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The Power of 'No'
April 19, 2012

Tell the American people that Presidential dollar production for circulation is suspended and only a relative few will be provided to fill collector demand and what happens?

They want more. Naturally.

To provide them, the Mint will have to strike more.

How is that for novelty?

The Mint will have to react to rising demand for dollar coins.

Production of the Chester Arthur dollar coin has already been reported as 2,940,000 from Philadelphia and 2,800,000 from Denver for a combined total of 5,740,000 coins.

At first blush, the numbers seem like reasonable ones to fulfill collector wishes.

But that doesn’t factor in the “You can’t have them anymore factor.”

As I was inputting the latest dollar coin figures for the weekly Mint Statistics report, I noticed that numbers for the Arthur dollars had really zoomed in just a week.

Demand for the 25-coin rolls have already exceeded demand for the two prior Presidents by one-third. Add in numbers for newly available boxes of 250 and 500 coins and you can see demand has really exploded.

The Mint has sold 3,800,150 Philadelphia coins. Since that exceeds by almost 900,000 the previously reported mintage total, I contacted the Mint.

Yep, more need to be produced.

Demand for Denver coins has risen as well, but not by quite as much as for the Philadelphia issue. Buyers have claimed 2,390,050 coins out of a previously reported mintage of 2,800,000.

So far, buyers have taken 6,190,200 between the two minting facilities.

What’s next 10 million? 15 million?

Next thing you know Americans will be accusing the Federal Reserve of denying them the right to use dollar coins in circulation.

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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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