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Mint catalog arrives in mail

What do you think is on the cover of the U.S. Mint’s holiday catalog that I received in the mail at my home mailing address yesterday?

It features gold, silver and platinum American Eagles, the collector versions of the popular bullion coins.

Obviously the Mint’s marketing department thinks these coins are where the money is this year.

Of course, they did not forget to include proof sets, both the regular clad version and the silver version.

It is a hobby tradition for some to buy proof sets for the holidays. Sales figures should take a healthy jump as the result of receipt of this catalog.

What I found most interesting about the catalog was to see nine different bronze medals offered individually in both the large 3-inch diameter and the small 1.5-inch diameter sizes.

Medals are kind of ignored by most coin collectors as something inferior to coins, which are legal tender. Medals are not. It will be interesting to see how sales go. Four of the medals have World War II themes, four are for the branches of military service and one honors astronauts.

The last couple of pages features special items to mark births, birthdays and congratulations as well as items from this year’s commemorative programs designed to reach youngsters.

I write “reach” youngsters because I would expect that the catalog will be seen by parents and grandparents of the ultimate recipients rather than the recipients themselves.

It is good to see an actual catalog. The Mint website is nice, but sometimes having a color catalog in hand simply to browse through is the most effective sales technique. It helps create a desire to own something that might not otherwise have occurred to the person doing the browsing.

And of course, browsing through a color catalog in no way prevents the ultimate order being placed online or by telephone, or even through the use of the order blank provided.

I am curious as to how many people will use that third means to send orders to the Mint. I realize it could be significant, but on the other hand, when was the last time you sent in an order blank?

I can’t remember.

How about you?

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."