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15 Days to Go
May 23, 2012

Facebook investors have been sorely disappointed since the initial public offering of its shares on Friday. Their value has declined over 18 percent.

When the U.S. Mint offers its two-coin San Francisco silver Eagle proof set on June 7, are we collectors being set up for a Facebook experience?

I have been watching the sales figures for the individual 2012 proof silver Eagle since it went on sale April 12. Following the initial demand pop of almost 300,000 coins in the first four days there has been a drastic drop in the rate of sales.

In the most recent seven-day period, collectors purchased 14,449 proof silver Eagles, bringing the total sold so far to 381,725.

Demand is becoming less and less impressive. It seems unlikely to get near the 850,000 and 860,000 totals of the last two years.

Is it the $59.95 price?

Is it the fact that silver bullion has been sagging since the coin was first offered?

Are collectors already disengaging from numismatics to pursue their summertime interests?

For the sake of completeness, a buyer of one of the “W” proofs will feel some impulse to buy the “S” mint proof and “S” mint reverse proof that will be sold together in a set beginning June 7.

These collectors still have 15 days to think about it before they can act.

It would be far better for that set’s numbers if there were a larger quantity of “W” proofs in collector hands to start with.

Had this “S” silver Eagle set been offered to collectors in January or February when silver was on the rise and the memories of the 25th anniversary set were fresher, I would have had no doubt that it would be a set in great demand.

Now doubts begin to intrude on my thoughts. They will have 15 days to take root or be banished by new information.

What are your thoughts?

Share them.

Will you be a silver Eagle set buyier when June 7 arrives?

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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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