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Get ready for next 5-ounce silver

Check your bank balance and get your funds ready.

The next round of sales of the new 5-ounce America the Beautiful silver bullion coins will begin in late April, according to the U.S. Mint.

This time, rather than offering all five designs at once, the Mint will begin with offering the 2011 Gettysburg design and other designs will follow in a pattern similar to the staggered release dates for the circulating quarter versions.

Another improvement will be an increased supply. The Mint is confident enough about being able to meet demand that the sales restrictions imposed when it sold the 33,000 2010 sets to its Authorized Purchasers in December will be lifted.

It is not confident enough to take no precautions. It will use an allocation system as it does presently with the silver American Eagle bullion coins just in case demand exceeds event the new higher quantity that will be available.

Collectors who might be tempted to buy this first offer will also be flying blind as to what kind of quantity might ultimately be created.

Part of the clamor for the 2010 coins arose from the absolute certainty that there would be just 33,000 sets. That number looked like scarcity to a lot of people and they behaved accordingly.

Will that mean these coins will end up being available on the market for a mark-up similar to what prevails for the American Eagle coins?

We’ll have to see.

 While I don’t expect the same level of response as occurred with the 2010 coins, I wouldn’t be surprised if there won’t be an initial blip of demand that causes some initial worries.

So get ready, set ...