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Raise your hand now if you understand this

Mistakes and new boxes are the themes of this week?s column. First we will point out a couple of mistakes.

The first mistake is our own. Last week we ran a story that said 2004 and 2005 nickel bags and rolls would be sold by the Mint again. Well, that wasn?t accurate. Only 2005 nickel bags and rolls went back on sale. Those columns have been added back into the boxes that house the 2006 nickel figures. To be sure, 2004 nickels are also going back on sale, but only in the form of First Day Covers. We are sorry for the mistake and any confusion it might have caused. As one phone caller pointed out to us, the 2004 bags are kind of expensive and it would be nice to buy them at the Mint issue price. No such luck. Also going back on sale is the 2005 10-coin silver proof set.

The next mistake is something from the Mint?s accounting. Anybody who remembers the old song, ?Me and My Shadow,? will understand this immediately. For several weeks we have been pointing out the neck-and-neck sales pace between gold American Eagle one-ounce coins and the new gold American Buffalo one-ounce coin in their bullion coin uncirculated forms. It turns out that it was all an illusion. Basically, only Buffalo coins were being sold. These numbers ended up being input into both the American Eagle numbers and the Buffalo numbers. There was no race, unless one considers the Buffalo coin was racing with itself. So, the monthly American Eagle number is just 2,000 one-ounce coins, which is quite a change from the mistakenly reported 107,000 total last week.

 Sales of the collector proof Buffalo coin rose by just 16,000. That?s not a bad week, but considering these numbers supposedly include sales since the 10-coin limit was ended and replaced with a 5,000-coin limit, the increase seems kind of small. However, and this week is full of howevers, the sales numbers are as of July 24, which is exactly the same date used for the numbers supplied last week.

We suggest taking a deep breath and waiting another week to see how this all shakes out.

Sales of what the hobby calls mint sets and what the Mint calls United States Mint Uncirculated Coin Sets rose this week by roughly 87,000, bringing the two-week total to 387,907. That?s not a bad start.

Some numbers reported this week dropped from last week, meaning the Mint?s accountants are working on all sales figures to insure their accuracy.

Send comments to david.harper@fwpubs.com.

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