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Buy as Many UHR Gold Coins as You Want
September 18, 2009

Order limits come off on Monday for the 2009 Ultra High Relief Saint-Gaudens $20 gold piece.

For the first time since the coins went on sale in January, any buyer can buy as many from the U.S. Mint as he can pay for.

The limit had been set at one when the program started to assure the widest possible distribution among collector buyers. It rose to 10 in July and to 25 in August.

So at 9 a.m. Eastern Time Sept. 21, it is a whole new ball game.

What does this signify?

The Mint must now feel that it has enough supply on hand to meet all likely demand. But how much might that be? I don't know. I heard talk by private collectors at ANA putting the final demand around 125,000. But how much credence should be put in talk?

This order limit change could also signify the program is winding down and this is the way of cleaning out the pipeline. The Mint does this at the end of commemorative programs. That would confirm ANA chatter.

This possibility seems less likely than the first because it is only September and the maximum mintage limit for the entire program was set at 300,000. Buyers haven't even hit the 100,000 mark yet.

However, if the program is winding down, what would that signify?

Perhaps ending the program early would be the mechanism to free up gold bullion to be made into blanks for the proof American Eagle program. That's another program that is leaving collectors in an expectant mood.

Gold has given the hobby an exciting time in recent months, but the downside is that there are more questions than answers.

Anybody who is interested in getting an example of the UHR gold coin should probably think about purchasing it now. Why take a chance in being disappointed if you really do want one?

If you happen to want 10,000, you can probably have them, too.

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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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