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End of mail orders to Mint

No more mail orders will be accepted by the U.S. Mint after Sept. 30, 2016.

The announcement was made this morning just as I began writing my morning blog.

After that date, only online orders and telephone orders will be accepted.

How many Mint customers will be affected by this?

I don’t know. I will have to ask. The answer is probably not very many.

Most orders arrive at the Mint via the computer and the telephone.

Otherwise, we would not have the repeated sellout dramas that entrance us as various Mint offerings go on sale.

Though acceptance of hard-copy orders will not end until Sept. 30, the change in Mint policy will have an almost immediate impact.

On Jan. 1, 2016, the Mint says it will stop distributing order forms.

We collectors knew this day would come at some point. We just did not know when.

The Mint’s statement says, “The reality of the digital environment means that paper orders placed through the mail are increasingly not accepted as inventory is depleted quickly through online and telephone channels in real time.

“This is especially true for high-demand products with limited mintages. By eliminating mail orders and encouraging all customers to shop online or by phone, the Mint will be offering more ordering consistency and eliminating those hard copy orders that take longer to receive, process and fulfill.”

For my part, I have to say this is a logical decision.

Perhaps there should be some ceremonial “furling of the flag” to mark the end of an era.

There might be a jump in inquiries to me for a time about how to send something to the Mint, but I expect the changeover will be fairly seamless and generate little controversy.

While this decision is a step forward for the Mint, it still makes me a little sad – like when I look in the mirror and wonder where all the gray hair came from.

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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