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Slow Actions in a Quick Market
August 12, 2011

On Tuesday the Krause Publications numismatic division sent out its usual Tuesday e-newsletter with a story I wrote that said that the Mint had suspended sales of its gold coins for repricing that day.

Logical. The market was shooting higher and higher and posted coin prices were looking more and more like bargains.

It transpired as information got clearer that the coins affected were only those priced according to the Mint’s weekly pricing grid. These are the First Spouse, Buffalo and American Eagle coins.

Exceptions were made for the U.S. Army and Medal of Honor $5 gold coins. They remained on sale Tuesday.

I asked the Mint why the gold commemoratives were not taken down at the same time as their prices were just as obsolete if not more so.

The rough and ready answer was they were not on the grid. Only grid-priced coins were affected.

These grid-priced coins went back on sale with higher prices Wednesday afternoon.

All of this I noted in a story that went into the weekly issue of Numismatic News that went to press at midday Thursday.

By late Thursday afternoon, the gold commemoratives were taken down for repricing. The news on these is they will also be placed on a new weekly grid-pricing mechanism. How rapid the adoption of that new pricing process will be I do not know. There was no definitive answer this morning from the Mint. Perhaps the commemorative gold coins will be back up later today. Perhaps not.

It seems like an awful lot of bother to wait for bureaucratic contortions to occur for something that could be boiled down to just the few words:

Gold’s up. Mint’s gold coin prices raised.

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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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