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Big week for sales activity, new Mint products

Initial Franklin sales arrive. Half are already sold.

There?s lots of news to get to this week, so let?s not waste any time.

Things are going on sale. Stuff is going off sale. It?s a madhouse here at Crazy Pete?s Mint Statistics emporium. Everything must go!

It?s just too bad I can?t offer you rock-bottom prices. You?ll have to talk to the Mint about that.

Anyway, first up is the Benjamin Franklin commemorative, which went on sale Jan. 17. Initial sales are in and it?s proving to be a hot seller.

You?ll note that over half of them had already been sold by Jan. 25, the date the sales figures were tallied for this issue. There?s a story about it on Pg. 1.
It?s interesting to note that the Franklin Coin & Chronicles Set has already outsold the Marshall version. There?s good stuff in that set, including four Franklin stamps, a reproduction of Poor Richard?s Almanack from the Government Printing Office, and an intaglio print done up by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The print will honor Franklin?s contribution to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

In the ?no longer available? category, there?s the four-coin gold and platinum 2005 Proof American Eagle sets. They went off sale because they had sold to production limits, according to the Mint. Evidently, it wasn?t a huge seller. Only 4,200 of the platinum sets had been sold. The maximum mintage for the set was 10,000.

As we continue to watch the 2006 Return to Monticello nickel sales, we shuffle off to the Sets and Series box to show you initial sales figures for the 2006 five-quarter silver proof set. So far, 78,192 have been sold.

The 2006 five-quarter clad set went on sale Jan. 5 and 153,921 of them have been sold. The silver version went on the market Jan. 19.

You?ll have to wait a bit for the 2006 10-coin clad and silver proof sets. The clad version hits the streets March 22, while the silver streaks into the marketplace in May.

To make room for the 2006 set figures, I removed all of the 2005 proof coin set totals except one, the five-quarter silver set. It was the last 2005 set that was available to consumers, and now it has indeed gone the way of the Dodo bird. The last known sales figure for that set is 608,970.

Whew. That?s a lot of stuff to digest. There will be more in the coming weeks. New products are due to ?street,? as the kids say, very soon.

As far as other categories to keep an eye on, there?s always the bullion numbers. As long as prices for gold and platinum continue to fluctuate, that should be an area of interest for collectors. The numbers are creeping up to 2004 figures for the same period. By Jan. 20, 810,000 silver bullion coins had been sold, compared to 1.095 million in 2005.

A total of 80,000 gold coins had been sold when last we checked in.

For January 2005, the Mint sold 104,000. Platinum is a whole different animal. In January 2005, a total of 16,100 platinum coins were bought. At last count, in 2006, only 4,700 had been sold.

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