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Watch Those Final Sales Numbers
November 03, 2008

I've been getting more calls lately about Mint Statistics. It is a welcome break from an ongoing focus on the prices of precious metals.

Some collectors are trying to figure out if certain items will have value based on scarcity due to low mintages. How novel is that?

Well, we don't get too far away from precious metals. The questions are about the 2008 uncirculated "W" platinum American Eagle coins. These coins are sold directly to collectors for a premium price.

So far, the totals are indeed low. There have been only 326 one-ounce uncirculated "W" platinum coins sold. It is not cheap. The Mint has it priced at $1,214.95 with platinum currently trading at $825 a troy ounce.

The half-ounce sales total is at 769. It is priced at $619.95. The quarter ounce is 2,115 and it is priced at $319.95.

The tenth ounce has been especially scrutinized because it has gone off sale as an individual coin. The Mint has sold 2,538 of those.

The four-coin set has a sales total of 1,053. It is priced at $2,219.95.

The Mint will release updated sales figures this week.

It is refreshing to see a little speculation built upon projections of scarcity rather than what a coin is made of. It shows the inner collector still lurks in many of us.

Are you among those watching these numbers?

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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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