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Sit Up Straight or You Aren't Good as Gold
September 01, 2009

Yesterday, the U.S. Mint raised the ceiling on the number of Ultra High Relief Saint-Gaudens $20 gold pieces that can be purchased per household from 10 to 25.

The limit had only just been raised from one coin to 10 on July 27. This first action after six months of sales where the limit was just one coin occurred after the Mint had given every collector who wanted one the chance to buy one.

This policy assured the widest possible distribution and certainly collectors did not complain of lack of fairness in distribution.

But collectors being collectors hit upon something else to complain about: the lack of a requirement to sign for the orders that were shipped January through early March. The Mint changed delivery policy in March.

No coins were ever reported by my readers as being stolen as the result of the earlier delivery method, so the complaints to the Mint probably grated a little.

Mint staff probably felt like a teenager being told by an elderly aunt to not talk with their mouth full and to sit up straight at the table. The advice is good and correct, but not conducive to family bonding.

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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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