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Year of the 5-ounce coin?

Are you are surprised as I am about the sales strength of the 2014 Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5-ounce silver America the Beautiful coin?

Both the uncirculated collector version with the”P” mintmark and the bullion investor version without a mintmark have shown amazing strength.

In fact,the collector version with its sales at 22,841 is just 2,159 away from a sellout. This likely will occur. Though quite when is still in doubt. The initial sales surge during the first few days of availability was 21,420 of a maximum mintage of 25,000.

In the week that followed, ending April 20, sales moved ahead by just 1,426. That’s quite a slowdown, but it is not likely to be enough to prevent a sellout.

For the bullion investor version, the Mint issued a notice on Monday that it was temporarily out of stock. Sales for that version of the coin stand at 23,000.

An interesting pairing, don’t you think?

It makes me wonder if collectors are buying one of each, but this is probably not the case simply because there are two very different sales channels.

Collectors can buy the “P” version directly from the Mint, while purchasers of the bullion investor version must buy the coins through the Mint’s Authorized Purchasers.

With a price of $154.95 perhaps the Mint has found a sweet spot for the collector version.

Last year’s 5-ounce collector sales ranged from a low of 17,707 Perry’s Victory, which was the second issue of the year, to a high of 23,547 for Mount Rushmore, which was the fifth.

Perhaps the coin for the popular National Memorial in South Dakota attracted a few more collectors to the series.

Last year’s sales of the bullion investor coins ranged from 30,000 to 35,000.

If you are interested in collecting something new, join what appears to be a growing crowd chasing these 5-ounce silver coins.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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