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March bullion sales perk up after slow start

Editor’s note: Due to technical problems, the sales figures boxes are not immediately available. We are working on it.

Bullion isn?t dead. It only seemed that way after a couple weeks of scant sales.

But like the Red Sox in the 2004 American League Championship Series against the hated (at least by me) Yankees, bullion has made a nice comeback.
Gold one-ounce sales doubled in the week between March 13-20, as did the total ounces of gold bullion sold.

As of March 13, the quarter-ounce gold category was dry as a bone, with no sales reported. What a difference a week makes, with 4,000 coins sold in that time ? could be a reporting glitch, of course.

And what about platinum you ask? Dave Harper?s editorial in the March 14 issue about platinum must have stirred something up. Sales in the half-ounce category doubled, going from 600 coins to 1,200 between March 13 and March 20. An additional 500 platinum one-ounce coins were also sold. 
Meanwhile, silver experienced a strong push, going from 320,000 to 642,000 since we last spoke.

Good news on the product front: we finally got the prices for the 2006 10-coin proof set. It went on sale March 22 and it?s going to cost you $22.95 ? how?s that for symmetry. You can order it from the Mint?s Web site, www.usmint.gov, or you can call (800) USA-MINT (872-6468). For more information on the set, check out the story on pg. 4 of this issue.

Expect initial sales figures on the set in an upcoming issue.

The other big story regarding the Mint is the launch of the Nebraska state quarter. The launch ceremony takes place April 7. Two-roll sets and bags of the coin go on sale that same day.

Nevada?s state quarter, which features wild horses galloping into view, seems to be doing quite well. It?s already sold more two-roll sets than the Minnesota state quarter and the total is creeping up on the final California figure. The same can?t be said for 100-coin and 1,000-coin bags of the Nevada. In both categories, the Nevada is still lagging behind Minnesota. With a late rush, Nevada might catch up with Minnesota, but that remains to be seen.

Remember a few weeks back when I asked about if anyone knew why the 2001 Kennedy halves were still selling? Well, I had a call from a woman who gave me a very logical, coherent explanation for it.

Unfortunately, I lost my notes from her call, her name and her phone number. So if you?re reading this, please give me a call again. I?ll be sure to keep better track of it this time.

I have another request: would some of you start buying up quarter-ounce 2005 proof Amercan Eagle platinum coins, please. That whole section is taking up too much room that might be better spent on other items.

Yeah, I know platinum is expensive, but come on. Help a guy out. If you do, I just might be able to bring back some other information that might be more of interest to you. Those last known sales figures for all the other categories in the 2005 proof American Eagle section are just gathering dust. But I hate to take it all away when there?s still one category that hasn?t gone off sale.

I guess I?m still in spring cleaning mode. Everything must go that has to go. Clutter is the enemy. If only there was a Goodwill around that would take old Mint statistics. Oh well, I guess it?ll just have to sit here, like my old television set that doesn?t work anymore.

Anyway, send questions to peter.lindblad@fwpubs.com

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