Skip to main content

Buy collector coins before it is too late

The holiday season is here. Family traditions come to the fore.

Even numismatic “family” traditions occur.

The end of the year means the Mint is reaching the conclusion of the sales period for various coins.

Supplies begin to run out.

When that happens, I get complaints.

The first coin to disappear is the uncirculated Boys Town gold $5.

It is marked “Sold Out” on the Mint’s website.

Like summer follows spring, I have a complaint about it.

“I went on the mint’s website tonite to place an order and found out that the $5.00 UNC is ‘sold out’, even though the mintage limit was mandated to be 50,000 coins, and the item was advertised to be available for two more weeks. I’ve worked in hotels for 40 years, and if we guarantee a reservation, and then a room is not available when the guest arrives, we pay for the guest to stay at another hotel. Does the Mint stand behind their promises?”

That’s the complaint.

If the Mint did in fact mint 50,000 pieces, I doubt the writer of the email would even be watching the uncirculated gold $5, let alone complain about it.

I expect he was looking at the tantalizing low sales figure of 2,999 at latest report and was trying to pick off a low mintage coin at the last possible moment.

Well, he waited too long. The Mint is not to blame.

The authorizing law says the mintage can be up to 50,000. That means anywhere from 1 to 50,000, depending on demand.

It is not reasonable to think that the Mint would restart a production line in mid-December to strike one or two more pieces wanted by late buyers. The coin has been on sale since March.

The Mint has a page on its website to warn customers that coins are going off sale no later than Dec. 31.

The commemorative coins, of course, would number among these.

Other coins going off sale at the end of the year are actually quite numerous.

The Presidential dollars depart.

First Spouse medals will cease being offered.

First Spouse gold ends.

So do 2016 halves, 2016 Native American dollars, American the Beautiful sets from 2010 to 2015.

The gold Standing Liberty quarter and Walking Liberty half dollar from 2016 will also go off sale.

If you are interested in any of these, go to the Mint’s website now and buy.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

• Like this blog? Read more by subscribing to Numismatic News.