The appeal of buying coins directly from the mint of issue is very strong among collectors.
You might not believe that when Numismatic News readers go on a tear in their letters to the editor and emails about the U.S. Mint never doing anything right. However, it is true.
I had a telephone call from a collector of world coins yesterday who was hoping I could provide him with contact information so the he could deal directly with several world mints whose coins he was interested in.
Unfortunately for him, I could not comply as the mints in question do not deal directly with the public in the United States and instead offer their coins here through third parties.
The collector thought very little of the third parties he had been dealing with and suggested that perhaps Krause Publications might undertake to represent the mints in question.
I told him that I appreciated the suggestion and would pass it on. We have tiptoed into coin marketing where winners of the Coin of the Year Award have been offered by us because they were difficult to find, but this has been more a special service to readers than any kind of a profit-making undertaking.
Even U.S. collectors amid their complaints about Mint service, will do a complete reversal and advocate that the U.S. Mint sell American Eagle bullion coins directly to collectors so that they will not have to deal with the authorized dealer network.
The U.S. Mint must be doing something right.
It would seem that in the minds of collectors the only thing worse than dealing with the U.S. Mint or other mints of issue is to not being able to deal with them.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."