It might be more of a horse race than I expected, but it still looks like the March of Dimes Special Silver Set will sell out its 75,000 maximum mintage.
The Mint released the first day’s sales number yesterday morning a while after I had posted my daily blog.
The figure reported is 52,540 sets sold. That leaves 22,460 still to go.
As of this morning, sales were continuing on the Mint’s website.
The usual demand pattern is a rush in the first hours followed by a dramatic falling off.
Usually the demand in the week after an initial sales figure comes in is around 50 percent of that first figure.
Taking 50 percent of 52,540, we arrive at 26,270. That is greater than the 22,460 remaining.
Does that mean a sellout will be declared at some point within seven days of the release of yesterday’s number?
There are no guarantees, but it would seem likely.
We all know that Roosevelt dimes are not particularly popular among collectors. The trend of the last three decades has been to place the collecting emphasis on the largest silver coins.
Unless the old Roman denarius means something to you, the modern dime often is being left out in the cold.
There is nothing particularly rare in the Roosevelt series to enhance attractiveness of this set to collectors.
But that is precisely the point of buying the March of Dimes set. The two dimes in it will immediately become keys to the series.
Some will quibble that coins sold only to collectors should not be included in a standard set.
Since collecting is a self-directed activity, that view will guide some and the idea of including the new coins in the full Roosevelt set will guide others.
Whatever the reaction to the dimes turns out to be, the fact remains that the only way to obtain the reverse proof “P” mint silver dime and the regular proof “W” mint silver dime is by buying this set.
The proof March of Dimes silver dollar is just an extra coin thrown in. It can be ordered separately.
So is it still worth paying $61.95 for the set knowing it will not be delivered until August?
Certainly not being able to certify them as early strikes will dissuade some from making the purchase.
It all boils down to the usual mixture of collector impulses and whether it is important that at least one March of Dimes offer actually contains dimes. On balance, that should push sales over the 75,000 goal line.
Perhaps excitement over early deliveries will help sales momentum.
Reader Bill Graney of Tubac, Ariz., set me another email yesterday.
"At 09:23 a.m. I received an email message from the Mint that my 2015 March of Dimes Special Silver Set was shipped. Great service. It sure pays to keep with technology."
With such quick delivery, secondary market trading cannot be far behind.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."