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Gold Eagles sales figures in holding pattern

Mint's halt of American Eagle gold sales reminds NN writer of flight delays and being stuck in an airport with nothing to do.

Editor's note: Boxed sales figures temporarily unavailable. We are working to fix the problem.

Have you ever been stranded in an airport due to bad weather or mechanical failure?

Chances are, you have. It?s the law of averages at work and if it hasn?t happened to you yet, if you travel enough, it will.

There are worse places to be cooped up, I suppose. Purgatory is one that comes to mind. Prison is another. But being stuck at an airport for hours with no end in sight is about as bad as it gets.

Worse yet is being on a plane for a long spell with a full house of passengers as it sits on the runway, waiting for permission to fly. It is cramped, tempers are short, and usually, there?s a kid bawling uncontrollably somewhere.

The Mint?s recent decision to temporarily halt sales of gold American Eagle proof coins recently got me thinking about times I?ve been stuck in an airport waiting to move on. There?s nothing you can do about it. Yelling at airline personnel won?t help. So I just usually find a spot to sit down, put on my headphones and retreat into a book, getting lost in the story.

Which is what I?ve been doing lately with sales of gold American Eagle proof coins on hold. As you can see by the numbers in the boxes, sales are still at a standstill, though they were scheduled to resume May 18, a day after this edition of Numismatic News went to press. At least, I?ve been able to catch up on the Da Vinci Code. I have to read it before I see the movie.

It?ll be good to see sales resume. Perhaps we?ll be able to report a sellout of the gold American Eagle proof one-ounce coins in the June 6 edition of Numismatic News. Stay tuned.

It?ll be interesting to see how high prices for gold American Eagle proof coins will go. After all, the reason for the stoppage was to adjust prices to reflect the rising costs of gold.

Until we can report more gold Eagle sales, you can watch sales of platinum and silver Eagles tick upward ever so slightly.

With all the furor over gold, silver has gone somewhat unnoticed, but sales of silver products are doing well. Between May 9 and May 14, more than 24,000 one-ounce silver American Eagle proof coins were sold, along with 150,000 silver bullion coins.

Down in the righthand corner, you?ll notice a change. We have initial sales figures for the 10-coin silver proof set. The set is off to a good start, with 263,333 sold so far. The Mint started selling the sets on May 10. The 263,333 figure was reported on May 14. Now, we?ll just have to wait and see how it does.

Speaking of take-offs and landings, the Colorado quarter is on the runway. The first-strike ceremony was May 24, and the launch date is set for June 14.
The Mint is still being tight-lipped on details for the ceremony. Hopefully, we?ll have something for you next issue.

With regard to the other sets, the 10-coin clad set continues to be a big seller, with 49,388 sold between May 9 and May 14. Its nearest competitor among 2006 proof coin sets is the five-quarter clad set with 478,242, up only 8,128 in the same five-day period.

I?ve been getting a lot of e-mail about the state quarter production box ? some in favor of keeping it as is, some in favor of modifying it. All ideas are being considered. As always, you can e-mail me at