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Late ordering information causing headaches

The U.S. Mint gets a lot of flak ? some of it justified, some not. That?s the nature of the business of government.

Not everybody?s going to like what you do. Hard decisions have to be made that are going to upset some and please others.

We in the media go through the same thing. You try your best to be impartial, to be a responsible gatekeeper of information, but no matter how fair you try to be, someone is often going to feel slighted by a story or a series of articles.

That said, with all due respect, I do have a bone to pick with the Mint ? consider it more of a gentle suggestion than a complaint ? and it has to do with the timely flow of information.

For the last few weeks, we at Numismatic News have been trying to get pricing information for the U.S. Mint 10-coin proof set to be released March 22 and the American Eagle platinum proof coins, due out in either March or April ? no date has been set.

Seeing as how our issue date this time around is March 21, getting that information sent to us before we put this issue together is vitally important, not so much for us, but for you, the reader who might be interested in purchasing these products before they?re all sold out.

Now, as many of you know, our deadlines are different from your normal weekly newspaper. Take this issue, for example. It?s dated March 21, but here I am on March 8 working feverishly to finish all my work so we can get the paper out on deadline, which is March 9.

So, there?s about a two-week lead time for every issue. Now, the people at the Mint know this and yet the practice continues. The information for the 10-coin proof set was not available at press time. Furthermore, I was told it wouldn?t be available until a press release had been issued on the matter.

Here?s the problem: those press releases often are issued only a few days ? sometimes a week ? before the release of the product. On March 6, the Mint released all the ordering information for the Nevada Official First-Day Coin Cover that was issued March 13. If we had gotten the information say a few days earlier on March 1, it could have been included in the March 14 edition of Numismatic News ? a day late, but still in time for a lot of subscribers.

Because of the delay, NN readers are consistently getting this kind of information a week late. And for what reason? It just seems unnecessary.

Now, since most people have access to a computer, they can get the information in time off the Mint?s Web site. But for our readers who don?t, it?s too late.

Enough ranting. Mint, I still love you and appreciate all the help you give.
Final bullion figures for February are in. There was no change from the March 14 issue. I removed them to include initial March numbers. Please send questions to peter.lindblad@fwpubs.com.0310mint_bw.jpg

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