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Just Proof Platinums Left
October 12, 2007

Stock market traders say you shouldn't resist a trend. I won't resist it for my choice of topic today.

The first thing I did when I arrived at the office and signed into my computer was check what gold and platinum products were currently being sold by the U.S. Mint.

Nothing had changed since my two-line entry of yesterday. But that itself is news. No product has been put back on sale. Only the proof platinum American Eagle coins are still available.

How long with they last? Platinum rose yesterday. It closed at $1,420.40 a troy ounce. The proof platinum one-ounce American Eagle price is $1,599.95. The difference of $179.55 still seems to be safely large enough for sales to continue if I employ my newly minted $100 tripwire hypothesis.

Nobody outside the Mint knows if that is true or not. Even Mint personnel don't know what the price of the precious metal will do on the markets today or next week.

My advice to anyone who has been considering buying a proof platinum American Eagle or a an Eagle set should probably act now to make sure that they get what they want.

Whether these are good investments is another question entirely. The one-ounce proof has a sales total of 1,839 so far. The proof half ounce is less than half of that at 752. The quarter ounce is 860. The tenth ounce is 1,569. That might be the sleeper. The uncirculated "W" platinum tenth ounce has a sales total of 2,688, making the proof relatively much scarcer as an individual sales option. But we need to consider the sets in my evaluation.

The four-coin platinum American Eagle proof set has a sales total of 3,130, comfortably more than the 1,951 unc. sets.

To be absolutely accurate on totals, you have to add individual numbers to the set numbers to arrive at the correct number for each individual piece.

If you do that for the tenth ounce proof you get 4,699 coins. The "W" unc. tenths total 4,639. These numbers are almost identical. Isn't that interesting?

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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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