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Scarce 5 oz coins reach FUN

This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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A five-coin set of America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver bullion coins arrived Wednesday, Jan. 5, for Marc Earle, just in time for the Florida United Numismatists show in Tampa.

He sold that set, and bought 10 more, which are currently with a grading service.

“And I’m chasing another 10 sets,” said the owner of Marc T. Earle Rare Coins in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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Wholesale, the coin sets have been selling in the $2,200 to $2,400 range, he said. Retail, some of the better graded sets are bringing $4,000 to $5,000, he said.

“They seem to be doing very well on eBay where you’ve got exposure tot ens of thousands of people,” Earle said.

But when you talk to collectors, there is frustration over the inability to find sets to purchase. Where are the 33,000 sets released by the Mint?

“That’s the $64 question,” Earle said.

The Gold Center in Illinois had 500 people lined up outside its door when it put 600 sets on sale Jan. 3. But when you check on the websites of the other eight U.S. Mint Authorized Purchasers allowed to sell the coins, notices are to check back later or sign up for notification when the coins are available.

That’s because all of the APs, except for one, are wholesalers and aren’t set up to handle retail customers, said Ross Hansen, CEO of Northwest Territorial Mint.

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