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Take Part in Braille Sellout?
March 26, 2009

As I was getting ready to go to work today I heard a news story on CBS Radio about the introduction today of the Braille commemorative silver dollar.

Way to go, Mint, in getting such a story on the air.

Mint Director Ed Moy will be in Baltimore, Md., at the headquarters of the National Federation of the Blind to make a ceremonial presentation of the new coin to the organization's president, Marc Maurer.

While collectors are aware of this kind of publicity, what truly matters to them is what time will the coin become available, and that is noon Eastern Daylight Time, and whether they want to buy the coin at all.

Going into their individual calculations will be matters of taste: Do they like the theme and the design?

They will look at the prices, $37.95 for the proof and $31.95 for the uncirculated - the same as for Lincoln.

They will consider the chances of a sellout, or will it slink away in December as the Bald Eagle coins did with unsold inventory remaining?

Increasing the possibility of a sellout is the mintage. At 400,000 pieces, it is 100,000 fewer than the Lincoln coin. That might be enough to offset the lower level of interest in Louis Braille as compared to Abraham Lincoln.

Ultimately, they will consider whether it is good value for the money, and that requires an evaluation of what might happen on the secondary market, especially on the online auction sites.

I expect a sellout - not a rapid one mind - but a nice comfortable sellout where most everyone who wants one will have more than enough opportunity to buy it directly from the Mint.

What are your purchase plans?

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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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