In the Dec. 11 Mint Stats the asterisk went on the sales total of 562,877. The asterisk denotes that sales have stopped and the total is the last one available. In the Dec. 18 issue I wrote that the asterisk had come off because the total was rising again.
Earlier this week I received a phone call from someone who had read the Dec. 18 column, called the Mint and tried to buy one only to find that the individual coins were no longer available. He was disappointed.
The Dec. 25 issue had not reached him yet telling him that the asterisk went back on and the only way now to get the coin is in the new 2007 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set that the Mint had created that includes the Presidential and Sacagawea dollars also.
I will be writing about the asterisk again. It comes off. Sales have resumed. I just had word yesterday that the 2007-W silver American Eagle goes back on sale today.
Sales were ended because the Mint had run out of packaging for the coin. The supplier told the Mint it can provide more in the middle of January. The Mint still has an unsold inventory of the coins, so rather than destroy them, sales resume.
Who would have thought I would be writing so much about asterisks? Who would have thought so many programs would stop and restart again this year?
Yes, I know that strong bullion markets often have been the provoking factor since September, but it sure is hard to keep readers informed of the on again, off again nature of sales this year.
The Mint has even sold coins on its Web site long after the program supposedly concluded with a sellout, because buyers stumbled on an offer on the site.
What a year. I know there are many collectors trying to gauge end-of-year rarity ranks of various coins and stop-and-go sales are not making this any easier.
How many more coins the Mint has was not revealed. We must keep guessing.