I had a telephone call a couple of days ago from a collector in Texas.
Previous to his conversation with me he had been on the phone with someone who does the fulfillment of Mint orders.
He said he had been told that the mintage of the two-coin San Francisco American Eagle proof set would be revised substantially higher. He was no fool. He wanted me to check it out to see if there was any truth to what he had been told.
The set in question had been sold to collectors primarily during the month of June, with the conclusion of order taking in early July.
The number of sets sold was going to be the number made. There was no ceiling imposed prior to the opening of sales. Hypothetically, if collectors wanted 10 million, they would get 10 million.
In the event, the Mint toted up orders for 251,302 sets.
Naturally, I contacted the Mint to find out what might be going on regarding this number.
The word was the 251,302 number is still the operative one. By the end of the month, the figure will likely be revised some, but the changes were not expected to be large.
What does that mean?
Well, unless we want to get into disagreements on the level of debating what the meaning of “is” is, I would expect the final number could jigger up a few thousand or slide down by a similar amount.
There have been two countervailing factors since the order period closed.
The first was a final order rush in the last day or two where orders were mailed in by deadline but not received by the Mint by deadline.
The numbers from this phenomenon could run into thousands.
On the other side, when word spread in the hobby that the regular “S” proof Eagle would also be available in the Making History Coin and Currency Set, that irritated buyers of the two-coin set and apparently some were still able to cancel their orders.
How many did so? It is hard to say. I supposed it also could run into thousands of sets.
When you put together the Mint assurance with the countervailing forces at work during the program, you arrive at a conclusion that what the Texas collector had been told was at best an exaggeration.
Now we just have to wait and see.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."