Advance Releases Explained

NGC offers the Advance Releases designation for select coins purchased by U.S. Mint-approved designated coin dealers before the publicly posted first day that a mint makes a new coin issue available for sale. Not all Mint products will be offered through this program, and no more than 10 percent of the total mintage limit will be distributed under this program.

To qualify for Advance Releases, coins must be purchased by one of the designated coin vendors prior to the publicly posted first day that a mint makes a new coin issue available for sale and must be received by NGC or an NGC-approved depository within one week of their ship date. NGC will require that the submitter provide adequate evidence (including purchase receipts) to demonstrate the date when the coins were purchased and shipped.

The Advance Releases designation is made available only to select submitters of bulk quantities of qualifying coins. An advance request is required, and there is generally a higher grading fee for the specific designation verification and attribution.

Advance Releases are listed separately in the NGC Census. If any coins have been graded with the Advance Releases designation, they will appear when the variety symbol beneath a non-designated issue is clicked.

But while all those things are true, collectors have found themselves in a state of confusion surrounding this new Advance Releases designation. Let us break it down.

The United States Mint finally released a statement about the story behind the new designation. However, they have no ties to NGC’s creation of the new collecting experience. So how did it come to be? As we already know, the existing Numismatic Bulk Purchase Program (NBPP) allows for licensed, full-time coin dealers to purchase numismatic products directly from the US Mint. This includes annual sets like the Proof Set, Silver Proof Set, and Uncirculated Coin Set, in addition to American Silver & Gold Eagle products.

While the Numismatic Bulk Purchase Program is a well-established program, it opened the door for the U.S. Mint to create a new program called the Authorized Bulk Purchase Program (ABBP). This system allows those qualifying bulk purchasers to order a limited number of numismatic Mint products prior to their official release date. Stipulations include being an active member of the existing Bulk Program, having a two-year consecutive revenue average of at least $500,000 a year, and compliance with the Mint’s returns policy. Not all numismatic products are offered through this new elite program. The Authorized Bulk dealers who qualify for this program must pick up their products at the US Mint’s fulfillment center three days prior to the official release date.

The select dealers that are able to take advantage of the new designation are sitting on extremely low-populated coins. More so than any other designation before it, this new Advance Releases designation sits in its own pocket within the industry.