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Golden idea or fool's gold?

Collectors are wildly enthusiastic about the gold Centennial issues of 2016.

The Mercury dime, Standing Liberty quarter and Walking Liberty half dollar designs are being issued in gold to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival of these three popular designs of 1916.

The gold Mercury dime sold out in April.

The 100,000 gold Standing Liberty quarters might sell out quickly on Sept. 8.

There is excitement and enthusiasm about the pending issue.

I was even chewed out by one reader after I posted my Aug. 2 blog suggesting mintages for the gold Standing Liberty of 65,000 and 50,000 for the gold Walking Liberty.

He thought my numbers were way too low and by stating them I was taking the Mint’s side rather than collectors'.

Such a response is an indicator of the high level of interest.

If these three gold issues do indeed sell out this year, does that mean we have a new avenue of collector coins to walk down?

The Treasury secretary can approve gold versions of any American coin ever issued.

Would collectors excitedly buy them?

Next year is the 125th anniversary of the introduction of the three Barber designs for the dime, quarter and half dollar. Should they be struck in gold?

Should the 225th anniversary of the half disme of 1792 be marked in gold next year as well?

In 2018 comes the 225th anniversary of the first regular coinage by the U.S. Mint. Should we have a Chain cent struck in gold to mark the occasion?

In 2019 comes the 225th anniversary of the silver coinage. Perhaps a gold Flowing Hair half dollar, or even a gold Flowing Hair silver dollar is in order?

Such a path could lead to the same collector buyer fatigue that has seen $5 gold commemorative mintages drop from 500,000 to 20,000. What was once a new and fresh idea became much less appealing.

Should the gold Centennial coins be the first of many more to come?

That is the question.

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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