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Good, bad or just right number?

The Mint has set a mintage ceiling of 100,000 for the gold Standing Liberty quarter Centennial coin that will go on sale Sept. 8.

I asked for reactions to this news while I was on the floor of the American Numismatic Association convention in Anaheim, Calif., yesterday.

Pat Heller gave me his answer first. I ran into him as I returned to the bourse floor following lunch.

The author of a weekly commentary about the bullion markets in our Friday e-newsletters said, “It’s going to be a struggle to sell that many. I don’t think they will sell out quickly.”

He then said it would have been much better had these Centennial coins been made of silver.

It turned out, his view was the most pessimistic of those I encountered

Harry Miller, who had served as the Coin Market price guide editor of Numismatic News,  answered my question with two words: “Not enough.”

He said a lot of people can’t afford the original 1916 quarter.. They look at the gold 2016 coin as a opportunity to fill the empty space in their Standing Liberty set with something that costs less money.

Unless bullion spikes higher or lower, the cost of the new coin will be less than $500, which is indeed much cheaper than a 1916 silver Standing Liberty quarter.

He suggested a sales limit of one per household at the start. If they don’t sell out at once like the gold Mercury dime did April 21, only then would he like to see the Mint open it up.

Above all, he wanted to see a fair shot at the coins offered to all collectors.

David Sundman, who is president of Littleton in New Hampshire, said, “It sounds like a reasonable number.” His firm is very successful as a mass marketer.

Longtime California professional Mel Wacks said, “I think they’ll sell out.”

The most colorful language was used by Colorado dealer and former ANA president Tom Hallenbeck.

“They’re going to cause a panic.”

We talked a bit about the sellout of the gold Mercury dime in less than an hour April 21 with its mintage of 125,000.

Hallenbeck made a prediction about the gold quarter: “This will sell out in half that (time), minutes.

Now we just have to wait and see.

 

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