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What Did You Do Yesterday?
April 02, 2008

Is it just me or was there more April Fool's stuff around this year than last? I enjoy a good joke and a good laugh, but what happens when Web searches five years from now turn up April Fool's stories?

Speculative questions aside, yesterday was no joke for the U.S. Mint. It began offering the 2008-W uncirculated gold American Eagle coins. I can't imagine that the urge to buy was quite as strong as it might have been last week. Gold dropped below $900 an ounce and closed at $882.90.

I know the Mint cannot price its offerings based on hourly or daily price fluctuations, so the appropriate response to yesterday is to do nothing and let markets go where they will.

Even with a strong urge to be the first on the block to own the 2008-W coins, I imagine many potential buyers were doing the calculations as the day progressed.

Let's see, the one-ounce coin is priced at $1,119.95. That's nearly a 27 percent mark-up from yesterday's close.

Buy now? Wait?

Buy now? Wait?

If the price of gold pops higher today, the reluctance to buy is reduced as it gets replaced by a fear of missing out on a buying opportunity.

We will know how things went when the first sales statistics come out, but that is at least a week away.

Were you a first day buyer, or a first day hesitater?

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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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