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Keep a watchful eye on April bullion sales

Brett Favre's returns spurs thoughts on changes with platinum, gold bullion sales.

The big news in Wisconsin today as I write this is that Brett Favre is returning to play one more season for the Green Bay Packers.

Quite frankly, it?s going to be tough for me to concentrate on work knowing this.

Being the life-long Packer fan I am, I feel Favre?s birthday should be a national holiday. Watching him play over the years has been an absolute joy, last year notwithstanding.

Having Favre back for another year means the team has hope. With a high pick in the NFL Draft, the Packers could be much better this season. That?s probably wishful thinking, but I?ve got a funny feeling in my gut that tells me they?re going to surprise some people. Of course, I get that same funny feeling in my gut every spring when the Milwaukee Brewers start play and every year, they disappoint.

You could say the same thing about platinum bullion sales. In the May 2 edition of Numismatic News, we reported sales of 2,450 ounces of platinum bullion for April, which translated into 5,300 coins. Those were figures we got straight from the Mint.

As it turns out, they were wrong. The Mint?s latest sales figures report, dated April 25, shows only 500 coins had been sold by that date. I?m not sure why the reports differed. Rest assured, I will check on it.

In a way, the situation is a little like the Favre retirement watch. Stay with me here. In the final game last season, Favre waved to the crowd as he left the field, signaling that it was probably his last game in front of the green-and-gold faithful. Then, this offseason, he evidently did an about-face and decided to come back.

With April platinum bullion sales, we thought the coins were selling fairly well. As it turns out, they weren?t. The low sales numbers could be good news for collectors. Years down the road, those who have the 2006 platinum bullion coins could get very good prices for them if they decide to sell. Just as Favre?s return could mean good times ahead for the Packers.

Maybe it?s a bit of a stretch to compare the two, but, considering the state of euphoria I?m in, it makes perfect sense.

As far as other precious metals are concerned, the Mint is reporting fairly strong sales of the one-ounce silver coins. By April 24, the Mint had sold 1,080,000 silver bullion coins, compared to 933,000 in February and 1,072,000 in March. Of course, that April silver figure could be subject to change, like platinum, but if it holds, we could see a big month for silver in April.

Gold bullion sales on the other hand aren?t so strong. As of April 24, only 29,500 gold bullion coins had been sold. In March, a total of 74,500 were bought up. That figure dropped to 60,500 in February. Will April go out like a lion? We?ll see.

In other news, we have confirmed dates for the first-strike ceremony and the launch date for the Colorado state quarter. The date of the initial striking by the U.S. Mint will be May 22, with the ceremony marking the occasion scheduled for May 24.

The bigger news is that the launch date is set for June 14. That is also the date when bags and rolls of the quarter will go on sale. Prices for both will be the same as they were for other state quarters.

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