Have you purchased any Boys Town or Lions commemorative coins this year?
For that matter, have you bought any commemoratives at all in recent years?
Sadly, many collectors seem to be giving these monuments to history a pass.
Numismatic philosophers can tell us if the themes are just not relevant to us anymore, or whether we are simply running out of money.
What is not in doubt is the numbers keep on declining.
Remember the excitement of the Buffalo silver dollar of 2001 that resurrected the design of the Buffalo nickel?
It sold out quickly.
It soared on the secondary market.
Mintage was 500,000.
There were 272,869 proofs and 227,713 uncirculateds.
How about the 2009 Lincoln silver dollar?
It also sold fast, but not so fast that collectors felt cheated by being shut out on the Mint website.
372,224 proofs and 127,710 uncirculateds were sold.
But not every program led to a happy sellout.
The Girl Scout silver dollar of 2013 did not even sell in sufficient quantity to earn the organization surcharge income.
That was sad.
Collectors bought 86,355 proofs and 37,462 uncirculateds.
But as bad as those numbers look in comparison to the Buffalo and Lincoln, things have gotten worse.
The 2016 Mark Twain silver dollar, which I would have bet would have been popular with collectors, saw 78,536 proofs and 26,281 uncirculated pieces sold.
True, there was a gold coin to compete with limited collector funds.
Was that the reason the silver dollar demand was so low?
Was it the designs?
Or are there fewer of us collectors?
I reject the shrinking number of collectors thought.
There are probably more of us now with money to spend than there were in 2009.
It was during the Great Recession when the Lincoln silver dollar sold out.
What will get collectors excited again?
Let the U.S. Mint know.
It is worried about the trend.
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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