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Gold? Well, what about mint sets?

With the spotlight on gold and silver this week, I thought it might be refreshing to mention another basic building block of the U.S. coin hobby.

The annual standard clad uncirculated coin set, popularly called a mint set, is not something that gets much attention anymore. It is much less glamorous than the annual proof set, or other Mint products.

I had a emailed inquiry over the weekend that asked whether the Mint was going to issue a mint set and when it would be coming.

I responded that no date had been determined yet, but it would arrive at some point in the coming months.

This was routine question to which I gave a routine answer.

Later on Monday another virtually identical inquiry arrived about the 2013 mint set.

I provided a virtually identical answer to this email as I did to the first one, but I added a question:

“This is the second time I have answered this question today. Is there a website somewhere implying that they are not going to be issued?”

I got a quick response that there was nothing online that had prompted the writer to think no mint sets were going to be made this year. It was just personal interest.

The two emails were coincidental then without any deeper meaning.

Considering the hullabaloo going on in the market for precious metals, questions like this keep me anchored to the deeper realities of numismatics.

It isn't only about gold and silver bullion.

That’s a good thing.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."