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Gold Bullion Coin Shortages Again?
November 20, 2009

Word arrived yesterday from Pat Heller of Liberty Coin Service that supplies of gold South African Krugerrands for immediate delivery have run out in the United States.

How long this situation will last is the first question that comes to mind. Surely more coins will be shipped from South Africa to help meet the current demand. We don’t know how long it will take and whether it will be enough.

Also, is this the canary in the coal mind?

Will the world’s more popular bullion coins, the American Eagle, the Canadian Maple Leaf and the Austrian Philharmonic also run short?

Last year the U.S. Mint had to ration gold coin supplies because it couldn’t buy enough blanks to meet demand. It does not produce its own.

The situation improved in June when the rationing ended. However, in recent weeks with new record gold prices, the coin buying gold investors seem to be trying to purchase larger quantities.

Can the Mint meet this demand or will rationing once again return?

Fractional Eagles are due to be offered Dec. 3. Will the Mint’s cupboards be stripped quickly?

Sure, I have more questions this morning than answers, but some days that’s the way it goes.

Thanks, Pat for the quick report on the situation.

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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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