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Proof Platinum Discount
December 04, 2009

Yes, I am trying to be funny with my headline. I do know that one-ounce proof platinum American Eagles are very expensive.

However, if you look at them from the perspective of the spring of 2008, current prices seem much more reasonable. Platinum over $2,400 sounds more like a forecast than something that was a fact not all that long ago.

We can thank the economic crisis and the drastic decline in car sales this year as contributing to the current lower price of platinum.

This points up a dichotomy. Sometimes we think about platinum as a precious metal. Sometimes we think about it as an industrial metal used in catalytic converters.

Collectors, of course, are just looking at the potential scarcity and the possibility of riding the current wave of buying anything than seems to be a good bet to appeal to the investment crowd.

Pity the poor Mint trying to figure out how we all think.

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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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