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Marshals sales arrested

If it had been proof silver Eagles, there would be an extra zero on the end of it, but as it stands, the first-day sales number of the proof silver dollar commemorating the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service is 24,057.

The uncirculated dollar total sold since yesterday is 10,200.

Collectors purchased clad half dollars and gold $5s in smaller numbers.

For the clad halves, buyers took 14,212 proofs and 7,649 of the uncirculated coins.

The gold proof $5 total is 2,698 and the uncirculated is 2,323.

A three-coin proof set that has a maximum number available of 15,000 was roughly two-thirds sold out the first day at 9,421.

But even with what seems like low totals, the Mint’s website is already indicating the proof dollar is on back order and the set is out of stock.

Maximum mintage of the dollar coin is put at 500,000.

The gold maximum is 100,000 and the clad half dollar total is 750,000.

These totals are for proof and uncirculated finishes combined along with any that are sluiced out in special sets.

It might seem counter intuitive, but the next time the Congress authorizes clad half dollars, it should set the mintage ceiling at or below the dollar total.

It is only the miracle of the cupped design that propelled the sales total of the 2014 baseball half dollar to slide ahead of the 400,000 silver dollar maximum for that program, but the figure of 403,989 was still a far cry from its 750,000 ceiling.

With a lower ceiling, there might be a little more excitement generated by the half dollars.

With the Marshals program, it will be a miracle if 300,000 of the clad halves are sold.

In any case, whatever the final numbers will be at the end of 2015, it is unlikely that any of the coins will sell out other than those that are part of the artificially low set numbers and that’s a high price for collectors to pay for packaging.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."