Today is the big day. The next Coin and Chronicles set with a reverse proof Presidential dollar becomes available on the Mint website at noon Eastern Daylight Time.
This set honors John F. Kennedy. Mintage is 50,000 compared to the 17,000 maximums for the sets honoring Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.
The Truman and Ike sets sold out in minutes. Prices soared on the secondary market. Slabbed early releases soared even higher.
It is a fair bet that with this track record, would-be buyers are figuring out all the angles for today's Coin and Chronicles set offer.
It will contain the third reverse proof Presidential dollar.
Sooner or later we can argue that the novelty of reverse proof dollars will wear off and speculators will focus their attention on something else.
Precisely when this will occur is the question.
The case for buyer fatigue setting in is the fact that the 50,000 available sets are nearly three times the number available compared to the first two issues. This could be discouraging.
An order limit of two sets per household might help slow things down a bit, but this is the same ceiling used for the Ike set and that had no discernible effect.
Arguing in favor of a continuing buyer frenzy is the simple fact that two bonanzas in a row have caught the attention of many additional potential buyers.
These buyers might not care a bit about reverse proof Presidential dollars, but they do like the possibility of being able to make a big profit on any sets they can get from the Mint.
Even the frustrated individuals who could not successfully buy the Truman and Ike sets from the Mint are likely to try again despite the fact that some of them swore that they will never buy another Mint product again.
Those words ring hollow after a few weeks especially when it looks like trying again is a one-way bet.
It looks like you can’t lose when you put up your $57.95 for one set or $115.90 for two sets plus the $4.95 handling fee.
In this environment, will there actually be anyone who will try to order only one set?
The worst for potential buyers is the Mint website will once again be swamped and they won’t get their orders in successfully.
Trying to place an order costs time and possible hurt feelings, but no money.
Only after the secondary market fails to reward buyers of Coin and Chronicles sets will the frenzy for reverse proof dollars come to an end. This could be signaled by a huge increase in maximum sales numbers for future sets.
The Kennedy limit of 50,000 is a step in that direction, but it probably is not quite high enough. So I will be avidly following the events of the day on the Mint website – and no, I have not been ordering these for myself.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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