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Cash in the Aisle
April 29, 2011

Did you get one of the 27,000 2010 America the Beautiful Hot Springs 5-ounce silver coins that the Mint offered yesterday?

I was not watching the offer closely. I was working the Krause Publications booth at the Central States show. Two collectors stopped by the table yesterday afternoon to tell me that they had successfully made their purchases, but it certainly wasn’t without inconvenience.

As expected, the Mint’s website and telephone lines were jammed.

The successful strategy employed by the two collectors was to go to the Mint’s website an hour early and just stay there. When the sales began at noon Eastern Time, they were timed out and forced to repeatedly go back and try again. However, by an hour and a half after the opening, they had made their purchases. Deliveries are expected to begin May 12.

Congratulations to them booth. Usually I ask people who stop by the booth a little bit about themselves, but I was distracted. While I was talking to them someone going by the booth dropped three $20 bills in the aisle. I did not see who dropped the notes, but a fellow coming up the aisle said he thought he knew who had lost the money and went chasing after him. I kept the notes in the meantime. When he returned, he said he had been mistaken, so I took a trip to see Kevin Foley and the lost and found and gave him the money.

There was quite a bit of bullion-related action on the floor yesterday. There seemed to be many more early birds who paid $75 for access to the floor from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

During those opening hours, it was a bit slow at my booth. Who needs papers when gold and silver beckon? A paper money dealer walked by and told me things were slow at the bourse table. A world coin collector said his area seemed a little slow, too, during the early bird hours.

But when 2 p.m. arrived, it got very busy. I expect today will be very similar to yesterday.

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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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