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Clock Ticks Down to Order Deadline
November 24, 2009

The approach of the end of the year means it is fish or cut bait time for collectors.

The U.S. Mint has a new Web page called Last Opportunity. It can be reached on the site at Then go to Shop Online.

Collectors will have to decide by Dec. 3 whether they want to buy the proof or uncirculated Martin Van Buren First Spouse series gold coins.

By Dec. 11 they will need to decide whether to buy any of the sales options pertaining to the Braille commemorative silver dollar.

Still more products go off sale at the end of December.

The calculus involves whether or not the collector wants the coins in the first place, but there will be a close study given to sales numbers.

Do you want to buy a proof Braille dollar? Sales so far are 131,726. That number is on the low side, but it is a middle of the road kind of low rather than a sit up straight in your chair kind of low.

I doubt there will be much of a rush to buy.

The same is true with the 47,728 uncirculated coin number.

The Easy-Open Capsule option and the Braille Education Set are at 22,208 and 9,636, respectively. As a gamble on being able to sell packaging rarity rather than coin rarity, the Education Set is a possibility. But is it a possibility worth the risk?

That is the question that must be answered before these issues go off sale Dec. 11.

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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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