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Gold bullion sales sluggish in month of April

On my morning commute the day before I wrote this column, I saw what appeared to be a wolf in full gallop running across the road.

I was in no real danger of hitting it with my car. The animal, whatever it was, must have been a couple hundred yards ahead of me.

Because of that, I didn?t get a real up-close-and-personal look at it. Which is just fine with me. The last thing I need in the morning is to hit an animal with my car.

All I can tell you about the animal is, it was big, much larger than a normal dog. And it was gray in color.

And since our workplace is located in the north woods of Wisconsin, there is every chance that it could have been a wolf.

So, what does this story have to do with sales figures from the Mint? Well, not a lot, except that when hobbyists try to look ahead and predict what the market is going to do, whatever they see on the horizon has that same sort of uncertainty that I experienced the morning I saw whatever it was I saw.
Unless you have a working crystal ball, it?s hard to make out what the future holds.

Take bullion for instance. Who would have thought that as of April 17 there would be no sales of tenth-ounce gold bullion coins. Around the same time in March, a total of 5,000 tenth-ounce gold bullion coins had been sold.

As a matter of fact, all gold bullion categories were down on April 17 compared to the same time period in March. As of March 20, a total of 32,000 gold bullion coins had been sold. Sales figures from the Mint show that as of April 17, only 14,000 gold bullion coins had been sold.

Now, I realize that could change, and there is a difference of a few days in the monthly comparisons I?m using here. But, it does seem to indicate that the rising price of gold might be scaring off some customers. We?ll see what happens in the coming weeks.

What is strange is that the numbers for platinum as of April 17 are exactly equal to those we reported on March 20. That could mean a slight increase in platinum sales for April, or it might mean that platinum sales are simply going to hold steady. Again, we?ll see how it all shakes out at the end of the month.

Now, on to other news. Still no word on the release date for the Colorado quarter, though there are indications that we may have something to report in the May 9 edition of Numismatic News. I hate to be so clandestine but there is no firm news to report at this time, so I?ll leave it at that.

We can report that a release date has been set for the 10-coin silver proof set. It is May 10. Pricing information is not yet available.

I?ve had a number of responses to my question about the state quarter production box. Some have recommended taking it out entirely. Others have advised me to keep some of it and throw out the later dates.

If, indeed, we do modify that box or remove it, the question that then vexes me is, what do I replace it with? As you can see, it does take up quite a bit of space.

If you have any thoughts, please send them my way. I can?t guarantee any change, but your ideas and suggestions will be taken under advisement.
If you have any other questions, please e-mail me at peter.lindblad@fwpubs.com. 0421mint_bw.jpg

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