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Trick or treat, it’s the Mint’s weekly sales figures

Don’t let the issue date fool you. As I write this, it’s just days before Halloween.

I wish I had some ghost stories from the old Mint in San Francisco to tell you, but I don’t.

That doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun. I say, let’s go trick-or-treating. Kids do it every year, why can’t we? So in the spirit of the season, I give you the Mint Statistics’ version of this time-honored tradition:

Trick. The 2005 Chief Justice John Marshall silver dollar commemorative. For months now, we’ve tracked its movements, watching sales trickle in. Between Oct. 18-24, just over 1,000 of the proof silver dollars were sold. Less than 1,000 of the uncirculated versions were bought. Sales haven’t even reached half of the maximum mintage allowed. Feel free to throw eggs.

Treat. What else? The Marine Corps 230th Anniversary silver dollar commemorative. It sold out its 600,000 maximum mintage in a matter of weeks. In the first days of its release, there were 200,000 sales of the coin. Now, those who entered the buying fray early on can sit back and let the offers come in for them. People are talking about the possibility of selling them at a pretty nifty profit. Take a caramel apple and all the Hershey minis you can fit in your bag.

Trick. It’s been tough convincing people to buy platinum bullion this year. There have been months where the Mint sold no platinum bullion at all. As of Oct. 21, 600 ounces of the half-ounce version had been bought, along with 300 quarter-ounce coins. That brings October’s total to 900 ounces, which is actually 300 more than what was reported for September. Still, platinum sales gets the toilet paper treatment. Dad’s going to be upset when he sees it all draped over the house and the trees in the front yard.

Treat. Let’s hear it for the Westward Journey Nickel Series. The return of the Bison nickel was a big hit with collectors this year. A grand total of 752,737 two-roll sets had been sold as of Oct. 25, along with 267,758 two-rolls sets of the Ocean in View nickel. That last figure is up more than 16,000 from the previous week. Even more impressive is the 2005 Westward Journey Nickel Series Set. Released in September, along with the Mint’s Fall Catalog, the set has sold 197,051 units. Between Oct. 18 and Oct. 24, more than 20,000 sets were sold. Even as sales of the set begin to wane, it’s still proving to be a hit with Mint customers. Here’s a whole bag of Tootsie Rolls.

Trick or treat. The satin finish on the 2005 uncirculated set did wonders for sales. With a couple of months to go in 2005, the Mint has recorded 1,164,106 sales of this year’s set. That’s a healthy gain over the 706,956 recorded in 2004, when the set had no such finish. Still, some say it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Call it a wash and take some fruit. No candy for you. Have a question? E-mail me at peter.lindblad@fwpubs.com.

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