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Bullion record and date change approach

Collectors and investors sure love silver American Eagle bullion coins.

They have proved that point again this year.

It looks like were are approximately two weeks away from seeing a new record set for silver American Eagles. The 2011 figure, which was achieved when silver nearly returned to $50 a troy ounce, is 39,868,500.

First thing this morning I checked the U.S. Mint’s website for the running total of 2013 sales. It is 38,428,500.

With the sales rate running around 700,000 to 800,000 a week, it seems likely that we will get to a record sales level very shortly.

Very soon after that we will pass the 40 million mark and continue on higher.

How much higher?

Well it won’t be a wimpy 10 or 20 coins, but more likely 3 million to 5 million additional pieces.

The Mint usually changes from production of silver Eagle bullion coins from the current year’s date to the next year’s date right about Thanksgiving. It can be delayed a bit depending on how sales are going, but it is important that the Mint build up its stockpile of 2014 coins to be ready for the annual January surge in demand.

In recent years the Mint usually runs out of the current date sometime in December. Then there is a gap in availability until deliveries of the new coins begin when January opens.

If you still want silver Eagle bullion coins with the 2013 on them to use as holiday gifts, you had better think about making your purchases now. Otherwise higher bullion prices or premiums could make them more expensive – or you might not be able to get them at all, because others beat you to them.

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."