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One-ounce gold Eagle closing in on sellout

Whoever invented the TV remote is a genius.

When I was a kid, if I wanted to change the channel, I had to get up off the comfortable couch and do it manually. Now I can flip through the channels at lightning speed, thereby ignoring commercials at will. That is, if the remote isn?t hidden somewhere, taunting me from afar.

The other night, I was watching TV and when the commercials came on, the remote was nowhere to be found. So, I actually had to watch them. In amongst the blather about new soda flavors, industrial-strength cleaners and new over-the-counter drugs with awful possible side effects was an advertisement for some computer company that was pretty smart.

I won?t name the company here, but the commercial featured two men: one young and hip, and the other nerdy and bookish. They were representing two different kinds of computers and the nebbish fellow, while talking, would stop suddenly, go silent and then restart ? effectively imitating a computer freeze of some sort. It happened over and over again.

While watching it, I couldn?t help but think of the U.S. Mint?s recent suspension of proof gold sales. This stoppage lasted a lot longer than your normal computer glitch, with the cessation starting May 1 and ending May 18, but you get the point.

Resumption of sales resulted in slights upward ticks of sales totals for the 2006 gold American Eagles. Inching ever closer to sellout is the gold one-ounce, now at 11,871. As you can see by the boxes, the sales limit is 12,000 individual one-ounce coins. None of the other categories are close to sellouts, but maybe there will be a run on proof gold Eagles now that sales have started again.

Of course, with the Mint establishing new, higher prices for each product  reported elsewhere in this edition of Numismatic News ? that seems highly unlikely.

One area which experienced a bit of a spike, however, was the gold four-coin set, which jumped from 14,295 to 16,055 between May 18 and May 21, the day these sales figures were compiled.

Another notable riser was the U.S. Mint Silver Proof Set. Released May 10, the 10-coin set went from around 263,000 on May 14 to 338,579 on May 21 ? a fairly strong early showing for the set.

Switching over to bullion figures, three gold categories experienced no change between May 15 ? the figures in the May 30 edition of Numismatic News ? and May 19. Staying even were the gold half-ounce, quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce categories.

A small increase of 2,500 coins sold was seen in the gold one-ounce category. But aside from that, there wasn?t much to report on the bullion front.

Slow sales continue to dog platinum. A total of 300 ounces of the platinum half-ounce coins were sold. That was the first activity of any kind for platinum in May.

Sales of silver one-ounce coins hit 886,000, compared to 525,000 on May 15.

Nebraska?s last days are upon us. The Colorado quarters will be available soon. Sales of Nebraska have slowed, as you can see. Have a question or a thought? Send them to me at peter.lindblad@fwpubs.com. 0526mint_bw.jpg

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