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Product sellouts leave lump of coal in stocking

Whew. That was a close one.

If you read this column in the Dec. 6 issue, you know we were under the gun to get that edition out.

Deadlines had been moved up. We were on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday and people were chomping at the bit to get out of the office and get on the road to wherever they needed to be.

I have little hair left now because most of it was pulled out that crazy afternoon.

Now, however, we have a little time to breathe – at least until Christmas kicks into high gear.

Speaking of which, if you wanted to get a friend or a loved one some half-ounce 2005 proof gold American Eagles and you haven’t already done so, you’re out of luck. The Mint is reporting that they’re all gone, having reached the mintage limit of 9,000.

Even sadder to report is the sellout of the 2005 uncirculated set. At last count, 1,160,000 had gone out the door. As you well know, this was the first set to include the much-ballyhooed satin finish. For weeks now, the inventory has been in its death throes.

Judging from the letters we’ve received, opinion seems to be divided on whether the satin finish has improved the set or not.

This year’s 22-coin set went on sale May 31, about three weeks earlier than in years past. It was priced at $16.95 and it includes versions of each 2005-dated circulating U.S. coin, bearing the Philadelphia “P” and Denver “D” mint mark: the Lincoln cent, the Jefferson “American Bison” and Ocean in View nickels from the Westward Journey Nickel Series, the Roosevelt dime, the Kennedy half dollar and the Sacagawea  dollar. The set also includes all five of the 2005-dated coins in the United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters Program – California, Minnesota, Oregon, Kansas and West Virginia. Each set is packaged in polyester film and includes a certificate of authenticity.

For those who really wanted one and got it, it should be a merry Christmas. For those who didn’t, it’s too late now.

I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails lately from people wondering why certain things are not included in the sales figures boxes. Mostly, they’ve had to do with mintages.

My pat answer is, that’s the way it was done before I got here and up till now, I haven’t had any reason to change it. Every week I get a list of sales figures from the Mint for the specific products listed here and I kind of just plug them in, figuring people like what we do here.

But maybe there is room for change. One reader suggested keeping a running mintage tally for bullion coins. That’s not a bad idea. If anybody has any thoughts or suggestions, don’t hesitate to write or send me an e-mail at peter.lindblad@fwpubs.com.

This data is here for you and if something is missing that you want to see, we want to know about it.

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