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Love for gold coins measured by price?

Coin collectors did their holiday shopping early when it comes to the gold Walking Liberty half dollar.

On the first day of sales, beginning at noon Eastern Time Nov. 17, the Mint sold 43,728.

By the Nov. 20 closing date for its weekly statistical report, it had sold another 3,228 coins at the $865 issue price.

The running tally now stands at 46,956 of a possible 70,000.

This huge drop in the rate of order placement after the first day is normal for Mint online offerings.

Excitement on the first day gives way to a sort of plodding normalcy.

No sellout tends to mean no hurry. Collectors act accordingly.

Depending on what the indications are on the online secondary market, more than a few of those first day orders might fall through. The running total might stall.

However, as was the case when the order limit was lifted for the gold Standing Liberty quarter, sales of the gold Walker might get a second wind.

Presently, the order limit is three coins per household.

However, with the holiday season beginning tomorrow, collectors who have not placed orders for the gold Walking Liberty might just decide their budgets will not allow it. Gifts for family rise to the top of the priority list.

Sales are continuing for the gold Standing Liberty quarter.

Another 1,716 were added to the running total. It now stands at 82,349.

Maximum mintage is 100,000.

The gold quarter is stringing out sales week after week like the little engine that could.

Its first day of sales of 47,884 on Sept. 8 means that an additional 34,465 have been sold since.

That is a strong performance, no question.

Now will all three 2016 Centennial gold coins past the starting gate, we can see that the good old Mercury dime has won the popularity contest.

It’s sales totaled 116,096.

What we probably will never know is if this was due to the design and denomination being commemorated, or whether it was due to the much lower issue price because it is just one-tenth ounce of gold.

If the gold Standing Liberty quarter does indeed reach the 100,000 mark, the lower gold cost argument would lose much of its strength.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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