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Golden opportunity with Mercury?

Speculators will be asking themselves whether they think the new gold Mercury dime will sell out quickly when it goes on sale April 21 at noon Eastern Daylight Time.

Mintage is up to 125,000.

Price is not yet finalized, but at present bullion value of approximately $1,250 an ounce and a Mint mark-up of around 37 percent should put the price at roughly $170 each.

The coin features the popular A.A. Weinman design introduced in 1916 and produced for circulation until 1945. Many a collector has fond memories of filling a Whitman album with as many of the pieces as possible and yearning for lightning to strike in the form of finding the key 1916-D, which had a mintage of 264,000.

Will 125,000 tenth-ounce gold coins be considered scarce?

Will the emotional appeal of the first of three popular 1916 designs to be honored with a gold version overwhelm all other thoughts about it and simply make it a must have item?

If cold financial calculation means anything, speculators will know that it will take $21,250,000 for collectors to buy up the entire supply.

That is doable.

If the price were to be $10 higher at $180, that would add $1,250,000 to the cost, or $22,500,000.

To compare, collectors spent $20,467,809 to buy all the 2015 clad proof sets sold to date. So far, 640,620 of this staple of the hobby have been claimed.

When the 2016 clad proof set went on sale April 1, collectors paid out $5,930,686.80 in the first few days to grab 185,624 of these sets.

This fairly well demonstrates that the collecting community has the means to buy out the entire gold Mercury dime issue as well as the motive.

The only other things for any buyer to consider are whether the computer works and the credit card is not about to expire.

Speculators will probably want to buy all 10 allowed by the household order limit while collectors will settle for one or two examples.

The result of this sale will set the tone for the offers of the other two pieces that celebrate the centennial of the 1916 designs.

Buyers will have to spend more to acquire the gold Standing Liberty quarter and the gold Walking Liberty half dollar. However, they will have the record of gold Mercury trading action on the secondary market to help guide them when it is time to make those decisions.

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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