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Hot Stove or Hot Chance?
October 06, 2011

This week as I worked on the Mint Statistics page, I noticed that several of the totals were going backwards by significant amounts. These were for collector silver coins like the proof and uncirculated American Eagles.

On Monday I asked whether collectors were experiencing buyer’s remorse because of an email I had received. The sender lamented the fact that silver plunged just after he had purchased an uncirculated 2011 silver American Eagle. He said he would send it back if he could.

Apparently, thousands of others were doing more than thinking about sending the coin back, because the uncirculated American Eagle took the prize for the greatest drop in sales numbers. It fell 11,476 to 182,524.

That’s a lot of buyer’s remorse. Will former purchasers come back and buy them again at some new lower price?

I tend to doubt it.

What would entice them? If the coins are $5 or $10 cheaper than the initial $60.45 price, would that do it?

I don’t think so.

I may be totally wrong about this, but if I am a collector. I buy one coin for my set. Am I going to go to all the trouble of cancelling an order even if I do know silver plunged after I sent the order in?

I still need the coin for my set.

Now if I ordered multiples of the cois on the expectation of getting on the silver bullion gravy train, that becomes a different story. The sum of money becomes significant.

If my visions of future profits pops, what’s to get me back in after I have cancelled a large order?

They say once burned, twice shy.

I don’t really need the coins and I have just narrowly escaped being burned by the bullion price decline. Will I go back to that hot stove again?

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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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