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Visions of Silver Profits Dance in Their Heads
December 17, 2010

Time slows down at this time of year.

Kids are waiting for their Christmas presents.

Hobbyists are waiting for presents of another sort. They want a set of the new America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver bullion coins.

With a total available supply of 33,000 sets, many are seeing dollar signs before their eyes. They figure getting a set will allow them to resell it at a guaranteed profit.

There is great tension in the air. Many are concerned they will be denied their opportunity to profit on this seemingly sure thing.

Today is the deadline by which each of the Mint’s 11 authorized purchasers must make their intentions known as to whether they will take their 3,000-set allotment. As of yesterday, seven said they would.

If any of the remaining four decline their share of the coins, the remainder will be reapportioned on Monday among the other authorized purchasers.

How will the authorized purchasers then proceed with their businesses? The Mint has imposed price restrictions, allowing just a 10 percent markup plus shipping and handling, and a one-set per household purchase limitation.

The kids are waiting to find out, er, hobbyists are. It’s hard to tell them apart.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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