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End of 2005 brings small parade of sellouts

Mint reports sellouts of 2005 five-coin clad proof set, 1,000-coin bags of West Virginia quarters, and the one-ounce American Eagle platinum coins.

* Due to technical problems the Mint Statistics boxes will not appear until next week. We apologize for the delay.

Who doesn?t love a parade? Well, me for one.

I used to enjoy them. As a child sitting on my dad?s shoulders, I watched with glee as the colorful floats and big red fire trucks passed by. I tried to catch the candy they threw to the crowd. I even played along with the marching bands on my imaginary instruments.

The thrill is gone now. A few weeks ago, they held the annual Christmas parade in the city where I live ? it?s about an hour away from Numismatic News headquarters in Iola.

I was tired after a long day working on deadline here and all I wanted to do was get some Chinese takeout and go home. But because of the parade, all routes to my favorite restaurant were blocked ? except for one.

Snaking through traffic, I was able to drive within a few blocks of the place. Trouble was, there was nowhere to park. So, my dinner plans were quashed, and I?d wasted precious time driving around in vain, looking for parking and an escape route.

Admittedly, it?s a little selfish of me to wish they?d canceled the event just so I could satisfy my craving for Kung Pao. After all, I?m sure a lot of people had fun, especially the children. Still, it was aggravating for a Grinch like me.

Anyway, the reason I bring that up is we have a veritable parade of Mint products going off sale this week due to exhausted inventory. And since I don?t have anywhere to go for the next seven hours, I?ll just sit here and watch with you as they go on by.

First up is the 2005 five-coin clad proof set. Did you know the last known sales figures for the five-coin clad proof set was 987,000? And did you know that it is made up of 80,000 roses? Sorry, that last bit I made up. I was having flashbacks to the New Year?s Day Rose Bowl parades I used to watch on TV before the college football bowl games. I?m a sucker for inane banter.

There is one parade that I actually do like. It?s the Macy?s Thanksgiving parade. And I mostly like it because of the huge cartoon balloons of Bullwinkle and Woody Woodpecker, and other characters. I?m really just a child at heart.

Anyway, I digress. Next is the West Virginia 1,000-coin bags from the Denver mint. How about that New River Gorge Bridge? Pretty amazing feat of engineering, isn?t it?

Last known sales of the 1,000-coin West Virginia-D bags: 1,225. Not too shabby.

Lastly, we have the one-ounce American Eagle platinum proof. The Mint is reporting that approximately 2,500 were sold, an increase of 21 percent over 2004 figures. That?s interesting considering the high price of platinum.
Well, that?s all from here. Take it away dear reader. If you have a question, feel free to e-mail me at if you like.

By the way, no bullion sales were reported since the Dec. 27 issue.