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Good start for silver proof Eagles

When the 2014-W silver proof American Eagle went on sale Jan. 23, it was fully $10 cheaper than the 2013-W proof that was offered almost precisely one year earlier.

Collectors showed their appreciation by buying almost 20 percent more of them in the opening couple of days, or to be more precise, 18.7 percent more.

Total sales for the 2014 coins as of Jan. 26 are 307,378 compared to the initial 2013 sales figure of 258,860.

Do nearly 20 percent more initial sales mean a similar increase in the final annual total?

The 2013 proof Eagle did well, registering sales of 868,496, which was up from 819,217 in 2012.

Raising last year’s sales number by 18.7 percent puts the possible 2014 sales total at 1,030,905. If it happens this would be the first time since 2006 that the individual proof total would pass one million coins.

Without special multi-coin Eagle sets this year, collectors will have to focus on the individual proof and uncirculated coins. That could also account for a higher level of initial interest.

But don’t dismiss the appeal of that 15.9 percent price cut. Proof Eagles have a high level of perceived collector value, so the lower price makes the Eagle a deal rather than a cheapened product.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."