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Buyers Tired Already?
May 18, 2011

Yesterday’s opening of sales of the collector version of the 2010 Yellowstone National Park America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver coins seems to have gone off without a hitch.

When the Hot Springs design was placed on sale by the Mint in late April, the website crashed for a while as people attempted to make their purchases.

The only complaint that came my way yesterday was that the price was too high at $279.95. The writer of the e-mail asked whether the Mint was aware that silver had crashed by $15 since the Hot Springs offering.

I expect the Mint is aware.

I also expect a number of people felt that the price is too high and probably stayed away from the Mint site. They may never make a purchase of this issue, especially since they cannot turn around and offer it on eBay for a profit.

What is the base collector demand for what some collectors derisively call hockey pucks?

Good question.

First Spouse coins saw an initial clamor at 20,000 mintages for proof and uncirculated coins. Then demand tailed off when the ability to flip them on eBay ended.

Now demand for the First Spouse coins is running between 3,500 and 6,000 pieces for each design and quality.

The silver coin is cheaper than the gold and there are more collectors of silver coins than gold, so I expect demand for the ATB collector coins will be higher than for First Spouse, but probably considerably below the 27,000 that the Mint has made of the first five issues.

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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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