a typical American Mint promotion...this special whatever named coin for only $4.95 plus shipping.
Okay here is where the fun begins. Say the coin was a regular gold layered or silver layered copper nickel bought by them from China. Usually these coins will cost American Mint approximately .80-$1.50. The are charging $4.95 for the coin PLUS $4.95 shipping and handling. This would be a total of $9.90. They use FedEx Smartpost as a their shipper and can ship anywhere in the U.S. under a pound for about $1.74. Total cost to American Mint approximately $3.00. At $9.90 that is over a 300% profit.
When a customer orders one of these promotional coins, they are entered into a "subscription" program. They can opt out of this but it is buried in the small print. In about three weeks the customer will receive another collectible in the series of coins. This is where American Mint makes their money. These subscription coins are often sold at $79.95. Often they are the same China coins bought by American Mint for .80-$1.50. Now that is quite a profit.
They put "Certificates of Authenticity" with each coin. What a joke especially for real United States currency coins they sell. For years and years they advertised and certified these coins as being in Extremely Fine condition. An example of this was a promotion they ran with the 1907 Indian Head Penny. The certificates stated they were in extremely fine condition. The coins were never graded. I probably verified several thousands of these coins in my time there. Based on the coin red book most of these were good or very good condition. The difference in price for good-very good and extremely fine is about $8.00.
In fact they were selling this way for years until they got worried about False Advertising. So what they had me do is reinsert new certificates into the coins saying they were good or very good condition. No attempt was made to tell the customers they were misled. This occurred many times with Franklin Half Dollars, Peace Dollars, Morgan Dollars, and Indian Head Pennies. Probably thousands and thousands of these coins went out in "extremely fine" condition.
If you are buying real coins you are probably better off going to a local coin dealer as American Mint marks up real currency as much as 50% of their cost. Beware of this company...I learned the hard way all about them. I'm currently drafting 51 letters to the Attorney General of each State and Washington D.C. To outline other business practices they may be interested in!!
I wouldn't buy anything from this company unless you have money to burn!! : )